With a flurry of ferocious new female rappers breaking out and some of rap’s top performers finally receiving big-name recognition, it’s been a big year for women in hip-hop. Unfortunately, due to the continuous onslaught of new music to check out from an ever-increasing number of artists (crafting ever-longer collections of songs in an effort to game streaming service stats for additional sales), it’s easy to overlook great albums from great rappers, even if you’re actively looking for them.
From the “Invasion Of The Dolls” to Cardi B’s takeover of all things even tangentially related to rap, women are coming up in the game in a big way. While Cardi, Nicki Minaj, Rapsody, and pop acts like Beyonce and Rihanna lead the charge, a burgeoning underground movement includes raunchy rappers like Cupcakke and raspy rebels like Rico Nasty.
Here are just a few of the albums that have been released in 2018 that showcase the seismic shift in hip-hop opening doors for diverse voices and styles in a genre where women were formerly better known as video vixens than vicious spitters. Those days seem long past, rapidly washing away by the tides of time — here’s your chance to catch the wave or get left behind.