When I work on my throwback Thursdays or flashback Friday posts, I often read the comments sections with listeners longing for the days of when hip hop was well hip hop. Longing for Public Enemy, Brand Nubian, Doug E Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo and many, many others. And if I didn’t come cross this post on For Harriet or somewhat keep up with what’s going on underground I wouldn’t know these sistas below existed. These sistas are the MC Lytes, Queen Latifahs and the Yo-Yos of today, but the mainstream ain’t paying them no attention and we know why. Man, if we could just get back control over hip hop, these sistas and their male counterparts can bring hip hop back to life in the mainstream. There is hope!
Recently, the blogging world has been annoyed by a Forbes article titled “Hip-Hop is Run by A White, Blonde Australian Woman”. And rightly so, because Nomane Gypsy and many other black women in hip-hop are making their mark on the world. Move over, Iggy. Here are ten black woman in hip-hop you should know.
Since her debut in 1996, she has become known for her complex, honest lyricism. She has also been a cinematographer, director, and editor for her own material. Watch her music video for her song “Kill Screen” here.
Like Queen Latifah and Biggie before her, this Seattle native delivers rhymes for chilling and putting someone in their place. Her most recent album Girl Rap was released via Bandcamp in March. Check out the music video for her track “Dead Wrong” here.
Influenced by Lauryn Hill, MC Lyte, and personal experience, this Seattle rapper has rhymes that are honest as well as humble. She made waves with her debut album The Idea of Beautiful in 2012. Check out the video for her very recent single “Betty Shabazz” here.
A rapper as well as a singer and spoken word poet, her uncensored honesty on her sexuality and difficult past earned her a strong fanbase on YouTube and Soundcloud . She released her debut album Dirty Gold in 2013. Check out the music video for her most recent single “Battle Cry” here.
Although she is mostly known for being featured on Ojay Morgan’s “I’mma Read”, that experience inspired her to put out solo work. Last year, she released her first solo single “Silly Bitch” to promote her yet to be released mixtape Class President. Hear her most recent single “Watercolour” on Souncloud here.
Hailing from Chicago, this rapper-singer wields her R&B and rap talent very well. In 2012, she released the R&B mixtape Winter’s Diary and the rap and R&B mixtape Alter Ego. Watch her sing in her most recent music video “Treat Me Like Somebody” here.
She is another Chicago native who first gained attention with her machine gun flow on her cover of Nicki Minaj’s “Chiraq”. Her mixtape “Schizo” was released this past February. Watch the recently released video for “Chiraq” here.
Also known as “Mumu Fresh”, this woman has the singing and rapping skills of Lauryn Hill mixed with a strong sense of African pride. Her mixtape The Reintroduction of Mumu Fresh was recently released on Soundcloud. Check out her empowering music video for her take on Lorde’s “Royals” here.