It’s no news that the music industry, for decades, has been raining men. Compared to their male counterparts, female MCs are like drops in the ocean of rap. Of course, rap fans will be tempted to take up the challenge of listing the many women in hip-hop who are currently killing it today, but it'll only be a matter of twenty to thirty names, a couple of head scratches, and many 'um's before they exhaust the names in their head.
Beyond just creating change in the music industry, the presence of women in rap satiates the hunger of women who need a relatable voice in their hip-hop library. For supporters of women in music, the urge to listen to as many female drillers and trappers as the boys will come naturally. While ladies like Stefflon Don, Little Simz, Ivorian Doll, Ms Banks, Miss Lafamilia, Lavida Loca, and Shaybo are on everyone’s list, there’s a multitude of girl rappers either bubbling under or waiting to be discovered. Here are 13 of them!
Key Track: 'Drillary'
Trillary Banks is perhaps the most popular of the rappers on this list. The female rap phenomenon has solidified her position in the UK rap game. Since the release of her breakout single, ‘Come over mi yard’ in 2017, the Leicester-based rapper has stacked a collection of critically-acclaimed records in her discography bag while accumulating millions in streams and views. Her sound, a fresh and raw blend of rap with dancehall is often referred to as contagious and has catapulted her into a spotlight which extends beyond the UK.
Key Track: 'Trouble Train'
Not only is she passionate about creating a music career, Tia Carys has really put the work in over the years. The rising West London Rapper used a DIY formula to make her name known in the music industry. By releasing bold and honest freestyles on social media, she received co-signs from the likes of Nadia Rose, Ms Banks, Wretch 32, Chip, and Avelino.
Her Instagram freestyle days led to more fans and, most importantly, growth as an artist, fuelling the release of her debut EP in 2020. The five-track project titled En Root lyrically revolves around the challenges young people face growing up: from relationships to self-harm, social media, and sexuality. Set to a soundtrack of rap, hip-hop, R&B and drill, it allowed the rapper to showcase her range, emotion and prowess.
Key track: 'Diana Drill'
Diana Drill is the masked rapper every rap fan should have in their playlist. Of all the emerging talent in the UK rap scene since 2020, Diana Drill is arguably the fiercest. The MC plays no games when it comes to bringing her A game to the rap scene. The Nottingham Rapper’s first release as an artist was ‘Lightwork Freestyle’ which was a showcase of her sick flow. Diana Drill is one of those rising artists who have a 100% guarantee of being huge in the future. Like she sings, “You may not know my name right now, but you will.”
Key track: 'FUPTHECLUB'
Juice Menace has been on a roll. For an artist on the rise, the Cardiff born rapper has built a solid discography. One that’s only filled with bangers like ‘Hardly,’ ‘Money Dance,’ ‘Sundown,’ and her masterful EP, 029. On her debut EP project, 029 (named after the dialling code for her hometown) she tells tales of loss, wins, and dreams of being a successful rapper.
One thing we love about Juice Menace is that she’s driven by a purpose — she’s confident, determined, and aware of what she brings to the table as a rapper. This reflects in the lyrics of her latest single, ‘FUPTHECLUB’ in which she says “See I was raised a winner, don’t need n****s to get the money up.”
Key Track: 'Hardest'
Camden Town’s SYM Worldd is an exciting rap princess. With witty bars, captivating flows, and American-influenced beats, she’s creating a different sound and bringing something fresh to the rap scene. SYM Worldd has big plans for her future and it all begins with the release of her debut EP which will be released later this year (or perhaps next...) Some notable releases by the youngster are ‘Shots,’ ‘IDGAF,’ ‘Opp Hoes,’ and ‘Hardest.’
Key track: 'No Chaser'
ShaSimone is a British-Ghanaian rapper who has stamped her name in the scene through razor sharp singles, freestyles, and bars like “A star Babe but I didn’t go to Brampton”. For readers looking to get into the East London Rapper’s music, ‘Back To Sender,’ ‘Supersize,’ and ‘No Chaser’ are great songs to start with. Her African background has influenced themes like the lyrics and production of her music. While those themes continue to change, one thing remains constant: the quality of ShaSimone’s rap skills.
Key Track: 'Ganja Crew'
Baby Elz is a young driller who talks the talk and walks the walk. The most intriguing thing about Baby Elz is the storytelling in her verses and the visual representation of her songs. The best way to consume and appreciate her art is by binge-watching her rap videos.
Key track: 'Anymore'
Croydon Rapper Queenie started building the foundation for her career as a teenager. After a break from the grime scene, the lyrically adept spitter returned — better than she was in her teens — with new singles like ‘Smoke,’ ‘Laid Out,’ and ‘Wait There.’ In her songs, Queenie experiments with different sounds and styles, and seamlessly switches between flows. We highly recommend giving her debut EP, Forté a listen.
Key Track: 'Hate Me'
One thing about Mimi Mxnroe is she’ll always keep it real. This is one South Londoner who is blessed with a raw and untamed style that is reminiscent of an era where having a great pen game was important for rappers. Through punchlines, delivery, and conviction Mimi continues to take the scene by storm - one new release after the other.
Key track: 'Out The Blue'
Hailing from South London, Yezzi Yezzir is a rapper who combines quirky lyrics with creative storytelling. Her 2019 debut EP is titled Cadbury, and after listening to the project one can’t help but applaud Yezzi for not only going with that title, but for also dedicating its lyrical theme to women of colour and the fight against colourism. Since then, she has continued to sprinkle honest bars in more singles.
Key track: 'Michelle Obama'
Chante Paris is one to watch! We repeat: Chante Paris is one to watch! The East London rapper has been obsessed with songwriting, puns and musical rhythms, and this reflects in the songs she has shared with the world so far. Listeners have compared her tone and style to the likes of MC Lyte, Remy Ma, and Lil Kim. Her most noteworthy release, ‘Michelle Obama’ is a Women empowerment anthem backed by a hard-hitting Drill beat.
Key track: 'Next Up'
South London’s Drill Queen, Cristale might be new in the rap scene but through hard-hitting freestyles, like ‘Next Up’ she continues to remind listeners that she’s got big plans — plans to be the best in the game. Earlier this year, Cristale released an attention-grabbing freestyle titled ‘See Myself’ in which unleashed a series of punchlines and wordplays on the production. Rumor has it that she’ll be releasing a project soon and we’re sure she’ll come through with the bars.
Key track: 'Sergeantstyle'
Listening to Denyher’s music is like swallowing a capsule made up of spicy bars and sweet melodies. So far, the East Londoner has thrilled with two singles, ‘Wanted’ and ‘Sergeantstyle.’ For people who live to discover and follow artists at the early stage of their career, Denyher is for you.