Female rappers are just as notorious these days as men are for flaunting their massive wealth in everyone’s faces. While males have traditionally dominated hip hop, there have been plenty of standout female rappers who helped change the game and move the genre forward. In this article, we’ll look a the 25 richest female rappers in the world.
1. Nicki Minaj – $150 million
In all honesty, it’s impossible to have avoided hearing her music since whether it is Super Bass, Starships, or Anaconda, it’s absolutely everywhere. Viral internet crazes, memes, and top 40 radio, certainly.
On top of that, Minaj has included voice-acting roles in films like Ice Age: Continental Drift and The Angry Birds Movie 2. While she is the first female artist to land 100 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Nicki Minaj is an international music star, landing song after song on charts worldwide.
2. Cardi B – $80 million
Cardi B started her career as an influencer on Vine and Instagram, gaining some notoriety on the VH1 show Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta, but rose to the top of the hip hop world when she released her single Bodak Yellow.
Her debut studio album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and won her the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, making her the first female to win the award as a solo artist.
Bodak Yellow itself made her the second female rapper to top the Hot 100 with a solo song and was eventually certified diamond by the RIAA. She’s the only female rapper with two diamond certifications and Billboard named her their Woman of the Year in 2020. Outside of music, Cardi B has served as the creative director for Playboy magazine.
Recommended: Rappers with the most Grammy wins
3. Queen Latifah – $70 million
Pretty much anyone will recognize Queen Latifah. Rapper, singer, actress, and comedian, she can do anything she sets her mind to. Her music career took off in the early 90s with songs like Ladies First and U.N.I.T.Y., and she was so great during the decade she performed at the N.F.L. Super Bowl Halftime Show in 1997, becoming the first female rapper ever to do so.
That impressive music career was almost just a stepping stone for the Queen, though, becoming a ridiculously successful actress and starring in films like Hairspray, Scary Movie 3, and Beauty Shop.
4. Bhad Bhabie – $52 million
Look, you know Bhad Bhabie as the “cash me outside girl” from Dr. Phil. Well, she was able to flip that entire viral memeable affair into a successful rap career thanks to all the attention it brought to her. She became the youngest female rapper to ever appear on the Billboard Hot 100 with These Heaux in 2017, peaking at number 77 on the chart and earning her a deal with Atlantic Records.
Sometimes I guess it really pays to be an outrageous child. She’s also worked commercially and signed deals with makeup companies and other sponsorships to help build her success, truly a person who was able to capitalize on being a viral sensation.
5. Missy Elliot – $50 Million
Missy Elliot was one of the original Queens of rap, beginning her music career in the R&B group Sista before launching a solo career and releasing the successful Supa Dupa Fly album in 1997.
That album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting album for a female rapper at that time. She’s released a ton of hit rap songs, winning numerous awards for her work in music that induces a Grammy Award for Best Female Rap Solo Performance. If that isn’t enough, Missy Elliot became the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
6. Bahamadia – $32 million
Bahamadia might not be a name you’ve heard of before. She began her career as a DJ in Philadelphia before releasing her debut album, Kollage, in 1996.
In 2000, she released an independent extended play, BB Queen, and has released a few other singles and a full-length album in the years since. Two of her singles, Uknowhowwedo and I Confess broke into the Top 20 of the Hot Rap Songs chart, both from her Kollage album. She’s had an extensive history as a supporting artist on other albums and singles, making her an incredibly in-demand vocalist.
7. Iggy Azalea – $15 million
A lot of Iggy Azalea’s music has been divisive among critics and fans of the hip hop world, but what can’t be debated is that she’s been a wild success. She’s the only act other than The Beatles to have two debut songs rank number one and two on the Hot 100 charts simultaneously with Fancy and Problem. Problems with management at her record labels led to her launching her own label in 2019 called Bad Dreams.
Four Grammy Award nominations, a People’s Choice Award, and three Billboard Music Awards sum up the rapper’s accolades pretty well, but her official YouTube channel racking up 3.4 billion views is also a testament to her success in the industry.
8. Sandra Denton – $15 million
Sandra Denton might not be a name you recognize until you figure out she was the Pepa in the female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa. That group had a great run together, releasing five studio albums in total. She’s starred in several reality shows, appeared in a couple of sitcoms, and been the subject of a few documentaries on top of her time as a music artist.
9. Cheryl James – $14 million
Just behind is Salt half of the Salt-N-Pepa Cheryl James. Unlike her partner Sandra Denton, Cheryl James didn’t have a substantial TV career, appearing in the Salt-N-Pepa documentary but not finding roles in popular shows and sitcoms.
10. M.I.A. – $14 million
One of the few rappers on this list to not be born in or living in the US, M.I.A. is a British rapper ad singer that specializes in hip hop, electronic, and dance music. She started out as a visual artist and filmmaker but began her recording career in 2002.
M.I.A. is one of the first acts to gain serious notoriety using the internet to promote herself, finding fame with early underground singles like Sunshowers and Galang. Her most recognized single is probably Paper Planes, which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over four million copies. She got her first number one on that chart in 2020 as a featured artist on Travis Scott’s Franchise.
11. DJ Spinderella – $10 million
DJ Spinderella is our third entry from the hip hop group Salt-N-Pepa, with SPinderella serving as the DJ and third member of the group. She is featured just as prominently as the other two members in the documentary of the group and occasionally appeared on The Salt-N-Pepa Show on VH1. Her acting career saw her appear in both Kazaam and Stay Tuned in the 90s.
12. Eve – $10 million
Eve released her debut album, Let There Be Eve… Ruff Ryders’ First Lady in 1995, making it to number one on the Billboard 200 and making her only the third female rapper to accomplish that feat. The album would go double platinum and produce several hit singles. She had a legitimate music career before turning her eye to the acting world and starring in all three Barbershop movies and playing supporting roles in a few TV shows and films.
13. MC Lyte – $8 million
MC Lyte is one of the pioneers of the female rap game, rising to fame in the early 80s and becoming the first female rapper to ever release a full album as a solo artist. A pioneering figure in hip hop, her career saw her release eight solo studio albums and collaborate with some of the biggest names in the hip hop world.
She’s gone on to also work as a DJ, actress, and producer, but her charity work is where she shines. Her own foundation, Hip Hop Sisters is one of her most important ventures.
14. Megan Thee Stallion – $8 million
Megan Thee Stallion first gained attention as a freestyle rapper on Instagram, earning her a deal with 300 Entertainment in 2018. Her debut mixtape Fever and extended play Suga both broke the top ten of the Billboard 200.
Her two best-charting songs were a remix of her single Savage featuring Beyonce and her feature on WAP from Cardi B. Her single Thot Shit broke into the Top 20 in the US and earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Performance. If you ever wondered where the phrase “hot girl summer” came from, it was from Megan, who has the trademark on the phrase.
15. Trina – $6 million
Trina initially rose to fame when she was a featured artist on a Trick Daddy single. XXL magazine has listed her as perhaps the most consistent rapper of all time and Billboard featured her on their list of the 21 Female Rappers Who Changed Hip Hop. In total, Trina has received ten nominations at the BET Awards, with nine of them for Best Female Hip Hop Artist. Her Diamond Doll Foundation aims to help young girls through typical life struggles and works closely to help organize the Jingle Bell Toy Drive for children in South Florida.
16. Remy Ma – $4 million
Remy Ma came up as a member of Fat Joe’s group Terror Squad. She’s one of only four people to win the BET Award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist multiple times, taking it in both 2005 and 2017.
17. Saweetie – $4 million
Saweetie found success with her debut single Icy Girl in 2017 before releasing her debut extended play, High Maintenance Woman in 2018. Her song My Type broke into the Top 40 and her two teaser singles for her 2022 album Pretty Bitch Music both made it into the Top 20.
18. Foxy Brown – $3 million
Foxy Brown signed a deal with Def Jam in 1996 and released Ill Na Na later that year. The album would sell over seven million copies worldwide, but her album Chyna Doll made her the second female rap artist in history to debut atop the Billboard 200.
19. Da Brat – $3 million
Da Brat began her career in 1992 and her debut album, Funkdafied, made her the first female solo rap act to earn a platinum certification, with her being the second female act overall to do it after Salt-N-Pepa.
20. Azealia Banks – $3 million
Azealia Banks got started by releasing music through her MySpace account, earning a deal with XL Records in 2008. Much of her work has received critical acclaim for mixing rap, pop, electronic music, and dutch house music together. 212 is her best song and one that both Rolling Stone and Billboard named as one of the defining songs of the decade in the 2010s.
21. Young M.A – $2 million
Young M.A. is one of the youngest entries on the list and one you should keep your eye on. Her first single OOOUUU went quadruple platinum and made it into the Top 20 of the Hot 100. She’s gone on to star in ads for Google, Beats by Dre, and Pandora. Forbes 30 under 30 featured her in their 2018 edition.
22. Kash Doll – $2 million
Kash Doll is best known for her collaborations with Meek Mill, Iggy Azalea, and Big Sean, as well as her singles For Everybody and Ice Me Out.
23. Lil Kim – $700,000
Lil’ Kim got her music career started in freestyle rap circles, eventually getting her noticed by The Notorious B.I.G. who invited her to join his group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Her debut solo album has sold over six million copies worldwide and went double platinum, with the highest debut for a female rap album at the time of release. In 2021, Lil Kim was listed on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in music at number 45. In total, she’s sold over 30 million singles and 15 million albums worldwide.
24. Angel Haze – $500,000
Angel Haze has released several mixtapes and an album, Dirty Gold. A writer at the BBC ranked Reservation as the sixth-best mixtape of 2012.
25. Roxanne Shanté – $500,000
Roxanne Shanté is best known for her role in the Roxanne Wars, a hip hop dispute in the 80s that saw two Roxannes booked for the same venue. She also spent time as part of the Juice Crew and the 2017 film Roxanne Roxanne is a drama-laden retelling of her life.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
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