As i-D recently ruminated, female rappers will no longer be silenced; she is woman, hear her roar. With the success of Cardi B and Stefflon Don in 2017, we look forward to 2018 to discover the forces of female lyricism that you need to listen to right now.
1. City Girls
Signed to Quality Control (home of Migos, Stefflon Don and Lil Yachty), this Floridian duo have yet to release much music. Their debut single disposes of broke brothers and witless wonders, as J.T and Yung Miami perch on Kawasakis, eat fruit loops with water and wear outrageous outfits that alternate between Givenchy and Kente. Part Lil Kim, a little Khia and a smidgen of 2 Live Crew, this duo are putting Miami back on the map.
2. Kodie Shane
This self-proclaimed “modern day pop star” has been making more than a dent over the past year or two, but 2018 looks like it’s truly Kodie’s time. Born in Atlanta to a musical family (her aunt is Cherelle, her sister was in Blaque) Kodie already has collabs with Lil Yachty (she’s a paid up member of his sailing team) and Lil Uzi Vert and counts Quality Control’s Coach K as a mentor. This 19-year-old is already two mixtapes (2060, Little Rocket) and a EP (Zero Gravity) deep and we wait with bated breath for her debut album, due this year.
This Bay Area rapper’s short but saweetie take on Khia’s classic My Neck has already clocked up six million views. Icy Girl casts the 21-year-old USC grad as “a cash money mama who be dining in Bahamas/ Eating fettuccine pasta with the scallops and the lobster”. We don’t care where she eats, we just want more of this High Maintenance MC!
4. Asian Doll
The self-proclaimed queen of teens made her name on Soundcloud in 2017 thanks to super-assertive trippy trappy tracks such as Real Bitch Anthem and Poppin, which features PnB Rock and has so far had over two million views. Culminating in the 11 track EP OuttaSpace, this Texan 21-year-old is as cold as ice.
Making her ear-opening debut last year via the GAIKA-directed video for God Coloney’s SE16, south Londoner Flohio has since graced the hallowed pages of British Vogue and been tipped by pretty much every music outlet. 2018 truly has her sights set on this captivating MC/poet who is as visually arresting as she is lyrically captivating.
Little exists online about this 17-year-old Lewisham lyricist signed to GB records, but we’ve heard two tracks by Dis and we like them a lot. Cheeky is a euphoric chick-chicken linking ode that sees Dis disparaging both male and female admirers. On her Mad About Bars Dis “ghetto bops” across the sparse instrumental, her confidence and ability far belying her age. “In the rave I barge man like it’s rugby/ Might bop through in my sliders cah anywhere I walk comfy.” Rhyming rugby with comfy? What’s not to love about Dis?
7. Quay Dash
We love this self-anointed queen of New York. Having been brought up in foster homes across the city, life hasn’t been easy for this trans rapper, but she pours her whole goddamn self into her rhymes. 2016’s five track EP Transphobic is out to right a lot of wrongs, while Decline Him channels some inner Lil Kim as Quay counts money and discounts fuckbois. We’d like to see Quay transcend from Soundcloud mainstay to mainstream pop star — exactly where she deserves to be.
8. Ms Banks
First featured in i-D back in 2014 (and again online last year 3>), the utterly ace Ms Banks built on her audience throughout 2017, winning a lot of fans along the way, including Nicki Minaj. Now the south London rapper with a penchant for punchy metaphors and wise-cracking one-liners is preparing for an even bigger 2018; watch for the mixtape Coldest Winter Ever, due to drop this month.
9. Rico Nasty
You’ve already heard Maria Kelly’s raps — you just might not know it yet. Having featured on the soundtrack on the second series of the exemplary Insecure, as well as the action packed The Fate & The Furious, this 20-year-old from Baltimore describes her sound as “sugar trap”. Sweet! Featuring alongside Lil Boat and Lil Yachty on Mamacita from the aforementioned Fate, this nautical loving 20-year-old released her first mixtape back in high school before making her name with iCarly in 2016, subsequently flooding the net with mixtapes such as Sugar Trap 2 and Tales of Tacobella. We love this nasty girl and her nasty raps!
i-D is already a paid-up fanof this sex-positive feminist rhymer. If you haven’t seen Vagina yet, then you really need to. And if you haven’t read i-D’s interview with Cupcakke yet, then you really, really need to.