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Rick Ross, DMX, 2 Chainz And More Celebrate Def Jam’s 30th Anniversary

Def Jam Records, the influential label that cultivated hip-hop’s brightest stars, held their 30-year celebration at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last night...

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wardrobe malfunction Rapper
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6 Rappers With Wardrobe Malfunctions

Although they don't happen too often, there have been instances when a rappers' wardrobe had a mind of it's own. From Nicki Minaj's recent 2014 VMA performance to Kanye on the Yeezus tour, check out "6 Incidents Where Rappers Had Wardrobe Malfunctions...

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missy kim eve
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The ‘Sisterhood Of Hip-Hop’ Cast Names Their 5 Favorite Female Rappers

Oxygen's new upcoming reality show, Sisterhood Of Hip-Hop, follows five female MCs as they attempt to navigate the highs and lows of the music industry with the ultimate goal of finding success in the generally male-dominated realm of hip-hop...

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Sisterhood Of Hip Hop full cast
Photo Courtesy: Oxygen
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Meet The Cast Of T.I.’s New Show ‘Sisterhood Of Hip-Hop’

Bud Light Party Conventions - Houston
Rick Kern, Getty Images
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28 Times Rappers Have Been Banned Around the World

This weekend, 50 Cent will take the stage at Hot 97's Summer Jam for the first time in a decade, after his infamous chair throwing incident left him banned for life from the station in 2004...

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Jamie McCarthy, Neilson Barnard, Getty Images (2)
Jamie McCarthy, Neilson Barnard, Getty Images (2)
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49 Rappers Who Have The Same Birthdays

One would be surprised by the number of rappers that actually share the same birthdays.

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Mike Coppola/Paras Griffin, Getty Images (2)
Mike Coppola/Paras Griffin, Getty Images (2)
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22 Rappers and Hip-Hop Executives With a Key to the City

From Diddy to Pitbull, Baby Jay to Busdriver, here are 19 times when a member of the hip-hop community has received a Key to The City. Keys open doors.

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mc lyte lauryn hill nicki minaj best female rappers of all time
Since its beginnings, hip-hop has been a Boys Club, with female MCs often ignored or pushed to the side, boxed into the background or assuming the "eye candy" role in music videos. However, talent simply can’t—nor should—be overlooked, and artists such as Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah have risen to international stardom in spite of hip-hop's often male-centric attitudes, producing undeniable classics along the way. While there may have been a glass ceiling that couldn’t be broken before, women have shattered most limitations these days. Having taken charge of the rap game, it’s never surprising now to see a name like Nicki Minaj killing the Billboard charts.

Today provides another example of ladies running the show. After releasing her debut album last week, Iggy Azalea’s full-length The New Classic lands at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with 52,000 copies sold, less than a thousand fewer than perennial chart-topper Future debuted with his sophomore effort Honest. Supported by singles such as “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX and “Work,” the album marks another milestone in the perennial quest of a non-gendered rap world, with The New Classic becoming the highest-charting female hip-hop artist on the Billboard 200 since Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded hit the top of the chart in 2012. But those are just current facts; throughout history women have been able to prove themselves.

There are many different ways of assessing success, of course—sales, chart positions, influence, milestones, and legacy all come in to play when assessing who might be better than another. With all this in consideration (and with all due respect), XXL gathered the 20 best female rappers of all time, honoring those that have, or are still, breaking down the stereotypes that have slowed the way. Keep in mind that we have omitted groups—just to let all the Salt-N-Pepa and JJ Fad fans know—and stuck strictly to solo artists who have put out an album (and left things unranked). These are female MCs who have made significant strides that we felt needed to be honored. Click through to find out that made the cut. Who run this mutha? —Kiki Ayers, Kellan Miller and XXL Staff
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The 20 Best Female Rappers Of All Time

Rachel Murray, Getty Images
Rachel Murray, Getty Images
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45 Rappers Snubbed by the Grammys

XXL highlights rappers who were cheated by the prestigious award ceremony.

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biglurchomnomnom0724rs
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The Craziest Crimes Rappers Have Committed

For those who know hip-hop, they know its music is much more positive and thought provoking than the mainstream media gives it credit for. Still, rappers do get in trouble sometimes, like Wu Tang affiliate Killa Sin did yesterday, when he was arrested for attempted murder...

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