500 Female Emcees Everyone Should Know- ( Davey D’s Ultimate List )

maria Isa

Maria Isa

Below is a list of 500 Female Emcees and the first thing that everyone reading this should know is that the list is not complete. To be honest there’s more than 500 names, much more, but still the list is not complete nor will it ever be. There are too many places and spaces that I have never been nor have the incredible artists like Aisha Fukashima the Raptivist, Mad-lines, Aima the Dreamer, Raw G, Ximbo, Invincible and D’Labrie who over the past year contributed greatly to this list.

The list is not complete even as we have other wonderful lists like; the Illest Female Rappers, Women of Hip Hop, Female Rappers Tumblir, The Female Rappers Network or more recently Patrick McNease‘s Ultimate Female Emcee List. If we really think about it, we don’t want this or any list to be complete. There will always be more emcees to add as long as this culture call Hip Hop is alive, well and is global. If the list stops growing Hip Hop stops growing..

With that being said, the reason why the list came about in the first place was out of frustration and a realization that many within this industry , in particular my male brethren needed to be enlightened.

It was a frustration that many of my women friends within Hip Hop were having when they would hear some pompous music critic or ‘industry expert’ say some ignorant crap like; ‘all women sound the same‘ or ‘these women need to put out hit songs‘, women need to grind harder and promote themselves better or ‘there aren’t a lot of quality women emcees out there‘. All those statements are gross generalizations and reflect a laziness on the part of those making the claim or extreme bias.

The frustration many were feeling was one that would come after hearing announcement after announcement for some huge mega-Cochella-Sumer-Jam-Rock-the-Bells-Spring-Bling type concert that would feature 20 plus acts and only one woman would be on the bill. It was frustration that was felt after pointing out such egregious oversights only to be ignored and ridiculed.

female-emcees-psoterlightIt was the frustration of hearing promoters doing smaller shows claiming that women won’t attract an audience and hence would not be a sound business move even to have one open up a show.

It was frustration of going to a club featuring a popular deejay lauded for being a Hip Hop icon with a reputation for ‘digging in the crates’ and turning audiences onto new music from far off lands and forgotten times only to discover that they rarely dig in crates and ‘discover’ a dope female emcee…

And don’t get it twisted, this refusal to share space has been going on a for a while and many women have expressed frustration the ones I know have not been sitting around waiting for miracles to occur. Many have started doing their own shows and put on vibrant events..From Invincible out of Detroit who I saw do several all women showcases at SXSW and have them packed with lines out the door to Aisha the Raptivist who has traveled the world and and done her own tours to Raw G who promotes here in the Bay Area locally and always brings out incredible women emcees like Alika from Argentina Dunay Surez from Cuba or Ximbo from Mexico, folks are steady grinding and making moves

Where I think folks are getting short changed are in male dominated spaces where female voices, POV and approaches toward Hip Hop are not readily present. Its a cipher that’s incomplete and that has got to change.
The list below was ideally to serve as a guide of sorts to anyone who had this female emcee blind spot.

Its a guide for deejays caught yapping about how ‘there ain’t no good female emcees‘. Its a weak excuse often given for them not rocking any women during a deejay set or mixshow.. Out of all the emcees featured on this list there are  some hard hitters out there they can not and will not be denied. This list gives them no excuse. There are sistas on here who do Trap, Backpack, boom bap, raggamuffin, pop, underground, commercial, hardcore etc..The variety is endless.

The list below is guide for promoters who say there’s ‘no market out there for women emcees‘.  A quick look at some of the folks on this list crushes that assertion down to its very last compound. From the days of Her Story Hip Hop Tours and See It Live showcases to 5th Element gatherings to upcoming Queendom Concerts to all women showcases put on by Invincible to showcases like Black Women Rock w/ Jessica Care Moore to Rock Like A Girl on the Mic w/ Toni Blackman to Hip Sister Radio to name a few, the scene is healthy. No matter what city. No matter what country, there are emcees listed for you to check out.. From Brooklyn to Oakland to Russia to new Zealand to Pakistan and beyond..



The list is a guide for academic types who can speak at length about male artists over various eras in Hip Hop but when it comes time to referencing women, they only know MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and Nicki Minaj and maybe a Lil Kim. This list is for them to check out and help expand their hip hop vocabulary so they can reference dynamic women like; Sa-Roc, Stahhr, Rocky Rivera, Shadia Mansour, Keny Arkana, Cihuatl Ce, Kellee Maize or Farrah Burns. Rock their songs, play their videos, examine their lyrics

The way the list works is each name is linked to a video and in a few cases to a sound cloud page.. Some of the names are linked to 3 Dope Song series page or a 500 Female Emcee page. In putting this list together it was noted that one song or video often didn’t do artists justice. They are much more complex. As you will note, included on the list are several singers and  spoke nword artists whose presence and influence in Hip Hop can not be denied.

It’s hoped that folks will peep the music, read about the artists click on the links associated with them and start digitally digging in the crates. Not everyone is gonna be great. Not everyone is gonna have a masterpiece of a song or album, but many do and as lovers and protectors of this culture we all should be pushing ourselves to do a better job bringing forth ‘new finds‘ vs having it be dictated to us by corporate interests and their mouth pieces.


-Davey D-

























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Compton Female Cypher

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Team Backpack female Cypher #2

Rocky Rivera, Plane Jane, Oh Blimey, Raven Sorina ‘Girlz Rmx

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Mujeres Trabajando

3 Dope Female Emcees Who Should Respond to Kendrick Lamar’s Outta Control Verse

female-emcees-psoterlightI know everyone is still talking about the verse heard around the world uttered by Kendrick Lamar on Big Sean‘s Outta Control song. Since then damn near everyone has offered up a response from Papoose to Joel Ortiz to Lupe Fiasco to B.O.B. and everyone in between. Most took issue with Kendrick claiming he was the King of New York. Others objected to him suggesting he would lyrically ‘murder’ them..He ignited something  and everyone was put on notice to step their game up..


Unfortunately whats’ missing in all these exchanges are the voices of some of our sisters.  Ideally it would’ve been nice to see some of the better known emcees like a Jean Grae, M.I.A. MC Lyte, Nicki Manaj, Lil Kim, Medusa etc respond to Kendrick but he didn’t name check ’em  like he did everyone else.. Perhaps Kendrick avoided saying the names of these female emcees because they really would’ve cut him down to size…Maybe the self-proclaimed  King of New York should be replaced by a a Queen..

Here are 3 female emcees along w/ 3 honorable mentions who should respond to Kendrick and let him know what time it really is…

Nitty Scott MC

Nitty Scott MC

Many people got hip to Nitty Scott MC when he amazed folks during one of the BET ciphers..She put folks on noticed by letting them know ‘mamma was home and cats better get their bars up and their flows right’..

Since then she’s rocked a bunch of songs  and as far as many of us are concerned, she’s killing it.. Yes indeed Nitty needs to jump in the outta control fray and send Kendrick home without his crown..

Nitty ScottMC Bullsh#t Raps‘..


Now in all fairness maybe Kendrick didn’t call out Nitty because he had done a song with her and already knew she could bring heat if tested..

Nitty Scott MC  w/ Kendrick Lamar ‘Flower Child’


Snow Tha Product

Snow Tha Product

Snow tha Product lives in Texas but originally hails from the Bay Area-San Jose to be exact. When she raps she always on beast mode letting everyone know that got flows and rhymes for days  designed to chop folks up..

From what I gather Snow is constantly being tested because of her gender, her ethnicity (she’s Mexican)  and because she’s not from one of the big cities like LA or NY and rolling with a big baller type clique. As a result its been easy for some to write her off only to find that she responds with serious heat. It’s obvious that Snow has no intention of backing down to no one..

Lately she’s been making noise doing songs with artists like  Tech N9ne,   Trae thsa Truth and Lupe Fiasco.. She’s also one of the few females emcees scheduled to grace the stage at Rock the Bells. It’d be nice to see her jump in the fray and put Kendrick on blast…

Snow Tha Product ‘Holy Sh#t’


Snow Tha ProductUnorthadox

Farrah Burns

Farrah Burns

Farrah Boule Burns is one of my favorite emcees who could easily go Outta Control against Kendrick and do it with seven different personas as shown in the video below..Her wordplay is nice. Her flows diverse as she lives, eats and drinks Hip Hop 24/7.. The only crown Kendrick will be holding is the ones to replace his teeth after she lyrically knocks them out…Do not sleep on this sista..Nas didn’t as he recently shouted her out for this remake of his song.. She is definitely a Queen in New York..


I Love the way Farrah flipped rhymes over this classic jam…


***Just as I put this  article out, folks pointed me to Sa-Roc  and Alyssa Marie who both responded directly responded to Kendrick.. Sadly this got by me, but its not too late to add theirs song to this article.. So peace to Sa Roc for holding it down big time and peace to Alyssa Marie and shame on me for missing them both.




Honorable mentions…

Ruby Ibarra ‘Game Up’


STaHHr Noire


Narubi SelahHookless


Rollingstone Magazine Fails by Having Only 4 Women featured on its 50 Greatest Hip Hop Song List

Missy elliotThis is the time of year a lot of publications put out End of Year and Best of All Time lists. They’re fun to read as they can take you down memory lane or give you some new perspective on things… At this point in time, you understand there will be a certain bias and there may be one or two names tossed in a list to get people talking. You try to take these things with a grain of salt..

The other day Rollingstone Magazine put out a The 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All-Times. It’s a list that was compiled from a panel of 33 artists, journalists and industry experts. You have luminaries like Def jam co-founder Rick Rubin, former Source editor James Bernard and legendary A&R Dante Ross. Also in the mix were artists like Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Nas, Questlove, Boots Riley of the Coup  and Chuck D of Public Enemy just to name a few..You can peep the entire list of judges HERE

You can peep the entire List of 50 songs HERE

When the list came out I went from panel to panel and and what stood out was the glaring omission of women. In fact we don’t have a female artists being ranked for the first 38 entries. That came in the form of Missy Elliot and her song Get Ur Freak On…Personally I thought Missy who definitely deserves a spot has better songs.

The next entries are Lauryn Hill‘s ‘Lost One’s (45) and Salt-N-Pepa‘s ‘Push It’ (46) . The Greatest Hits list list rounds off at entry 47 where have Funky 4 Plus one More. The ‘one more’ of course is pioneering female emcee Sha Rock..

MCLytehat-150Initially I wasn’t gonna weigh in on this, but damn in 2012 and you would think at this point in time folks would know better and do better. Its time to expand our mind and make room for other voices, mainly women in our collective thinking. I don’t know what the process was when RS did the final editing, but no one at that magazine looked at that list and asked ‘Where’s MC Lyte’s ‘Cha Cha Cha‘ or ‘Cappuccino‘? Did anyone at RS bother to check out her site Hip Hop Sisters?

No one at RS or on that panel gave a second thought about Queen Latifah‘s ‘Ladies’ First‘ which featured Monie Love and its impact? No one thought about UNITY…No one? Really? Cmon now..

None of the folks at the panel gave a thought about the 33 songs that were released around the whole Roxanne Roxanne saga? Some of those songs were landmark.  They gave birth to artists like; Sparky D, Roxanne Shante and the Real Roxanne.. None of those women were good enough to be included? There was no room for an artist like YoYo? No Lady of Rage‘s Afro Puffs? No love for Mystic’s ‘The Life’? No choice cuts from Foxy Brown, Eve or Lil Kim made the list?? How is our collective thinking so narrow in 2012?

Luther Campbell of the 2Live Crew was among the panel of experts  that Rollingstone assembled. Did he or anyone mention Anquette‘s Janet Reno? Luke in the past has been very clear to talk about how that song which was done by his cousin helped Reno win an election for DA against a lawyer named Jack Thompson. Luke explained that Thompson became enraged as a result of this and wound up coming after 2Live crew for having obscene material. The case against 2Live crew went all the way to the Supreme Ct.. If one record be the source of all that, should it not be on the RS list?


Lauryn Hill

With respect to Lauryn Hill who won more Grammys than many of the artists featured and the experts assembled should’ve been further up the list, like in the top 15 or 20. I would’ve picked Doo Whop (That Thing) which charted on Billboard as number 1 or Everything is Everything..

Considering Rollingstone’s glaring omissions I guess it would be too much to expect them to have even considered a Jean Grae, Bahamadia, Rah Digga, Conscious Daughters or Medusa?

All I can say at this point is to Rollingstone and its panel of experts which included only 2 or 3 women at the most. that was big miss to only have 3 or 4 females on that list of 50 Greatest songs. It was a big miss and just plain wack.. For those who need more info on women making moves.. Here’s playlist I put together earlier this year.




Women Rock the Mic and Hold Up half the Sky..Music Mix for Women’s History Month

Cindy Campbell

In celebration of International Women’s History Month we decided to highlight the voice of many who are often overlooked, taken for granted or forgotten about. Those are our sisters in Hip Hop. Women have always been on point from day one when it comes to architecting this culture called Hip Hop. We can start with Cindy Campbell-the sister of Hip Hop’s father Kool Herc. had it not been for her suggesting and ultimately setting up the now landmark party on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in August of 1973, we might not be on the mic, yes yes y’alling at all today in 2009.

During the pioneering years we had stellar emcees like Zulu Queen Lisa Lee who was down with Afrika Bambaattaa,Pebbly Poo of the Masterdon Committee and Sha Rock who was down with DJ Baron & Breakout-Funky 4 Plus One More.. Of course we have to tip our hats to the one and only Mercedes Ladies-the first all female Hip Hop Crew.. We have an interview with original member Shari-Shar about to drop real soon-so be on the look out..

Over the years lots of women have blessed the mic and left their mark from Salt-n-Pepa to Roxanne Shante to the Real Roxanne to Queen Latifah to MC Lyte.. The list goes on.. Sadly we’ve had a situation within the music industry that had decided that women artists are not marketable. The conventional wisdom has been that the average listener can’t distinguish their voices. Hence its always been situation where you always find maybe one or two females at most on a major label with them being released and marketed at different times.

Of course here at Breakdown FM, we see it differently. There’s a world of difference between MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, just like there’s a world of difference between Chuck D and KRS or 50 Cent and Ice Cube. Different looks, rhyme styles, subject matter etc. So much for industry wisdom

This week we went and dug deep and highlighted some folks you need to check for.. We kick things off with Seattle sensations Canary Sing and their dope new song ‘Heroines‘. We proceed their cut with a short tribute to Shirley Chisolm who kicked down the doors for both Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama-She was the first to run for President back in ’72 around the birth of Hip Hop.

Also out of the Emrald City which has plethora of female emcees. To be honest we could’ve done a 25 Joints just with Seattle women-that’s how deep they’re rolling. Artists like Toni HillFelicia LoudSouthern Komfort, Sis Moni Tep, beyond Reality, Christina Orbe are just a few of the many. On this 25 Joints, we feature DJ B-Girl and her cut ‘Murder She Wrote‘ featuring Julie C and Sister Hailstorm. We also have pioneering emcee Laura ‘Piece’ Kelley and her classic song ‘Soundwave‘.

Queen Nasim

Right next door to Seattle is Portland which has a wealth of talent in the form of groups like Siren’s Echo. We featured Queen Nasim who has been doing her thing for minute with a song called ‘I’m Original’. It has that old school sound and feel. Because of Seattle and the NW’s deepness in talent we’ll probably have to do pt2 on the all female 25 Joints. So stay tuned.

The midwest came hard as we drop gems from artists like Invincible out of Detroit with her song ‘Regonize‘. her album ‘Shape Shifters’ is what Hip Hop should really be about. We have Nefertiti and with her slamming joint ‘Addicted‘ and San Jose transplant to Grand Rapids Brazen who has a wonderful spoken word song called ‘Grand Plight‘. Not to be missed isTMD who we’ll have to highlight next go round.

Also out the midwest and holding down Minneapolis is Maria Isa who we featured last year. Her piano laden Latin flavored joint ‘Die Not Kill‘ is pure butter.

Lastly we have Chicago native Lah Tere from the group Rebel Diaz. She’s currently working on a solo project. She laced us with a head nodding cut called ‘You Are

Mystic blessed us with an exclusive cut that will be a cornerstone to her upcoming album bearing the same title ‘Beautiful Resistance‘. This Grammy nominated artists has serious fire and deep insights to our minds and souls. Don’t sleep on her.

In the same vein is Pittsburgh native Kellee Maize who recently was cited as one of the best in the city that now calls itself ‘Sixburgh’ because of the Steelers 6 Superbowl wins. Last year Kellee hit us over the dome with an album called ‘Age of Feminine‘that centered on Women’s empowerment and spirituality She returns with a new song called ‘Third Eye‘ which takes us deeper.

Chuck D of Public Enemy has been backing an all female crew called Crew Grrrl Order. They came hard with a new song that pays tribute to the First Lady Michele Obama. Longtime producer Johnny Juice does a nice remix which accenuates these sister’s flows and lets us know that they will be around for a minute. he also gets busy cutting in excerpts from Michelle Obama


Like Seattle the Bay Area comes deep with female talent. We have Mystic who we highlighted along with Jennifer Johnswho is on fire. The Conscious Daughters of course who we’ll feature on pt 2 are the best known names. But the Bay has a lot of folks like Aya De LeonJoyo VerlardeKofy BrownGoapele are just a few of the other names that are stellar in talent and presence.

On this 25 Joints we bring the spot light to Queen Deelah who comes out of East Oakland the the Silence the Violence Movement. She’s part of a larger collective of artists who have dedicated themselves and Hip Hop to stopping the carnage that plagues the mean streets of Oakland. Deelah’s song ‘Mind Yours‘ is dope and captures that vintage Bay sound.

Another up and coming talent starting to make noise is Kenyanna Bean. Her new song ‘Good Wit Me‘ is also popping. Like Queen Deelah Kenyanna is also out there making noise in the community trying to make a difference. Big shout out toSimone Nia Rae who could’ve also been on this episode if we had more space. She too is also a part of the new school of Bay talent. Her new song ‘Jealousy‘ has been featured on local radio stations in nearby Stockton. We’ll be rocking her in upcoming 25 Joints.

Jean Grae

As we close out we’d be remissed not to acknowledge the Queens from the Big Apple who are seriously on point. If you never heard of Tiye Phoenix you’re slipping. her joint ‘Nicewitis‘ lives up to its name. When her project finally drops, I guarante she’ll be turning Hip Hop upside down. She’s joined by Jean Grae which whom no all female showcase would be complete without her in the building. Grae can do no wrong when she touches the mic. Her song Supa Jean makes you wonder why people have been overlooking her.

EveQueen Latifah Isis aka Lin Que hold us down with some classic joints from their catalogue. We also have a dope joint from Hip Hop MC Lyte produced by DJ Premier called ‘Wonder Years‘. That song which dropped in 07 is vintage on Breakdown FM. Medusa is also a pioneering figure from the west coast who is still snatching heads when she gets on the mic. She’s blesses us with a new song called ‘Cali Fame‘ which proves that assertion.

Zulu Queen Rha Goddess and Sarah Jones show us just how potent spoken word can get. The lyrics to the songs ‘Revolution‘ and ‘Immaculate Conception‘ will make a whole lot of artists step up their lyric game.

Catch this weeks show by clicking the link below:

Press here to listen to pt of our four part series:

01-Canary Sings ‘Heroines’ (Seattle)
02-Kellee Maize ‘Third Eye’ (Pittsburgh)
03-Isis ‘Rebel Song’ (NY)
04-Jean Grae ‘Supa Jean’ (NY)
05-Eve ‘Life Is So Hard’ (NY)
06-Mystic ‘Beautiful Resistant’ (Bay Area/ LA)
07-Laura ‘Piece’ Kelly ‘Soundwave’ (Seattle)
08-Nefertiti ‘Addicted’ (Grand Rapids, Mi)
09-DJ Vadim w/ Sarah Jones ‘Revolution’ (NY)
10-DJ B Girl w/ Sista Hailstorm & Julie C ‘Murder She Wrote’ (Seattle)
11-Queen Latifah ‘Latifah had It Up To Here’ (NY)
12-Rha Goddess ‘Immaculate Conception’ (NY)
13-Rocky Rivera ‘Go There’
14-Cihuatle Ce ‘Dreamaah’15-J Ross Panelle Queendom
16-Invincible ‘Recognize’ (Detroit)
17-Crew Grrrl Order ‘Official First Lady (Johnny Juice Remix)
18-Macy Gray w/ Mos Def “I Committed Murder’ (gang Star rmx)
19-Tiye Phoenix ‘Nicewitis’ (NY)
20-Mala Rodriguez ‘Ajierro’ (Spain)
21-Queen Deelah ‘Mind Yours’ (Oakland)
22-Bernice King & Sister Souljah meet the Rhondo Brothers (interlude)
23-Medusa ‘Cali Fame’ (LA)
24-Jennifer John ‘Painting on Wax’ (Bay Area)
25-Queen Nasim ‘I’m original’ w/ Rosa Clemente (Portland)
26-Maria Isa ‘Die Not Kill’ (Minneapolis)
27-Lah Tere ‘You Are’ (Chicago/NY)
28-Brazen ‘Grand Rapid’ (San Jose/ Grand Rapid)
29-Kenyanna Bean ‘Good Wit Me’ (Oakland)
30-J Ross Panelle ‘Hey There Sister (Reno)
31-Antia Tijoux ‘Crisis un de MC (Chile)
32-Hopispitshard The Trunk’
33-Psalm One ‘Let Me Hear’