Its sad that females are in the minority in the vast and popular genre that is hip hop. Girls are present but, Eminem
style, often they just sing ultra feminine melodies to contrast with the masculinity of the rap. Watch the videos – its like we’re a fragment of an image, along with the gold and the wheels. I think we also get bad press from Iggy Azealea and Nicki Minaj who are frankly a bit shit. But I wanted to remind everyone, in the name of Lauryn Hill, that female hip hop is not weak. Just because we dont have a huge dong to grab onto, it doesn’t mean that girls cant rap with meaning. In my opinion there’s just as much, if not more, power and confidence outisde the unoriginal male rap equation (Wiz, Jeezy, ASAP, Kanye, Travis, Gucci, Pusha). Dont get me wrong, im a huge fan of them all, but I’m just looking for more variety.
So, a rant, that may have generalised slightly (Kendrick is exempt by the way) but here is some evidence in the form of my current favourite leading ladies in the genre.
Sampa The Great – ‘Blue Boss’
The Fugees and Lauryn Hill in general – ‘Ready or Not’ is a good place to start. Not only a cool song with an iconic instrumental and melody, it’s Hill at her best and establishes her as one of the greats amongst her all male contemporaries. In ‘Doo Wop’ Hill raps with balls.
Little Simz – Worth listening to this grime producer from Manchester. My favourites are ‘Have I’ and ‘Quest Luv ft Tilla’.
Azealia Banks – ‘ATM Jam’ (kaytranada mix is awesome), ‘1991’, ‘212’, the whole of the ‘Fantasea’ mixtape especially ‘Fuck up the Fun’, ‘Paradiso’, ‘Luxury’ and ‘Fierce’. Azealia has some awesome melodies and samples, successfully mixing hip hop with groove and house. Her rhythm is incredible making her one of my favourite artists ever, especially to dance to. Shes also one of the most sassy social media trolls – worth looking up (especially versus Iggy).
Missy Elliot – ‘Get Ur Freak On’. Elliot is beautifully crude and doesnt suffer from the self-conscious manicured bullshit that Minaj and Azalea do. ‘I’m Really Really Hot’ (Kaytanada remix recommended) is another confident, badass work of art. ‘Work It’ is a classic and should be on everyone’s iPod (even Granny’s).
Lil Kim – She used to be scared of the dick according to ‘Big Momma Thang’…
Beyonce – ‘Drunk In Love’ and that whole album is so different from her previous stuff. B has taken a different approach, avoiding the previously beige ‘Who Runs The World’ shamelessly poppy anthems.
Rihanna – ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’. This isn’t actually written by her but it sounds like true Rihanna- indirectly sticking two fingers up to the gender stereotype superglued to all popular female singers.
DonMonique – She sounds cool with her contemporary instrumentals in ‘Pilates’.
MIA – ‘Bad Girls’ (truly the coolest song) and ‘Come Around ft Timbaland’ (I think this was in St Trinians. I can’t tell if this makes the track more or less cool?). Both alternatives to ‘Paper Planes’.
Cassie – She used to be a bit of an R&B babe but the title track of her mixtape ‘RockaByeBaby’ has a load of attitude as does ‘Bad Bitches ft Esther Dean’ and ‘All My Love’.
Eve and Gwen Stefani’s ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’ is honestly one of the best tracks EVER.
Here’s a little playlist to start you off:
Keep that booty twerkin’
Katie B xx