2020 was undoubtedly a stand-out year for female rappers. For example, Megan Thee Stallion has collaborated with the likes of Beyoncé and Cardi B, earning her two number 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Flo Milli made her debut into the music scene this year with her first-ever EP. In response, artists like Rico Nasty, Janelle Monáe, and Missy Elliot expressed their excitement and support for her new project on social media. In addition, CHIKA made XXL’s freshman class of 2020 and has been nominated for Best New Artist by the Grammys. CHIKA has also been featured in publications such as Rolling Stone and The Cut, highlighting talented new artists to pay attention to.
For the past couple of years, female rap has been my go-to music of choice, as it has addicting energy of assertiveness and self-defining luxury. Recently, I’ve been finding comfort in music influencing me to feel like my best self.
Here are four albums by female rappers that have been boosting my confidence lately:
CHIKA: INDUSTRY GAMES
INDUSTRY GAMES is CHIKA’s debut album. On this project, CHIKA speaks on her journey throughout her career thus far as well as her mission to continue creating a lane for herself in the music industry. CHIKA also mentions some of her own mental health struggles while dealing with oppressive expectations from others. In the song “Crown,” she offers empathy for listeners who also may be struggling with their mental health saying, “This is for the kids with depression. The one’s whose parental expectations got them stressin.” However, CHIKA continues to grind, which also encourages me to keep persevering when life gets hard. Overall, INDUSTRY GAMES reminds me having humility doesn’t negate reminding myself and everyone else- I’m all that and then some.
Megan Thee Stallion: Suga
Megan Thee Stallion’s fourth EP titled Suga is the epitome of confidence with just a dash of humility. She opens the EP with “Ain’t Equal” which recognizes all she’s lost while assuring fans of her willingness to still relentlessly grind. At the same time, with songs like “Savage,” “Captain Hook,” and “Rich” Megan reminds us she’s a boss b*tch with enough confidence to conquer the world while looking good doing it. I admire Megan, so anything she puts out, I support. Notably, SUGA prompts me to never forget I’m that B.I.T.C.H. and motivates me to be my best self.
Flo Milli: Ho, why is you here?
As previously mentioned, Flo Milli’s EP Ho, why is you here ? is the Alabama rapper’s debut within the mainstream music scene. Despite Flo Milli’s young age of just 21-years-old, she comes hard on this EP with her signature, paradoxical bubble-gum tone, and hyper-confident lyrics and delivery.
Flo Milli has expressed in her music her struggles with family support. However, she perseveres and is still doing well in making a name for herself within the industry. With how young she is, how dedicated she continues to be on her craft, and her confident attitude despite whatever setbacks she’s experienced, I have no choice but to stan. And trust me, after listening to this EP at least 10 times through, I stan Flo Milli harder than ever.
Qveen Herby: EP9
Qveen Herby, formally known as the pop duo Karmin, began making viral covers on Youtube alongside her now-husband Nick Noonan. In 2017, Qveen ditched her label to become an independent artist; in turn, she changed her look and sound to represent her more authentic self. Qveen’s ninth EP embraces the challenges she faced in terms of criticism from others as well as the differences that set her apart from other artists.
“Farewell,” the fourth song on the EP serves as an ode to her past and provides listeners with points of reflection regarding growth. Speaking directly to listeners she sings, “Never know you’re capable if you do not evolve. Give yourself some credit, self-improvement takes some balls.” Despite not knowing what the future would hold for her as an independent artist, Qveen took a chance on herself that has paid off immensely, providing a great lesson for myself and other fans of Qveen’s music.
Female rap has seen a resurgence in the past few years and rightfully so. Between all these artists, as well as other female rappers, the albums they’ve put out in 2020 emphasize self-discovery, confidence, humility, and success. This new generation of female rap is definitely helping me and other young people find our voice through difficult transitions in our lives. Overall, female rap has undoubtedly shaped my formative young-adult years and is quickly becoming a genre laying a foundation of the confidence necessary for the rest of my adulthood.
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