A Look Back at Influential Songs in the Journey of Female Artists in Hip-Hop

By agatch
  • "Funk You Up" by Sequence

    "Funk You Up" by Sequence
    The first rap record by an all-female group, “Funk You Up,” was released in 1979 by Sequence. This was a huge milestone in the journey for women to gain recognition in hip-hop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flG4hOD3wZk
  • "Roxanne's Revenge" by Roxanne Shanté

    "Roxanne's Revenge" by Roxanne Shanté
    In this song, Roxanne Shanté, at age 14 started call-and-response diss battles of hip-hop by fighting against the objectification of "Roxanne" in the song, "Roxanne, Roxanne" by U.T.F.O https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eckRNcHCKA
  • "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa

    "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa
    "Push It" made a significant impact on the world and elicited a lot of controversy because of the provocative music video and sexual objectification of women. The song highlights the sexual desires between two people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCadcBR95oU
  • U.N.I.T.Y. by Queen Latifah

    U.N.I.T.Y. by Queen Latifah
    Latifah's feminist, anti-violent anthem won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8cHxydDb7o
  • Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix) by Lil’ Kim, featuring Angie Martinez, Left Eye, Da Brat and Missy Elliott

    Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix) by Lil’ Kim, featuring Angie Martinez, Left Eye, Da Brat and Missy Elliott
    Lil' Kim's song contains sexually explicit lyrics meant to empower women to embrace their sexuality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2StcXjwrGHY
  • "Get Your Freak On" by Missy Elliot

    "Get Your Freak On" by Missy Elliot
    Elliot's song encourages sexual autonomy, especially through the chorus that continuously tells the listener to "get your freak on" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPoKiGQzbSQ
  • "My Neck, My Back"

    "My Neck, My Back"
    While female rap artists had been exploring sex in their songs years before, this song made a huge impact on the industry as Khia boldly challenged the norms of the genre. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW92agO2NxY
  • "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj

    "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj
    Anaconda does not shy away from explicit language as it pays tribute to women with curvy figures. The song generated a lot of controversy in the media specifically because of the racy music video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDZX4ooRsWs
  • "Act Up" by City Girls

    "Act Up" by City Girls
    "Act Up" centers on women's power to control their own lives. Through the explicit and raunchy lyrics, City Girls highlight how women should not care about a man unless he has money. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrfIZgAfhAM
  • “WAP” by Cardi B, featuring Megan Thee Stallion

    “WAP” by Cardi B, featuring Megan Thee Stallion
    The song was highly controversial because of its outwardly explicit language about female sexuality. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsm4poTWjMs
  • "Woman" by Doja Cat

    "Woman" by Doja Cat
    In 'Woman," Doja Cat celebrates her femininity, but also rejects the expectations that come with being a woman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxW5yuzVi8w