How Nicki Minaj changed the game for femcees around the world.
From the Mercedes Ladies to Roxanne Shante, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, women have been ripping mics since the birth of hip hop. Their contributions to the culture were documented in the BET series My Mic Sounds Nice. So do the ladies really run this—or what?
In recent years, with female MCs like Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, Missy Elliot, Eve and Lauryn Hill out of the spotlight, Nicki Minaj has emerged as somewhat of a savior in what remains a male-dominated industry, showing that female rappers can be financially viable and revitalizing the prospects for "femcees" all over the world. With record-breaking numbers, "Barbie" has set the bar higher than ever, clocking more Billboard Top 100 entries in one year than any female rapper in history.
But of course, Nicki's success hasn't come without a good share of backlash. The Queen Bee herself, Lil Kim (pictured, right), made her feelings for Miss Minaj clear on her recent mixtape Black Friday, a play on Nicki's album Pink Friday. While the rapstresses throw words at each other, fans get to make up their own minds about who wins this battle. But one thing's for sure: Whether Nicki haters want to admit it or not, Miss Minaj and all of her eccentric personalities have changed the rules of the rap game and reopened doors that were closed to women for nearly a decade.
(Photo: Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup, Pat Johnson/Retna Ltd.)