Greatest Female Rappers of All-time

When I sat down recently to write a column on the greatest male rappers of all-time, just thinking of the myriad names that I would give consideration became a mental exercise that almost overcame me. (Not that it takes much mental work to overcome me.)

Recalling the names of the ten greatest female rappers however, was a walk in the park as compared to compiling a list for their male counterparts. Once again, I have somehow managed to summon the incredible amount of will power and self-control that it takes to write a column like this.

Missy Elliott
Long Iced Tea slurp me swiftly, meet me at the bar
What’s up star? we know who you are
I really, really didn’t want to put Missy in the number one spot because of my immense admiration (not to mention my still ongoing schoolboy crush) for MC Lyte. However, I truly believe that “Misdemeanor” is the greatest – and most innovative – female rapper of all-time. It’s a guarantee that whenever Elliott produces another album that she will have three number one singles on it. Elliott, who is approaching nearly a decade in the music industry, is showing no signs of slowing down either and can only further cement her status as the greatest female rapper of all-time.

MC Lyte
When you say you love me, it doesn’t matter.
It goes to my head as just chit chatter
You may take this egostistical or just or worry free
But what you say I take none of it seriously
MC Lyte is, by far, my favorite rapper of all-time. She is a pioneer of epic proportions and lke many of the male rappers of her era, she rapped about issues that were both, significant and life-altering. I know I have Missy in the number one spot, but there Lyte will always have the number one spot in my heart.

Roxanne Shante
Well, my name is Roxanne, a-don’t ya know
I just a-cold rock a party, and I do this show
I said I met these three guys, and you know that’s true
A-let me tell you and explain them all to you:
I don’t necessarily think that Shante is a better rapper than either Salt-N-Pepa or Queen Latifah, however, her initial contributions were so immense to every female rapper that has followed her that I felt compelled to rank her in this position.

Salt-N-Pepa
Now Joe wanna be like Bob
Bob got it goin’ on with no job
And everything Rob got he got from Robin
And everything she got she got ho-hoppin’
Salt-N- Pepa were so good that I’m still not sure whether I should have them ranked higher or not. However, their music also inspired many young girls to take up rapping as an art form. This is also the only female rap group of consequence to ever “make it” big. If another female rap group ever does come along, they should be thanking their lucky stars for these two pioneers.

Queen Latifah
Instinct leads me to another flow
Everytime I hear a brother call a girl a b – -h or a ho
Trying to make a sister feel low
You know all of that gots to go
I love Queen Latifah so much that my nine-year-old daughter, Tia, knows almost every word to her popular hit from back in the day, “U.N.I.T.Y.” Although she is now one of the world’s best African-American actresses, Latifah’s contributions to the rap industry and female rappers everywhere can not be discounted.

Da Brat
It’s like that and as a matter of fact
When it comes the Brat tat tat tat
I make your neck snap back
The Brat has carved out a nice career for herself over the years. Although she may not have reached the immense global appeal of a Missy Elliott or Lil’ Kim, when it comes to producing hardcore street hits, Da Brat has done it for almost a decade now. Simple and plain, D.B. is one of the best female rappers ever.

Li’l Kim
In the concrete jungle, the strong stand and rumble
The weak fold and crumble, it’s the land of trouble
Brooklyn, home of the greatest rappers
BIG comes first, then the Queen comes after
No matter what you think about Lil’ Kim’s racy style and overly sexual selling tactics, she has outlasted the majority of females who choose to enter the rap field. Besides, before she became a sex kitten, she was kicking some hardcore raps with none other than the Notorious B.I.G.

Left Eye
Woman of my own and tranquil key No I`m not just the L out of TLC
Songstress for the longest Felt more adappa as a rappa ……
I’ve got to show some love for my fellow Philadelphian. Although she was only one-third of the immensely popular R&B group, TLC, I think Left Eye’s rapping skills put her in the category of greatest female rappers ever. I know she’s not what you’d term a traditional rapper because she was part of an R&B group that sang various types of songs, but Left Eye was – for all intents and purposes – a rapper. Which is exactly why I think she’s one of the greatest ever.

Eve
like I’m ballin y’all, yes I be appallin y’all
Boss type hold it down, wantin all of y’all
Callin y’all never chasin me down
Three weeks, heartbroken, yes you hatin me now
She speaks, soft spoken, til she datin the clown
I’m takin em down, reel em in and makin em drown
Speaking of Philly ties. Eve and I are both alums of Martin Luther King high in the “City of Brotherly Love.” (Although I’m much older.) Less than a decade ago, Eve’s aggressive street-wise style – and great looks – captured the nation’s attention and although she’s not producing much music these days because of her burgeoning acting career, I think her impact has been enough to get her on this list.

Yo-Yo
There’s no way you can skip the subject
You move your hips to this cause you love it
Admire it
And I’m the one who inspired it
It’s the YoYo
This isn’t a promo
This was a tough selection for me. There were several others I could have picked for this spot, but I finally chose Yo-Yo because she was the first – and only – female rapper from the West Coast to achieve some measure of national attention – even if it did last only briefly.

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