In a genre that is filled with comparisons to yesteryear and an endless discussion on who is deemed ‘The Greatest’, it is refreshing to see some female MC’s be thrust into the conversation. Soulful songstress/rapper Lauryn Hill was recently named as one of the 10 greatest rappers of all time by Billboard, joining the esteemed company of Kendrick Lamar, Biggie Smalls, and Jay-Z, and now Queen Latifah, one of the stalwarts of the genre in her own right, has taken the opportunity to laud the accomplishments of Nicki Minaj, who continues to push the boundaries and fly the flag for equality.
At a recent recording of the VH1 Big in 2015 With Entertainment Weekly ceremony, Queen Latifah was quick to point out the influence that Nicki has made on not only the genre, but the culture and society around her.
“You’ve become an inspiration to women everywhere. I love how you’re never afraid to speak your mind. You’re a strong woman, you refuse to be backed into a corner.”
“You’ve established yourself as one of the greats. No one can take that away from you.”
Nicki Minaj has clearly become a champion of the cause, from calling out reporters for their offensive lines of questioning, to delivering a heartfelt and tearjerking tribute to Maya Angelou and her famous Still I Rise poem. Her efforts have not only been noticed by Queen Latifah; Minaj has been rewarded in the form of a nomination for TIME Person of the Year.
It’s times like this when we have to take a step back and realise the sheer talent of the female MC’s that are currently amongst our generation; Nicki is leading the charge while up and comers such as Dej Loaf and Rapsody are bringing their own unique skillsets, sounds and personas to a genre that is still in desperate need of a greater female presence.