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Leikeli47via Billboard

Six female rappers you should be listening to right now

Apparently misogyny in rap has never been more prominent – so here’s a big middle finger up to that

Way back in 2003, Missy Elliott was asked why she hadn’t joined in with that iconic, faux-lesbian love-in between Madonna, Britney and Christina at the MTV VMA Awards. She apparently looked aghast. “No, no, no” she said. “Hip hop would never do that. Never, never, never in a million years.” Well, only 12 years have passed, and guess what? Hip hop is starting to do that.

According to a chart published by Rapalytics this morning, homophobic language has been steadily on the decrease since peak Gangster-rap era in the early noughties, and LGBTQ visibility in rap and hip hop has never been more prominent. However, in the same findings, Rapalytics found that misogyny in hip hop has been rising rapidly since 2005. This is disheartening for many obvious reasons, but it’s also surprising considering how many female rappers have been killing it in hip hop since forever. We haven’t got time for misogyny, so to flip a big middle finger up to the haters, here’s just a tiny sample of the emerging female rappers you should be sticking on your playlists.


She was mentored by all the best A$AP’s, she’s got zero time for women being sexualised in the media, and she once missed a Skepta show because she was too busy tripping on acid – these are just a few revelations from our interview with 20-year-old Philly-born rapper Chynna in our most recent issue of Dazed. That’s without mentioning her thud-heavy beats and ridiculously tight rhymes. Oh, and she's been in the studio with Hudson Mohawke and Rustie adding the final touches to her debut album (we can't wait). 


Haven’t heard of DonMonique yet? You’ll be hearing her everywhere soon. With her Wu-Tang swagger, side-eye Brooklyn drawl and dark, down-low beats, she makes the perfect music to crank up to 100 when the sun goes down. Plus, she looks like she’d be fun to party with (check out the video below, which was filmed during a party with Awful Records).


“I was not put here to be liked,” Leikeli47 told us in an interview for our most recent “Girls Rule the World” issue of Dazed. “You can say what you want, but I wasn’t born to make you comfortable. I am here to have fun, stir it up and make you uneasy.” The masked Brooklyn rapper manages to do all of those things at once with her distinctive mish-mash of sonically riotous production and 100mph flow. We're basically completely obsessed.


Tkay Maidza is like an avalanche of all your favourite rappers, from Azealia Banks to M.I.A. to all the scuzziest, club-ready sounds of British grime. However, she’s still got a voice that is distinctly hers, with rhythms that run rings around her contemporaries. “They’re jel because I spread on the table, they’re wishing they’re able, to get the bread I use for my cable,” she raps in “U-Huh” (below) over a bashing, bass-heavy backbeat.


If you’re sick of homophobia, misogyny and racism, why not stand up and make a noise about it? This is the vibe behind Stockholm’s most raw and responsive rapper, who takes the fucked up world we live in and turns it into crazy, spitting verses. “You say my love is a crime, I say you have a really thin dick, go and kiss your fucking swastika,” she raps in Swedish in her track “Imam Cobain”. With people like Silvana Imam in the game, hip hop has never sounded more urgent. 


The Massachusetts rapper slash video artist has a woozy drawl that makes you want to switch everything off and lie down forever. Spitting over early era Aphex Twin-esque beats, Stash brings the avant-garde hard, mixing the playful with the introspective, rapping on "SuperFragile", "trying to recreate what I knew what was great...I’m super fragile, I’m super fragile."