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

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.