The Greatest Female rapper of all time
This article is not about the female rapper that was hot for a 2-3 year period; it is not about the hottest female rapper right now; it is not about a female rapper that was a pioneer in the game, but it is about one who can be called the greatest female rapper of all time. I see a lot of people naming rappers as the greatest that they don’t even know two songs from. A lot of the general public just echo what they have heard being said by one person or the other, but they probably don’t own an album of that person they are giving the title to.
There are a lot of new female rappers on the scene right now; Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks, Angel Haze etc. They are all cool, but they haven’t stood the test of time, and can’t even be mentioned in this conversation. I would try and use the elimination method to come up with who I consider the greatest female rapper of all time. Not to waste time, I think there are about 5 rappers who can be considered for this title, and my focus would be on those 5, and eliminating them one after the other, till I come up with who I consider the greatest.
Although just 4 years in the game, I think Nicki Minaj is a worthy contestant. And this was hard for me to admit, as I am not a big fan of hers (I’m indifferent), but I can’t overlook her achievements since she got on the scene. And she definitely has got mad skills on the mic, plus she is a commercial success. But, she has derailed from rap in the last 2 years. She is more Hip Pop now, so she is eliminated from the list on those grounds. Also cos she has just two albums under her belt, and haven’t been in the game long enough to prove she deserves the title.
Missy Elliot is the most commercially successful female rapper. She has 4 Platinum selling albums and 2 Gold selling albums under her belt, and has sold over 30 million records. She has great bars, but the focus of her career has been more on comical performances. She is more of an entertainer.
Lauryn Hill was the most lyrical one while she was with the Fugees, even though she was the female member amongst the trio (Lauryn, Wyclef and Praz). Her solo album, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill earned her 5 Grammy Awards, and sold over 7 million copies in the U.S alone. Lauryn is one of the most critically acclaimed female rappers of all time, but she doesn’t have longevity. After her success from the 90s, she has been off the scene since then. Two albums with her group, Fugees, and one solo album isn’t enough. She hasn’t released an album in the last 10 years.
MC Lyte is definitely one of the pioneers when it comes to female rap, but I would have to eliminate her based on commercial success. She was more commercially successful with her albums released in the 90s, although she started rapping in the 80s. Even at that, she never had any platinum selling albums. I ain’t saying the greatest female rapper has to have sold 5 million copies, but at least some moderate sales like hitting platinum with an album shows some element of greatness with your music. And apart from Keep On, Keepin’ On and Cold Rock a Party (two songs I still like till this day), she doesn’t really have memorable songs you can reference. On these grounds, I eliminate her.
And, that leaves us with Lil Kim. Forget the plastic-surgery-gone-wrong face, Kim is the G.O.A.T when it comes to classing female rappers. She is lyrical, and can hold her own with her male counterparts; she showed this in the past with songs with Biggie, Mobb Deep, The L.O.X, Jay-Z etc. She is a commercial success- 3 out of her 4 albums are Platinum, and the last one earned her a Gold plaque. She is critically acclaimed, being the only female rapper to have gotten the 5 mic classic rating from The Source magazine for her Naked Truth (2005) album. She has a great catalogue of hits, and she has been mostly making all the hits all by herself with no clique. Back in the 90s, people speculated that Biggie wrote her verses for her, but Biggie has since passed, and she is still here, 17 years strong. Even teenagers of the present know who she is. If looked at objectively, no other female rapper deserves the title of Greatest Female Rapper of All Time than Lil Kim.