#5 - Shystie
Shystie is a grime artist from the UK, where she's toured with The Streets and also stars in a TV series called Dubplate Drama, which is all about how hard it is to be a bad-ass female emcee. Rumor has it she eats the testicles of Dizzee Rascal for breakfast every morning. Don't worry. He re-grows them. Like that Greek myth where Prometheus steals fire from the Gods and is punished by being chained to a rock and having a giant eagle eat out his liver every night.
# 4 - Queen Latifah
Sure, she hasn't been doing much musically lately, but she is and always will be The Queen. She's awesome enough that I'll forgive her for Bringing Down the House. Which, if you've ever seen it, hopefully you'll agree with me that it's a terrible terrible movie. Also "Ladies First" is the one of the best Girl Power songs of all time. Fo sho.
# 3 - Lady Sovereign
What can I say about Lady Sovereign? Another export from the UK, she is, by her own admission, "the biggest midget in the game". She's loud, in your face, rude, and could probably out-drink and out-swear your crazy, alcoholic Uncle Phil. Also, she might not have the biggest breast-esses but she writes all the best disses! There is something about her crassness that I find utterly captivating and strangely adoreable.
# 2 - MC Lyte
MC Lyte has been rapping since the late 1980s and was a pioneer for women in hip-hop. Many female rappers today probably owe her a great debt. She's a phenomenal lyricist. She also appears to have a blog, I've discovered! Check out "Ruffneck".
# 1 - Missy Elliot
Do I really need to explain this one? Nah, didn't think so. Instead of a brief explanation on why Missy Elliot is so frickin' awesome, I will instead offer this quote from my AP English teacher, Mr. Ketch:
"Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes need to get married and have babies. And those babies will be the best rappers EVER."