2019 was an incredible year for music. We saw so many new artists crack through the underground into the mainstream, and watched new genres emerge out of thin air and old movements come back in full force. Whether it can be considered a genre in itself is up for debate, but the prolific outpouring of female led hip hop has caught the music community by storm. Not just a storm, though, more like a tsunami, a hurricane of feminine dominance and assertion.
I wanted to touch on some shining female MCs who really caught my attention this year. Some you may know, some may be new to you, but all of them are bosses who know how to command an audience as well as the mic.
I saw Ashnikko open for Danny Brown this past October, and her sound is so in your face, blown out, and candy coated, that I couldn’t help but become an instant fan. She takes influence from PC Music and the DJ Mustard trap sound simultaneously, and the combination of these seems effortless with Ashnikko’s rapping, bass boosted singing and hilarious bars.
Her standout track, “STUPID” with Young Baby Tate, comes off Nikko’s new Hi, It’s Me EP. If you need some sugary explosive trap motivation, Nikko’s your girl.
Princess Nokia is a chameleon of a rapper. Sometimes she isn’t even a rapper!
You want some authentic boom bap tracks with bars on bars? Check out her 2017 album 1992 Deluxe. Can she do early 2000’s emo revival? Duh, peep 2018’s A Girl Cried Red.
But can she do catchy bad b*tch anthems with thumping bass and choir vocals? According to her 2019 singles “Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.)” and “Balenciaga”, without a doubt.
Here’s hoping we can get a new full length project in 2020, because I’m eager to see what shifts she can make this time around.
Speaking of shifts, Rei Ami is as enigmatic and dynamic as they come. Fresh onto the scene from Seoul, South Korea, Rei Ami combines trunk rattling, grinding bass and slick rapping with pillowy, acoustic bedroom pop and falsetto lovelorn melodies.
The first time I heard her song “Dictator”, my jaw hit the floor. With only 3 singles to her name, all released in 2019, the future is incredibly bright for this new sad girl trap star.
Little Simz delivers bars on bars that offer up a boss mentality while not shying away from intimacy and honesty. Her 2019 album, GREY Area, reveals a knack for different stylings of hip hop, with grime and boom bap reigning supreme and everything in between filling in the gaps. She remains confrontational, but equally guarded, and she allows the audience in just so much to get a general idea of who Simz is, and just when we feel as if we have a solid understanding, the album ends. She evaporates out of thin air, and gives the listener no choice but to start the album again from the top.
GREY Area stands as my album of the year in 2019, and if there’s any new female rapper you need in your life, Simz is it.
I hope you take the time to give these new boss ladies the chance they deserve. Whether you need a trunk rattling pick me up or some harmonious empowering mantras, these ladies are here, and will only get bigger.