Hip-Hop turns 50 this year, and fans are spending all of 2023 celebrating the impact this genre has had on culture around the world.
Women have been an integral part of the game since the very beginning, with artists like Roxanne Shanté and MC Sha-Rock setting the early tone in the 80’s leading to ladies-only acts like Salt-N-Pepa in the 90’s.
Now, the women that grew up rapping along to Queen Latifah’s prolific bars, Lil Kim’s explicit lyrics, Gangsta Boo‘s southern swagger, and Nicki Minaj’s lyrical prowess are running the game, and the next generation of Hip-Hop fans will likely cite them as their early influences in the years to come.
Here, take a look at a few of the women laying their own path into Hip-Hop’s next fifty years. Whether they’ve already achieved Grammy gold and chart-topping success or have maintained a steady buzz and a loyal fanbase, these women bring their own style and flair to the game, redefining the cadence of Hip-Hop for the next generation.
The chart-topping “H-Town Hottie” has already claimed three Grammy awards while becoming an icon based on her sounthern-twinged lyricism, mesmerizing moves, and infectious personality.
Though she’s currently hinting toward a pivot toward a more lyrical, less melodic form of Hip-Hop, Doja Cat has become a chart dominator, Grammy winner, and awarded songwriter for her pop-heavy brand of colorful, quirky Hip-Hop that made her a star across genres.
This Atlanta rapper has cultivated a loyal fanbase drawn to her southern-fried rap style and cool-girl bravado, placing her on big stages and at the top of the charts with hits like “Big Energy” featuring none other than Mariah Carey.
The buzzy new “Princess of Rap,” this Bronx-bred beauty is causing a stir with her catchy brand of pop-drill rap that has rapidly taken her from viral online star to industry it-girl, with an EP that stays in rotation on radio across the nation.
This Memphis-born artist’s raw delivery gave her the undisputed song of the summer in 2022 and saw her keep that momentum going for her equally viral collaboration with Cardi B, “Tomorrow 2.”
The voice behind many a genre-bending viral Hip-Hop jam, including “Crazy” and “Persuasive,” Doechii’s one-of-a-kind brand of rap is going viral once again with her song of the summer contender and viral dance smash “What It Is.”
One of the earliest rappers to achieve TikTok virality with her hit “Beef FloMix,” this Alabama native’s pretty and unbothered swagger and high-pitched biting bars have made her a fan favorite across two studio albums.
With a sassy delivery and an unmistakable punk style, Rico Nasty has carved her own unique lane, maintianing an ever-growing fandom since her 2018 debut.
Having courted a spot on QC records through independently posting her impressive freestyles as just a teen, this midwestern rap artist’s profile is only getting higher as she releases hit after hit.
Having already courted co-signs from heavy hitters like Nick Minaj, J. Cole, Timbaland, and more, and having dominated stages at locales like Wireless Festival, this Maryland-born rapper is headed to superstardom for certain.
Where as many of her peers go the prissy-pretty girl route with thier bars, Monaleo’s no-holds-barred delivery and focus on topics near and dear to her like mental health have placed her in a category all her own.
Another artist with a viral push on social media sending her into the stratosphere, Kali’s carefree rhymes have made her a bubbling star.