The Year in Music 2023: Fresh female MCs showed up

While DrakeLil WayneDaBaby and 50 Cent had quite the year, 2023 saw the rise of women in rap. Here are a few breakout female artists who bursted onto the hip-hop scene and set the tone for the new generation of rap. 

Lola Brooke — The New York native let us know she’s not one to be played with. Although her breakthrough single, “Don’t Play Wit It,” was released in 2021, it increased in popularity over time thanks to social media. Along with dropping off the song’s remix with Latto and Yung Miami, this year she embarked on her first nationwide tour, was named in XXL‘s Freshman Class, performed for the first time at a BET Awards and dropped her debut studio album.

Ice Spice — Considered the queen of virality in 2023 for her catchy, anthem-like songs and her distinctive personal style, the drill rapper went from internet sensation to chart-topping, award-winning star. She joined the billionaire Barbie universe with a soundtrack single featuring Nicki Minaj, released her debut EP, landed nationwide partnerships and covered renowned magazines. 

Sexyy Red — Why does Big Sexyy get so much love? Because she’s her authentic self when she raps mostly sexually explicit lyrics about whatever comes to mind. After taking fans to “Pound Town,” the song that put her on the map, the Missouri trap star nabbed popular collaborations with Lil Durk, Nicki Minaj and Drake. 

Doechii — The genre-bending TDE artist from Tampa is all about making music that works across multiple genres. She earned Billboard‘s Rising Star Award, joined Doja Cat for her first arena tour and opened up for Beyoncé‘s Renaissance World Tour. 

Kaliii — Beloved for her carefree attitude and lyrics, the Georgia native released her viral hit “Area Codes,” which catapulted her to the top of charts and many people’s favorites list.

Lady London — She isn’t new to the rap game, but in 2023 London released her debut LP, signed with Def Jam Records and joined Team Timbaland for a memorable BET Hip Hop Awards cypher.

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