They may not be among the 10 richest acts in the genre, but it’s obvious that there are several lit-up rappers around the world today who spit out crazy bars and serve rap goals. In an industry dominated by men, a revolution in the 1980s gave female rappers the recognition they had been denied until then, giving the hip hop genre a new look and style. Blockbusters like Missy Elliot, Lauren Hill, and Queen Latifah set the pace for aspiring female rappers and show where we stand today. Some of the hottest hits of recent times have more than just a few connections to these talented women, especially to the top 10 female rappers in the world right now.
With the influx of new talent into the rap genre, it has become extremely difficult to single out the best of the best, but we can try. Our list of the top 10 female rappers in the world not only focuses on talent but also emphasizes the ability to break down new barriers, explore horizons, and remain relevant in the highly competitive entertainment industry. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest female players who pull out all the stops to make a mark with their voices.
Best Female Rappers In The World
Their performances speak for them, and these ladies have always made the audience hot. Apparently, male rappers have a lot to do and have to watch out for these divas. In no particular order here are the queens of the rap world, aka – the chart-toppers and top 10 of the currently best female rappers in the world.
1. Lil’ Kim
Despite her brief involvement with the law, Kimberly Denis Jones has maintained her position among the most influential rappers in history. As a mentor of The Notorious B.I.G. itself, Kim has had so many successes since her debut in 1996. She holds the record for the first album by a female rapper to win the coveted 5-Mike Award from hip-hop magazine The Source.
After being sent away from home, Kim lived on the streets of New York, where she kept her rap skills free until she was scouted by Biggie Smalls, whereupon she joined his Junior M.A.F.I.A. rap crew. Subsequently, the rapper became one of three female acts to come up with three platinum-certified studio albums. Even during her imprisonment in 2005, the “Queen of Rap” and the “Hip-Hop Goddess”, as she is often called, continued to release hits with enthusiastic reviews. To date, she has sold over 15 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide, and her net worth of $25 million proves that she is on the right track.
2. Remy Ma
Reminisce Mackie, active since 1998 and known by the professional name Remy Ma, first became known in the mainstream when she joined the Fat Joe’s music group, but she was discovered by Big Pun. Since then, she has earned her respect as part of the Top 10 Best Female Rapper with many awards and nominations, despite having spent six years in prison.
Ma is known for her unique way of dropping the bars so effortlessly so that her audience can experience something new and thought-provoking in each piece.
3. Missy Elliot
Melissa Arnette Elliott – also known as Missy Elliot – is hot right out of the church choir. You just have to love this versatile entertainer with her effortless skills in rapping, dancing, singing, writing, and directing music videos. She is one of the pacemakers of female rappers and has remained relevant since her debut in 1989 and has earned herself a place among the top 10 best rappers in the world. She holds the record as the only female rapper to have recorded six platinum-certified albums.
Missy’s absence was clearly felt in the music industry in 2011 due to her struggle with an overactive thyroid, the so-called Graves’ disease. The disease came with symptoms that prevented her from writing songs because she could not hold on to a pen for long. Nevertheless, with the right treatment, the legendary rapper is in a better place and is looking forward to a comeback. In the meantime, she has won several awards, including four Grammys, and has sold more than 30 million records in the United States alone.
4. Nicki Minaj
Voice – check; unique music style – check; effortless flow – check; crazy beats – double-check. Nicki Minaj is quite an eye-catcher and has been ranked among the 10 best rappers in the world. Her raw bars may annoy some people, but Nicki has no chills and never holds back. She is popular for spitting out her lyrics very quickly, in addition to the colorful costumes and wigs that have become her signature look.
Anaconda hit-maker with the real name Onika Tanya Maraj is one of the younger rappers who have given the genre a new look. Seriously, we were not ready for the Trinidadian-American bomb. With hits like Super Bass, Starships, and Bang Bang, Minaj holds the record as the female act with the most Billboard Hot 100 entries, not only in hip-hop but in all genres.
Her insane flow and performance have earned her 6 American Music Awards, 11 BET Awards, 4 MTV Video Music Awards, 4 Billboard Music Awards, a Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award, and 10 Grammy Award nominations. In addition, her commercial success has resulted in her selling 20 million singles (as a lead artist), 60 million singles (as a featured artist), and more than 5 million albums worldwide. It is undeniable that she has a place among the best selling musicians in the world, and the world must be wary of the fireball that is Nicki Minaj.
5. Lauren Hill
Among the legends of the industry, Lauryn Noelle Hill may have slipped into isolation by withdrawing from the public eye, but she still deserves a place in the top 10 of the best female rappers ever. The American singer, rapper, and songwriter was part of the group Fugees before she broke records with the release of her debut and only solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The album made her famous worldwide and earned her first place on the U.S. Billboard 200 on her debut. It has also sold nearly eight million copies and won five Grammy Awards among several others.
6. MC Lyte
Already in 1988 MC Lyte, real name – Lana Michelle Moorer – appeared as the first female solo rapper to release a complete album. The album (Lyte as a Rock) was not only a collection of tracks but was critically acclaimed. She managed to change the cliché that female rappers are not able to shine in the male-dominated genre, and she will be remembered as one of the first feminists of hip-hop. Since then she has released seven more albums, including 2015’s Legend.
Although she has become more of an actress, a list of the 10 best rappers in the world would not be perfect without showing some love for the Philadelphia-born leading lady. Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper was the first to receive the 2002 Grammy Award for the best collaboration between rap and vocals. She received the accolade for the song Let Me Blow Ya Mind, which she wrote together with Gwen Stefani. She has worked with Dr. Dre, DMX, and the Ruff Ryders.
8. Queen Latifah
Before she came to us as a Hollywood actress, Queen Latifah made a statement and earned the well-deserved respect as a hip-hop artist. Even though her last album (Persona) was released in 2009, she is still remembered as one of the pioneers of hip-hop and is considered one of the pioneers of hip-hop alongside MC Lyte.
9. Cardi B
Whether you love or hate them, the Bronx-born rapper will always be there. Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar gradually takes over many things, including the charts, and makes life difficult for her predecessors. The stripper, who has become a rapper, is the second female rapper besides Lauren Hill to lead the US Billboard Hot 100 Charts with a solo output, which she did with her single I Like It. Her first studio album Invasion of Privacy, released in 2018, also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and her musical offering also broke records amidst rave reviews from critics. Due to her meteoric rise to celebrity fame, she made the leap to the 100 most influential people in the world on Time’s 2018.
To date, Cardi’s growing career can boast 2 Grammy Award nominations, 1 Billboard Music Award, 2 BET Awards, and 3 MTV Video Music Awards. Her music style has been described as inexcusable, raw, and aggressive. She has often been accused of being a wannabe Nicki Minaj girl, well, who cares? Besides, if the allegations are true, she does a great job. It seems that Cardi B will remain on the list of the coveted Top 10 best female rappers for a long time to come.
10. Iggy Azalea
The Australian rapper, whose real name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly, moved to the USA at the age of 16 to give her music career a chance. Later she signed a contract with the rapper T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records. With her first studio album, The New Classic, released in 2014, Azalea led the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. This made her the first non-American rapper to make it to the top of the charts. She has also recorded several other milestones in her career as a rapper.