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The Top 10 Best Female American Rappers 2020

With Cardi B winning the Grammy for Best Rap Album, female rappers continue to dominate hip hop. Here are the best female American rappers of 2020, ranked by fans everywhere.

The Top 10 Best Female American Rappers 2020


1. Nicki Minaj


Best Female American Rappers

Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, known professionally as Nicki Minaj, is a Trinidad and Tobago-born rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born in Saint James, Port of Spain, and raised in Queens, New York City, she gained public recognition after releasing the mixtapes Playtime Is Over, Sucka Free, and Beam Me Up Scotty.


Minaj has been called one of the most influential female rap artists of all time. Throughout her career, she has received numerous accolades, including six American Music Awards, 11 BET Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, two Billboard Women in Music Awards, and 10 Grammy Award nominations. Minaj has sold 20 million singles as a lead artist, 60 million singles as a featured artist, and over five million albums worldwide, making her one of the world's best-selling music artists.

2. Cardi B


Cardi B

Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper, songwriter, television personality and actress. Born in Manhattan and raised in The Bronx, New York City, she became an internet celebrity after several of her posts and videos became viral on Vine and Instagram.


Recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential female rappers of all time, Cardi B is known for her aggressive flow and candid lyrics, which have received widespread media coverage.


She is the highest-certified female rapper of all time on the RIAA's Top Artists (Digital Singles) ranking, as well as appearing among the ten highest-certified female artists, and having the top certified song by a female rap artist. Her accolades include a Grammy Award, seven Billboard Music Awards, five Guinness World Records, four American Music Awards, and eleven BET Hip Hop Awards. In 2018, Time included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

3. Lil' Kim


Lil' Kim

Kimberly Denise Jones, known professionally as Lil' Kim, is an American rapper, songwriter, model, and actress. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she lived much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home.


Lil' Kim has sold more than 15 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. Her songs "No Time", "Big Momma Thang", and "Not Tonight (Ladies Night)" were each listed on Complex's list of the 50 Best Rap Songs By Women. In 2012, Lil' Kim was listed on VH1's 100 Greatest Women In Music list at number 45, the second highest position for a solo female hip-hop artist. Lil' Kim was ranked as one of the top 50 greatest MCs of all time in Kool Moe Dee's 2003 book, There's a God on the Mic. Aside from music, Lil' Kim is also known for her risk-taking and luxurious approach to fashion that inspired many artists; she has been cited as a fashion icon.

4. Missy Elliott


Missy Elliott

Following several collaborations and guest appearances, Elliott launched her solo career on July 15, 1997 with her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, which spawned the top 20 single "Sock It 2 Me". The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, the highest charting debut for a female rapper at the time.


Elliott went on to win four Grammy Awards and sell over 30 million records in the United States. She is the best-selling female rapper in Nielsen Music history, according to Billboard in 2017. In 2019, she became the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and received the MTV VMAs Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award for her impact on the music video landscape.

5. Foxy Brown


Foxy Brown

Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand, of the stage name Foxy Brown, is an American rapper who emerged into stardom surrounding her debut album Ill Na Na, released in 1996. She was also part of the short-lived rap group the Firm.

5. Da Brat


Da Brat

Shawntae Harris , better known by her stage name Da Brat, is an American rapper and actress from Chicago, Illinois. Beginning her career in 1992, her debut album Funkdafied (1994) sold one million copies, making her the first female solo rap act to receive a platinum certification, and the second overall female rap act (solo or group) after Salt-N-Pepa. Brat has received two Grammy Award nominations. Some of her most successful songs/features include, "I Think They Like Me", "Funkdafied" and "Loverboy".


6. Azealia Banks


Azealia Banks

Azealia Amanda Banks is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actress. Raised in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, she began releasing music through Myspace in 2008 before being signed to XL Recordings at age 17.


7. Remy Ma


Remy Ma

Reminisce Mackie, known professionally as Remy Ma, is an American rapper. She was initially discovered by Big Pun, and came to prominence for her work as a member of Fat Joe’s group, Terror Squad.


8. Saweetie


Saweetie

Diamonté Qiava Valentin Harper, known professionally as Saweetie, is an American rapper and singer. After the release of her debut single, "Icy Grl", she was signed to Warner Bros. Records in partnership with Artistry Worldwide. She released her debut extended play, High Maintenance, on March 16, 2018.


9. Doja Cat


Doja Cat

Doja Cat released her debut studio album, Amala, in 2018 and a deluxe repackage in 2019, which included the single "Tia Tamera". She released the single "Juicy" in August 2019 which reached number 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100, earning Doja Cat her first entry on the chart.


In November 2019, Doja Cat released her second studio album, Hot Pink, which entered the chart in over 10 countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand. The album included the song "Say So" which became popular on the video-sharing platform TikTok, causing it to peak at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 on the UK Official Singles Chart, becoming her first song to enter the charts of various countries.

10. Rapsody


Rapsody

Rapsody signed to Jay-Z's record label Roc Nation in July 2016, and her debut for the label, Laila's Wisdom, was released on September 22, 2017. The album received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song. Rapsody's third studio album, Eve, was released on August 23, 2019.


Rapsody is known for her intricate rhyme patterns, metaphors, and wordplay. She cites Jay-Z, Mos Def, Lauryn Hill and MC Lyte as the biggest influences on her music. Her production is primarily handled by The Soul Council, the team of in-house producers at It's A Wonderful World Music Group comprising E. Jones, Ka$h Don't Make Beats, AMP, Eric G., Nottz and Khrysis. Rapsody's philosophy is "Culture Over Everything," referring to the culture of hip-hop music.


She describes this phrase in an interview with Vibe Magazine where she says, "To me, it’s about culture more so than money or anything. I make music for the people of the culture we’re in; that comes first. If you touch the people first, the rest just falls into place. That’s what it means to me, just preserving and respecting the culture."


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