List Criteria: 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.
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