For a solid decade, Nicki Minaj was the only female rapper to maintain mainstream success.
When Cardi B came stomping onto the scene in her "bloody shoes," Barbz were fighting to keep Nicki's throne. Now, a few years later, female rappers are on the rise—proving there's plenty of room at the top.
XXL Magazine finally dropped their freshman cyphers, and Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, and Tierra Whack are carrying the 2019 freshman class on their backs. Unsurprisingly, none of the women were paired together. If they had been, the rest of the freshman class would have no real competition. Each rapper had their own particular style and flow that, as Tierra Whack phrased it, came "for necks."
Megan Thee Stallion is particularly having a bomb "hot girl summer," creating a movement after dropping one of the most stirring projects of 2019, Fever. The Houston rapper has been on the rise, grounding her lyricism in epic and mega-hit freestyles. Hot Girl Meg is legit.
DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, YK Osiris and Lil Mosey's 2019 XXL Freshman Cypher www.youtube.com
Meanwhile, Rico Nasty may fit into the category of a freshman rapper, but she has already released six mix tapes. At 21, she showed a different side of herself on the 2019 cypher. Deft, exhilarating, and biting, Rico Nasty enchanted viewers both familiar and unfamiliar with her work. She bodied the beat, spitting bar after bar.
Blueface, YBN Cordae and Rico Nasty's 2019 XXL Freshman Cypher www.youtube.com
Featured on Beyoncé's The Gift, Tierra Whack brought her imagination to "MY POWER" with her controlled and bewitching delivery. The rapper, who Remy Ma cosigned, got real with fans, rapping, "I used to wanna be lighter, but I still shine being dark." Finally, a dark-skin female rapper is making a name for herself without conforming to the pop-rap precedent set by Nicki and Cardi— the rap game will hopefully never be the same.
Roddy Ricch, Comethazine and Tierra Whack's 2019 XXL Freshman Cypher www.youtube.com