While rummaging through the vast virtual fields of the Internet for info on up-and-coming Latina MCs, one might feel a little discouraged. Browse through mixtape sites, specialized blogs, and music-matching services, and you might come up with very few names, and even then you might stumble upon those you already know.
It would be unwise to think that there are no new lady rhymers on the horizon. Women have been at it since the inception of hip-hop, so why is it so hard to find out about the next generation who might change the game?
There are, of course, some powerful rappers making the rounds and getting attention, but they seem to be more of an exception than the rule. From what we gathered, some of the best women MCs operate at an insular level, with perhaps a few buds and a small crew on their corner. Others, however, are part of feminist collectives, mentioned in hushed tones by their fans, while being adored by an enthusiastic minority. Latin hip-hop is still very much a segregated field.
For this list, we compiled 13 women making waves in hip-hop. Other than that, some have little in common with one another. A few sip champagne with the biggest names in pop, while others are close to their indigenous communities. A bright side demonstrated by this list is that Latina MCs are free to express their personalities and worries in all senses of the word, freeing the flow from clichés and compromise.
Most of the artists mentioned here hail from the U.S., which speaks volumes about the opportunities available in Latin American countries, where hip-hop is more of a niche market with far less activity, comparatively speaking. This has nothing to do with talent, but everything with exposure. This is a small sample of what’s going on, so we invite you to add whoever you feel deserves to be on our watchlist in the comments. –Marcos Hassan
Check out the official playlist to this article on Apple Music
Snow Tha Product
After growing up in California with an absent Mexican mariachi player father, Snow Tha Product focused her attention on music after minor brush-ups with the law. Snow has released a number of projects that have gained major traction and eventually led to her signing with Atlantic Records. Her music combines elements of her Mexican background with an old school 90s hip-hop sound, creating a unique style. Snow’s latest mixtape The Rest Comes Later has over 250K views on Datpiff, continuing to prove her rise in the industry. –Zoe Montano
With any song by Karol Conka, you’re always guaranteed high intensity and an in-your-face attitude. Leading the funk ostentação wave – the South American stepchild to U.S. hip-hop – it’s clear that Conka is combining the sounds of Brazil with present-day American rap. Known for her synth-heavy beats and catchy lyrics, Konka has already established herself through her hit record Boa Noite, and is on her way to making a global breakthrough. –Zoe Montano
Going in over typically grimy production, Puerto Rican rapper Audri Nix is able to convey an apparent emotion in her songs through the cadence of her voice. Nix’s ability to rap and sing allows her to effortlessly switch up her sound in a single track. This versatility has helped Nix form a blend of R&B and rap that will surely open doors for her in the future. Her debut EP El Nuevo Orden Vol. I is on the way, and will feature more trippy productions and passionate lyrics. –Zoe Montano
The Pharrell Williams protegé is on the rise, and she has everything it takes to make it big. Though we’ve covered Bia previously, her work is worth another mention because we have to emphasize her prowess as a venomous spitter, who recalls 90s queens of flow Lil Kim and Rah Digga. –Marcos Hassan
Snoop Dogg-cosigned rapper and Taylor Gang affiliate Raven Felix has stormed into hip-hop, showcasing a myriad of styles. She doesn’t shy away from fusing electronic music with hip-hop, like in her hit song “Lil Bad Bish.” Felix also has no problem getting on a classic hip-hop beat and ripping it to shreds. Her musical range will only allow her to keep growing as an artist, as she’ll be able to continually adapt and collaborate with artists from other genres. –Zoe Montano
Pearls Negras is a teenage trio hailing from Rio de Janeiro, promoting the trap-baile funk sound. Rapping and singing over high-paced beats, the trio makes music that is simply fun to listen to. Their enthusiasm is contagious and one can’t help but root for their success. Fresh off the heels of their music video release for “Meu Bem,” Pearls Negras have proven their marketability. –Zoe Montano
From her boom bap beats to her collaborations with artists such as Chris Rivers (Big Pun’s son), it’s clear that Nitty Scott is focused on the essence of the New York hip-hop sound. After moving to New York to build her career, she created the Boombox Family hip-hop movement to “preserve and progress hip-hop culture.” With an aggressive flow and lyrics that stay in the pocket of the beat, Nitty is a throwback to the rap greats of her city. She’s currently working on two new projects that will put her back in the game. If you’re tired of the mainstream sound currently sweeping the airwaves, Nitty Scott provides a refreshing reminder of hip-hop’s origins. –Zoe Montano
Mare Advertencia Lirika
The Oaxaca native of Zapoteca descent has become one of the fiercest and most fearless science-droppers in the underground. Her lyrics touch on political, social, feminist, and indigenous issues, and she’s got a stellar singing voice and even better battling skills. It would be amazing to see Mare Advertencia Lirika share a stage with La Mala or Ana Tijoux and wreak grammatical truth on concertgoers. –Marcos Hassan
The Argentine spitter has been gathering attention the old-fashioned way, taking one country on at a time with her talent. Sara Hebe released her first album La Hija del Loco in 2009, after which she relentlessly toured her home country, Brazil, Venezuela, and Chile. She’s no newcomer, per se, but her slow burn is paying off, aided in no small part by the heft of her wordcraft and her lively fusion sound. –Marcos Hassan
La Mulata is a New York-based spitter coming from the Top Dollar Entertainment crew. La Mulata has stood out with her Spanish remixes of hits like “Versace,” and “0 to 100,” but with two hard-hitting videos for original tracks, there’s no doubt that the quisqueyana has potential to make a name for herself in her own right. Her aggressive and lightning speed flow recall Nicki Minaj’s Beam Me Up Scotty days – a promising start for any up-and-coming rapper. –Isabelia Herrera
El Barrio’s Bonnie B is the First Lady of Bodega Bamz’s TANBOYS crew, and if you think Bodega Bamz can go hard, you haven’t heard Bonnie spit yet. The Boricua’s militant flow is complemented by her in-your-face, no-fucks-given attitude, the total package for any hip-hop artist making their way in the industry, especially a woman. I mean, this girl is posing with Beemers and rapping about getting her Uber driver blazed – all in her rolos. She’s definitely got what it takes to make it big, so be sure to keep your eye on her and the Tangirls crew. –Isabelia Herrera
In the grand tradition of bad bitch songstresses Trina, Lady, and Khia, Veronica Vega debuted earlier this year with “Pay Me,” a catchy-as-fuck anthem to bump when you’re feeling salty about all the men who’ve wronged you. The light-skinned Miami native drops the n-bomb liberally throughout the whole track, which is definitely questionable and pretty unforgivable. The track has plenty of quotables, though, most notably: “Each a bitch or somethin'” and “It must be the money ’cause it ain’t yo dick.” Words to live by, y’all. Trina herself jumped on a remix of the track, and with the OG bad bitch’s co-sign, it seems like Vega might have the potential to put out more than just a catchy and insensitive single. –Isabelia Herrera
Chilean-American emcee Nani Castle grew up on Staten Island and brings an outerborough grittiness to the mix, combining crisp beats, with political lyrics inspired by her Chilean exile father, and a celebration of femininity and pussy power. Her debut mixtape, The Amethyst Tape, was a collaboration with dance music producer & fellow Staten Island music maker Udachi, was an homage to her hometown hero Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and is worth a listen. Most recently, she teamed up with Nire and Maluca for feminist party anthem “Commie Mommie.” – Andrea Gompf