It’s nothing new to anyone that rap as a genre thrives on misogyny and homophobia, not to mention transphobia. Women and LGBTQ+ people are too often portrayed in pejorative terms by rap artists and their lyrics are filled to the brim with stereotypes. And that’s precisely why the very idea of female feminist rappers is so subversive…just like rap should be.
But if you thought mixing hip hop music with feminist stances was new, you’d be very wrong. Hip hop feminism originated in the 1960s and 1970s as a branch of black feminism. It was about embracing the contradictions of being a black woman who enjoys a deeply misogynistic musical genre and claiming the right to be part of that culture on her own terms.
So it’s no surprise that black female artists are still at the forefront when it comes to feminism in rap music. Check out our list to find all the amazing artists who bring a bit of feminism to your rap songs.
May the disruption continue…I am here to shift the paradigm…. Let’s go! https://t.co/qzsT3As2UL pic.twitter.com/FUDvMfcT4z
— LIZZOOOOO (@lizzo) December 15, 2021
The first name on our list is a self-proclaimed “big girl” who uses her lyrics to spread messages about body positivity and to talk about her experience as a black woman in America. Lizzo is also blatantly honest about her mental health issues and determined to emphasize the importance of self-love. Asked about her gender and sexuality, she said she didn’t attribute one thing and thought the two were more of a spectrum rather than a binary thing. Also, did you know there is a Lizzo mural in Dublin?
If we’re talking about feminist female rappers, there’s no avoiding Princess Nokia. This Afro-Indigenous artist is very outspoken about her bisexuality, as well as her gender non-conforming identity. Her experimental musical style is her trademark and her feminism is intersectional, as she explains in her podcast best advicewhich you should definitely check out.
JP2022 STARTS NOW❤️🔥MY R CALENDARS HERE!!! https://t.co/iIODsBAcmm pic.twitter.com/qguLjXb3cP
— JP (@JUNGLEPUSSY) January 12, 2022
Her name isn’t the only provocative aspect of this rapper, whose explicit and thought-provoking lyrics about shameless female pleasure have caused a lot of talk. And while her songs are full of empowering messages, she also champions the right of black women to be vulnerable.
— raeen roes🌹 (@AngelHaze) January 15, 2022
He is a black and Native American artist and also an outspoken activist. They identify as pansexual and agender and their music tackles heavy topics such as religious bigotry, eating disorders, homophobia and even sexual abuse.
I don’t compare myself to ANYBODY…I’m only ME🎤👽🛸 pic.twitter.com/uGhaLHUBeS
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) January 11, 2022
If you want a name for the artist who paved the way for today’s feminism in hip hop, here’s one for you. Elliott’s songs aimed to promote female autonomy and independence before being a feminist was so popular.
We’re talking about the queer rapper who gave us uplifting anthems like His song LGBT. CupcakKe is not only funny and straightforward in her songs, but she also uses them to speak out against social issues and injustices, like police brutality and sexual assault.
Quay Dash is a trans woman of color who just wants to raise her voice and talk about her life experience and the struggles she faces. That’s exactly what she does in her EP Transphobic in which she addresses all the ignorant hatred she encounters.
Dope Saint Jude
1 week before the release of my new song and video “Home”. I can’t wait to share this very special piece with you. I wrote it at the height of confinement, thinking about what “home” means to me.
Home is part of a larger project, Higher Self, which will be released next year. pic.twitter.com/17PLqqvCyM
— Dope Saint Jude (her) (@DopeSaintJude) November 24, 2021
This South African rapper takes her advocacy for LGBTQ+ issues very seriously and uses her voice to support marginalized people in society. Since deciding to make a career change, the former drag king has given the world powerful feminist anthems like Grrr I like.
Melange Lavonne is an openly gay rapper and activist who uses her work to tackle important issues such as gay parenthood, AIDS, marriage equality, discrimination and hate crimes.
So in conclusion, if you’re trying to balance your love of rap music with positive portrayals of women and LGBTQ+ people, these are the feminist female rappers you should listen to.
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