UK Female Rappers Appreciation: IWD

Minou Itseli

By Minou Itseli

Minou Itseli

8 Mar 2019

Here come the girls (Girls, girls, girls-girls)

Considering its women’s history month, this post is all about appreciation and gratitude to the fellow female artists that have come before us and females that are grabbing our attention.

The rap scene is so male-dominated, you can name several male rappers. But, if I ask you to name me at least five female rappers. Most definitely, you would name a lot of US female rappers. If I ask you again name me five UK female rappers, it will be a thinking process. It’s a limited industry when it comes to females although for UK female rappers it’s another obstacle.

Throughout the whole week, I asked a question on my social media (@mdaixo__) – Who is your favourite UK female rapper? There were various names from Ms. Dynamite, Shystie, Ms. Banks, Lady Leshurr, Lioness, Stefflon Don, OG Niki, Nadine Rose, Little Simz, Nolay And many more. A lot of people have realised the UK scene is limited.


Let’s break it down and show appreciation of what each artist brought in to the UK rap scene.

Ms. Dynamite 

Dy-na-mi-tee. She only released two studio albums but her contribution towards the UK scene is still paved the way. She was the first black women to have won the Mercury Prize in 2002 for her debut album, A Little Deeper. Let alone, the track ‘Envy’ her verse is still one of the best verse from a UK female rapper.

We know the industry is very male-dominated. Ms. Dynamite mentioned, “We were standing shoulder to shoulder with over 25 men. As girls, no one was gonna give us the mic but something in me made me push to the front, grab the mic, and just start MCing,”

Ms Dynamite – Dy-Na-Mi-Tee

Lady Leshurr

The Brum-born star is known for her ludicrous lyrics. All eyes were on her when released she a cover of Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” where she altered the lyrics to Busta Rhymes raps and completely grabbed everyone’s attention. It was so viral she was offered a recording contract with Universal Records.

She continued her reign with the “Queen’s Speech” series which went viral also and has now over 66 million views on Youtube and another 19 million plays on Spotify.

She mentioned in an interview, “There are more females in the industry but it’s still hard. Men just don’t like being told what to do…But there is nothing you can do about it, you just have to work ten times harder to make it.”

But it doesn’t stop the star, she continues to release visuals, freestyles and have the support from her peers.

Lady Leshurr – Look at Me Now freestyle

Stefflon don 

Stefflon Don has taken it to different heights this past year. She is co-signed with QC, with the likes of Cardi B, Lil Baby, Migos, City Girls and Lil Yachty. Last year she blew up commercially with the track Hurting Me. However, she first turned heads with the “Lock Arff (Remix),” collaborating with Inch of Section Boyz.

Stefflon Don’s effortless way of showcase her talent she goes give us Jamaican vibes as well as ruthless aggression hardcore rap. Stefflon Don consistent bops are really making it clear she is not going anywhere anytime soon. She already worked with Giggs and Lethal Bizzle, she’s also begun to get noticed by the U.S., collaborating with French Montana Jeremih and the likes of Lil Kim and Drake.

Stefflon Don – Oochie Wally freestyle

OG Niki

The teenager who wore a light blue t-shirt and two big silver hoops captured our attention. Her first bar, “Get fucked from the back screaming la, la, la. I fucked six man on a camera.”

OG Niki was surely before her time, especially how sex sells in the music scene but at the time it was definitely a big shock. Rather people directing their attention on her potential, wordplay, and flow. Majority of us focused on her sexuality this actually contributes to why OG Niki faded somewhat into obscurity.


Ms Banks 

Ms Banks is really clutching our attention. Nicki Minaj shouted her out, few days she cooked up some music with the legendary Will.i.am in LA, she joined Little Mix on stage at the Brit Awards.

The crowd favourite steadily been on the rise for a while and is due to blow up in 2019. She’s unquestionably proven her talent to rap, which is very apparent in her first BBC 1Xtra Fire in the Booth and SBTV freestyle.

Ms Banks has an admirable versatility in her strategy. Whether she’s spitting about on ‘Hood Bitch’ or she is giving vibes on ‘Snack’ or she is bopping her way with Little Mix. This definitely the year Ms Banks will blow commercially.

BBC 1Xtra tells “how you would define x-factor as being that certain something that you can’t quite put your finger on…I think Lioness has got it in bucket loads.”

Ms Banks – Hood Bitch

Nadia rose

She performed at Glastonbury, she had her own advert with Barclays. The space bun’s favourite, Nadia Rose, combines the tradition grime into her sound this emphasises the electric vibe throughout.

The track, Skwod, indicating the Spice Girls as an inspiration, she’s part of a movement of female artists that are lighting up the scene.

Besides her talent, her cheeky persona and her live shows are so appealing this where she captures everyone. Even have the likes of Rihanna. Rihanna stated she is ‘An inspiration. Thank you for the love and thank you for sharing your gift with me!..’ in her Instagram conservation with Nadia.

Keep an eye on collaboration between the two stars

Nadia Rose – Skwod


The South East Londoner is truly gifted. Lioness became first lady of the Mastermind Trooperz. At the time the young MC had a lot of people’s attention. Lioness had many radio sessions and appearances, from On Top FM and Raw Blaze. Therefore getting loyal underground audience, to Radio 1, Kiss 100 and 1Xtra.

The MOBO mentioned her as “One of the leading ladies in grime, her skills match that of any of her male counterparts.”

The Guardian states “Lioness, One of The UK Undergrounds most respected female lyricist.”

BBC 1Xtra tells “how you would define x-factor as being that certain something that you can’t quite put your finger on…I think Lioness has got it in bucket loads.”

Lioness – Everyting Mad

C cane

C Cane stated ‘When people see me, they tend to feel intimidated’. Yes, when you have the talent and you are a female the rap scene will see you as a threat.

She quoted in an interview, “In secondary school, the boys used to be like: ‘I can do this, I can do that, what can you do?’ That motivated me to pick up all these instruments. I was like, ‘cool, I’m going to prove you wrong.’”

C Cane’s tongue-twisting rap style amazed many grime fans. The north Londoner has overcome acoustic tracks, grime and has been given her own platform on Reprezent.

C Cane – Gimme Grime freestyle

Little simz 

The fact that Little Simz is still underrated in an industry where less gifted artists are given a larger platform. Complex listed her as one of the ’18 Most Underrated Rappers Right Now’ in 2018.

She is clearly inspired by Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott. Yet, talent speaks for itself and she has artists support like Lauryn Hill, Gorillaz, and Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar stated she is “the illest doing it right now”.

Little Simz just released a new color session and she has been having a lot of positive feedback. We definitely keep an eye on this star.

Little Simz – Vemon


Nolay grabbed our attention with the track ‘Orthodox daughter’ back in 2005. Till this day many people still discuss her contribution to the time scene.

Her first wheel up on stage was with Crazy Titch and Ghetts. She stated, “A woman can’t just be great.” This is what the post is all about, to shed some light to the female rappers.

She mentioned in an interview “There’s always a man you’re comparing them to. Every now and then I might dress up, have a nice photoshoot, but when you strip everything back what I do is really raw. It’s straight to the point, no fucking about. I’m not trying to be ladylike or classy with it, and I feel like it’s a problem for people when a woman’s like that on the mic – when it’s just straight-to-the-point bars. But it’s not a problem when it’s a man. I feel like if I was a guy, I’d be a lot further in my career.”

No Lay – Unorthodox Daughter


‘I grew up in H-town living life on the blocks’.

The track ‘One Wish’, truly raised eyebrows in the scene for Shystie. She continues to showcase her talent with her version of Dizzee’s I Luv U. Shystie has the ‘it’ factor from the flow and bars. She signed to Polydor and released a debut album, Diamond In The Dirt. However, like several rappers especially females when sign to a major label, they always detach the artist with their art this is where listeners are confused and the music is neglected. Despite that, her project, Pink Mist, peaked at number 4 in the UK Chart.

Shystie – One Wish

The list can go on and on. We can all agree these ladies are truly talented and gifted. So, tell us your thoughts if you agree or have other female rappers you would like to hear.

Check out articles like ‘Where are the women in music?’

and the Interview with the talented Kamilla Rose

Thank you.