Hip-Hop is mostly dominated by men if compared to other music genres. While women have gravitated more towards R&B, there are still some great A-Force MCs that have been overlooked.

It was 1988 when MC Lyte released her albumLyte as a Rock‘, making her the first female rapper to release a full-length project.

At the time, Gangsta Rap was just emerging and you certainly can’t say lyrics were in any form respectful to women. In most cases, they were cast as objects of conquest or sneaky backstabbers who’s only intent was to deceive rappers with sex only to profit off their success.

Luckily, an array of extremely talented girls spoke up on their records about the myriad of injustices which they were both subject to as women in rap and in life.

Some, like Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu concentrated on the conscious side of hip-hop, rapping about domestic violence, street harassment and gender inequality.

Others, like Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliot, flipped male braggadocio to their advantage and embraced sexuality as a form of empowerment, proving that they didn’t need to look like men in order to be taken seriously as rappers.

With time, the female presence in hip-hop tilted more towards R’n’B than rap, with stars like Beyonce and Rihanna reaching global success. Acts like Niki Minaj and Cardi B, however, prove that girls can still break the hip-hop wheel with their rap music.

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YOUNG M.A.

The young spitter from Brooklyn became an internet sensation with the release of her single OOOUUU going triple platinum in a year with around 300 million views on YouTube.

She has an incredible ability to flow with the beat, no matter the style, going from laid back modern trap to old school, bar-after-bar hip-hop.

She outspokenly raps about her sexuality and said in an interview with Vogue that coming out as gay was an important point in her artistic development:once I got that out of me, the music became easy.”

In 2018 she was featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 list recognising the most influential business and industry figures.

She’s expected to release her first album soon.

LEXIE LIU

Lexie Liu is a 20-year old singer and rapper from Hunan, China. A recent signee of the Asian music label 88rising, she participated in the Korean reality TV competition series K-pop Star 5, winning fourth place in 2015. After completing her international studies, she was accepted to Fordham University in New York but left to pursue her music career.

At such a young age, she already has incredible versatility in switching between Chinese and English, Rap and R’n’B, which makes her music easy listening but engaging at the same time, without sounding repetitive or ‘heard before’.

She recently released a cyber-punk inspired music video by artistic director Mamesjao for her single Nada, reaching almost two million views in five months.

STEFFLON DON

Stefflon Don is a British rapper of Jamaican descent who has spent her childhood in between London and Rotterdam.

Although she had been collaborating with top artists from both sides of the ocean like Wretch 32 in the UK or Jeremih in the US since 2015, it wasn’t until she released the single Hurtin’ me with French Montana that she attained commercial success.

The song, which currently has 131 million views on YouTube, brought more attention to her mixtape ‘Real Ting’ and previous hits like 16 shots.

Her music often incorporates both Jamaican rhythms and grimey beats on which she fiercely delivers raw punchlines.

She’s a MOBO award-winner and her recent project ‘Secure’ peaked at 35 on the UK charts.