The Greatest Women Rappers of All Time

Over 59.2K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Women Rappers of All Time
Voting Rules
Female rappers & hip hop artists only.

Responsible for some of the hottest tracks of 2020, these women rappers and MCs know how to handle a mic. Since the early days of hip-hop, women took part in crafting the genre's overall tone and sound. Though hip-hop music is commonly associated with a glorification of male-exclusive camaraderie, women MCs help to break that mold, off-setting more men-centric attitudes with a steely, seen-it-all perspective of their own. Some women rappers make up a part of a successful rap group, such as Digable Planets or Salt-N-Pepa. But just as often, the best female rappers pursue their own solo rap careers, sometimes with the assistance or stewardship of an established 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 women rappers out there? As of today, more and more women hip-hop acts generate just as much buzz for new releases as men. So much so, in fact, that acts like Cardi B are now scoring the top-charting singles around. Girl power, indeed.

Most divisive: Cardi B
Ranked by
  • Nicki Minaj
    28,450 votes

    Bursting onto the scene like a supernova, Nicki Minaj quickly became a household name with her eclectic style and fiery lyrics. With her commanding presence, she's been able to stand toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names in the rap game, all while securing her well-deserved spot as a queen in the realm of hip-hop. Her unique ability to shift between various cadences and characters within the same verse showcases her range and inherent talent as an artist. Nicki Minaj's brilliance as a rapper is evident not only in the longevity of her career, but also in her strong influence on contemporary female emcees.

  • Lauryn Hill
    18,958 votes

    Few artists can claim to have reached the pinnacle of both artistic and commercial success like Lauryn Hill. Her thought-provoking lyrics combined with her soulful voice have earned her a place in the pantheon of great female rappers. As a trailblazer for women in the music industry, Hill's seminal work with The Fugees and her solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" stand as testimony to her undeniable talent. Lauryn Hill's impact on the genre is still felt today, with her influence stretching far beyond the realm of hip-hop.

  • Missy Elliott
    18,666 votes

    An innovative force within the world of hip-hop, Missy Elliott's groundbreaking approach to music production and captivating onstage persona have firmly placed her as one of the best female rappers of all time. Reimagining what it means to be a rap artist, she's consistently pushed boundaries with her futuristic sounds and unmatched creativity. It's no wonder that Elliott has become a legendary figure within the industry, inspiring countless artists and elevating the status of women in hip-hop. Her enduring legacy is one that continues to shape the landscape of the genre today.

  • Foxy Brown
    9,295 votes

    Foxy Brown's fearless approach and unparalleled lyrical prowess have cemented her position as a titan within the rap game. Unapologetically bold and undeniably talented, she was a major force during the 1990s and early 2000s, dominating the charts alongside some of hip-hop's biggest names. Through her gritty and authentic storytelling, Brown offered a fresh perspective on a male-dominated industry, paving the way for future female emcees. Foxy Brown's steadfast dedication to her craft and unwavering confidence in her abilities have ensured her legacy as one of the best female rappers of all time.

  • Eve
    12,111 votes

    Eve's powerful presence and lyrical mastery have long set her apart from her peers, earning her the well-deserved reputation as one of the most influential female rappers in history. With her distinctive cadence and insightful storytelling, she's consistently demonstrated her ability to hold her own in a male-dominated industry. As a member of the legendary Ruff Ryders crew, Eve proved time and time again that she could keep up with the best of them, solidifying her status as a true hip-hop heavyweight. Her impact on the genre is undeniable, with her trailblazing legacy inspiring a new generation of female emcees.

  • In a relatively short amount of time, Megan Thee Stallion has exploded onto the rap scene, taking the world by storm with her charismatic performances and hard-hitting lyrics. Her fierce delivery and sharp wit have quickly established her as a force to be reckoned with, garnering a dedicated fan base and numerous accolades. Megan's unapologetic celebration of her own identity has resonated deeply with listeners, making her an empowering figure for women everywhere. It's undeniable that her tremendous talent, coupled with her magnetic personality, will continue to propel her further into the annals of the genre's greatest artists.