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Female Rappers: Sex vs Skill

Submitted by on December 11, 2009 – 11:06 am25 Comments

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The Female Rapper has a long history. It’s been debated and written about many times. People discuss the seemingly feminist and “woman power” movement of the Queen Latifah days. Then par for the course is to subsequently discuss the fall of the Female Rapper. The days of Lauryn Hill breaking it down for you again and saying things because she’s truly genuine and warning women that they shouldn’t be a hard rock when they really are a gem are gone.  Thus, we are left with the overly sexed-up faux-female rapper. Right? Maybe… You tell me. Here are the contenders.

Nicki Minaj


Nicki Minaj aka I’m not writing all her pseudonyms is obviously at the forefront of most of our minds when we think of the Female Rapper. Whether you like her or not we can definitely agree she’s the most popular right now. The question is, “Is Nicki Minaj more sex or skill?” This will be a tougher one to answer than some of the following rappers strictly because some will say she’s popular purely because of her sex appeal and will insinuate it can’t be skill because Lil Wayne ghost writes all her stuff. Let’s go ahead and assume she’s writing her own material. Then, is it her sex appeal or is it her raw emcee abilities?



Not to bias the reader, but it was really hard to find a picture of Trina that didn’t scream SEX. With that said, she’s released four albums and of those, 3 are top 10. 2002′s Diamond Princess was number 14 overall in the US and number 5 on the Rap/R&B charts. 2005′s Glamorest Life was number 11 in the US charts and number 2 on Rap/R&B. 2008′s Still Da Baddest was number 6 on the US charts and number 1 on the Rap/R&B charts. Sex or skill? I don’t know but she definitely has sales.

Lil Kim


Can I just continue giving myself props for finding these relatively classy pictures? As one of my cohorts commented, “Just Google Image any female rapper and the sex appeal is going to be obvious.” This is true. I do believe that in order to be a female rapper you have to have some sex appeal. Many would say this is why some female rappers don’t make it. They choose to not be “sexy” and instead just showcase their 100% talent. Is this Lil Kim? A lot of people would be quick to say no. But, could this sexy image just be a genius marketing ploy? I mean she was running with the Notorious B.I.G. and Junior M.A.F.I.A. Her first album went double platinum, her next two went platinum. You go gold when you’re only selling sex. Platinum when you actually have something to say.

Bottom line: If you’re a female rapper you’re more than likely going to have to sell sex to get in the business. The question is whether or not these ladies’ appeal ends there. I know there are some major players missing here. Eve, Foxy Brown, and Missy Elliot just to name a few.

So people of Dr. Jays, it’s time to discuss. Do Nicki Minaj, Trina, and Lil Kim have more sex or skill? Are they strictly selling sex appeal or are they selling their skill as a rapper? Who else should be currently mentioned in the same breath as these ladies?

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