, 'female rappers' are women
. They taught you that in Metaphysics
101. But do such emcee
? Ah, that is an ontological
And the answer is yes. I've been a fan of women's rhymes ever since I was old enough to buy vinyl (which is to say, not that long, more's the pity); not soulless tripe that is spewed out onto the airwaves by overpaid R&B cretins who are slumming it as if to get props, but the real deal. (Note: some deals are realer than others. The value of your investment may go up as well as down.) I'm talking positive rhymes (Latifah), distinctive styles (MC Lyte), and no macho posturing (well, maybe excepting Rah Digga).
Here is the beginnings of a vaguely chronological list: some of the women who have made it in hip-hop.
- The Sequence: Angie Brown Stone, Cheryl Cook, and Gwendolyn Chisolm -- signed to Sugar Hill Records; hits beginning with Funk You Up in 1980. Collaborated with the Gang on Rapper's Reprise the same year. The grandmothers of female rap!
- Roxanne Shante
- Queen Latifah: Big, fun, positive tunes -- check out massive crossover hit Come Into My House (1989)
- Monie Love: British-born, natural rhymer, recently turned up on Common's Like Water For Chocolate.
- Salt-N-Pepa: Huge mainstream crossover act in the 80's-90's.
- Da Brat: Shawntae Harriet, whose 1994 debut went platinum -- damn excellent rhymes.
- MC Lyte: Spits tight lyrics on her 1996 platter, Bad As I Wanna B.
- Missy Elliott: The undisputed heavyweight champion of female hip-hop. She negotiates the boundaries of the genre with ease.
- Erykah Badu: All Music Guide say
bass-heavy R&B, which is about right.
- Lauryn Hill: Making an R&B-soul-hip-hop fusion sound okay.
- Foxy Brown
- Queen Pen
- Rah Digga:
She write her own rhymes -- Busta protege with killer delivery and a uniquely deep voice.
- Lil' Kim: Pioneered really explicit fem-lyrics on Hardcore (1996).
- Eve: Heavily hyped second album shifting units for Ruff Ryders as I write.
- Princess Superstar: Italian/Jewish MC touted as 'the female Eminem', which probably sums up why I'm not too keen.
- Jean Grae: Some people call this underground star the best female rapper ever.