As Hip Hop Celebrates its 50th Anniversary, Women Rappers Are Taking Over
I grew up in a house filled with music. I remember bonding with my dad over Jay-Z’s The Black Album and Lil Wayne’s solo debut “Tha Carter III.” And when Nicki Minaj came on the scene, I remember schooling my friends about how Lil Kim laid the groundwork for Pink Friday.
As Hip Hop officially turns 50 this year, I feel so lucky to be able to experience what most people are calling the peak of women rappers. Just like male rappers share their struggles and pain, women rappers are being unabashedly vocal about patriarchy and reproductive rights—all while rocking some of the flyest looks music has ever seen.
“Poppin’ Plan B’s ’cause I ain’t plan to be stuck with ya,” Plan B by Megan Thee Stallion
Meg changed the game in so many ways, but naming a hit single after emergency contraception? Real hot girl sh*t! Plan B debuted during her Coachella set in spring of 2022, just after Tory Lanez, a male rapper, had shot and attacked her. Misogyny was rife within the rap world; prominent male rappers were siding with Lanez and making jabs at Megan, discrediting her talent and success. Plan B goes hard (over a Jodeci sample to boot) but with this line in particular, Megan says loud and clear: You wish!
After decades of male rappers claiming women are trying to “trap” them by “purposely getting pregnant,” Megan is protecting her peace and her pocketbook with this flow and destigmatizing emergency contraception while she’s at it.
“I’ll spend that fived hundred ‘fore I ever trap you,” Put It On Da Floor by Latto
Speaking of “trapping” men… Latto is more afraid of getting trapped herself. This line alludes to seeking abortion care to ensure she won’t be stuck with a lame dude who wants her for her money and fame. Latto, like Megan, has been unapologetic ever since she popped up on the scene, collaborating with icons like Mariah Carey, Cardi B, and everyone in between. This line encapsulates the fun and flashiness of the whole song; in the video for the remixed track with Cardi B, both women are dropping bars while dripping in jewels, just like in a stereotypical male rapper video—and there’s even a cameo from LSU hooper, Angel Reese.
“Bougie, bad, and thick, 23, ain’t got no kids, pop a Plan B before I let him trap a b*tch,” F.N.F. (Let’s Go) Remix by Hitkidd, GloRilla, Latto, JT
This verse combines both of my previous examples for the most catchy, vulgar, hot girl anthem of your dreams. With the hottest women rappers putting their own spin on GloRilla’s original track, you get a taste of the energy women are laying down. GloRilla brings sex-positive lyrics to her opening flow, JT (of CityGirls fame) makes digs at people who fraudulently accepted PPP loans to try and flex, and Latto brings it home with the verse above. To take a feature-packed track and use it to embrace things like contraception is cool. To do that and have the song chart on Billboard and YouTube is beyond impressive.
This of course is just my top lineup. Rappers like Flo Milli, Rico Nasty, City Girls, and so many others have used their platforms to destigmatize reproductive health care and rights. And of course, none of them could do this without rap godmothers like Remy Ma, Lil Kim, and Queen Latifah.
When we look forward to the next 50 years of Hip Hop, I’m so excited to see the new heights women rappers continue to take the genre.