“I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch”, booms throughout the speaker system within the bar, as the women in the bar rap along vicariously. This scene has played out in thousands of clubs, pubs, bars and more across the United States over the past four months which has colloquially become known as “Hot Girl Summer”. It almost feels as though it is the culmination of the previous few years of growth that female rap has experienced, with the artists tossing aside any sort of preconceived notions of what they should act or talk like. Instead they have taken over their own storyline, aided by the growth of social media and availability of the artist. They do what they want to do, how they want to do it, live the life they want to live and stunt how they want to stunt. The spigot has been turned on within the game, with many previously closed doors being finally opened to female artists and they have eagerly stepped through them, bringing a whole fresh side to hip-hop.
It was not long ago that it seemed like there was only a limited number of slots available for female rappers in the game, and if you weren’t ushered into the VIP section in the back of the club, you were left out in the cold. There was not much room for up and comers to experiment in regards to style and sound, industry executives creating a mold of that artist early on and updating the model with a new version every so often. This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t still incredibly high level artists held the Rap Queen spot, but there was not much room behind them for other artists to get enough attention to take their own run at the top. One by-product of this system was the lasting mark this had when it came to the artists themselves and how they all tried to carry themselves as a boss bitch. If anything, it has become a positive now as women come in with this attitude, full of confidence and as more and more of them make it, it becomes an established feature of being a female rapper, fearless to the core.
This increased space for female rappers at the top of the game has also infused a whole new dynamic of competition and drive into the artists who are banging it out for their name to be heard. The standard of bars has been elevated consistently by these up and comers, while they also seek to expand the genre in any direction they so choose. There are female drill rappers, lyrical, smokers, you name it, they have been able to finally fill into whatever space they choose that men had occupied for years and in many cases they have made a direct, immediate contributiuon to the culture. There is no longer masses vying for a golden ticket, trying to gain entry into the club, now these masses have been shown that through hard work and determination they can make it where they so desire as long as they adhere to the principles of the grind. Industry tastemakers have much less control over the artists image because its generally formed by the time it reaches them, which has been one of the reasons for this proliferation. Female rappers are here in a big way, and they will be here for a long while.