At the Lala, we’re all about ladies who rap. Women such as Iggy Izalea, Nicki Minaj, and Azealia Banks are killing the rap game. But make no mistake – the girls have been rapping for a long, long time. These hip hop pioneers prove that a woman can rock a mic just like her male counterparts.
“Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill is, hands down, one of the ultimate queens of hip hop. She got her start as a member of the Fugees and went on to release one solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The record became a classic and one of the most critically acclaimed albums in the industry. Songs such as “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Lost Ones,” and “Forgive Them Father,” became iconic representations of what it meant to be a woman, and the lyrics still ring true today.
“Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa
One of the first female hip hop crews, Salt-N-Pepa was comprised of Cheryl James, Sandra Denton, and Deidra Roper. In a male-dominated culture, Salt-N-Pepa flipped the industry on its head – they harnessed their sexuality instead of hiding it, winning a Grammy in the process.
“Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah
Though her personal life was often on display, Aaliyah was a talented and masterful artist. She worked closely with R. Kelly and released her first album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number when she was just 14. She went on to release two more albums and become an R&B (and style) icon.
“Ladies First” by Queen Latifah featuring Monie Love
Queen Latifah is loved by movie audiences everywhere, but she got her start rapping about issues that mattered to her. “Ladies First” was released on her first album, All Hail the Queen, in 1989. The song is a nod to her deeply rooted feminist beliefs: “‘Cause they see a woman standing up on her own two / Sloppy slouching is something I won’t do / Some think that we can’t flow / Stereotypes, they got to go.”
“Roxanne’s Revenge” by Roxanne Shanté
Get this – Shanté was only 14-years-old when she teamed up with Marley Marl to record “Roxanne’s Revenge.” The song was a response to UTFO’s “Roxanne, Roxanne,” and ignited the Roxanne Wars, a series of answer albums between different hip hop groups. Shanté’s freestyle ability is impressive – it’s said she made up the lyrics as she went and recorded the song in one take.