Most people know of the male heavyweights in hip-hop who have inhabited the streets and hoods of hip-hop's birthing place, New York City, since the onsets of their careers. They constantly make references to their stomping grounds in their tracks, paying homage to their homies through shout outs, making sure they never take for granted where they came from.

Until Notorious B.I.G.’s death in 1997 he was the Muhammad Ali of East Coast hip-hop. He was raised in Brooklyn, in the Clinton Hill area, and always showed love for his hometown in his music. Today Jay-Z reigns as Brooklyn’s finest living male rapper (according to some), having grown up in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Bed-Stuy.

While the men of hip-hop may be more widely known, what about their female counterparts that grew up alongside these men on the same turfs? These women have represented their respective NYC boroughs proudly as well. Their accomplishments have paved the way for aspiring female rappers and hip-hop artists out there currently trying to make a name for themselves among an industry dominated by men.

Here’s a list of some of hip-hop’s illest ladies from NYC, that rose above the rest, as well as some talented new comers we recommend keeping an eye out for.