Female emcees ready to break your playlists
We’ve witnessed women in R&B, rap and hip-hop get recognition long overdue in the past few months, especially with a new generation of girl rappers taking over. Megan Thee Stallion was named 2020’s Best New Artist by the Recording Academy. Saweetie is part of Forbes’s 2021 30 Under 30 Music list after multiple hit songs and everyone’s waiting for her debut album Pretty B*tch Music. But of course, we’re only scratching the surface of the new generation of women in rap. We've watched Drake and Kanye dabble in all sorts of genres, and there are women who do just the same. Take these underrated girl rappers, for example.
BIA’s rap skill goes above and beyond her viral TikTok hit, COVER GIRL. She’s unapologetic and it translates in the way she raps her verses: oozing with confidence. BIA offers a soundtrack for the Nasty Woman, the Girl Almighty. A bubble for each woman to feel herself when as she raps over trap beats. She proves to be a great companion for nights where Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B are the blueprints. Well, it’s For Certain that BIA’s here’s to stay.
This Fil-Am rapper is making waves in her own right. Ruby Ibarra’s style is highly reminiscent of 1990s rap sounds, but her music takes it to the next level as she users her writing skills to code-switch between English and Filipino mid-verse for the perfect delivery. She also users her platform to talk about life as an immigrant in the States while also uplifting her Filipino heritage—an amazing combination of style and substance.
In case you were wondering, she also previously collaborated with one of our May 2021 cover stars Nadine Lustre for her single No 32. On top of that, she even shared an iconic collaboration with Gloc-9 and other esteemed Asian rappers in Golden Era Shower.
Rico Nasty challenges the bounds of the genre as she masterfully mixes trap, punk-rap, hip-hop and other genres to define her sound. Her raspy voice coupled with aggressive, sometimes jerky flows make her music distinct from the rest. Rico Nasty can easily jump from the rage-fueled Smack A B*tch to the easy-going Back and Forth or to the hypnotic techno sound of IPHONE, proving that she’s not caged by the rules. Listening to Rico Nasty is like playing Bean Boozled—except there are no bad flavors.
One of her first singles called APESH*T caught the attention of the internet with the sound seemingly reminiscent of Missy Elliott bops we’d dance to from before. After getting recognized by Missy herself, Bree Runway proceeds to recruit her for the next single called ATM. Yet this rapper also refuses to be tied to one genre, laying out aggressive and easy-going verses over dancehall, electronic pop and even country sounds. So if you’ve been meaning to diversify sounds and selections, Bree’s another great bet for your playlists.
Her name’s probably familiar to you if you’ve tuned into 88rising’s Double Happiness Winter Festival last year. Audrey Nuna’s music videos are all feasts for the eyes, all equally captivating to lure you into her world. Just take a look at the video for damn Right, a campy music video where she styled her own outfits. But beyond her visuals, her music will have you riding the perfect mood she sets in her songs. Audrey Nuna provides an easy balance between the nonchalance in flexing herself as she raps and the quieter, more vulnerable side to her when she sings.
After a handful of features and non-album singles, Audrey Nuna’s first EP called a liquid breakfast drops on May 21st.
Rei Ami perfectly balances sassy raps with soulful vocals with her music. When she gets into the flow of rapping her verses, you can’t quite expect what comes next. She starts off as a cocky and aggressive emcee before lazily drawling her lyrics as she flexes her accolades. But that’s not the only twist in her music—she’ll be transporting you into a dream with her light vocals by the end. There’s always a surprise at the middle or the end of each Rei Ami song.
Are there more genre-breaking girl rappers worth checking out? Sound off in the comments below.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver