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The year 2019 was a great time for women of rap. Nearly everyone reclaimed their power and ruled their craft. The resurgence of female MCs was a surprise, as many of them previously stood in the shadows in the male-dominated genre. However, those days are looking pretty long gone because these women are now taking a seat at the table and making change.
Not too long ago, only a small number of female rappers held it down in the industry. Many artists and fans credit the slight downfall to label executives and forced “beef” that pit women against each other for the sake of numbers. The result? Top artists at war and a lack of musical diversity. But, it’s true what they say, “You can never keep a good woman down.”
Last year, the doors opened to all female artists and femininity in rap was more alive than ever. Different sounds, images, messages and personalities crossed over the brink to mainstream music. The ladies were in the building! Industry folk and fans welcomed femcees with open arms, and celebrated when top artists like Cardi B broke multiple records, when Megan the Stallion inspired the girls to step into their confidence, and when Yung Miami held down JT while she was in prison.
The past 365 days stood as a testament to the power women in rap have. No moves were made without female MCs and now that the tone has been set once more, 2020 is looking extremely inclusive and full of female fire.
Check out the list of female rappers who are expected to take over 2020 after dominating 2019.
1. Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion essentially speaks for herself, as she gave women the anthem of the year with “Hot Girl Summer” featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign, all while working toward a college degree and hitting those 11:59 p.m. deadlines. The hot girl herself got everyone under her voice to feel themselves to the utmost, spewing confidence and high energy with every lyric. As one of the biggest stars of last year, she brought the power to the female rap game, and remained herself through her ups and downs. The year 2020 will for sure be another amazing year for Thee Stallion, as she continues to make way for fearless women all over who get the bag.
Rapsody mixes witty lyrics over smooth soul beats. Her songs hit depths deep into history, giving a message laced with accuracy and connection. In 2019, she released Eve, an ode to powerful black women before her, as each song was named after influential women in honor of their greatness. Even linking with an OG MC in hip hop — Queen Latifah for “Hatshepsut” — she continued to pay respect while commanding her own. Her artistry and intentional position behind each release gifted women with their power through her lyrics. Rapsody’s name will be heard for ages. A true hip hop fan and student, she’s taking over.
3. City Girls
In 2019, City Girls came for it all. Even when one was down, they remained strong and on the charts. With JT now free, she and Yung Miami are free to create music that speak true to them. The Miami natives always stick to what they know, but taking it up a notch, “Act Up” held the girls over for the summer. But, with both rappers officially together, it’s bound to be an unstoppable year for them in 2020. In the last quarter, the dynamic duo released “You Tried It” just in time to close out the decade with a banger and send a warning for the new year.
4. Kash Doll
Kash Doll ended 2019 on a high note when she released her first studio album, Stacked, which met great reviews. The Detroit native spent the majority of the year giving back to her city and literally stacking. Her cult fans have held her down for years and the debut confirmed her spot in the rap world. While never forgetting where she came from, Kash Doll’s consistency, sweet personality and realness has kept her on the radar for years. After hitting new heights in the past couple of months, there’s only one direction for a hustler like her to go from here — and that’s up.
5. Young M.A.
Young M.A: Independent and killing it. After turning down record contracts, she continues to make music and stand on her own. As hardcore as they get, the rapper released Herstory in the Making, her debut studio album last year. Sharing her story and going against what’s expected of a female rapper, Young M.A stands on her words and makes the girls fall head over heels. The young revolutionary continues to make waves, spit confidence and tell it like it is, while demanding all she’s worth.
6. Tierra Whack
Tierra Whack came booming on the scene with bright colors and massive creativity. While Whack World was released in 2018, which included the 15-minute video, she’s yet to drop the ball on what it means to be a pure creative. Whack brought back an element of creativity that diminished, as artists figured videos were no longer their highest-selling points. However, she proved them wrong. Last year, the artist dropped several singles, which was accompanied by an imaginative visual for “Unemployed” — packed with punchy lyrics and her natural aura. It’s without a doubt that whatever she’s cooking up next will meet her outer-worldly standards and shake the game once more.
7. Doja Cat
After going viral in 2018 for her single “Mooo!” Doja Cat grabbed the attention of the world via social media. A veteran to going viral, she turned her success into energetic lyrics on hit after hit. Dropping her sophomore album in 2019, Hot Pink stamped her as an artist to watch. With spicy and original videos for songs like “Cyber Sex” and “Rules,” Doja Cat is being exactly who she wants to be, and nobody can tell her different.
New to the scene, but claiming a spot on the list as a powerhouse rapper with a message, there’s Chika. The Montgomery, Alabama born and raised MC took to the scene with no remorse. Her artistry shines in witty lyrics and deep cuts, and her personal journey fills each bar like the ones found in “High Rises.” Not afraid of flipping the switch with cuts like “Can’t Explain It,” Chika owns her being and stays true. At only 22, she’s making a voice for herself and women just like her, and she’s doing it unapologetically.
9. Rico Nasty
Rico Nasty: Chaotic and proud of it. In 2019, Rico dropped Anger Management, intertwining punk and hip hop like only she can. The near fashion icon has had her hands in multiple avenues. Her off the wall image attaches itself to her raunchy and strong lyrics. Her alternative angle to the sound we all love from her adds for a good twist in the hip hop genre. Standing up for black women, collaborating with other strong women artists — while breaking the mold — Rico is only expected to be herself and the world honors her for it.
Dreezy came on the scene with hard lyrics and a cool, yet undeniable vibe. Throughout the years, her growth has presented itself in her music. She uncovered her life’s experiences and her dual sides as a woman with her sophomore album, Big Dreez, at the top of 2019. The project showed off her skill with words, maturation into a 24-year-old Chicago rapper/singer, and her ability to remain a factor in the game. In the year 2019, she showed up and out, and confirmed that she deserves all she’s earned. Dreezy proved confident, self-assured and hungry for more.
Harlem native Melii made 2019 her year, dropping two albums showing off her talents as both rapper and singer. After dropping her debut album, PhAses, early in the year, Melii toured with Summer Walker and continued to grow her fanbase. The Dominican rapper/singer comes as a variation to the normal, as she often creates music that taps into her roots, and honors her culture with blended English and Spanish language cuts. After dropping “Motions” in the last quarter of the year, Melii is using her multi-talented persona to create versatile art and mainstream stardom her own way.
12. Yung Baby Tate
Yung Baby Tate came into 2019 ready to build and she’s just scratching the surface. Debuting her first independently released album, GIRLS, in February 2019, her rise to fame was solidified and backed by hip hop blogs and her day one fans. Throughout the year, the Atlanta native spent time in the studio recording and writing for Dreamville, and added festival headliner and Grammy-nominated to her resume. The rapper/singer, songwriter and producer closed out the year releasing her latest single “Camp,” which she produced herself, and formed a girl mob for the cool and cocky anthem “Mean Girls” with Queen Key and Asian Doll. Yung Baby Tate is a quadruple threat to the industry and a true artist.
13. Tokyo Jetz
Tokyo Jetz made a name for herself when she showed up with aggressive lyrics detailing the street life, but also added reflective bars concerning her own experiences. After giving birth to her baby boy, Jetz dropped a motivational single titled “Amir” after her son. With a new motivating force, she’s set to continue her strides and apply pressure all 2020. Her power-packed lyrics and inspirational quotables are sure to put her listeners in their bag — just like she is.