Step aside, Nicki Minaj and Azealia Banks; while these famous New York-born rappers have made quite a name for themselves, New York City is a hub of creativity, and there is a new class of female rappers trailblazing the music industry. Below, Culture Trip profiles 10 NYC-based female rappers you need to know.
Skitzo is a Brooklyn native whose music is reminiscent of artists such as Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes. Her style is lyrical yet upbeat, fresh and fun. She recently dropped her new single and music video, ‘I Know’, which has landed her on the Top 100 Emerging Artists platform.
You might have seen Awkwafina on MTV’s ‘Girl Code’ using her comedic chops to talk about everyday girl problems, but her talents as a rap artist are what gave her a name in the rap world. Her style lends more to the funny side of rap, but her talents are formidable all the same.
Scotty Rebel and Tokyo Diiva of rap duo Rich White Ladies are neither rich nor white, which is precisely what fuels their musical inspiration. Tokyo says, ‘Our music is pop, hip-hop, dance, and rock. It’s everything. On first listen, it’s fun. If you really vibe though, it’s some smart shit. It’s not just about smacking asses. You can say something and have a good time.’
This Brooklyn native garnered industry buzz back in June 2014 when she released her first complete mixtape, which promptly grabbed the attention of Erykah Badu. Junglepussy’s music is fuelled by her refusal to sacrifice any part of her true self, in which she completely embraces her flaws.
Jean Grae has been on the hip-hop scene since the late 1990s, going by the MC name ‘What? What?’ before switching to her current performance name. She’s well-known for her unique brand of sarcastic, biting humor, and witty observations. Check out her video for ‘Kill Screen’.
Nyemiah Supreme is an up-and-coming rapper whose career is currently backed by Timbaland. Hailing from Queens, she has the female empowerment vibe down, which goes well with her contemporary rap sound.
Brooklyn’s DonMonique is a newer face to the hip-hop scene. She says, ‘I’m not changing myself for the rap game.’ She’s been compared to famous Brooklyn native Lil’ Kim, but DonMonique is an entity of her own with a sound that is rugged.
Quay Dash is a transgender rapper from the Bronx. She is a part of Cunt Mafia — a collective of alternative kids who champion queer culture. She says that ‘[Her] music is a reflection of [her] actual life which includes the good and the bad, this fucked up society, and just living [her] life as a black trans woman.’
Young M.A lives out loud, proud, and with no fear of judgment, and her music clearly shows that by standing out. She came onto the music scene with over 1.8 million YouTube views on her videos, which is an impact so few young artists are making.
Dai Burger is a rapper who embraces sassy raps and a distinct singing style. Her presence on the New York underground music scene is becoming harder to ignore as she is not only a hip-hop star, but she also a fashion icon and trendsetter through her lyrics based on female empowerment and sexual liberation.