NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Honorees Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott watch show during the VH1 Hip Hop Honors: All Hail The Queens at David Geffen Hall on July 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for VH1)

People have a grave misconception of what makes the ranks when it comes to who would be considered a “First Lady Of Hip-Hop.” 

And let me tell you something – Nicki Minaj and Beyonce don’t even rank when it comes to the classics. There were at least a dozen ladies that paved the way for the female rappers and hip-hop artists today – and we are bringing it straight to you to show who you think wins the crowning of our picks for the First Ladies of Hip-Hop.


Lil’ Kim


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I love Nicki Minaj as much as the average person can, but after thinking of the comparisons between Lil’ Kim and Nicki, Lil’ Kim is the true Barbie. She’s also the first female rapper that rapped the idea of being “The Queen Bee.” Not only did Kim rap about the life, she lived the life, and served her time for it. Everyone else is playing a fictional character, which makes Kim the baddest of them all.



You can’t have a list about hip-hop and leave out Salt-N-Pepa. They are one of the many key pillars of the hip-hop community when it comes to the ladies. So whether you’re Shoop-ing or Pushin’ it REAL GOOD, know that they are a cornerstone.


Queen Latifa

Queen Latifa is a renaissance woman. She can rap, sing, act, do it all. So on top of being a spectacular lyricist, she’s starred in some of the cult hip-hop community proud films and still continues to lead the pack when it comes to being a black female in the industry.


Lauryn Hill

Not only did Lauryn bring about probably the most eye opening song at the time of my female development (knowing that some people are only about “that thing,” of course), being in The Fugees, as well as being a solo artist, it was that strong female mentality, and the fact that she had the RESPECT of female empowerment that made her so influential.



The mainstream media knows Eve as the rapper for “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” but Eve’s catalog was not only vast, but solid. She also was the female artist that hailed from the Ruff Ryders, so you have to lay some respect and a bark or two to that.


Lisa Lopes Of TLC

All the ladies in TLC were talented, but if you wanted someone to drop a sick verse, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was the one to bet on. She also was a producer before her untimely death, elevating her status in the realm of not just an artist.



People forget that Trina was a heavier rap artist, and she put in quite a bit of work with some leaders in the industry. She was definitely good to drop bars on a track with others too which made her pretty invaluable.

Missy Elliot

Missy Elliot was and still is the most interesting artist, in my opinion. Her lyrics may be suggestive, but the fact that Missy not only writes, produces, raps, and sings, she does it all without being, for a lack of a better word, revealing with her bodily prizes. A lot of things get sold on sex, but Missy sells herself on talent, and that, I for sure, can applaud.


Foxy Brown

Just because this was back in the day doesn’t mean there wasn’t beef. Foxy Brown was known for quite a few diss tracks, and victims of some as well. Feuds include Lil’ Kim, who she dissed for not letting Notorious B.I.G. “rest in peace,” as well as Queen Latifah, who was being accused about her sexuality by Foxy. By the year 2000 they squashed the beef, but Foxy had many since, kind of making her the Azalea Banks of the group.


MC Lyte


Being the first solo female rapper to release an album in the 80’s, MC Lyte gets the crown for being the pioneer of the era, and her song “10% dis” has been mimicked and mentioned by multiple rappers such as Queen Latifah, Foxy Brown, and Lil’ Kim. She went on to act, as well has had a boutique for sunglasses. She was also the first female solo hip hop artist to snag BET’s “I Am Hip Hop” Lifetime Achievement Award.


If you don’t know some of these main babes, do your research, these are your Founding Queens.


Amy Cooper is the type of journalist that when asked “What do you bring to the table,” she replies “I am the table.