The Final Turn-Up: A Playlist of Up-and-Coming Female Rappers

Sadly, school resumes soon, meaning less time for students to turn up. So in the remaining week or two of summer, enjoy the loud bass, crude jokes, spit-fire raps and swelling vocals of these female rappers, who are somehow not household names—yet.

cupcakKe, “Cumshot”

CupcakKe first made waves back in 2015 when she released the raunchiest 3 minutes and 31 seconds of video that YouTube has ever streamed in the form of her music video, “Vagina.” A far cry from her days singing and reciting poetry at church, cupcakKe reaches a level of sex positivity and delightful shamelessness that even Rihanna has yet to achieve. The music video took an estimated $10.50 to produce, $5 for each star-shaped pasty on cupcakKe’s nipples and 50 cents for the cucumber she sucks throughout the video. Since this nasty little debut, cupcakKe has proved to be a surprisingly versatile artist. In her albums Audacious and Queen Elizabitch, which is certainly in the running for best album title, cupcakKe provides a Nicki Minaj-esque pop anthem to giving zero fucks in the song “33rd” as well as a protest song about racism in the police force in “Picking Cotton.” She still turns out the raunchy lyrics (but better production quality) that first got her attention in “Cumshot,” in which she brags about wearing her Kylie Jenner lipstick on her pussy lips.

Awkwafina, “My Vag”

There have been many times that I have wished for better friends, and most of those times were in my car when this song came on and my ungrateful passengers ridiculed it or even asked if they could hear something else (I’m talking to you Stephanie). You might recognize Awkwafina from MTV’s Girl Code or from news about her starring alongside a bunch of more famous people in the upcoming female-led Ocean’s Eight. But more importantly, she is a comedian/rapper who pokes fun at her Asian culture, NYC, queefing and Janet Reno on her album Yellow Ranger. Awkwafina’s humor and rap skill are worth losing friends over.

Azealia Banks, “THE BIG BIG BEAT”

Banks isn’t exactly up-and-coming; she busted into the hip hop scene with “212,” the best of the best in nasty boasting, rapid rants, and high-energy beats. Since then, she has become notorious for being kinda the worst: bullying on Twitter, supporting Trump’s campaign, picking fights with pretty much everyone. But throughout the shenanigans, she has continued to release some of music’s most delicious ear candy. Her 2014 debut full-length album Broke with Expensive Taste managed to both experiment with different genres and be incredibly catchy. Her most recent mixtape, Slay-Z, is less experimental but still has the angelic singing, bombastic raps and slick ‘90s house sounds that she has become known for. One of the standouts is dance anthem “THE BIG BIG BEAT.” Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long for her next release, Fantasea II: The Second Wave.

Lizzo, “Scuse Me”

There are many great mysteries in life, one of them being, how is Lizzo still not famous? Lizzo kills every stage she struts on with her backup dancers, The Big Girls. On Coconut Oil, she serves catchy pop jams with a sick flow, powerful voice and diva swagger. The biggest (but not big enough) song from the EP is “Good as Hell,” the ultimate feel-good song for women who have just gone through hell but are ready to treat themselves and face the world. However, I seem to be a sucker for songs about vaginas, so “Scuse Me,” an ode to masturbation, is the song I replay. The cheeky video mostly takes place in a church where she fans herself and sings the glory of masturbation while a preacher preaches about something that is probably unrelated. God bless Lizzo for treating female self-pleasure as a religious experience.

Kamaiyah, “Fuck It Up”

Most of the artists on the list are masters of pop anthems, but Kamaiyah serves raw hip hop in her 2016 mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto. Kamaiyah’s rapping is effortless, and the sound is understated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t catchy. It’s hard not to get one of her songs stuck in your head, especially playgirl song “Ni**as” and the party hit “Fuck it Up.” She was recently featured with Drake in YG’s “Why You Always Hatin?”

Kari Faux, “No Small Talk”

When Kari Faux’ “No Small Talk” played during the opening credits of the first episode of Insecure, I knew I had found my new favorite show. The far too few who are familiar with Kari Faux probably heard her first on Childish Gambino’s remix of “No Small Talk” on his mixtape STN MTN. Like Kamaiayah, Kari Faux has a no-fuss approach to hip hop, relying on her flow and her confidence instead of flashy pop sounds (not that there’s anything wrong with that). With a catchy hook (“Bitch I’m takin’ calls, no small talk”), “No Small Talk” is a tribute to gold diggers that compels all listeners to “make it bounce like Spalding.” Since the release of this gem off her 2014 mixtape Laugh Now, Die Later, she has come out with the album Lost En Los Angeles, which features chill tracks about the rapper’s relationships and attempts to find herself in Los Angeles after moving from Arkansas.

Rap continues to be male-dominated, but these under-the-radar female rappers can  liven up a party with faster raps, funnier one-liners and catchier beats than most popular rappers. Before hitting the books this fall, hit the dancefloor with their tunes.

Featured Image: Azealia Banks is actually more covered up than usual (Image source)

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