U-N-I-T-Y: What the Female Rap Game’s Been Missing?

I know none of them will admit it, but lately I’ve been noticing that the more established female MCs, who have been doing only God knows what for the past few years, are coming out of hiding. My best guest is Nicki Minaj, the self-proclaimed “rap bitch nightmare,” has something to do with it.

I’ve been wondering what the game’s been missing since the days “Best Female…” hip-hop categories dropped out of award shows and I think it’s Nicki, or more specifically, the competition. No girl wants to see another girl on top, and like children in the playground now that Nicki Minaj has stepped up to pick up the female rap game, left abandoned and almost forgotten, all of a sudden everyone else wants to play too.

The Diamond Princess is dropping Amazin’ this year; Eve, who hasn’t dropped a project since ‘02 (!!!) is working on Lip Lock; and Rah Digga, whom we haven’t seen since Dirty Harriet almost a decade ago, among others…

I’m just hoping that the competition stays friendly.

Remy Ma, who recently spoke to Jenny Boom from jail, highlighted the generational problem: “The girls in this game have it twisted like, they feel like it can only be one girl… and the guys are not really like that. The girls before me I think they had it that there can only be one and they were like, We’re not doing songs together, we’re not doing photo shoots together, we’re not doing anything together, and I think it’s just real catty and real corny. I think if you an ill chick and you know you about your business you can congratulate on what she’s doing and don’t have a problem with it [or] feel like she’s trying to knock you or hate on you.”

Nicki, who’s friends with Remy, rapped about it in on “Still I Rise”: “Bitches is like crabs in a bucket/You see a bad bitch gettin’ shine you should love it/Cuz every time a door opens for me that means you/Just got a better opportunity to do you/They don’t understand these labels look at numbers and statistics/I lose, you lose, ma, it’s just logistics/Anyway, real bitches listen when I’m speakin/Cuz if Nicki wins then all of y’all gettin’ meetings.”

This is a far cry from the Foxy Brown’s and Lil Kim’s (both rumored to be working on projects) of yesteryear who, even today seem to be still harping on old unresolved issues. Foxy recently came out of nowhere taking shots at Kim again on “Off the Muscle” and “Let Em Know,”  stirring up decades old beef, that I’m not even sure anyone cares about anymore.

And Nikki D, the first female artist to sign to the legendary Def Jam label, has been none to friendly either. In an interview a few months ago I asked her about the current women in hip-hop and she told me: “There aren’t any out! Who’s out? You mean, Nicki Minaj? That’s not a rapper. That’s a girl with her ass on the screen. Nice hairdo and she’s saying some things but she’s not a rapper. She’s not an MC. She’s an artist. She’s an entertainer. There’s a difference. She can go out there and open her mouth and say whatever but people ain’t listening to her. They looking at her. And rapping is about the skill. It ain’t about your fat ass. It ain’t about your set of titties. It ain’t about that long-ass weave.”

While we’re all entitled to our own opinion on artists, I’m just pointing this out because I’m not necessarily feeling the love. However, as I said before, it seems the newer generations are on a different page and I’m hoping this holds up, especially since the stereotype that women (rappers or just women in general) can’t ever get along, is getting kind of old.

Guess I spoke too soon, some random female rapper from Baltimore named Keys started poppin’ smack yesterday with her own diss track.

If nothing else, maybe Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad” (and it’s remix) featuring Trina, Eve, Nicki and Diamond is a good omen… although I can’t help but notice Kim’s noticeable absence on what appears to be unity track. But who knows? Here’s hoping for the best. —Brooklyne Gipson

  • http://www.TheFembassy.com Glennisha Morgan

    Women have already united. Everyone else just needs to get on board. There are several female rap/ female producer collectives. Check out The (SIS)Tem in Cali, She’s So Fresh showcase in NYC (that happens monthly), The Foundation in Detroit (that takes place weekly), and organizations like Hip Hop Sisters.

    Everything above that I mentioned isn’t mainstream but, unity has already taken place besides the few that have came together on Ludacris’ “battle of the sexes” album, which happens to be a poor attempt to give female emcees some shine.

    • Moving Sideways

      “She’s So Fresh…that happens monthly.”

      LOL, feminine products.

      • DV8

        LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Nicki Minaj is garbaj

  • The187Worm

    This bitch dont belong on the mic! shes straight trash…But i will double up the jimmy and she can hop on my dick!

  • John Cochran

    I think Niki could actually rap if she tried, but they choose to market her as the young money eye candy of the week. And that barbie shit, cmon. She gotta be like 26 years old, too old for that shit. She never raps about anything of importance. It’s kinda sad that they don’t let a chick get down unless she got a mini skirt on with her ass and tits out. But on the flip side of that, I would rather watch Niki rap about nonsense than Wayne, cause at least I can pitch a tent real quick.

  • Deadly MIME

    Man I want female rap to make a big comeback but you see, as long as female rappers like Nicki Minaj, and Trina till existing then there arent gonna be any real female MC’s. I don’t think Nicki is opening doors for any female. Cause real females dont want to show they ass for niggas to see. all they want is the same shit us dudes want: to be heard. I mean, the other issue is the music corp and ppl in general. In reality, ppl wanna market and see a half naked female rappin bout bullshit.

  • caino

    Girls dont get along with girls, look through history, shit look at your own friends!! Girls are just constanly competing with each other, and they fuck each other over way more than most men would!

    plus, l cant get down with what Nicki raps. She is rapping to 16yr olds and younger not to me a 28yr old male!! ps she aint even that attractive!

  • http://xxlmag.com DOWN-SOUTH-CAT-WHO-KNOWS-MORE-ABOUT-HIP HOP-THAN-YOU
  • AZ40

    Is it the female emcee fault or the label fault? You mentioned eve who has been having problems wit’ her label and why is Rah just now releasing an album is it b/c she didn’t feel like putting the time in or is there a label at fault here, it’s not just one thing it’s many things in play

  • http://xxlmag.com DOWN-SOUTH-CAT-WHO-KNOWS-MORE-ABOUT-HIP HOP-THAN-YOU

    Go on youtube and look up Aisha Sekhmet “white man’s bitch” and “intent to distribute”

    THATS THE SAVIOR OF FEMALE RAP!! MARK MY WORDS

  • http://xxlmag.com DOWN-SOUTH-CAT-WHO-KNOWS-MORE-ABOUT-HIP HOP-THAN-YOU

    Go on youtube and look up Aisha Sekhmet “white man’s bitch” and “intent to distribute”

    THATS THE SAVIOR OF FEMALE RAP!! MARK MY WORDS!

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    niki’s flow is too predictable. she use to be harder before signing. At this point, she has fans or a colt so she will sell and can say anything. However, she isn’t the best, but she is reopening doors and making a lot of talented ladies mad. so its all good.

  • http://poppasplayhouse.com 74bpoppa

    CHECK OUT THIS FEMALE I CAME ACROSS ON MYSPACE http://WWW.MYSPACE.COM/CHEBAQUEENOFDACHI

  • http://www.youtube.com/mixtapephenom INDOE

    Nicki is trash , in every sense of the word . She got a bunch of yes men around her pumping her up-pun intended- so now she feels she’s the hottes out as far as females go . The last true female MC who didn’t play any of this bullshit was Heather B who could come out now and toss Minaj out the back !

    Rah Digga is vicious and i can’t wait for her project , then hopefully all this nonsense Barbie shit will be ended .

  • DV8

    I cant wait to hear the RahDigga album.

    I wish Lauryn Hill would come back and they do a collabo album together.

  • daydeezy

    Im so tired of YOU HATERS dayum, on A Go Getter Female doing her thang and you cant say she not because she everywhere and with a hell of a deal and yall MAD. just like people say wocka flocka is wack but guess what dude is on tv dude getting money from somewhere and you would trade places in a heart beat, i aint mad at them instead you at home or at work like myself hating on the next person from trying something and not worrying about what somebody say and its alway your friends that tell you, you wack and discourage you but as you can see some say fuck you im going to make it. and is you like it somebody else will like, i cant lie and say she is a lyrcle beast like brat or mc lyte, But she is a beast because its her style you can say she sound like kim , foxy and etc but shit who cares its not like she trying to sound like khia lol wtf now if i come out and i cant rap but if dudes is saying i sound like jay or pac or twista i wouldnt give a rat ass long as im getting those checks and im living better than yo hating ass watching me on the tube and reading about me.. they make me want to rap i will be a one hit wonder and sing it for the rest of my life .. like fucking sisqo turned down a check to sing the “thong song” and he broke as hell…Wake up people Get yours and for the hip hop heads go download that classic track by Mc breed Featuring 2pac “Gotta get Mines”

    • http://www.bboycult.com Don ‘$yk’ McCaine

      Not trying to downgrade your thoughts, but you may have missed Charlamagne’s blogpost yesterday. Please check it out.

      That ‘HATER’ label is played the fukk out.

      And if you look at it, you are ‘hating’ on the people who have a different perspective of Minaj than you do. Just saying.

      * Kanye shrugs shoulders *

    • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

      SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! YOU ARE APART OF THE BRAINWASHED SHEEP THAT FOLLOW SHIT LIKE THIS! We’re haters because we don’t follow bullshit? If I want to listen to shit all I have to do is eat sour cream chips, sit on the toilet and let it rip. Fuck the money aspect! No career is done for free but you’re too fucking stupid to realize that if you mistreat the art the money intentions that you came in the game with as your number one priority only gets further and further away from you! You probably don’t even realize that there a lot of up and coming emcees on this board that you are calling the HATER! You sound like an ungrateful lost youth of the Black Culture that glorifies chains, gold teeth and jail rape. Your parents should of NEVER STOPPED BEATING YOUR ASS AS A CHILD! MOST OF US WHO GOT OUR ASSES WHOOPED FOR DUMB SHIT GREW UP TO REAL SHIT! I remember when I was little mama would beat my ass if I snuck and listen to my sister’s Lil Kim cd, but she would only allow me to listen to her Wu Tang cd or KRS 1 or Public Enemy. Now that I am 24 years old and have been spitting since the age of 8, I am grateful and blessed for my beatings. You just sound dumb. Its always the sheep who have no knowledge of the study of Humanities concerning the Black arts. Nicki is a pimp and you are her whore! Grow up before you become even more lost you dumb fuck!

      • http://www.bboycult.com Don ‘$yk’ McCaine

        OH SH*T! ONE OF THE QUEENS HOLLERED BACK WITH STRENGTH!

        * APPLAUSE *

        STEP UP LADIES/QUEENS/WISDOMS. THIS IS YOUR BATTLE. YOU ARE A PART OF HIP HOP TOO.

  • rek

    i don’t understand how people think nicki minaj is whack. are ya’ll listening with your ears or your eyes?

    anyways, dope article.

  • Michelle S.

    Females are naturally competitive. The only thing that’s gonna bring more female MCs into the mainstream is that competitive, crab-in-a-bucket, I’m-better mentality; that “this chick is wack” type stuff. Although it may seem nice for female rappers to unite, it’s almost impossible b/c everybody wants to be on top (no pun intended). Everybody thinks they have to go harder than the next chick [which is okay; competition is fun sometimes] but not w/o dissing all the other women.

    Us women not getting along is a part of our history, but we don’t have to continue the cycle.

  • http://www.bboycult.com Don ‘$yk’ McCaine

    The multiple spamming makes people IGNORE YOU!

    Put the link up in the website box and build on the topic. Heads will check it out that way, OK?

    There should be way more female comments with this one.

    “No girl wants to see another girl on top, and like children in the playground now that Nicki Minaj has stepped up to pick up the female rap game,”

    ^ I think this statement is incorrect. They didn’t abandon it, a lot of them don’t want to go the ‘ho-er’ route to sell records (see Jean Grae). A lot of them are coming out of hibernation because they don’t want Minaj to represent what they are about. Regardless of how sour some people think Nikki D was, she was right.

    And we all know the labels have a lot of fault in this.

    Oh and you forgot Heather B just dropped a song which is here on XXL.

    Until we get a variety of female rappers, they ain’t gonna get that look like how they used to. Bottom line.

    youtube.com/watch?v=FDH4xWK6xco&feature=related

  • Meghan

    ya i agree on ur article. good points. but jus as men like or sislike certain male artists for whatever reason it goes the same for females. u make think 1 dude is corny or talentless, etc but if its usually not considered hating. not the case 4 women which is fckd up. with that bein said lol ‘im not hatin but’ trina is a wack RAPPER and nicki minaj is a video ho w/ a mic. thats my opinion n i grew up on yes foxy n kim, but more importantly lauren, latifah, salt n pepa n eve etc. substance not ass shots n wuteva all these ‘female emcees’ out here 2day got…i want my female emcees 2b jus a dope as the fellas i listen 2…they dont hafta sell themselves 2 do it.

    • Meghan

      wtf is up w/ my typos…smh…..dislike* not sislike, may* not make, but its usually*** not but if its usually….0_o #fail

  • Lowedwn

    Where’s Lauryn Hill when u need her. No major disrespect, but that’s who I check for, her, old school Missy, MC Lyte, Mia X and Latifah, I’ll always be good with them old or not.

  • q461

    Heather B’s comin with some new shit! with trax by primo and pete rock…should be dope..and Jean grae is one of the dopest femcees…would be cool if like they came together as a duo to do some buck the industry type shit like slaughterhouse…real lyricists and beats…

  • Magnetic

    I actually think Minaj is nice lyrically and of course physically. On another note Rah Digga came out with two bangers on the Afro Samurai soundtrack last year. I think all this judgement on whats going on with hip hop is cuz noone ever checks for the underground. Its the same as always, gimmick bullshit is what you get on radio and TV, go to the underground to get that real hip hop.

  • Capt. Obvious

    nicki is a joke! nobody in the hood respects her, or Drake! and we all know the hood is the only thing that matters!!

  • http://rockcandydiva.wordpress.com rockcandy

    while i agree that women need to stick together we also shouldn’t be silenced. it’s okay to big up another MC if you like what you’re doin but if her fellow female MC’s don’t feel she’s up to par then we need to give them the right to express their professional opinion. as MC’s they might know a thing or two about this and we can’t just assume it’s all cattiness. it may be “i just don’t think that chick can rhyme” which is okay. cause let’s be honest and we’re all thinkin’ it….MAYBE Nicki can rhyme….MAYBE….but i’m not convinced, lol. the thing is…there has always been beef in the rap game. the more highly publicized beefs have been between males….as a matter of fact they had to make a movie about it….called BEEF! so let’s not get down on the ladies for being jealous and not wanting to share the spotlight. maybe they just don’t want to share it with Nicki cause they don’t respect her as an MC and i can’t really be mad at them.

  • No Name

    Scratch all the Nicki hate. Female rappers do need to collaborate more and stop actin’ like fuckin’ 5 year olds. All this bickering and beefing is bullshit.

  • GON PUCONS

    rap monica lewinsky = she sucked the right d*** for her a deal. that hoe will never get respect from anyone just for that and what makes it worst is that she brag about it like that’s what’s up GTFOH THAT HOE TRASH GARBAGE JUICE

  • Trille$t

    Mia X and Lady Rage r the greatest female MC’s. Listen to Mia X on No Limit Soldiers track she’s the female Bun B. Lady Rage is a beast on that Classic chronic LP. As far as ny she cant fuck wit Lil Kim (at her prime), Foxy Brown (in her prime), Queen Latifah (the real U.N.I.T.Y. and a couple women rappers i cant think of their name, like that roughneck shorty. Nicki got some skills its just that it sounds smutty.

  • http://xxlmag.com yunggee

    i think nicki inspire fem c ‘s to step there game up cuz they kno she trash n kno they can do way better. talkin bout fem c’s wutever happen 2 Jane doe??? she was dope

    • lil momo

      she is not trash.get that trough ur head.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    people don’t like criticism. When you put urself out there on any level, thas what you gonna get. point is. when you have heard or seen the best. A bar has been set. From sports (jordan, barry, barry sanders, jerry) to music (insert ur favorite artist), to the courtroom, to (insert any topic). If you hear a crunk artist like the young bloods from atl for example…that means wacka flocka should learn from them. In fact, gucci for example and young jeezy both are getting better with the craft. Because they take the critisim seriously. Even soulja boi. Niki Minja is opening mad doors for women, but at the same time she isn’t really progressing. She is really digressing. See, you can use a new “postion” as a comfort blanket or you can toss it a side and act like you still cold in effort to BE that eternal heat. You should try to be the best at whateva u do and respect what you do because somebody came before you and somebody will come after u. That total disrepsect and lack of respect for the game or society in general is why people go off. That critisim is different from hate.

  • The Mighty Fisto

    All I gotta say is Jean Grae….

  • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

    Whether you like Nicki or not the amount of strongly opinionated comments on here shows that she is doing her thing!!

    Jean Grae is a great rapper but so what, this is the entertainment game.

    It takes more than just skill – ya gotta hustle!!

    Nicki’s style reminds me of the Brand Nubian era when rappers like Sadat X were respected because he didn’t sound like anyone else. I’ve been missing that energy.

  • sparkcity911

    B.I WOULD LUV SOME T.O.P.(tongue on pennis)FROM
    THIS CHICK..LOL

    WONDER WHAT HER INSIDES FEEL LIKE.

    CRACKIN 1 OUT ON HER FACE WOULD BE LOVE.

  • Michelle S.

    More female rappers would get way more attention if they not only had talent and DIDN’T conform/sell-out and stayed true to themselves, but also had the determination to be heard. You may hate Twitter and the whole Internet movement, but that’s where hip-hop fans reside nowadays. If you want the audience, you gotta find them.

    We as consumers deserve some of the blame too b/c obviously, we’re not supporting them like we should. B/c we don’t buy it, labels don’t sign females or drop the ones they do have. And the ones who are still around find other ways to make money (ex.: Latifah, Eve, etc.).

    JMO (just my opinion)

  • anonymous

    idk y yall hatin? shit shes done more than any of yall and honestly i like her her raps are different and catchy and who cares if she shows of what she has hah shes the only female mc out there doin it now let her do what she wants but big ups to young money signing drizzy all YM is raw jus sayin waitin on drizzys thank me later

  • http://xxlmag.com NorthPhilly215

    to whoever anonymus is? we not hating we just think she wack she used 2 be nice before she signed with corny ass young money but just like the rest of young money soon as they got signed to the label they threw there old style away and just dickride wayne they all sold out and are now just trying to be wayne clone’s like that’s something to be proud of or something if she would’ve kept that style pre-youngmoney then more people would respect her only people that love her now are those lil high school girls that think they’re barbies or something Nikki’s not wack actually it’s just her new corny ass barbie style that’s wack and annoying if she goes back 2 her old self then we’d respect her more

  • http://www.black-starr.com HvdL

    Give me back Queen latifah.

    F a Nicki Minaj, and got damn she is ugly, don’t care what ya’ll saying.

  • WILLW

    maaaaaaan! “Give me back Queen latifah”

    have you seen or heard Ice Age 3???

    booooooo….

    the days of U.N.I.T.Y. are dead…

    so howsabout some real shit…

    1) Invincible (so slept on probably the most lyrical femcee right now)

    2) Jean Grae (monster live and in the booth)

    3) Rah Digga (dopest female voice on the mic)

    4) Bahamadia (kills it live always and her sleepy studio style is on another level)

    5) Eternia (kinda slept on her for a while but she’s got lots of content and skills)

    that’s just a few…

    WE DESERVE BETTER XXL!!!

  • Anonymous

    To HvdL. You’re a real idiot and must not follow music much haha. Q had her day if thats what you’d call it. She needs to stick to her make-up commercials and “Ice Age.”

  • Pingback: Brooklyne Gipson » Blog Archive » Nicki X DMX

  • plausa

    yasko is the best rapper outta all of them

  • MsTYLittlejohn

    Me personally I think she straight Bodied nickie Minaj.She honestly was rapping not iddie bittie piggying and all that bull.We really need somebody out here like that with the energy she had and the lyrics,Yall know she’s about to be a problem.The question is who runnin up to sign her first?????

  • Anonymous