We are now 3 months into 2018 and while it might not seem like a momentous year so far for women in music, it most definitely has been. Whether it’s Hip-Hop, R&B, Country, or truly any genre we are hitting the scene and hitting it hard. For example, this year Rapsody received the best rap album of the year nomination. This makes her the fifth female ever at The Grammys to be nominated for this award. Of course to some this may not be a big accomplishment but in an industry dominated by male voices, this is a huge accomplishment for her as an artist.
Like last year female rappers are coming for the throne they so rightfully deserved for a long time now. Each one of the rappers being discussed here has discovered and perfected their style whether it’s sugar trap or a mix of multiple genres. They’ve found their self and they have no problem letting the world know who they are. I foresee all of them making big waves this year.
Track to check out: Money
I’m from Southern California but I can’t get enough of rappers that come out of New York. On my previous list I discussed Cardi B and Princess Nokia; now I can’t get enough of the very mysterious Leikeli47. She has been coined by many people on twitter as this generation’s Missy Elliot and for good reason. Similar to Missy Elliot, her music’s fun and playful but not in a comical way with her expert word choice and relatable lyrics.
Listening to her rap feels like you’re hanging out with a friend that just wants you to hype you up while giving the middle finger to anyone who tries to stop them from doing what they want. Leikeli47 has no bubble and does everything she can to make sure you know that boundaries don’t exist when it comes to what genre of music she belongs to. With tracks intermingling between hip-hop and EDM complimented by her razor-sharp tongue, there’s no limit to her sound.
Aggressive yet feminine Leikeli47 is the full package and that can be heard with one listen of Wash & Set.
Track to check out: Level Up
With a debut album expected to come out this year, it’s a requirement that you know who this 19-year-old is. No stranger to the music industry, Kodie Shane has been writing since she was 13 and comes from a family chopped full of musical talent. She even already has some collabs under her belt with Lil Yachty, as a member of his sailing team, and Lil Uzi Vert.
Her words paint the picture of millennial teenage angst. Utilizing the occasional R&B croons and of course upbeat melodies to describe a generation that is often misunderstood. She exudes an endless amount of confidence when she raps and it is contagious giving strength to those that listen. “Level Up”, her most recent track, does just that with her ability to rap a chorus that is so easy to sing along with you can’t help but feel more inspired.
With two mixtapes under her belt and an EP, Kodi Shane is someone that you should be looking out for. So get ahead of the game and get to know her before her debut album drops.
TT The Artist
Track to check out: Real Bitch Problems
I discovered TT The Artist on a late night music bender. I was going through the Insecure playlist on Spotify (if you haven’t done that I highly recommend it) and discovered this gem of a track “Real Bitch Problems”. The beat and ad-libs in between verses like “I get real bitch petty (try it) All my real bitches with me (squad up)” created an instant fan out of me.
If I’m in a great mood I put on this track. If I’m in a bad mood I put on this track. If I’m just getting ready to go to the club I’m searching my Spotify for this song so I can get hype.
TT The Artist’s artistic range is something to marvel at. Mixing hip-hop, club, pop, and EDM while still maintaining a strong recognizable sound isn’t something that many artists can accomplish. She does it though and does it effortlessly as if rapping was first nature.
Track to check out: Poppin
Sugar Trap is a movement, a way of life and the movement’s queen is Rico Nasty. Many people have compared Rico Nasty to Lil Yachty because they both have a more energetic yet softer approach when it comes to trap music. However, Rico Nasty has a sound all her own with Sugar Trap. Sugar Trap is assertive yet sweet. “I describe my sound as sugar trap, that’s not really a description that’s really who I am, that’s my swag, that’s how I talk and walk,” she said in an interview with XXL “You can see it in the interviews and in the videos I’m the same person, it’s sugar trap, happy savage.”
Reminiscent of a Sour Patch Kid her music ranges from sweet to feisty with really no in-between. At any given time you could find yourself rapping “Hey, everyday is lovely, every day is sunny” to “I’m on E little bitch, but I got a full tank”. Don’t just take my word for it though. I’ll let you listen to “Poppin” and all of Tales of Tacobella so that you can decide for yourself if Sugar Trap is the movement you’re ready to be a part of.
Track to check out: Lonely Thoughts
Coming out of Snow Hill, North Carolina Roc Nation’s Rapsody has been making musical moves since 2008. With twelve projects under her belt, it is rare that you find a more decorated artist in today’s industry. Especially one that’s worked with musical legends such as Big Daddy Kane, Erykah Badu, and Talib Kweli.
There’s a reason some of music’s greatest artists have chosen to work with her and that her music has been given large amounts of praise. In a musical generation that’s being dominated by bubblegum synths and more fluff than hard issues, Rapsody chooses to go a different route. Tackling topics like mass incarceration and gender politics her tone demands your attention from the moment it booms through your speakers or headphones whichever you prefer. The point is the moment you turn on a track she grabs your attention with verses like “I know my blackness powerful and they don’t like that I know some niggas sold theirs, sit back and watch ’em tap dance” off her single “Power” on “Laila’s Wisdom”. Sit back and watch’em tap dance. The imagery she paints with that line alone is astonishingly reminiscent of a Lauryn Hill or any of the raps earlier great female artists.
Rapsody is going to be influential to women hoping to make it in the industry there’s no doubt about it. She’s paved her own lane already and it’s about time everyone takes notice. If you haven’t heard her by now then you need to check out “Lonely Thoughts” from “She’s Got Game” to just get you started on the incredible journey that is Rapsody. Big K.R.I.T, Rapsody, and Chance The Rapper are an unbelievable force combined. Nevertheless, Rapsody is the standout voice on the track and shows you why you’ll remember who she is.
Ashley Clayton is a writer, event planner, and music lover straight out of Southern California. Feel free to drop her a friendly hello, your music, or check out her other work via Twitter.