female professionals The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time

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List Rules Only female rappers & hip hop artists, no pop or R&B singers

A list of female rappers and women known for their skills on the mic. Since the early days of hip-hop, women have taken a large part in crafting the genre's overall tone and sound. Though hip-hop music is commonly associated with misogynist lyrics and a glorification of male-exclusive camaraderie, there have always been women taking part as well, off-setting this attitude with a steely, seen-it-all perspective of their own. Sometimes, women would make up a part of a successful rap group, such as Digable Planets. But just as often, women would pursue their own solo rap careers, often with the assistance or stewardship of an established male rap act. (For example, Bahamadia got an early boost in the '90s from Gang Starr's Guru. Lil' Kim, as well, was mentored in the rap game by none other than the late Biggie Smalls himself.)

Who are the best female rappers? As of today, many ladies who rap are just as notable and get just as much buzz for new releases as men, and the female MC is an accepted part of mainstream hip-hop culture. So much so, in fact, that more recent female hip-hop acts like Kreayshawn and Iggy Azalea are more like commentaries on the place for women in rap culture.
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
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Missy Elliott


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop, Electronic dance music Contemporary R&B, + more

Albums: Under Construction, Supa Dupa Fly, Miss E ...So Addictive, Da Real World This Is Not a Test!, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: Atlantic Records, Violator, Elektra Records, The Goldmind Inc. East West Records

Career Began: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States of America

Also Ranked

#71 on The Best Current Female Singers

#56 on The Greatest Rappers of All Time

#61 on The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

#38 on The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

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Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
Photo: Jonene Taddei Photography/via Flickr
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Lauryn Hill


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul, Folk music Reggae, + more

Albums: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill, Greatest Singles Collection MTV Unplugged, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: Ruffhouse Records, Columbia

Career Began: South Orange, New Jersey, United States of America

Also Ranked

#63 on The Best Current Female Singers

#88 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#90 on The Female Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

#62 on The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time

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Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
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55 people just voted on Queen Latifah


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Jazz, Soul music Gospel music, + more

Albums: All Hail the Queen, Black Reign, Trav'lin' Light, The Dana Owens Album Order in the Court, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: Verve Music Group, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Tommy Boy Entertainment, Motown Records A&M Records, + more

Career Began: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Also Ranked

#47 on The Best Qualities in a Friend

#11 on The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time

#94 on The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today

#47 on The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

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Eve is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
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42 people just voted on Eve


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Pop music, East Coast hip hop Reggae, + more

Albums: Ruff Ryders' First Lady, Eve-Olution, Scorpion, Lip Lock Here I Am, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: Aftermath Entertainment, Geffen Records, EMI, Ruff Ryders Entertainment Interscope Records, + more

Career Began: West Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Also Ranked

#51 on The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name

#19 on A Definitive Ranking of Rappers as Actors

#3 on The Best Dressed Women in Hip-Hop

#35 on The Greatest Black Female Musicians

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Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
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34 people just voted on Salt-N-Pepa


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Girl group, Pop rap, Dance music

Albums: Very Necessary, Hot, Cool & Vicious, Blacks' Magic Brand New, + more

Labels: London Records, Next Plateau Entertainment, PolyGram

Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America

Also Ranked

#23 on Overall Best Hip Hop Crew

#43 on The Best 3 Piece Bands Of All Time

#10 on The Best '80s Rappers

#16 on The Best Bands That Are Named After Foods

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Lisa Lopes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
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Lisa Lopes


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Pop music, Rap music, Contemporary R&B Dance music

Albums: Supernova, Eye Legacy, N.I.N.A, The Block Party Forever... The EP

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: LaFace Records, Death Row Records, Arista Records

Also Ranked

#46 on The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 40

#60 on Dead Musicians You Most Want to See Perform as Holograms

#14 on The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead

#79 on Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album

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Lil' Kim is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
Photo: Monique Tatum/via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
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61 people just voted on Lil' Kim


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Dirty rap, Hardcore hip hop, Pop music East Coast hip hop, + more

Albums: The Naked Truth, Hard Core, The Notorious KIM, La Bella Mafia How Many Licks (feat. Sisqo), + more

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: International Rock Star Records, Atlantic Records, G-Unit Records, I.R.S. Records

Career Began: New York City, New York, United States of America

Also Ranked

#11 on The Rappers with the Dirtiest Rhymes

#94 on The Greatest Rappers of All Time

#39 on The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

#98 on The Best Rap Lyricists of All Time

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M.I.A. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
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M.I.A.


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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Worldbeat, New rave Electro hop, + more

Albums: Kala, Arular, Matangi, Maya Bang (The Remixes), + more

Nationality: England

Labels: XL Recordings, Interscope Records, Roc Nation

Career Began: Mitcham, London, London, United Kingdom

Also Ranked

#42 on The Best Political Musicians

#9 on The Best British Rappers of All Time

#18 on The Best Dressed Women in Hip-Hop

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