Top 25 Female Emcees of Hip Hop (1983 – 1993)

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Counting down the top 25 female emcees of the Diamond and Golden Era … that’s 1983 – 1993, so there wont be any Lil Kim or Mia x, or Lady of rage here. These are the pioneers and I wanted to shine a light on women and their lyrical contributions to Hip Hop,

I tried not to include too much bias in the list and I did group a lot of the artists who only had one album or single closer to the bottom of the list, and I did NOT put my personal favorite or pick as the number 1 (Though I really wanted to), anyway leave your disagreements in the comments, tweet to me (@TweetRhymesLife), share the post, G+, etc etc. Lets get to the list!

25. Glamorous (1987)

Jamillah Kareem
The female member of the Juice Crew that most people don’t know about, she was featured on the 1987 posse cuts “Juice Crew All Stars” and “Evolution”

24. Angie Stone (1980)

EHHAngie

Former member of The Sequence one of the earliest female emcees, though most notable for her R&B singing and songwriting in the 90s, her single “Funk you up” is a classic

23. Ms Melodie (1988)

Ramona Parker
melodie
Member of the BDP Posse, released her only album “Diva” in 1988 with the lead single “Wake up Wake Up” she was also featured on the Stop the Violence Movement’s “Self Destruction song and video.

22. N Tyce (1993)

Amma Brown
EHHNTyce
In 1993 N-Tyce dropped her only single “Hush Hush Tip” B/W “Root Beer Float” the former featured Method Man both songs were produced by Wu-Tang Clan. She was also a member of the Wu-Tang affiliated all female group Deadly Venoms

21. The Real Roxanne II (1984)

Adelaida Martinez
EHHRealRox

The Real Roxanne took over the mantle of “The Real Roxanne” after Elease Jack parted ways with UTFO, she recorded “The Real Roxanne” in 1988 and Go Down (But don’t bite it) in 1992. Her most popular and successful work came from the Bang Zoom Let’s Go Go B/W Howie Tee’d Off single
… she also had singles and videos for Roxanne is on a Roll, and Respect

20. Sparky D (1985)

Doreen Broadnax
EHHSparkyD

Most known for her involvement in the Roxanne Wars and her single “Sparky’s Turn (Roxanne You’re Through) it was the first answer record in the RW, she also had a hit with “Throw Down” she released her album “Sparky D’s World” in 1988

19. The Real Roxanne (1984)

Elease Jack
elease

The Original Real Roxanne was featured in her one and only single on UTFO’s debut album with a self entitled song.

18. MC Trouble (1988)

LaTasha Rogers
EHHMCTrouble

MC Trouble released an EP in 1988 called High Roller’s Girl, but she was more known for her verse with The Good Girls on “Make you mine”, and her title track from her 1990 album “Gotta Get a Grip”

17. Nikki D (1989)

Nichelle Strong
EHHNikkiD

The first female emcee signed to Def Jam released her single “Lettin off Steam”, but is more known for her single “Daddy’s Little Girl” off of her album of the same name.

16. Yo Yo (1991)

Yolanda Whitaker
EHHYoYo

Yo Yo had her debut on Ice Cube’s “It’s a Man’s world” in 1990, a year later she released her fiirst album “Make Way for the Motherlode” with the hit “You cant play with my Yo Yo” and Stompin to the 90s
In 1992 she released Black Pearl, with the title track, IBWin wit my Crewin, and Home Girl Dont play that.

15. Left Eye (1992)

Lisa Lopes
EHHLeftEye

Most known as the L in the award winning group TLC, she appeared on singles with Keith Sweat, Lil Kim, Will Smith, Donell Jones, and and more since her debut in 1992, she made her first album Supernova in 2001 but it wasn’t released in the US; sadly she passed away before her second album N.I.N.A was finalized.

14. Pepa (1986)

Sandy Denton
EHHPepa

One third of the legendary Hip Hop Trio Salt N Pepa (W/DJ Spinderella) Pepa brought the spice to the crew with the more aggressive lyrics, she and Cherly James dropped The Show Stoppa (Is Stupid Fresh) in 1985 < I Response to Doug E Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew's "The Show"> and went on to become one of the most influential acts in Hip Hop History.

13. Synquis (1986)

Synquis

Of the Duo Finesse & Synquis, the latter was a perfect compliment to the B-Girl back and forth with Finesse … The Bap to her partner’s Boom.

12. Salt (1986)

EHHSalt

While Pepa had the more Aggressive style, Salt would be the more Cooler side … they both changed it up but for the most part Salt had the slicker rhymes.

11. Lin Que (1990)

Lin Que Ayoung

EHHLinQue

Formerly Isis and a member of Blackwatch with X Clan released her Rebel Soul in 1990 after she left Blackwatch and started recording as Lin Que she worked with MC Lyte among other artists she released her GODSpeed album in 2007.
Lin Que was also an original member of the Wu-Tang backed group Deadly Venoms but left before the album was released.

10. Monie Love (1990)

Simone Gooden

EHHMonie

Former member of Jus Bad Crew in London, Monie came to US Fame after dropping dope verses on Ladies first with Queen Latifah and Doin our own dang with The Jungle Brothers .. and De La Soul’s standout Buddy.
A Member of the legendary Native Tongues crew dropped her solo album Down To Earth in 1990 and secured TWO Grammy nominations for her smash “Monie in the middle” and “It’s a Shame” in 1993 she followed up with the album In a word or 2 backed by the single Born to BREED

9. Sweet Tee (1986)

Toi Jackson

EHHSweetTee

Sweet Tee dropped “It’s Tee Time” in 1986 on the strength of her smash single “It’s my beat” with her DJ Jazzy Joyce, the album also had hits “On the Smooth Tip” and It’s Like that yall: … also the love song “Why did it have to be me”
She also recorded a song “What’s Up Star” for the motion picture “The Show” soundtrack under the name Suga

8. Sha Rock (1979)

Sharon Green

EHHShaRock

A Member of the legendary Funky Four Plus one, Sha Rock was notable for being the only female of the group and for having strong lyrics, featured on the hits “Rappin & Rocking The House” and “That’s the Joint” Sha Rock is an pioneer and a Hip Hop Legend worth of her place on this list.

7. Lady bug Mecca (1993)

Mary Ann Vieira

EHHLadyBug

The Silver Spring Maryland native was a native of the 90s Hip Hop group Digable Planets hit the scene with “Reachin (A New Refutation of Time and Space)” and their smash “Rebirth of Slick (Cool like that)” and “Nickel Bags” as well as the 1994 Blowout Comb and Beyond the Spectrum in 2005.
Using the name Lady Mecca Mary started a solo career and dropped the album “Trip the light fantastic” in 2005 with the songs “Children Say” “Sexual Alchemy” and “Remember When”

6. Boss (1993)

Lichelle Laws

EHHBoss

Originally from Detroit Michigan Boss relocated to LA and was signed to Def Jam, she released Born Gangstaz in 1993 with the lead single “Deeper” gaining a ton of success as well as “Recipe for a hoe” her style was really west coast but with the lyricism of the east coast.

5. Finesse (1986)

EHHFinesse

The other half of Finesse and Synquis, her lyricism was incredible in the 80s as evident on the duo’s song “I Can Do Better”. After the group Finesse was a member of the Wu-Tang Clan backed all female group Deadly Venoms releasing Antidote in 1998 and Still Standing in 2002.

4. Antoinette (1989)

Harriott Douglass?

EHHAntoinette

Queens emcee first heard on Hurby’s Machine with the single “I got an Attitude” and “Hit em with this” lyrically she was the female equivalent to Kane and Rakim with her delivery and word play, wasn’t as evident on her releases “Who’s the Boss” and “Burnin at 20 Below” but she had a great back and forth with her rival MC Lyte in the late 80s and early 90s

3. Queen Latifah (1988)

Dana Owens

EHHQueen

Former beat boxer for Ladies Fresh, Queen Latifah released her first single “Wrath of my madness” in 1988 and her debut album “All Hail the Queen” in 1989
The founding member of the Flavor Unit and Native tongues member went on to release 6 more albums with hit singles such as “Fly Girl”, “U.N.I.T.Y”, “Latifah’s had it up to here”, and “Just another day”
… she also had a brief feud with Silver Era emcee Foxy Brown

2. Roxanne Shante (1984)

Lolita Shanté Gooden

EHHShante

Hip Hop legend and Pioneer … Queensbridge’s own!
At 14 years old Shante released “Roxanne’s Revenge” which started the fabled Roxanne Wars … she was a freestyle specialist (As she did the original recording off her head in one take)
The juice crew emcee also a renowned battler as she took on Boogie Down Productions on wax and emcees such as Busy Bee and STETS Fruikwan live on stage.
She released single after single including “Queen of Rox”, “Runaway”, “Def Fresh Crew”, “Loosey’s Rap” with Rick James and eventually dropped her album “Bad Sister” in 1989 and “The Bitch is Back” in 1992 where she dissed just about every female on this list on “Big Mama” LOL

1. Lyte (1988)

Lana Moorer

EHHLyte

Lyte released her first single “I Cram to Understand U” in 1986 and her debut album “Lyte as a Rock” in 1988. The album mostly produced by Audio Two (Who are NOT her brothers) featured hits “Paper Thin”, “Lyte as a Rock”, and the Antoinette return diss “10% Diss”
In 1989 she released “Eyes on This” with hits “Cha Cha Cha”, “Stop Look Listen”, and “Cappuccino” 4 more albums released between 1991 and 1998 between her battles and string of hits she solidified her status as the greatest female emcee of all time in a lot of people’s eyes.

That’s the list, feel free to leave you comments on who was left off … too high or too low.
Debate is expected!
I’ll be doing the Female list for the 1993 – 1999 soon.

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  • Derek B

    Ummmm……. Lauryn Hill?!?

    • Derek B

      Ah never mind. Just noticed the list only goes to 1993.

  • jeye

    Derek b. your right! Technically Lauren hill should be on list! Fugees blunted on reality came out in 94 but was recorded in 93!! Wheres bahamadia, (93 single funk vibe) a beast on the mic both male & female!!! & heather b. Should b on this list as well,anyone who listened to hip hop in 92 93 knew her name i.e. sex & violence album! !!!

    • @eclectik

      You’re right but they didn’t blow till after the deadline

  • JaySab

    What, no Ice Cream Tee?

    • @eclectik

      You’re right, but that album wasn’t …

  • AnnaMae Bullock

    Shante is #1 of that era,period. Then Salt & Pepa, Lyte then King Latifah. Left Eye should’ve placed higher.

    • @eclectik

      I agree, I was trying to be objective due to discography tho

  • Chaplain Jamillah

    Thanks for the recognition. Just to add my first cut was Oh Veronica Veronica with Sweet Tee. We were The Glamour Girls on Pop Art records. Craig G did the beat box. Him and I was added to the Juice Crew. I joined in 86. I did Mr. Magic promo for his Rap Attack. Then We did Juice Crew Allstars. I have been rapping since the late 70’s. I’m the first from Long Island to go mainstream. No other female from Long Island to go main stream. They out there thou.

  • Quest_ion

    Please name the ones in the main photo from left to right….