Floetic Feats: The Top 10 Female Achievements in Hip Hop

1. Sylvia Robinson Founds Sugar Hill Records

“The Mother of Hip Hop” forms the Sugarhill Gang who record the first commercial rap song, Rapper’s Delight.  Robinson founds Sugar Hill Records in 1979, and the label becomes home to the Treacherous Three and Grandmaster Flash

Sylvia Robinson

2. Pioneers Pave the Way

Barbara 62 and Eva 62 gain notoriety in the late ‘70s as some of the first female graffiti artists.  Baby Love from the Rock Steady Crewis the first B-girl to gain national fame. Sha-Rock (of the Funky 4 +1) is recognized as the first female MC in a group while Lady B (one of the first female DJs) becomes the first solo female MC.

Baby Love and the Rock Steady Crew
Lady B

3. Roxanne Shanté Records First Diss

14-year-old Roxanne records Roxanne’s Revengein reply to UTFO’s Roxanne, Roxanne.  The 1984 single is considered the first diss track in Hip Hop history.

A young Roxanne Shante

4. SaltN-Pepa Take Hip Hop Mainstream

Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, Salt, Pepa and DJ Spinderella become the first all-female rap group to achieve mainstream success.  They are the first female rappers to win a Grammy for 1995’s None of Your Business.

Salt-N-Pepa (and  DJ Spinderella)

5. Queen Latifah Makes Transition from Rapping to Acting

Like Will Smith and Tupac, the Queen takes her talent to the acting world with appearances in TV and Film.  She stars in Living Single and receives an Oscar nomination for herrolein 2002’s Chicago.

The cast of “Living Single”
Queen Latifah in “Chicago”

6. Women Top the Rap Charts

Though MC Lyte was the first female rapper to drop a solo album in 1988, Da Brat is the first to go platinum with 1994’s Funkdafied and also scores the first #1 on Billboard with her single by the same name.  Lil’ Kim lands three platinum albums in a row in the mid-‘90s and early 2000s.

A younger MC Lyte
Da Brat’s album “Funkdafied”
Lil Kim’s debut album “Hardcore”
Lil Kim’s 2nd album “Notorious K.I.M.”

7. Lauryn Hill Gains Recognition at 1999 Grammy Awards

After gaining fame with The Fugees, Lauryn releases her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.  She is the first female artist to receive ten Grammy nominations in a single year and the first woman to win five times in a night.

Lauryn Hill on Grammy night
Lauryn Hill’s classic album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”

8. Eve Becomes First Female Rapper to Debut at #1

The pitbull in a skirt steals the spotlight from DMX when she becomes the first rapstress to debut at #1 with 1999’s Let There Be EveRuff Ryders’ First Lady.

Eve’s debut album “Ruff Ryders First Lady”

9. Missy Elliott Earns Best-Selling Female

With the release of her first studio album in 1997, Missy is known for her innovative videos and style.  She becomes the only female to go platinum six times and takes the title as the best-selling female in Hip Hop ever.

Missy Elliot in her classic debut video for “The Rain”
Missy’s debut album “Supa Dupa Fly”

10. Nicki Minaj Revives Female Rap

Nicki is the first female rapper to debut atop the UK charts and boasts seven singles on the Billboard 100 at one timeSuper Bass becomes the biggest female rap solo single in a decade, and her debut album, Pink Friday, goes platinum.  With endorsements including Pepsi and Adidas, various labels sign rappers like Azealia Banks and Kreayshawn hoping to duplicate her success.

Female emcee and Young Money artist Nicki Minaj













Story by Andrea Aguilar @andrea3stacks

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