Rap songs are the most loved songs in this current era. The young generation finds them inspiring, motivating, as well as relatable. So we can say that rap songs are setting new standards for the music industry over time. If I talk about rappers, there are countless notable male and female rappers in the industry.
In the past, rap was considered a male-dominated genre, but today, as in every industry, women are establishing their name in the industry. It might not be wrong to say that most women rule the rap industry with their talent.
In today’s article, we are paying homage to Nikki Minaj, who is currently called the “Queen of Rap,” but before that, let’s take a look at the music career of all those female rappers who are competing for this title.
If you are a fan of 90s music, then you are definitely familiar with rapper Lauryn Hill. Using her soulful voice and heart-touching lyrics, she was one of the few female rappers who changed the course of rap music.
47 years old Lauryn started her music career in 1993 by joining a hip-hop group, “The Fugees.” The group established its name in the music industry by releasing two critically acclaimed albums, Blunted on Reality (1994) and The Score (1996). Sadly, due to some unknown reasons, the group disbanded, but this did not stop Lauryn from pursuing her passion.
In 1998 shortly after having a baby, Hill launched a solo career with the release of her album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” Her album was well-received all over the world. Because of her album, she was nominated for 10 grammy awards, and she bagged 5 of them, which was huge for a woman rapper in the 90s.
If you study her music, you will find that her lyrics mostly revolve around the meaning of self, family, and community. Unfortunately, she slowly disappeared from the music industry, but still, her music is alive in people’s hearts. Many music critics regarded her as “Music’s Lost Geniuses”.
Lauryn Hill is a highly influential hip-hop artist. As a female rapper, she had the chance to break numerous Guinness World Records with her talent. You will be surprised to know that she was the first female rapper in history to earn a Diamond certification.
With big eyes, killer looks, and a majestic voice, Lil’ Kim ruled the world of music in the 90s. Her career spanned a variety of fields, including rapper, songwriter, model, actress, and producer. As a matter of fact, she was the first female rapper in music history whose music video was aired on MTV.
She established herself in the entertainment industry as an artist with a strong voice and unrestrained rapping style.
Her talent was discovered by the Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls and she played a big role in her music career. The single ‘Player’s Anthem’ from the album ‘Conspiracy’, was the one that brought Lil’ Kim to fame. Besides this, she also worked with many renowned fashion brands during her career.
A Fashion brand named Brandy chose her to represent them, making her the first rapper to endorse a fashion brand. She bagged a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for her single ‘Lady Marmalade’ in 2002.
MC Lyte is known for his signature style and recognizable voice in the music industry. Very few people know that MC Lyte was one of the first female rappers who boldly talked about the sexism and misogyny of the hip-hop culture.
MC Lyte’s willingness to take on such taboo subjects helped pave the way for other female rappers to follow suit and speak out against discrimination in hip-hop. She started her musical journey at 12 and rose to prominence in 1988. Lyte is the first rapper in history who had the honor to sing at New York’s historic Carnegie Hall.
“Cha Cha Cha,” “Paper Thin,” and “10% Dis”, are among her hit songs. Her song “Ruffneck” and “Keep on Keepin’ On” earned the title of “Gold singles”, making her the first female artist to receive this honor.
It would be disrespectful to talk about the queens of rap without mentioning the name of Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, aka Cardi B. She started her career as a social media influencer and reality T.V. star. Her music career took a jumpstart in 2017 when her song “Bodak Yellow” earned the title of The Biggest Single in the Country.”
By landing three entries in the top 10 of the Hot 100 with “No Limit” and “MotorSport”, she became the first female rapper to do so. On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, she was also the first female artist to achieve the same feat.
With her unfiltered lyrics and aggressive style, she is popular among young people. Her first studio album, “Invasion of Privacy,” was released in 2018, making her the only woman to bag the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album as a solo artist.
But Who Is The Queen Of Rap?
Undoubtedly Nicki Minaj is the Queen of Rap. She is a Trinidadian-born rapper. The 39-year-old rapper celebrates her birthday on December 8. She started her career in 2004 and is mostly renowned for her energetic flow and versatility in her Raps.
Based on the tremendous achievements she got through her career and her rap style, she has already won the hearts of her fans. Every single track she releases became a big hit on the Billboard top 100 lists.
Minaj’s last album was Queen, released on 10 August 2018. Before it, she released Pinkprintin 2014, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in 2012, and pink Friday in 2010.
Minaj is not the only one holding the title queen of rap. Other female rap artists like Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Missy Eliot, and Lil’ Kim seem to be in her competition. Despite this, she has held her title Queen of Rap for more than ten years, and this is a fantastic accomplishment. In the male rappers, no one has held the King of Rap title for so long.
During her appearance on Ariana Grande’s song “Side to Side,” she proclaimed,
“I’m the queen of rap.”
Even though she has great competition, Minaj is still in the top spot. As well as holding the title of best rapper, she has worked as an actress and television judge for various platforms. Nicki’s career has been filled with success, and she has remained relevant and influential for the last 14 years.
The Queen of Rap has a great effect from her early life. Her father was a drug addict. The impact of this factor on her life led her to be independent, work for herself and rise to fame. At the age of 16, she had an abortion, which was tough decision for her. Additionally, she faced various incidents in her early life, and her songs reflect those experiences.
Minaj is also the most influential social media personality and remains active on social media. On her Instagram account, she has more than 155 million followers. While on her Twitter account, she has more than 22 million followers.
Every now and then, she speaks to her fans to let them know what she is up to. Additionally, her style and fashion sense contributed to her reputation as a fashion icon.
Minaj has been honored with numerous awards. The list includes eight American Music Awards, seven BET Hip Hop Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards, two People’s Choice Awards, one Soul Train Music Award, and four Teen Choice Awards. In 2010, Minaj was first nominated for Grammy Awards.
To date, she is the winner of 10 Grammy Awards across multiple categories. She is also the first woman who made her appearance on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List.
After the success of Nicki Minaj and as the holder of the title of Queen of Rap, it seems like women are getting up in the world of rap. Gone are the days when the best rappers were only males. As in 2017, Nicki Minaj mentioned in her tweet that
“In any field, women must work TWICE as hard to even get HALF the respect her male counterparts get,”
So now it seems like female rappers including Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Missy Eliot, and Lil’ Kim are giving tough competition to each other and also to the male rappers of the industry. Nicki Minaj is currently collaborating with other pop divas and male rappers to make new hit albums to stay number one.
The young generation looks up to Nicki Minaj for inspiration. She seems to motivate them with her powerful quotes. Here are a few,
“It’s a great feeling to not box yourself into anyone’s limitations or ideas or judgments.”
“Life is a prize, but to live doesn’t mean you’re alive.”
“You wanna know what scares people? Success. When you don’t make moves and you don’t climb up the ladder, everybody loves you because you’re not competition.”
“Your victory is right around the corner. Never give up.”
“Being powerful or strong doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be vulnerable and it doesn’t mean you don’t cry, it just means that you’re comfortable enough with yourself to be whoever you are.”
The art of singing is not learned in universities or schools but is blessed by nature, and very few of them are able to find this talent and nurture it with practice.
In the late 80s and 90s, female rappers like MC Lyte, Queen Latifa, and Lauryn Hill fought against the stereotypes of society and told the world that women are capable of achieving anything like men.
Now, Rap culture has changed due to the efforts of these women, and today women like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and Doja Cat produce extraordinary rap music.
To this date, Nicki Minaj is ruling the throne of rap, but it is a possibility that another name might take her throne in the upcoming future. So put your feet up and relax while the future unfolds.