The Feminist Hip-Hop Playlist Every College Girl Needs – Bright Women
The Feminist Hip-Hop Playlist Every College Girl Needs

Women make up approximately 50.8 percent of the population in the United States, yet in 2010, there were only three female rappers signed to major labels. Oftentimes in music, especially in mainstream music, women are sung about. Most songs you hear on the radio are about women, yet many of them are not written or performed by women. The solution to this problem is not men writing less misogynistic lyrics — though that would obviously be great, it is not enough. Why? Because representation matters: in politics, movies, books, the media, music and any other area.

Like in politics, women’s thoughts, feelings and bodies are primarily discussed by men in music. Though it makes sense that some men would choose to write about women because of past relationships or interactions, just as some women write about men, women are often reduced to objects in popular songs, rather than people with their own desires, beliefs and hmm, maybe personalities? Women need outlets to tell their own stories. That way, we hear what women think, not just what men think of women.

While female artists cannot speak for all women, it’s important that women’s voices are heard. You know those strippers many male hip-hop artists seem to rap about? Wouldn’t it be cool to hear their stories from them, rather than from the men who ogle them?

While there’s still a lot of progress to make in terms of female representation, here are some great hip-hop songs by women to listen to on repeat.

U.N.I.T.Y. | Queen Latifah

“Every time I hear a brother call a girl a bitch or a ho, trying to make a sister feel low, you know all of that gots to go.”


Feeling Myself | Nicki Minaj and Beyonce

“I stopped the world, male or female, it make no difference.”


None of Your Business | Salt-N-Pepa

“How many rules am I to break before you understand that your double standards don’t mean shit to me?”


Treat Me Like Somebody | Tink

 “I just want somebody to treat me like somebody.” (Also check out “Tell The Children” by Tink, who focuses a lot on female empowerment and Black Lives Matter in her music)


I am Woman | MC Lyte

 “I am woman, hear me roar, comin’ out fresher and flyer than I did before.”


Believe Me | Rapsody

 “My soul mission was to rap and get paid too, be someone that these little girls look up to.”


Everything is Everything | Lauryn Hill

“Let’s love ourselves and we can’t fail to make a better situation.”


You Can’t Play with my Yo-Yo | Yo-Yo

 “I rhyme about uprising, uplifting the woman.”


Work It | Missy Elliot

 “Girls, girls, get that cash, if it’s 9 to 5 or shaking your ass, ain’t no shame, ladies do your thing.”


Borders | M.I.A.

“Freedom, ‘I’dom, ‘Me’dom, where’s your ‘we’dom?”

No Scrubs | TLC

“I don’t want your number, no, I don’t want to give you mine.”


Hotline Bling (Female Perspective) | Ceresia

 “You got exactly what you asked for. I’m running out of pages in my passport, hanging out with girls you’ve never seen before.”


 Hotline Bling is a catchy song, but its misogynistic lyrics can make feminists not want to like it. Ceresia’s version puts a spin on the song, letting Drake know that women can do whatever they want.

 “You got exactly what you asked for. I’m running out of pages in my passport, hanging out with girls you’ve never seen before.”


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