Yes, hip hop has seen a queer revolution in the last two years, and it was pretty exciting to see it happen. But unfortunately this shift had no actual effects on the gender balance in the hip hop business. It feels more like the opposite – while hip hop music performend by women was pretty successful in the late 90s/early 2000s with artists like Missy Elliott, Lil Kim, Eve or Foxy Brown, it is nearly invisible in today’s mainstream hip hop. But of course it’s not like there are no great female MCs out there. How big the gap is I realized when I started researching music for my DJ evenings at the Berlin based SISSY party, where only female hip hop and R’n B is played. Before the first gigs I actually believed that it would be a tough job find enough music by female artists to fill a 2-hours set. But I just needed to do my homework to find out how many amazing artists are there and how ignorant I have been, especially as someone who believes to have a feminist mindset.
It is really not my aim to re-establish the term “female hip hop” with the following list or claim that there is a new female movement, this is something my music journalist colleagues would do. But I really want to share the experience I made in the last few weeks, because it has changed my perception of what contemporary hip hop is like. Some of you might already know the following artists, because many of them have been around for a while. Please feel free to use the comment section to extend this list. For others I hope this list can be an inspiration to dig a little deeper and reconsider their hip hop listening habits. And happy International Women’s Day by the way.
Brooklyn based rapper Junglepussy is definitely one of the most exciting female MCs at the moment. Her style is weird, sexy and suberversive, her rhymes are bold and straight-in-your-face, her beats are as dark, hypnotic and might remind you of NYC rapper LE1F, who also works with with producer Shy Guy. After releasing two videos in 2013 and opening for Lil Kim at the WestGay party in June 2013, Junglepussy just recently has announced a debut album Satisfaction Guaranteed, which will released this month. Check out her Soundcloud page for the laid-back title track of the new record.
22-year old Brianna Perry from Miami has started her rap career at the age of 10, when rapper Trina featured here on the track “Kandi” from her 2002 album Diamond Princess. This caught the attention of Missy Elliot, who signed her to her label “The Goldmind Inc” and invited her to support her on tour. But due to “creative differences” Brianna resigned from her contract and since then has regularly been releasing free mixtapes, which are all still availale online. I especially recommend Symphony No. 9 from 2012 and Face Off from 2011. Her debut album Girl Talk is still TBC.