24 Game Changing Hip-Hop Songs by Women

Lauryn Hill. Missy Elliott. Queen Latifah. Trina. Salt-n-Pepa. Women are consistently underrated in hip-hop, despite their objectively brilliant contributions.

EntertainmentHip Hop: 73 Till Infinity
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Image: Photos: Getty, Graphic: Vicky Leta (Getty Images)

This story is part of our new Hip-Hop: ’73 Till Infinity series, a celebration of the genre’s 50th anniversary.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, we’re looking back at 25 songs by women that helped define the genre, from the funk-based offerings of the Sequence (signees to the pioneering Sugar Hill Records label) to the subversive raunchiness of Megan Thee Stallion. It’s no secret that women remain underrated and -represented in rap, though this fact may astound in the face of their consistently brilliant contributions to the genre throughout the decades. Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Nicki Minaj, Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, and so many others on this list have left their mark on a genre to such an extent that hip-hop simply would not be the same without them. We salute them.

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