The future of music

50 Best Female Rappers of All Time

December 13, 2023
Best female rappers

I’ve picked out the best female rappers of all time, artists who have broken barriers and set new standards in a genre traditionally dominated by men.

This article celebrates the pioneering women whose skill, creativity, and influence have reshaped the landscape of hip-hop.

Top female rappers of all time

  • Queen Latifah
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Missy Elliot
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Rhapsody
  • Lil’ Kim
  • Foxy Brown
  • Cardi B
  • M.I.A.
  • Da Brat

1. Queen Latifah

Is there a better way to start than with a true Queen of Rap?

Queen Latifah is all about breaking boundaries and making records that resonate with people around the world.

The iconic rapper released her debut album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was only 19 years old.

And the rest is history – Latifah became one of the most influential female rappers on the scene.

She was also the first hip hop artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And she is also praised for her work in movies and TV. 

2. Nicki Minaj 

Dubbed the ‘Queen of Rap’, Nicki Minaj is hands down one of the most famous female rappers in the world right now.

She started out by releasing mixtapes in the 2000s, and eventually became one of the best-selling rap artists in the industry.

Her 2010 debut album Pink Friday was a big success, and her single “Super Bass” quickly climbed the charts.

Minaj has been actively making music ever since, and she received many awards and accolades in the meantime.

3. Missy Elliot

Nicki Minaj might be nicknamed the ‘Queen of Rap’, but Missy Elliot was there first.

She began her career in the 90s as a member of the R&B girl group Sista, and embarked on a solo career with her 1997 debut album Solo Dupa Fly.

At the time, the album was the highest charting debut for a female rapper.

And that was only the beginning – Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot became the most respected female hip hop artist.

Her best known songs include “Work It” and “Lose Control.”

4. Lauryn Hill

Without a doubt, Lauryn Hill deserves a place among the top 10 female rappers.

She was one of the most influential rappers in the 90s, and she inspired many artists that came after her.

She rose to fame with the Fugees, a group best known for their timeless hit “Killing Me Softly.”

Other songs that Hill is associated with include “That Thing (Doo Woop)” and “Ex Factor.” 

And her brilliant debut album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill remains one of the most iconic albums of all time.

5. Rhapsody

Known for her distinctive rapping style, Rhapsody is arguably one of the best female rappers in the world right now.

She started out by releasing mixtapes and some interesting collaborations (most notably with Erykah Badu.)

But she rose to prominence with her second album Laila’s Wisdom in 2007, which was nominated for the Best Rap Album.

And she has been around ever since.

6. Lil’ Kim

Kimberly Denise Jones, better known as Lil’ Kim, began to freestyle rap in her teens.

She was born and raised in Brooklyn, and she lived much of her adolescent life on the streets.

But luckily, in19 94, she was discovered by fellow rapper The Notorious B.I.G.

Lil’ Kim’s debut album was a big success, and some of the singles like “Crush On You” and “No Time” became her signature songs.

In the media, she is often referred to as ‘Queen of Rap’ as well as her alias ‘Queen Bee.’

7. Foxy Brown 

Foxy Brown started her career with a debut album III Na Na in 1996.

And her next album Chyna Doll made her the second female rapper to be at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, after Lauryn Hill. 

Foxy Brown’s most famous songs include “Get Me Home” and “Big Bad Mama.” 

Her lyrics were considered raunchy when she started out, but she has surely influenced many today’s female rappers.

8. Cardi B

And one of today’s female rappers who might have been inspired by Foxy Brown is Cardi B.

The New York rapper became known for her straightforward lyrics, seductive music videos, and unapologetic attitude. 

She became the only woman to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, and she has since received many awards and accolades. 

Her biggest hits include “I Like It”, “Bodak Yellow”, and “WAP.”

9. M.I.A.

M.I.A. is undoubtedly one of the most authentic and conscious hip hop artists in the music industry.

Her songs are catchy and memorable, but they also convey important messages – she often tackles political and social topics.

In her music, she also combines elements of electronic music, alternative, and world music.

She is best known for her breakthrough hit “Paper Planes” which sold over four million copies.

10. Da Brat 

Shawntae Harris-Dupart  is a Chicago-born rapper known professionally as Da Brat. 

Her most famous songs include “Funkdafied” and “Not Tonight”, both of which were top ten hits.

She is also known for her collaborations, most notably with Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliot, and Notorious B.I.G.

She also received multiple Grammy Awards.

11. Trina

As a famous girl rapper, Trina became known to the world in the 90s.

And she has been around ever since – so it’s no wonder many call her one of the “most consistent female rappers of all time.

Known for her rap hits “Da Baddest Bitch” and “Here We Go” (with Kelly Rowland), Trina really made a huge impact on the rap/hip hop music genre.

Many of her albums received praise, critical acclaim, and awards. 

12. Megan Thee Stallion 

Megan Thee Stallion started out by posting videos of her freestyle rap on Instagram. 

Eventually, she got a record deal, and she became one of the most prominent female rappers on the scene.

Many of her songs became global hits, including “Her” and “Body.”

Throughout her career, she has received multiple awards and accolades, including three Grammys.

13. Eve

Truth be told, “Let Me Blow Your Mind” is one of the most iconic songs ever made.

Besides this famous collaboration with Gwen Stefani, Eve is also known for her hits “Who’s That Girl?” and “Gangsta Lovin’.” 

She is arguably one of the most influential hip hop artists, and many aspiring female rappers cite her as inspiration.

She is also known for her work in movies and television.

14. Saweetie

Saweetie is one of the most promising female rappers on the scene.

She released her debut single “Icy Grl” in 2017, and the song became very popular.

Saweetie has been active in the past few months, releasing several songs in December 2022. 

Most of the songs she released so far showcase her talent and rapping skills, so we’re looking forward to seeing what comes next for her.

15. Remy Ma 

Reminisce Mackie, known by her stage name Remy Ma, became famous for her work as a member of Fat Joe’s group, Terror Squad.

In 2006, she released her debut studio album There’s Something About Remy: Based on a True Story.

Her debut album achieved modest success, but her upcoming songs became hits.

She now frequently appears on the lists of the top female rappers of all time. 

16. Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty is probably one of the baddest female rappers out there.

She started releasing content in 2014, mostly on SoundCloud.

But she gained wider recognition and rose to fame in 2018, after releasing her bad-ass singles “Poppin” and “Smack A Bitch.”

17. Ladybug Mecca

Best known for her hip hop gem “Doggstar”, Ladybug Mecca is an American rapper from Silver Spring, Maryland.

She is best known for being a member of the group Digable Planets during the early 1990s.

In 2005, she released her solo album Trip The Light Fantastic, which gained a lot of attention. 

She also joined the group The Dino 5 in 2008.

18. Yo-Yo

Yo-Yo rose to fame in 1990, after appearing on Ice Cube’s debut album AmeriKKKa.

Their duet “You Can’t Play with My Yo-Yo” is a hip hop classic.

Yo-Yo released many critically acclaimed albums afterward.

She is known for writing songs that tackle topics of women empowerment.

19. Young M.A.

Best known for her 2016 single “Ooouuu”, Young M.A. is considered one of the most prominent (and promising) rappers on the scene.

She was nominated for BET and MTV Artist of the Year, and she quickly gained widespread recognition.

She has been featured in many commercials, television shows, and talk shows, and she received multiple awards.

20. Rah Digga 

Rah Digga’s debut solo album came out in 2000, and it was a commercial success.

But the rapper is also known for her work with Busta Rhymes’ hip-hop group Flipmode Squad.

Besides having a successful music career, Rah Digga has also been appearing in films.

21. Left Eye 

Lisa Nicole Lopes, known by her stage name Left Eye, was a true creative force in the 90s.

She rose to prominence as a member of the iconic group TLC – she got more co-writing credits than the other members.

She embarked on a solo career in 2001 and released several chart-topping hits.

Unfortunately, she had a car crash in 2002, and her life and career were cut way too short.

22. MC Lyte 

When thinking about the best female MC’s, MC Lyte is one of the first names that comes to mind.

She rose to fame in the 80s, and with songs like “Ruffneck” and “Paper Thin”, she became the first female solo rapper to achieve a gold certification.

MC Lyte has been cited as an influence to many female rappers, and in a way, she is a pioneer of hip hop. 

She also had many collaborations with famous artists, including Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Moby, and Mary J. Blige. 

23. The Lady Of Rage 

The Lady Of Rage has been described as “one of the most skillful female MCs” with a “mastery of flow” and “hard-core lyrics.”

And that’s a perfect description of this amazing female rapper’s talent and expression.

Besides her solo work, she is known for her collaborations with artists such as Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.

24. Iggy Azalea 

At the age of 16, Iggy Azalea moved from Australia to the US to pursue a career in music.

Her 2014 debut studio album, The New Classic, was a success – and that was only the beginning.

She has received many awards over the course of her career, and her songs like “Fancy”,  “Work”, and “Black Widow” became huge international hits. 

Also, her official YouTube channel has accumulated 3.4 billion views, which is quite a lot. 

25. Jean Grae 

Tsidi Ibrahim, known professionally as Jean Grae, is an American rapper who comes from the underground hip hop scene in New York City.

She built a local fanbase, but her distinctive musical style and expression helped her reach international fame.

She has recorded with many popular hip hop artists, including The Roots.

26. Gangsta Boo

Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, known as Gangsta Boo, was an American rapper and an important figure in the Southern hip hop scene.

She rose to prominence as a member of Three 6 Mafia – she joined the famous group at the age of 16.

She also gained popularity because of her collaborations with Eminem, Run the Jewels, and so on. 

27. Little Simz 

Little Simz is hands down one of the most innovative hip hop artists on the scene right now.

Her songs like “101 FM” and “Introvert” could be described as alternative rap/hip hop music, and they received a lot of praise.

As a proof of her talent and creativity, Little Simz received many awards, including the 2022 Mercury Prize. 

28. Doja Cat 

Another talented, creative female hip hop artist who has been in the spotlight lately is Doja Cat.

She began releasing music on SoundCloud during her teen years, and the song “So High” got her a record deal.

She has released many successful hits since then – “Woman”, “Kiss Me More”, “Streets”, just to name a few. 

Her songs also get a lot of social media popularity, especially on TikTok.

29. Azealia Banks 

Best known for her hit “212”, Azealia Banks is a skilled rapper, singer and songwriter. 

She is known for combining rap, hip hop, house, and electronic music.

And she is also known for her social media presence and rather controversial outspoken views.

30. Lizzo 

There’s no doubt about it – Lizzo is one of the most famous female singers in the world right now.

Her songs “About Damn Time” and “Good As Hell” are huge international hits.

And her energy, honest lyrics, and positivity seem to resonate with many people.

She has garnered three Grammy Awards so far, in addition to other awards and accolades.

31. BIA

Bianca Miquela Landrau, known simply as Bia, signed to Pharrell’s record label in 2014.

But she gained widespread popularity after being featured in the 2016 single “Safari” by J Balvin.

She has been changing labels over the years, and it seems like she’s still trying to find a place on the music scene.

Nevertheless, she is regarded as one of the best female rappers. 

32. Angel Haze 

Angel Haze’s debut album Dirty Gold came out in 2013.

They also released a number of mixtapes, and became a popular name in the hip hop/rap community.

Their songs often contain topics such as homophobia and racism. 

As the singer once said, they want to reach out to people who are going through difficult experiences.

33. CupcakKe

On the other hand, CupcakKe is known for her sexually empowered music and explicit songs.

Her unapologetic attitude and straightforward lyrics brought her viral success.

Her most famous songs include “LGBT” and “CPR.” 

34. Kesha

You might be surprised to see Kesha on this list.

Whether you agree or not, Kesha is often referred to as a popular hip hop artist.

Well, she definitely contributed to the pop and dance music scene, and she is known for combining various music styles.

And at the end of the day, she gained popularity after being featured on Flo Rida’s single “Right Round” in 2009.

35. Shawnna

As a daughter of the legendary blues musician Buddy Guy, Shawnna showed her interest for music at an early age. 

Besides her successful solo projects, she is widely known for her collaboration with Ludacris.

And just like many of her fellow hip hop artists, her music is characterized by sexually explicit lyrics and images.

36. Flo Milli 

Flo Milli rose to fame after her songs “Beef FloMix” and “In the Party” went viral on TikTok.

She then got a record deal, and she has been actively making music ever since.

Her debut mixtape Ho, Why Is You Here? made it to Billboard 200, and it was later placed on the Rolling Stone’s list of the ‘200 Greatest Hip Hop Albums of All Time.’

37. Erica Banks 

Erica Banks is a Texas-born rapper whose single “Buss It” went viral on TikTok.

She signed to Warner Records in 2021, and she’s been actively producing music in the past few months. 

Banks is definitely one of the most promising female rappers on the scene, and we’re sure she has a successful career ahead of her.

38. Dreezy 

Dreezy has been interested in arts most of her life, but she has been active on the music scene since 2014. 

Her last album came out in May 2022, and it’s a collaboration album with American rapper Hit-Boy.

As far as her musical style is concerned, Dreezy has cited rappers J. Cole and Lil Wayne as her biggest musical influences.

39. Diamond 

At the age of 15, Diamond joined the group Crime Mob.

A few years later, she embarked on a solo career, and released multiple successful songs.

She also made various mixtapes, and appeared on Ludacris’ hit “My Chick Bad” alongside Eve and Trina.

Some of the artists who influenced Diamond’s style include Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah, and Tupac Shakur.

40. Snow Da Product 

Claudia Alexandra Madriz Meza, known by her stage name Snow Da Product, is American rapper and singer.

She started out by releasing mixtapes, and eventually got noticed by several record labels.

Snow Da Product is now a successful hip hop artist, known for her rapid fire style of rapping.

She is also bilingual, so she is recording both in English and Spanish.

41. Tierra Whack 

Originally performing as “Dizzle Dizz” as a teenager, Tierra Whack received widespread critical acclaim after her debut.

Whack World was released in 2018, and she has released multiple singles and EPs since then.

She cites Outkast, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, and Kelis as her main musical influences.

42. JT 

Another female rapper that got a lot of attention in the past decade is Jatavia Shakara Johnson, known as JT.

She is a member of the hip hop duo City Girls, along with Yung Miami.

City Girls are best known for their US top 40 singles “Twerk” (featuring Cardi B) and “Act Up.”

43. Charli Baltimore 

Charli Baltimore is an American rapper and reality television personality.

She began her rap music career after meeting Notorious B.I.G. in 1995, and continued to make music in the following years. 

In 2003, she earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Rap Solo Performance (for her single “Diary”.)

44. Latto 

So far, a talented American rapper Latto is responsible for three mixtapes, three extended plays, and 12 singles as a lead artist.

And “Big Energy” is by far her most popular song to date.

She released the song as the lead single from her second studio album, 777.

45. Ms. Dynamite

Ms. Dynamite is a British singer and rapper best known for her unforgettable song “Dy-Na-Mi-Tee.” 

The song was released as a part of her debut album, A Little Deeper, in 2002. 

Over the course of her career, she received many awards, including the Mercury Music Prize.

46. Princess Nokia

Destiny Nicole Frasqueri is better known by her stage name Princess Nokia.

She released her debut album, Metallic Butterfly, in 2014, but she gained widespread recognition in 2017, after releasing her second studio album 1992 Deluxe

Her musical style is often described as experimental, and she is known for combining different genres such as rap, soul, rock and house.

47. Bahamadia

And Antonia D. Reed is known professionally as Bahamadia.

She rose to prominence in the 90s, after releasing her debut album, Kollage.

She has also been featured on the tracks by famous artists such as The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Morcheeba.

Although she didn’t make many studio albums, her contribution to the genre doesn’t go unnoticed.

48. Monie Love

When it comes to rap stars from the 90s, we ought to mention Monie Love.

She is best known for her 80s and 90s singles, but she also gained popularity as a radio personality.

Her most memorable songs include “It’s A Shame” and “Ladies First” (with Queen Latifah.)

49. Dej Loaf

Dej Loaf is an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Detroit.

She began her career as a hip hop artist in 2011, and she has released several mixtapes and extended plays since then.

She also rapped on the song “Detroit vs. Everybody” featured on Eminem’s compilation.

50. Ana Tijoux

Ana Tijoux is a Chilean-French singer and musician.

She rose to fame in the 90s, as the MC of hip-hop group Makiza.

In 2006, she crossed over to the mainstream of Latin pop, but she is still regarded as one of the most influential Latin hip hop artists.

Best Female Rappers – Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article provided you with some new music facts about legendary female rappers.

Some of these women paved the way to success for female rappers. 

And others might be new on the scene, but they’ve already made a huge impact on the genre.

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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