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Even saying the phrases “female rappers” to distinguish women from their male colleagues appears superfluous in 2023. MC Lyte, Roxanne Shanté, Salt-N-Pepa, and Queen Latifah have been killing it since the ’80s, but waves of amazing women (from Kim and Foxy to Nicki and Cardi) have followed, proving time and time again that females can go just as hard – if not harder – than the guys.

There’s more choice than ever before when it comes to hard-hitting women, thanks to social media and online streaming partially democratizing the industry: from Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie, City Girls, and Kash Doll to Young M.A, Lady Leshurr, Dai Burger, Ms. Banks, and Nadia Rose. Rap and hip-hop definitions are continuously evolving as artists fuse genres from around the world into new, sonically creative hybrids.

These elements combined make it more difficult than ever to categorize artists, which is precisely the point: category matters less than talent, but there are still a slew of new or underappreciated artists you should be adding to your playlists. So, under the broad umbrella of “hip-hop,” we’ve gathered several for you.

Here are the Top 7 Female Rappers Dominating 2023.

1. Cardi B’s

Cardi B’s songs and charm have earned her the title of one of the world’s most popular entertainers, and she has one of the best personalities in hip-hop. Her career in entertainment began as an exotic dancer, not as a hip-hop artist. Cardi B rose to prominence after appearing on Love & Hip-Hop: New York, but it was her mixtape grind with Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, that helped her transition from reality star to stardom. From her Grammy-winning debut album, Invasion of Privacy, to songs like “Bodak Yellow,” “Like It,” “Money,” “WAP,” and “Up,” Cardi B has maintained a strong presence in hip-hop over the last few years, while also being one of the industry’s most popular rappers.

2. Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea, one of Australia’s most notable artists, began her career in the American rap scene in the early 2010s alongside Atlanta rap great T.I. Following the release of her EP Change Your Life and her first official song “Work,” Iggy Azalea released “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX, which became one of music’s biggest singles. Following the megahit, Iggy Azalea immediately rose to prominence as one of the top pop stars and one of music’s most well-known female rappers.

3. latto

Latto, an Atlanta native, was introduced to fans in 2016 through the reality television show The Rap Game. Latto began her career as Mulatto as early as 2010, if not before, with glimpses of her younger self on YouTube performing at talent shows, festivals, and local radio stations. Latto rose through the rap ranks gradually until grabbing everyone’s notice with the 2019 song “B**** From Da Souf.”

4. Coi Leray

Coi Leray has had a unique journey into becoming a rapper, with music and hip-hop pouring through her blood. Coi Leray, the daughter of former Source Magazine founder Benzino, made her debut alongside rap musician Trippie Redd. Coi Leray stayed in the spotlight after her relationship with Trippie Redd ended by becoming an artist herself, but not before featuring on Trippie Redd’s “Everything BoZ.” Since then, Coi Leray has been one of the most discussed female rappers, amassing a fan base that spans from 2018’s “G.A.N” to her most recent album, Trendsetter, released in 2022.

5. Young MA

“OOOUUU,” the hottest rap single of 2016, has confirmed to all naysayers that Young M.A is here to stay. While Brooklyn’s own Young M.A has spent the majority of her career freestyling on classic hip-hop tracks such as “Thotiana,” “I Get The Bag,” and “Quiet Storm,” her music such as “OOOUUU,” “BIG,” and “PettyWap,” as well as albums such as Herstory In The Making, have helped her gain hundreds of thousands of fans throughout hip-hop, making her one of the top lyrically talented female rappers.

6. Little Simz

Calling Little Simz an up and comer may be an understatement given his young yet successful career as one of the top UK rappers in the game. In reality, over her musical career, she has shared the stage with Lauryn Hill and the Gorillaz, and Kendrick Lamar has called her “one of the best rappers of the moment.” She won the 2022 Mercury Prize for her fourth album “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert,” beating out nominees such as Harry Styles, Wet Leg, Sam Fender, and Yard Act. There are no fillers in her songs, just streams of consciousness full of rhymes, anecdotes, beautiful orchestration, and her distinct cadence and accent. She released her fifth studio album No Thank You last year to critical acclaim, confirming herself as one of the most intriguing rappers you don’t want to miss out on.

7. Hawa

Hawa is only 22 years old, but she’s already had a string of singles and a notable performance slot at Telfar’s FW20 show. Born in Berlin and raised in Guinea, France, and the United States, the classically trained artist is presently based in New York, where she began her career as a composer with the city’s venerable Philharmonic Orchestra. But she quickly became bored and broadened out, collaborating with producer Tony Seltzer on her great 2018 debut, “Might Be.”

Hawa is now signed to the carefully curated indie label b4 (a 4AD subsidiary), and she is steadily establishing a back catalog that defies genre. From the catchy, sexed-up “Frick” to the bruisingly somber “iPhone,” her EP The One veers smoothly between pleasant melodies and quiet, confident lines. Hadja Bangoura, Hawa’s recently released full-length album, smartly and subtly retouches her sound, meshing R&B and New York drill in a melodically refined and technically impeccable way, and it is further proof that Hawa has more than enough versatility to ensure her place on any list of emerging stars.


In an era where the lines of categorization blur and raw talent is the reigning champion, female rappers are solidifying their stance as unwavering forces in the hip-hop industry. From industry stalwarts like Cardi B to international sensations like Little Simz and innovative geniuses like Hawa, women in hip-hop are diverse, influential, and remarkably skilled.

Their journeys, though varied, intertwine with common threads of perseverance, reinvention, and unapologetic authenticity. While terms like “female rapper” may seem redundant in today’s inclusive age, it’s an undeniable testament to these women’s resilience and artistry that they continue to redefine the musical landscape. Their compelling stories and their groundbreaking music not only honor the pioneers who paved the way but also inspire the next generation to dream bigger, push harder, and etch their indelible mark on the world of hip-hop.

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