The hip-hop industry has been a male dominated industry ever since it’s conception in the late 1970s. While females in the hip-hop industry started rocking the mic right after – leaving their mark, bringing unforgettable bars, memorable lyrics, and a stage presence both brilliant and entertaining – it wasn’t until the ’90s that female rappers truly started receiving the respect they deserved. This new group, the first ladies of hip-hop – like Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Lil’ Kim – became icons and paved the way for the female rapper to remain a staple in the hip-hop industry. Their impact became a blueprint – from fashion and hairstyles, to sex appeal and self-expression – which has inspired every generation since.
“I fell in love with hip-hop going up in a world full of it. Hip-hop for me was everything, because the lyrics spoke about life, struggle, and the things that were going on around us. Hip-hop is more than just music, it’s a story and a lifestyle,” says hip-hop legend Trina, someone who is particularly grateful for those who came before her.
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Photography by J. Odell
Makeup by Dontae Fletcher
Hair by Selena Nah
Styled by Troy Clinton