Women in the world of hip-hop music and culture have long struggled with marginalisation, misogyny, objectification and abuse. ‘Macho’ themes common to the genre create an atmosphere where it is hard for independent female voices that don’t cater to or imitate their male counterparts to break through and gain success. With that said, there remains a rich history of women rapping and helping push the music and culture forward, often providing new perspectives, ideas and dynamics.
Below is a selection of contemporary women rappers from around the world. Spanning from Senegal to Guatemala, Libya to London, this global roster of female MCs continues in the footsteps of legends like MC Lyte and Lauryn Hill, helping to redefine women’s role in hip-hop.
Playlist by Jordan Barnes for Songlines Magazine. (Photo of Sister Fa by Michael Mann)