Latifah Muhammad

Women’s History Month: The 13 Greatest Female MCs Of All Time


Hip-Hop is still very much a boy’s club, but that doesn’t mean that women haven’t kicked down the doors and made a name for themselves. Over the years, a host of female MCs have come and gone by putting their body parts on display, spewing sluggish rhymes, and going at each other just to be hot—if only for a millisecond.

Unlike what has tragically become the norm today, before the need to be an Internet star muddied the waters of the culture’s authenticity, there were risk taking female rhymers who wanted nothing more than a platform to showcase their artistry. In honor of Women’s History Month we’re shinning a light on the female MCs who changed music for the better. While the discussion as to whether or not their successors have dropped the ball remains debatable, in the meantime peep some of the women who laid down a proper path for female rappers in Hip-Hop game.


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Photo: David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives

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Comment Comments: 33 Tags Tags: eve, mc lyte, rah digga, salt-n-pepa, roxanne shante

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  • Jayy Bird

    Where’s Foxy Brown At,Huh ??!

  • Mrzoidcite

    Nice list….but no Foxy Brown? How the hell do you mention lil kim and Rah digga and not Foxy…smh!

  • Soeffinfly

    its clear the writer does like foxy brown because she def’ly was suppose to be on that list

  • TheMan

    Wow no Foxy? Much respect to salt n pepa at the top but no foxy makes this list void

  • Thatsfly


  • gooses

    Where’s Left Eye?

  • pwr

    Foxy Brown should definitely be on the list! 

  • Miss_Understood

    It seems like the writer has a hidden agenda…I agree with needing to include Foxy & Left Eye but also I would add Nicki Minaj. Her pre-pop lyrical abilities were awesome plus no female rapper has had her level of commercial success-she said she wanted to be the “First Black Female Rap Mogul” and it definitely seems that she is headed that way!

    • stop tripping!! both missy and kim had MORE success that nicki when they were in their prime. the only difference is that back in the day there was no facebook, twitter, itunes and youtube to see their every move

  • Jimbo

    how do you leave lady of rage of this list

  • Rah Digga and not Foxy Brown? What kinda mess is that?

  • NO FOXY??? WTH

  • MsMina

    How in the world can you top a list highlighting female EMCEES with women whose entire catalog was written by Herbie Luv Bug!?! GTFOHWTBS

  • Lovehim

    Rag Digga and Not Foxy Brown???? This list is a joke

  • Mzuneeque

    This list is very incomplete….Mia X Trina Gangsta Boo La Chat Foxxy Brown….wow!!!

  • Stannettnunlee

    I am a huge Foxy Brown fan, also a fan of Trina and Left Eye.  Who the heck is Bahamadia and why would Rah Digga and Lil Kim be on there and no Foxy. Foxy and Trina should be on there instead of them.

  • Robunderwood09

    Where’s Lady of Rage and Mia X?

  • Robunderwood09

    Lady of Rage and Mia X were beasts in their times

  • Princesa

    Greatest females MCs.Just missing Lisa.

  • JJ

    Glad to see the pioneer known as Roxanne Shante finally get some type of recognition! Roxanne even though she used Big Daddy Kane as an occasional ghostwriter but Roxanne could destroy you in a battle straight off the top of the dome at 14 years of age!!!

    After besting the likes of KRS-One Roxanne smashed “Big Mama” She DISSED EVERY female in the game for not giving her props on that one. She called MC Lyte a bull Dogg & cremated JJ Fadd on several records. So much history!!! Her battles are legendary.

  • JJ

    And Foxy Brown not on the list? Foxy flow is LEGENDARY!!!! Kim got fame & recognition but Foxy has that killer immortal cyother ready flow. Kim faltered after Big died but Foxy flowed from Jay to Nas & Puff. She is where Nicki got her mixtape flow from!

    • JJ

      I meant cypher.

  • Brie

    I agree with most of you… the fact that Foxy and Left Eye were left off this list is insane. Speaking of Miss Lopes, it going to be ten years on the 25th of this month. I’m still sick. I grew up idolizing her and her ” whatever, I will be me” attitude. She still is one of the G.O.A.T.’s onmy list!!

  • Jersey Fool

    Where the hell is Jean Grae

  • ReRe

    No disrespect to Bahamadia (whom I’ve never heard of) nor Rah Digga, but I can’t see how these two made this list before Foxy Brown or Trina.

  • Mariojtinsley

    How in the hell do you NOT put FOXY BROWN in this list!? leaving her out makes the whole list VOID!!! talk about making history she was the first female rap artist to have an album hit number one on the billboard charts! whoever wrote she must be a kim stan! No reputable source would refer to Nicki as Kims clone in the kim article

  • There’s a lot of fail on this list. A LOT.

  • Dro6375

    Foxy looks like a tr@nsvestite nowadays.

    • Jason Todd

      Still…she’s one of the best, male or female to ever spit on the mic

  • Don

    This list makes me laugh. How are you gonna leave Foxy Brown, the 1st female rapper 2x platinum and Nikki Minaj who’s on her way to going 2x Platinum

  • It has been a delightful trip down memory lane honoring these female pioneers, when I clicked that first slide and saw Salt and Peppa looking so young I realized  truly how far hip hop has REALLY come, SMH, crazy how we tend to think we are still soooo young.  No disrespect to Nikki, but this is a list of legends.  In another decade she will have her time to be recognized.  Yes Robin (Lady of Rage) and Lisa (Left Eye) should have been on here, but I suppose whenever I decide to make my own list I shall include them as MY choices.  Thanks for the memories 🙂

  • Finally little Kim gets some real recognition,  but how in the hell you guys leave Foxy Brown out, and put Eve and Rah digga.  Cmon… 

  • Jason Todd

    She hasn’t done very many records but Foxy’s still one of the best male or female.
    Same goes for Nicki. Seeing as how the author of this piece referred to Nicki as a “clone”, I’m guessing she has it in for the both of them. (Since Nicki has named Foxy as her biggest influence.)