When music fans discuss the best female rappers in the game right now, there are three that get mentioned the most: Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj. While those women should be respected for making female hip-hop as mainstream as it is today, there are other women who are miles above in their pen game and overall quality of music. Some of these rappers that come to mind are Tierra Whack, Rico Nasty, Little Simz, and Rapsody. Four women who have shined the brightest in my opinion with their lyricism, topics, and flow that the “big three” lack. I first became aware of Rapsody when she released Laila’s Wisdom back in 2017 even though she had been in the rap game for almost ten years at that point. The album was a jazzy and soulful rap project that ended up being one of my favorite albums of that year. With Little Simz’s GREY Area being my favorite project of 2019 so far, could Rapsody deliver something to compete with her?
While Eve is no GREY Area, Rapsody solidifies herself as one of the great rappers, not just female rappers, of her era. The album pays homage to numerous African-American female figures throughout history such as Nina Simone, Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams, and Sojourner Truth. The overall theme that brings these tracks together is embracing black beauty and empowering the black woman. It is without a doubt that African-American women are the most marginalized group of people in the United States. Even with our previous First Lady being an African-American woman, the average African-American woman was still being suppressed and censored from having a voice within our society. For 2019, however, this project is another phenomenal way to promote black beauty and empowerment. Prior to Eve, there was Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You was an emphatic statement on body positivity and natural beauty which still is one of my favorite albums to listen to. If I were to compare the two albums, Eve is the hip-hop, twin version of Cuz I Love You. This album samples a wide range of older songs from Aaliyah, Nina Simone, and my favorite track on the album, “Cleo”, which brilliantly samples Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”. “Ibtihaj” is a tribute to “Liquid Swords” by GZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame. A very groovy hook from D’Angelo and even a verse from GZA, himself, make this track a must-listen. “Iman” is another highlight with a beautiful sample of Billy Paul’s “Ebony Woman”. JID absolutely shines on this track and his consistency is sky-rocketing his stock in the rap game.
At some point, we have to appreciate these under-the-radar female rappers because they are not going to be in their prime forever. By the time December rolls around, Eve could wind up as a top-five rap album of 2019. It’s that good.
Richest Tracks: “Nina”, “Cleo”, “Aaliyah”, “Whoopi”, “Serena”, “Maya”, “Ibtihaj”, “Iman”, “Afeni”
Worst Tracks: “Myrlie”, “Michelle”