Top 10 female rappers of all time: Did your favorite make our list?
Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill among our picks
Singer Lauryn Hill performs at Amnesty International’s “Bringing Human Rights Home” Concert at the Barclays Center on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
I really enjoyed Snoop Dogg’s list of the top 10 rappers, especially since he included the great Big Daddy Kane in the mix. What he didn’t include, however, was any women. So, in order to try to balance it out a bit, I came up with my own list of the top 10 female rappers of all time. In making my list, I looked at such things as impact on the genre and body of work — which explains why you won’t see any newer artists here — as well as pure rapping talent and lyrical prowess. And, of course, just how much I enjoy their music greatly factored in.
Here’s my list, which, unlike Snoop’s, is ranked from 1-10:
- Top 10 rappers of all time: Snoop Dogg gives you his awesome list
1. Missy Elliott — With over 30 million records sold, this Virginia native is reportedly the top-selling female rapper of all time and deserves to someday be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside such fellow hip-hop heroes as Public Enemy and 2Pac.
2 (tie). Salt and Pepa (of Salt-N-Pepa) — Snoop included both Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-DMC on his list and I am definitely reserving two spots for both Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton, who worked with DJ Spinderella to craft some the most memorable songs of the ’80s and ’90s. And speaking of the Rock Hall — this group should’ve been inducted years ago given its sizable and undeniable contribution to popular music.
4. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — She was a force to be reckoned with as a member of the blockbuster “girl group” TLC, slinging equally big rhymes and charisma on such hits as “Waterfalls,” “No Scrubs,” “Creep” and “Unpretty.” She died young, from a car accident at the age of 30, but will be remembered as an all-time great.
5. Lauryn Hill — She’s only released one full-length studio offering during her lengthy solo career. Yet, that offering — 1998’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” — might just be the best album of the last 25 years.
6. MC Lyte — She’s an absolute trail blazer in the genre, whose many accomplishments include being widely regarded as the first female solo artist to release a full-length album (1988’s “Lyte as a Rock”).
7. Da Brat — Another true game-changer, Da Brat was the first female solo rapper to score a platinum platter with the great 1994 debut “Funkdafied.”
8. Nicki Minaj — The multiplatinum-selling artist has breathtaking talent and is able to accomplish things on the microphone that are simply spellbinding.
9. Trina — The “Love & Hip Hop: Miami” star has released so many good albums over the years, beginning with the 2000 debut “Da Baddest Bitch” and continuing right up to last year’s “The One” — which was her first full-length outing since “Amazin’” in 2010.
10. Queen Latifah — Long before she scored an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress, for her role as Mama Morton in the 2002 film adaptation of the musical “Chicago,” Dana “Queen Latifah” Owens was busy establishing herself as one of the top MCs in the game with such solid platters as 1993’s “Black Reign.”
Honorable mentions: Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Jean Grae, Remy Ma, Roxanne Shante, Eve, the Lady of Rage and so many, many others.