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g.o.a.t. Hip Hop Throwback: A Few Unsung Hip-Hop Heroines

What’s up, hip-hop fam, MLS here.  As you should very well know, last month was Women’s History Month. At the Mega Late Show, we’ve been bumping some of our favorite women artists in celebration. It is indeed April now, but we all agree there’s never a bad time to highlight the contributions and importance of all women in the world. When it comes to the history of hip-hop, every era has had countless game changers further molding the culture.  Despite those contributions, even the most prolific and influential women in hip-hop history are often unmentioned. This goes for both new and established artists.

So in further celebration of the dopest women in hip-hop, and in praise of women in general, theMega Late Show wanted to share a few lesser known and legendary women artists. We obviously couldn’t point out each and every incredible artist that deserves more recognition, but here are a few of our favorites. Peep game, show love, and spread the word.

Asia One

Not an emcee nor producer, but one of the greatest b-girls of all-time. In 1994, she founded the prestigious B-boy Summit event, and has been around ever since. A member of the Rocksteady Crew and Zulu nation, Asia1 is known as one of the most legendary b-girls to ever set foot on linoleum. She was a major force in the shaping of modern breakdancing events and competitions.  Asia1 was featured in Vibe magazine’s book “Hip-hop Divas” and was also the subject of the short documentary “Expect the Unexpected”. Anyone who has ever learned to six step should not only know Asia1, but also praise the ground she uprocks on. – M


Dessa is a member of the Minneapolis Doomtree hip-hop collective. I’ve been a fan for years but her impact hit me when my niece, who is more into popular mainstream rap music, told me that Dessa was her favorite artist. Dessa is a multi-hyphenate singer-songwriter-poet-rapper-activist whose​ music touches a variety of subjects. She released a single last year but her most recent LP was released way back in 2013, so were expecting something new any day now. – M


Chynna has made some noise working with A$AP Mob as well as producer Hudson Mohawke. She also has a past in modeling. But her bars deserve the spotlight. She raps with a gritty, realistic flow similar to classic Prodigy and Havoc. Hopefully she continues to put out music and develop that side of her career as she continues to do so with her modeling. – L


Formerly known as Syd the Kid, Sydney Bennet has grown into her own, and still continues to do so.  Starting off as an audio engineer and producer with Odd Future, she then became the lead vocalist for neo-soul band The Internet, and recently released her solo album “Fin”.  The growth continues, as she has departed from Odd Future to mold her unique artistry her way.  Be on the lookout for both solo joints as well as collective works from her band. – S


Rapsody seemed to come out of nowhere. An alumni of Koolie High, she was quickly co-signed by 9th Wonder and started her solo career on his label. Ever since she’s been a well-welcomed representative for women MC’s and killing features while holding her own against her male counterparts, including having one of the best verses on Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly. – L


Jazzmatazz 2. Illadelph Halflife. Soundbombing 1 and 2.  Violent by Design. Bahamdia was on all of these classic albums. She’s been one of the dopest women emcees for over 2 decades. Her albums Kollage (1996) and BB Queen (2000) are two of the finest solo albums of that era. The Philly born rapper disappeared from my radar for a couple years but a feature on MELO Collective track “Hollow” back 2015 show she’s dope as ever. – M

Ladybug Mecca

One of the most important emcees to do it and one of the most unsung! Ladybug Mecca came to prominence as a member of Digable Planets and stood out even amongst her colorful partners with her lyricism, appearance, voice, and allure. While Digable Planets enjoys a renaissance of sorts, Ladybug Mecca has only Trip The Light Fantastic, her sole album as a solo artist, to her name. But it is an excellent album. – L

Snow tha Product

A dope Mexican-American emcee reigning from California that can rifle off rapid fire bars in both english and spanish. From what i understand, Snow is largely responsible for popularizing the phrase “Stay Woke.” Im not sure about that but im certain that she can rap her ass off. Get familiar.  – M

Lee Mazin

Another multifaceted artist off my list, Taliyah Smith raps, sings, produces, and writes.  A Southern Philly native, her battle-rapping caught ear of Northern Philly rapper Meek Mill, landing her a spot as the first female on his Dreamchasers imprint.  She is not only a rapper, but a well-rounded artist with a distinctive style. Knowing how delicate it is for her in this male-dominated industry, she remains independent and finds ways to give back to her community such as through her “PhilLEE Weekend” event.  She remains in the game. – S

Perseph One

Definitely one of the lesser known artists on this list. Perseph One is an experimental emcee whose music can be challenging for some listeners. Personally I’ve been down with Perseph One for a few years now. Last December she released an EP with Ceschi’s Fake Four label. I’m really looking forward to more of her work. – M

Jean Grae

“ATTACK OF THE ATTACKING THINGS” by Jean Grae. That album titled appealed to every facet of being for my 20 year old self. So back in 2002 I randomly copped that album and have been a fan every since. Most backpacker/ bboy type hip-hop heads will know of Jean through her various collaborations and features. Despite holding it down for over 2 decades, she’s often left of the convo when it comes to the dopest emcees. Jean is undoubtedly on my list of personal favorites. She was recently featured on Quelle Chris’s new album and she spit near 3 minutes of straight fire. – M

The Buttress

Buttress is pretty… different. Imagine if Ol Dirty Bastard had a baby with the chick from movie “Carrie.” She’s definitely not for everyone but her music is some of the most challenging and interesting work coming out. There’s a clear theatrical flare to her music which is often best when accompanied with her music video visuals, which she also directs. It’s hard to pin down exactly what is going on with The Buttress but I’m definitely looking forward to what she does next. – M


She’s another artist that raps, writes, and produces her material, with some strong hood delivery.  She released her first album in 2002 and her 5th (latest) in 2014.  Having a decent run in the industry, I hope these few words will be enough for you to peep game. – S


One of the dopest producers currently in the game. Wondagurl has produced tracks for some of the biggest names in hiphop today. She started producing at a young age and by age 16 she won her first beat battle. She’s produced too many jams to list since she first hit the scene. One of her beats was recently featured on Ab-Soul’s “Do What Thou Wilt” album and she has a track on Big Sean latest release as well. Wondagurl is one of the most talented and unheralded beatmakers around. – M

Psalm 1

Psalm One is a Chicago emcee who has been rockin since the early 2000s. She heads a collective of female emcees called Rapperchicks and also releases music under the moniker Hologram Kizzie (that name is dope af btw). Psalm has more than held her own on tracks with the likes of Canibus, the CunninLynguists, and Casual of the Hieroglyphics crew. She can melt you in 4/4 or doubletime. – M


After coming to prominence with the same wave of Chicago artists led by Chance The Rapper, Noname made a name for herself (no pun/a little bit of pun intended). Formerly known as Noname Gypsy, she dropped the latter part of her nomenclature as she began to build her career. With a heavily spoken word influenced style; dropping an excellent album with Telefone; and having an extremely successful tour, we probably won’t be able to include an artist of her stature on an unsung list soon. – L

Nitty Scott

After her rendition of “Monster” went viral, it was apparent there was a new spitter ready to be recognized. With her style reminiscent of throwback, boom-bap Nitty obviously wanted to be taken seriously as an MC, which also used to be part of her name. She’s had success, even appearing in the BET Cypher, and continues to rock the mic with the same tenacity she had when she debuted. – L

Gunna (of the group Unladylike)

This female can flow.  Hailing from East St.Louie, I caught wind of her and Tee, the two that form the group Unladylike, back in college.  They released an album with Def Jam in 2009, but they’ve been relatively quiet since. – S

K’La The Lyricist

When starting on this list, K’La was the first artist to come to my mind. Criminally underrated, she had some moderate success after signing with Def Jam even scoring a single with NaS. Being able to sing as well as she drops bars makes it hard not to compare her to Lauryn Hill, and probably not even inappropriate. She continues to release music and it continues to be underrated and really fucking good. – L

Georgia Anne Muldrow

Incredibly talented. I think I’ll just let this Yasiin Bey quote describe her. “She’s incredible. She’s like Flack, Nina Simone, Ella, she’s something else. She’s like religion. It’s heavy, vibrational music. I’ve never heard a human being sing like this. Her voice is wildly, finely expressive. It’s so singular. It’s hip-hop, the way that she approaches it rhythmically, she’s got so many jazz influences. It’s something else and you can just feel it. With Georgia Anne Muldrow Presents Ms. One (SomeOthaShip), she’s like J. Dilla, the legendary producer. She makes her own beats, she rhymes, she sings, and she plays. If people love Amy Winehouse, they’re going to get their minds blown when they hear Georgia Anne Muldrow.” NUFF SAID


I’ve heard Kamaiyah described as a mix between Nelly and Juvenile. You can see what it’s supposed to mean, but it also doesn’t do her justice. Her style flows infectiously and her content makes you forget she’s female, even as she raps about men the way most rappers do about women, and how young she is. She seems to just be getting started so look forward to bouncing with her foreseeable future. – L

Written By Mega, Late, and Steze of the Mega Late Show Tokyo Podcast

Check out their latest episode: Mega Late Show

Published by PR


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