The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.
As expected, 2020 was the year women went toe to toe with men in a way we hadn’t seen for years in the rap game. From every corner of the country, femcees popped up and out with fire, gaining fans who went hard for their favorite stars. Though the year was full of uncertainty, one thing is for sure: Women all over continued to give us something to look forward to while they scored the soundtrack.
Artists like Megan Thee Stallion, City Girls, and Cardi B put forth music that spoke of confidence in yourself and your sex appeal. Doja Cat, Saweetie, and Rico Nasty gave colorful creativity and playfulness to truly show the complexities of being a woman. With each artist showing up as themselves unapologetically, they continued to make room for a variety of women to find their own footing in the world of rap.
2021 is seemingly following the same path as its previous year, but bigger. All the boys want a feature from the girls. Not taking anything less than they deserve, the lane these ladies burst open in 2019 and mastered in 2020 will be the avenue for each artist to flourish in, in 2021.
Filling your ears with the divine feminine, check out the list of women expected to get even bigger in 2021.
1. Flo Milli
Leaving her mark on 2020, Flo Milli came out of the gates hard. Her debut mixtape Ho, Why Is You Here? dropped last July, and with every song, she made sure to let the entire game know the Black Barbie had arrived. Quickly becoming a favorite, she covered several magazines, made her way up the charts, and even garnered some award nominations. Without a doubt, the star going to do more damage in 2021 as the fire she left burning from her first release is still lit from that Flo Milli shit.
2. Megan Thee Stallion
Hot Girl Meg topped REVOLT’s female rappers to watch list last year, and every day she proves why she deserved her place. Through trials and triumphs, Megan Thee Stallion gave the girls and the guys something to look forward to drop after drop. After a little legal trouble, she released her EP Suga in March, following up with one of the most popular songs of the year, “Savage (Remix)” featuring Beyoncé. The success of the song led to a famous TikTok dance, as well as a Billboard chart-topping song and album. Next, she linked with Cardi B to drop “WAP,” which broke the internet and gained her yet another Top 10 Billboard-charting track and a list of award nominations.
Throughout the year, Megan used her platform to be a voice for women empowerment movements and bring light to violence against women with powerful performances and an article published in The New York Times. However, it still didn’t end there. In November, the Houston Hot Girl released Good News, her debut studio album, which featured another body-positive hit, “Body.” Still riding the wave of her latest album, Meg’s for sure working harder than most.
3. Kaash Paige
Kaash Paige makes the list as the young artist from Dallas who got her push from social media. As her songs went viral, she reached the ears of Gen Z, gifting them something they could fully relate to. Her first studio album, Teenage Fever, came out in August 2020, reaching No. 2 on Billboard’s breakout artist chart. At such a young age, Paige’s energy, skill, and aesthetic are sure to propel her to the next level.
It’s been quite the journey since Mulatto won the Lifetime reality series “The Rap Game,” but since then, she’s yet to take a break from working. The past year proved to be her breakthrough year as “Bitch From da Souf” and its remix peaked, planting her in the rap game as an artist to watch. Her debut studio album, Queen of Da Souf, dropped in August, of which she was able to release five songs as singles. With vouches from Gucci Mane, Cardi B, Trina, and many others, Big Latto is bound to have a big 2021.
Quality Control’s newest signee Lakeyah dropped her debut mixtape, Time’s Up, and meant everything she said on it. Here to conquer, her 10-track album included “Big FlexHer” featuring 42 Dugg, further sparking the flame she’d already lit via social media and covers. Next up, “Female Goat” featuring label-mates City Girls topped her over at the end of the year. With major support from QC as well as so many artists in the industry due to her intense lyrical skill, the Milwaukee born and raised star rise is nothing but promising as she continuously comes full throttle with each drop, making all of her dreams come true.
6. Rubi Rose
Rubi Rose’s quick ride to fame came with a lot of fire from the start. The model turned singer made every moment into a potential opportunity and maximized it in a way that earned her a spot on the list. Christmas Day 2020, she gave the world a gift with her mixtape For The Streets, starting off with a track showing love to Cardi B after the rapper praised her artistry — even featuring her in the “WAP” video. Thought that was her only project of the year, she forged through with grace. 2021 is in her hands, and it’s guaranteed to be a success.
7. Armani Caesar
The first lady of Griselda Records, Armani Ceasar, goes just as hard as the guys in her clique. Leaving nothing to question, the Buffalo rapper spits hard lyrics over dope beats with class and grace. Standing in a lane of her own, she dropped her debut album, THE LIZ, last September and continues to quietly push out music. Letting her art do the talking, Caesar holds her own. This year, her only option is up.
8. Maliibu Miitch
Now on the brink of a drop, Maliibu Miitch has been building the anticipation for a new project for weeks. Teasing her Instagram followers with the opportunity to decide the name, she let the world know new music was soon to come. However, she didn’t leave 2020 without dropping anything. Her singles “Double O” and “Let’s Be Honest” were loved by fans and kept them wanting more. Giving another taste of what’s to come in 2021, she tapped in with fellow rappers Coi Leray and Dess Dior to deliver “Merry Xmas” in December. Showing off all her Bronx girl energy, she’s sure to get a return of the love she gives in 2021.
2020 met BIA with a ton of freedom. After splitting with Epic Records, she released four singles, all of which made it to her EP For Certain that was dropped in December. Her latest single “Skate” recently reached 1 million views — and the numbers are still rising. With nothing to lose, BIA promised to stay true to herself and continue to push forward, hence the title of her EP. With that said, in 2021, she’s expected to go harder as she recently teased fans with the possibility of another video soon.
10. Day Sulan
4Hunnid’s first lady Day Sulan is ready. The Compton native linked up with Rubi Rose earlier in 2020 for her single “Big” and continues to put herself on the line for what she believes in. Coming into 2021 hot with a new track “Hit Em Up” with YG and d3szn, she’s proving already why she’s on the list with a great voice and lyrics to match. It’s literally just the beginning for the artist, but it’s looking bigger than ever.
11. Erica Banks
2021 already turned up for Erica Banks. The Texas rapper signed to Warner Records in partnership with 1501 Certified Entertainment after her single “Buss It” went viral on TikTok. Topping the charts thanks to its social media success, Banks opened the door for her next move and beyond. Complete with a skillset to match the hype of her single, her self-titled mixtape dropped in June of 2020, and since then, she’s received love from Nicki Minaj and so many others. With the extremely popular #bussitchallenge going strong on social media, it’s impossible to doubt the Dallas rapper’s abilities.