Hey ladies? Rolling Stone accidentally forgets about women in hip-hop

So Rolling Stone came out with a ‘50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time’ list this past week. Though the list includes much hip-hop greatness, there are more than a few oddities — Gang Starr, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Pharcyde don’t make the cut, they tacked B.O.B. by Outkast on at number 50 when they could snuck in Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik instead (boooooo), 50 cent is in there but not Souls of Mischief/Hiero, Dead Prez, Fugees, or KRS-One AND they put freakin’ Hypnotize on there — Biggie’s most only annoying track (No forum! Anyway, they already included Juicy so there is no real need to add Hypnotize just because it’s poppy. There are far better tracks to include if they want to put Biggie on the list twice, which I could totally get behind). If they called the list ’50 Most Popular Hip-Hop Songs of All Time’ they could justify some of their choices (like the two Jay Z tracks they chose) a little better than they are able to under the ’50 Greatest’ umbrella, but anyway, blah blah blah whine whine. The internet could argue about this every day for the rest of their lives. And they will. The point is, boring-ass Eminem has TWO tracks (and they doubled up on several other male artists) on there but they couldn’t manage to find more than three female artists to feature on a list of 50. THREE (Lauren Hill, Missy Elliot, and Salt n’ Pepa).

To counter Rolling Stone‘s efforts to ignore women in hip-hop, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites. Also, please do go ahead and check Davey D’s post on this “glaring omission of women” and his adds (Queen Latifah and Roxanne Shante anybody?), as well as the 20 classic female-fronted hip-hop tracks Tom Hawkins over at Flavorwire figures could have been included.

Now, this isn’t to say that I would necessarily expect all of my favs to be included in any ‘Best of All Time’ list, rather I just think, when it comes to traditionally male-dominated industries, it’s necessary to make an extra effort to rep for the ladies. It’s far too easy to let the boys continue their reign. Also, since I don’t have the audacity to say ‘greatest’, y’all can’t argue with me, cool?

MC Lyte – Lyte as a Rock (1988)

Salt n’ Pepa – None of Your Business (1993)

Da Brat – Funkdafied (1994)

Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing) (1998)

Jean Grae – My Crew (2003)

Missy Elliot – Gossip Folks (2003)

Isis – Ask a Woman (2006)

Rye Rye – Shake it to the Ground (2006)

Invincible – Sledgehammer (2007)

Tiye Phoenix – Killin’ Everybody (2009)

Angel Haze – Werkin Girls (2012)


Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Grackle

    Thanks so much for posting this great collection of songs. I’ve been trying to find some more female artists to listen to and I do like hip-hop. I’ve listened to the Missy Elliot song, like, 15 times since you posted it, haha.

  • Helen

    Maybe there just happened to be 50 songs made by men that were more popular than those made by women? But no that’d be crazy. Btw, women lead men in top 50 greatest pop songs. So please give it a rest.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Maybe men just happened to be smarter and more deserving of every position of power in the history of ever.

      But you make a good point. Feminism is dumb and if women are invisible, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good, unpatriarchy-related reason for that. You know, like how women are just bad at things.

      Thanks for your contributions, Helen!

      Re: your literacy problem: This wasn’t a list of the 50 most popular hip hop songs.

      • Helen

        I said none of the following: “Feminism is dumb and if women are invisible, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good, unpatriarchy-related reason for that. You know, like how women are just bad at things.”

        Maybe it is you with the literacy problem.

        • Helen

          In fact, It is you who said that. Stop belittling women Meghan.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ooooo nice detective work, Helen! Cancel my feminist card! Helen discovered my secret sexist shame 🙁

          • Helen

            Just call me Batwoman.

          • Helen

            By the way love the use of alliteration with “secret sexist shame.”

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ok I’m bored of you now. Happy holidays and go away.

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  • Ryan

    Don’t forget about Floetry – Floetic