Women in Hip Hop

And women have to rap! Who said rap isn’t for ladies? Just go to the English vocabulary to read the definition of Rap: to discuss informally. And it is this new technical mode that blends rhythm and rhymes.

The women of Rap: Let’s discover all their faces together

When it comes to Rap we cannot fail to mention its origin: Hip Hop. Hip Hop culture was born around 1970 in the suburbs of a disreputable New York that blends the art of graffiti, breakdance and rap. Those were the years of the neighborhood parties – the Block Parties – and as many people as possible gathered around very expensive sound systems and listened to these rhythmic bases. Hence the idea of ​​the DJ’s to isolate the percussion part from the rest of the songs to make us talk over the MC – the Masters of Ceremony. Thus was born the Rap – or Rapping- that is a vocal technique that involved speaking on a rhythmic basis.

A succession of rhymes -flow-, assonances on a 4/4 beat. The MCs begin to be real figures who perform at Block Parties, with little money, but a lot of imagination rhymed their thoughts or their disturbances. We try to deal with social issues, from poverty to the desire for redemption, we sing about a rotten society, a slice of everyday life. Freestyle, or improvised lyrics or real verses designed and written in black and white, it doesn’t matter, rap slowly begins to spread so much that it becomes a cultural component rooted throughout America.

A sophisticated and increasingly specific jargon made up of metaphors, allegories and allusions… made of disrespecting – known in slang as dissing- Here are the first diss tracks for the sole purpose of offending and criticizing, and if we talk about dissing we cannot fail to mention Tupac Shakur and Notorius BIG.

But what are the female figures in the Rap scene? For many years Rap has been a purely male world, but as it slowly began to become a real musical phenomenon, women also began to make their way into this culture. I could name many, here are the most influential on the scene – each for different reasons.

Missy Elliott

Who among you does not remember the excessive style of this rapper? Just remember the videos of Work it or Get Ur Freak On to realize how the Hip Hop style reaches and influences fashion too. Acetate suits branded Adidas or studded jackets, all rigorously oversized, gold bells and diamond necklaces in plain sight. Missy Elliott, who made her debut in 1997 with the Supa Dupa Fly album, managed to clear rap by collaborating with characters such as Madonna, Pink, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, TLC and Lil Kim. She is my all time favorite rapper.

Nicki Minaj

She entered the hip-hop dance and music scene only in 2007 and immediately went platinum. Perhaps you remember her for her twerking in the Anaconda video or for her strong, allusive language. It takes up the sensual style of Mariah Carey and Lil Kim, creating a character with irreverent features.

She also boasts great collaborations including Lil Wayne and Drake. Described by the New York Times as “the most influential female rapper of all time”, Nicki collects various nominations and awards such as Grammys, American Music Award (The AMA’s)and BET Awards. In 2011 she was awarded the BILLBOARD’S WOMEN IN MUSIC Rising Star award, the recognition for emerging talents.

Keny Arkana

French rapper born in ’82. Her lyrics are very close to the old-fashioned Hip Hop ideology. Keny immediately understands the responsibility that comes with success and therefore deals with issues with a social background and a strong political message. We recommend one of her best videos, La Rage (La Rabbia) where Keny talks about the 2006 clashes in the French suburbs. She sings of people’s anger, praises freedom, launches ideas to reflect on a world that does not represent us and that is destroyed day after day, increasingly marginalizing the needy.


In ’99 she enters history with an album that is the second best-selling – made by a female rapper – in the world. In 2001 multiple hits, the first with Let Me Blow Ya Mind duet with Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and immediately after with the single. Who’s that girl ? A style that is always evolving, so much so that you can almost go on a journey with her thanks to her songs.

Laurin Hill

Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and singer of the Fugees group who remained together until 1997. The following year she began to climb the charts all over the world with an album entirely written and arranged entirely by her: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with which she sells more than 18 million copies also thanks to the first Doo-wop (that thing) extract. Impossible not to remember her also for the poignant cover version of Killing me Softly by Roberta Flack.

Laurin developed a style of his own, later called neo soul, where he skillfully mixes soul influences from the 70s making them current in an R&B and rap key. Without ever mounting her head, she writes about a reality that she touches with her hand or about what surrounds it as equal opportunities for blacks, deeply convinced that music has the possibility of changing mentalities. Most say that she was able to create a musical genre close to that of Aretha Franklin, but with the reggae spirit of Bob Marley.