The time has eventually come and a new wave of rap music composed of women is up and coming in the industry.
XXL Magazine, which focuses on hip hop news, rap music and lifestyle, opened its polls for the 10th spot on its 2019 XXL Freshman Class on March 25. Every year since 2007, XXL has dropped its class list of the hottest upcoming rappers. Out of the 113 to have graced the cover, only six have been women. But the dynamic is changing with 18 out of the 80 nominees being women.
Some of this year’s female nominees consisted of Rico Nasty, a 21-year-old single mother from New York, Melii and Tierra Whack. Though my votes went to Megan Thee Stallion, a 23-year-old student at Texas Southern University who refers to herself as the Houston Hottie, I respect the amount of women nominated this year.
While there have been well-known female rappers in the past, such as Lil Kim, Salt n Pepa, Missy Elliot and Queen Latifah, their success begs the question: have they been recognized as equally successful as their male counterparts?
I don’t mean to question their accomplishments or diminish them, but in this day in age it’s hard to find a female artist that hasn’t been compared to another. In music, specifically the rap industry, there is no exception. I have seen countless posts and tweets that put female artists against one another, yet the energy is never the same for male artists.
Fanbases continue to compare women such as Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, disregarding the fact that Nicki was one of the only mainstream female rappers in the industry for some time. Both women still managed to sell out shows, top the charts and keep up with other mainstream male rappers.
So, why is it necessary to compare their lyrics, styles and overall achievements to each other? It seems impossible for society and the media to support powerful women who have made great music while paving the way for others.
Rarely do you see anyone compare male rappers such as Lil Baby, Da Baby, Lil Pump and Lil Uzi and few people have measured greats like Lil Wayne against newer mainstream artists like Blueface and Lil Nas.
There may be plenty of room to go around for male rappers, yet we are constantly putting women against each other. This is a problem in an industry that already lacks a female presence.
Whether you think Nicki Minaj, Cardi B or your favorite female rapper started the wave, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the wave keeps going and we continue to ride it!