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We’re well aware of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B today.

You see them on TV, read interviews with them in magazines, and hear them singing on the radio. But behind these stars are a team of songwriters who constantly fire off hit after hit for us to play on repeat in our cars, in the shower, and by the pool.

In honor of Black Music Month, here are just a few of the female songwriters who make hip hop and R&B what it is today.

 

Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, and others.