On Aug. 30, 2010, BET will present its first original music documentary, My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip-Hop.
Featuring exclusive interviews with music executives, journalists and artists, the program, which airs at 10 p.m. EST, aims to reveal the untold story of the female rapper.
In celebration of this special BET documentary later this month, here are my Top 10 Female Rappers of All Time.
Best Female Rapper of All Time #10
Lil Kim. In spite of her dirty mouth and claims of not penning her own rhymes, Kim’s impact on rap music can’t be denied. While her double-platinum selling debut CD, Hard core, with B.I.G. on her hip was no doubt a rap classic, two post-Big efforts, La Bella Mafia and The Naked Truth, were also worthy of applause.
Best Female Rapper of All Time #9
Yo-Yo. The only West Coast rapper to make my Top 10 list, Yo Yo immediately established her presence in rap on the duet track “It’s A Man’s World” with Ice Cube in 1990. “No, Yo-Yo’s not a hoe or whore/And if that’s what you’re here for/Exit the door,” rhymes the witty female MC, who’s released four proper solo CDs.
Best Female Rapper of All Time #8
Eve. From “Gotta Man” on her first CD to “Gangsta Lovin” on her last, the Philadelphia MC has supplied rap music with plenty individual hits. In addition, she’s successfully collabbed with prominent pop stars like Gwen Stefani (“Let Me Blow Ya Mind”), Kelly Rowland (“Like This”) and Mary J. Blige (“Not Today”).
Best Female Rapper of All Time #7
Missy Elliott. According to lyricsfreak.com, her record sales top seven million in the United States alone, and she’s the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by RIAA. As an artist as well as songwriter and producer, few in the game have contributed as much creative work for rap and R&B music as the multi-talented Missy.
Best Female Rapper of All Time #6
Salt & Pepa. You just can’t mention one without the other. If it weren’t for Salt and Pep’s contributions to rap in the mid-1980s to early ’90s,there would be no Nicki Minaj today. The duo’s chemistry on the mic is unparalleled, spawning straight-up bangers like “I’ll Take Your Man” to commercial classics like “Shoop.”
Best Female Rapper of All Time #5
Bahamadia. Yet another thorough rapper from Philadelphia, Bahamadia always sounds so calm, smooth and clever on the mic. Probably my favorite female MC of all time, B just has a way of making rap listeners feel her true hip-hop spirit with splendid tracks like “Funk Vibe,” “Uknowhowwedu” and “True Honey Buns.”
Best Female Rapper of All Time #4
Jean Grae. She’s without question the most lyrically gifted female rapper on my Top 10 list. The fact that Jean Grae’s never received the big headlines like the others doesn’t diminish her rhyming skills. “Love me or not, respect it for what it’s worth,” the raw New York MC says on her deep track “No Doubt.”
Best Female Rapper of All Time #3
Lauryn Hill. The ex-Fugees star only dropped one solo studio CD, but what a major contribution it was. Lauryn lived up to all the hype on her highly-anticipated debut , The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill. The author of “Doo Whop (That Thing)” and “Everything is Everything” was the first female artist to snatch five Grammys in one night.
Best Female Rapper of All Time #2
Queen Latifah. Lately, the Queen’s been focusing more and more attention on her other talents like acting. modeling and singing. She actually released two soothing soul/jazz CDs. But from start to stop, it would be difficult to name an album by a female rapper more authentically pleasing for fans than her first effort, All Hail The Queen.
Best Female Rapper of All Time #1
MC Lyte. She’s been shining brightly in rap since the late ’80s. Besides memorable tracks like “10% Dis” directed at rap rival Antoinette, the L.Y.T.E. has always put women in a positive light with her patented, crisp flow. As she declares at the beginning of her ’89 hit “Cha, Cha, Cha,” she’s still unquestionably “the dopest female that you’ve heard thus far.”
If you enjoyed reading my list of my Top 10 Female Rappers of All Time, please check out:
My Top 5 Biggest Rappers of All Time
My Top 10 Philadelphia Rappers of All Time
My Top 10 Philadelphia R&B Soul Singers
My Top 10 Hip-Hop Films of All Time
Sources for Top 10 Female Rappers of All Time: