A Definitive Ranking of the Sexiest, Most Influential Hip-Hop Love Songs by Women

From N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police” to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” the genre of hip-hop was built on protest and pushing the culture forward. Yet despite its initial efforts to fight oppression, hip-hop wasn’t always inclusive of women. Like American filmmaker Ava DuVernay once famously said in a Tweet, “To be a woman who loves hip-hop at times is to be in love with your abuser. Because the music was and is that. And yet the culture is ours.” Because what is hip-hop without its duality?

But women rappers and old-school emcees have always been part of the culture, whether it has previously been acknowledged or not. In 1977, MC Sha-Rock of Funky 4+1 set the scene as the first female emcee. Soon after, women rappers followed her lead and revolutionized how the genre explores love and sex.

One example is MC Lyte, who fought hip-hop’s misogyny by talking about none other than sex, baby. The sexual liberation she explored in her lyrics paved the way for hip-hop artists like Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Meghan Thee Stallion to perform raunchier rhymes that didn’t shy away from explicit lyrics. The objectifying nature of hip-hop was turned on its head when these female rappers carved out space for their own sexual desires.

With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the genre, to celebrate, POPSUGAR rounded up 16 of the most iconic love and sex songs written, sung, or produced by women in hip-hop. In no particular order, check out our list to celebrate the female artists that helped revolutionized the hip-hop genre we know and love today.

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