hip-hop The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time  

Susie Moss
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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.
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
Photo:  Victor Boyko/Getty Images
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Lauryn Hill


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

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

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: Ruffhouse Records, Columbia

Also Ranked

#94 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#73 on The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time

#55 on The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band

#28 on The Greatest Artists With Only One Masterpiece

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Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
Photo: Romana Pierzga/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0
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Missy Elliott


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

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

Nationality: United States of America

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

Also Ranked

#51 on The Greatest Rappers of All Time

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

#39 on The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

#43 on The Greatest Dancing Singers

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Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
Photo:  Jason Meritt/Getty Images
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Queen Latifah


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

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

Nationality: United States of America

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

Also Ranked

#30 on The Best African American Actors in Film

#10 on The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time

#36 on The Best Film Actors Who Got Famous on TV First

#98 on The Greatest Rappers of All Time

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Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Rappers of All Time
Photo: janet lackey/Flickr
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Salt-N-Pepa


Albums: Very Necessary, Hot^! Cool & Vicious, Blacks' Magic, Brand New, A Salt With a Deadly Pepa, + more

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

Labels: London Records, Next Plateau Entertainment, PolyGram

Also Ranked

#24 on Overall Best Hip Hop Crew

#47 on The Best 3 Piece Bands Of All Time

#15 on The Best Bands That Are Named After Foods

#10 on The Best '80s Rappers

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