7 Rising Women Rappers Talk the Past, Present, and Future of Hip-Hop’s Rich Legacy

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Women have always been a part of hip-hop history – from the culture’s B-girl days to its birth in the Bronx, NY, to today’s era that sees femcees putting rap on their backs. The culture doesn’t move forward without the power, resilience, and fearlessness of women. And looking ahead, the future of hip-hop only looks brighter as today’s talented women in rap usher in a new renaissance fueled by collaboration, support, hustle, and awe-inspiring ambition.

As POPSUGAR celebrates the last 50 years of women’s excellence in hip-hop, we can’t help but ask what the next half-century might look like, specifically for its music artists. In just five decades, women in rap have accomplished the unthinkable in a once male-dominated culture. They’ve redefined the boundaries of rap, created timeless music, changed beauty standards, led crucial conversations around social issues, created a daring subgenre for womanhood and sexual autonomy, and set sweeping digital trends. But maybe most of all, women in hip-hop have been the solid foundation of the culture from the very start, literally giving it life after that epic party held on Aug. 11, 1973.

“I love the fact that the door is wide open for us female artists right now.”

There’s no questioning the impact and influence of women in hip-hop. Just take a look at who’s on top today: Ice Spice, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, GloRilla – the list goes on. The rap daughters of icons like Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Nicki Minaj, and more are taking off by the dozens and carrying the torch for hip-hop’s continued legacy. Up-and-comer Pap Chanel tells POPSUGAR, “I love the fact that the door is wide open for us female artists right now . . . It’s a beautiful time to be alive, and I’m proud to say that I’m gonna be part of this historical moment, because the ladies are winning.”

As you can imagine, most women rappers today are proud to walk in the steps of their legendary predecessors. Some like Top Dawg Entertainment star Doechii say they just want to see the current landscape continue to thrive for years to come. As she tells POPSUGAR, “I want to see how much further it can expand and how we keep continuing to redefine hip-hop.”

Although it’s difficult for individual artists to speak for the future of a culture that already has 50 years of success under its belt, POPSUGAR heard from seven rising women rappers who have a pretty good idea of what they’d like to see next from hip-hop. Scroll ahead for their thoughts on everything from what hip-hop means to them to the women icons they look up to.

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