I love listening to hip-hop because of how trendy and fast paced the genre is. Although I think that hip-hop is the most musically progressive genre today, its definitely not the most socially progressive. Hip-hop is a boys club. It always has been, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t badass female hip-hop artists out there. Here are 4 awesome artists you should be listening to:
1. Kari Faux \\ Little Rock, Arkansas
“Gahdamn I’m the motherfucking shit.” Yeah, you kind of are Kari Faux. (See above video if you don’t understand this quote.) Faux’s beats, lyrics, website, Instagram, videos, personal style, etc. are all pretty much the shit. And if you haven’t heard of her, you should check her out.
The Little Rock, AK native, LA transplant will be headlining her first show in New York City 7 days from now and recently teamed up with Childish Gambino (as pictured above). She’s obviously on the rise, but Kari Faux has got the talent and vision to become a huge player in the hip-hop scene.
Not only is Faux talented, but I really like Faux’s aesthetic– something I can’t say for many musicians. She obviously has a clear, unique creative vision that shines through her both her music and media.I don’t know exactly what it is about Faux, but her videos are addicting, and you can’t watch one without wanting something she’s wearing.
2. NoName Gypsy \\ Chicago, IL
NoName Gypsy began her creative journey as a slam poet in high school. Since then, her background in spoken word and her love of poetry has bleed into her music–her funny, smart, thought-provoking verses resonate with you and stick with you long after her song is done. In 2013, she was featured on Chance the Rapper’s second mixtape, Acid Rap and since then she’s released a lot of her own music. Although she has chosen to focus more on rapping, and less on writing poems, I think her verses are poetic and reflect a lot of her poetic background. Some of her songs deal with heavy subject matter, while others talk about vegan cupcakes, but all are good. Really good. I’ve listened to every NoName Gypsy song I can find, and there honestly isn’t one that I don’t like. Her melodic beats and beautiful voice both complement her lyrics/verses so well. I can’t wait to hear more from her and I’m hoping for another Chance collaboration soon.
3. Gifted Gab \\ Seattle, WA
Gifted Gab describes herself as “just a smooth pimped out playette from the streets that knows how to get hers”. I’ve got to agree– Gifted Gab has flow. If you like West Coast style rap/hip-hop definitely give Gifted Gab a listen. She’s from Seattle and recently released a full album entitled Girl Rap. When asked why she chose the name for her album she said, “I named my project Girl Rap because if it makes sense for people to say, “Gab’s good, for a girl,” then it sounds like they need to rap more like a girl.” On the hip-hop game in general, Gab hit the nail on the head, “It’s not easy, as far as the business goes, ’cause like everything else, it’s male-dominated and you gotta overprove yourself, almost. It has its ups and plenty of downs, but shit, if you can’t swim, you bound to drizz-own.” I could write a whole article about awesome shit Gab has said, but when it comes down to it, I like Gifted Gab’s music because its real. I know that “real” is an overused and vague word, but that’s what her music is– she’s just doing her thing and speaking her truth.
4. Dutch ReBelle \\ Boston, MA
Dutch ReBelle has already sort of made it. She’s sparked the interest of big names like MTV, SXSW Music Festival, and XXL Magazine, but I still don’t think she is a popular as she should be. In Fall 2014 she released her newest album, ReBelle Diaries. On that album alone there are beautiful hits like “Goddess” and tracks you would dance your ass off to like “Yen“.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Dutch ReBelle stated, “I love any record that I cut that I think most women are going to respond to, and it ends up being the guys that love it. Anytime that happens, that’s so weird and dope. It being something that females can sing to and guys like it, that works. And it’s important only because I hate when girls don’t listen to hip-hop at all. I don’t need you to be a girl who is out buying every CD and memorizing lyrics, but just listen.”
As a genre, hip-hop is lacking in female artists and fans. When you think current hip-hop you may think Kendrick, Kanye, Drake, etc. but you would be hard pressed to find female artists who are making more/selling more than their male counterparts. That’s because hip-hop is pretty inaccessible to women; a lot of women simply don’t relate to lyrics that reflect a man’s lived experience. Thus, a cycle was born.Without female hip-hop fans, there are no star female hip-hop artists. And that sucks. So if you like hip-hop and you like these artists, or other ones… support them!
***The four artists listed here are just a few of my personal favorite women in hip-hop. They are ranked in random order. There are tons of other talented women in the game, so if you have an artist that you love, feel free to let me know about them here in the comments.
And don’t forget…