While women are definitely not as common as men in rap music, there were still plenty to choose from when assembling the 10 best female rap artists of all time. The women on this list have overcome significant obstacles to shine in the male-dominated landscape of rap music. If you are looking for something new to pop on your MP3 player, check out any of the women on our list of the best female rap artists.
- Queen Latifah Few female rap artists have enjoyed the level of mainstream success that Queen Latifah has. In addition to several highly acclaimed albums such as her debut "All Hail the Queen," she has had success as an actress and a spokesperson for the cosmetics company Cover Girl.
- Lady Sovereign This cute British rapper combines hip-hop with electronica for her unusual sound. Her self-deprecating humor in such songs as "Love Me or Hate Me" is refreshing and sets her apart in a music genre usually characterized by excessive bravado.
- Lauryn Hill One of the most talented female rap artists, Lauryn Hill is also one of the most elusive. To this day, she has not released a full length follow-up to her highly acclaimed debut album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."
- Missy Elliot This female rap artist started out with guests appearances on other rappers albums. When she finally released her own, it was a huge critical and commercial success. She has released half a dozen platinum albums, including the double-platinum "Under Construction," making her one of the most successful female rap artists of all time.
- Eve VH-1 honored this outspoken and talented rapper, ranking her number 46 on their list of the 50 Greatest Women in Video. Her debut album "Let There Be Eve… Ruff Ryder's First Lady" was the first album by a female rap artist to debut in the Billboard Top 200.
- Monie Love This female rap artist was one of the first British rappers to get played in the United States. She first got exposure as a protege of Queen Latifah and a guest performer on the song "Ladies First."
- Yo-Yo Her music, such as songs like "You Can't Play with my Yo-Yo" is a refreshing change from the constant sexism of mainstream rap. While she has not had as much commercial success as other rappers, her upbeat, positive music has received good reviews from critics.
- Salt n Pepa They got as much press for their safe sex preaching as for their catchy, danceable songs. These female rap artists have proved to be incredibly versatile, as seen in their duet "What a Man" with R&B group En Vogue.
- Jean Grae She has collaborated with a number of talented performers, including Talib Kweli, Mos Def and The Roots. Her lyrics on albums like "Attack of the Attacking Things" are praised for their rapid, complex rhythms and eloquent phrasing.
- MC Lyte She was the first female rapper to release a full-length album, the much-praised "Lyte as a Rock." Early albums feature some pretty raw language that you might not want to play for your grandma, but later releases are a bit more restrained.
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