From Megan to Trina: The Raunchiest Women in Hip-Hop Represent
From twerking onstage in five-inch heels and fishnets, to pouring liquor down the throats of some of music’s most famous faces (Nicki Minaj and Lizzo, for example), Megan Thee Stallion’s meteoric rise in the rap game has truly been fun to watch. Her raunchiness has also managed to grab — and successfully keep — the world’s attention.
Not only did she enrich our lexicon with the catchphrase of the summer and grace this year’s XXL Freshman Class list, but the 24-year-old emcee unapologetically embraces her sexuality as passionately as she embraces her bars — carrying on the grand tradition of female rappers who push boundaries while making timeless records.
For example, Megan’s 2018 Tina Snow EP spawned the titillating “Big Ol’ Freak,” in which she lyrically celebrates her libidinous tendencies: “Pop it, pop it, daydreaming ’bout how I rock it/He hit my phone with a horse/So I know that mean come over and ride it.”
That dirty hit was Megan’s first entry into the Billboard Hot 100, but she’s been dropping bars and dropping it low against her share of criticism, too — a refrain that’s rather tired.
Earlier this summer, hip-hop titan Jermaine Dupri took to People TV to air his grievances when it comes to current female rappers in the game: “I feel like they’re showing us the same things. I don’t think they’re showing us who’s the best rapper. I think they’re trying to show — for me, it’s like strippers rapping.”
Cardi B, one of female rap’s most influential voices and a former stripper herself, immediately responded by defending her right to talk about sex.
Although rappers like Rick Ross can rhyme about being a fictional kingpin album after album without having the quality of their content questioned, it’s clear that female rappers are held to a much different standard. When Megan Thee Stallion isn’t being asked about her hair and body in interviews, she’s dodging online trolls commenting on her sexy persona. She ultimately took to Twitter to declare: “Y’all not use to a natural body and I can tell…Get use to it hoes BIG OLE NATURAL 36DDs.”
Megan isn’t the first woman in hip-hop to wax poetic about seeking pleasure — and, thanks to her growing influence, she won’t be the last. Before she hits the road alongside Meek Mill and Future for the Legendary Nights tour in August, TIDAL rounded up rap’s most groundbreaking women — and their raunchiest songs about sex. These ladies paved the way for Houston’s original hot girl.
Salt-N-Pepa: “Push It”
Rap’s illustrious trio blasted onto the scene in 1986 with their highly anticipated debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious. The record spurred hits like “My Mic Sounds Nice” and “Tramp,” but it was the release of “Push It” that literally thrusted Salt-N-Pepa into the limelight.
From its relentless synth-laced chorus to its bold and club-ready percussion, the lusty brilliance of “Push It” lies in its musicality as well as its lyricism. Although repetition is key to the song’s composition, the ladies have no problem getting straight to the point: “C’mon girls, let’s go show the guys that we know/How to become number one in a hot party show/Now push it.”
The infamous dance that accompanies the song also leaves very little to the imagination. Although the song was considered quite racy at the time, it garnered the group a Grammy nomination and helped them become the first female rap act to go platinum.
MC Lyte: “Ruffneck”
This renowned Brooklyn native pulled no punches with her 1993 song “Ruffneck.” The lead single from her fourth album, Ain’t No Other, is as crude as its title implies: Lyte explosively details the kind of lover she’s looking for.
Although mostly known for her terse enunciation of verses and the intense topics that saturate her songs, the emcee showed off her provocative side with “Ruffneck” and proved she’s just as red-blooded as other women lyricists: “Never questioning can he get buck wild/He’s gotta smack it, lick it, swallow it up style.”
Not only did it hit no. 1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart, the song managed to get Lyte a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance — she was the first female rapper ever to get that honor.
Da Brat featuring Tyrese: “What’chu Like”
This sultry, Tyrese-assisted R&B tinged joint was the second single from Da Brat’s 2000 album Unrestricted. The usually androgynous emcee cranked up the sex appeal — making it nearly impossible not to notice her.
The music video for “What’chu Like” showcased a bikini-clad Brat reciting her sexual fantasies to potential suitors who catch her eye. The slick and sly lyricist is very vocal about how she needs to be fulfilled: “And I like it sex and ecstasy/When the belt buckle loosen up/Undress me.”
Da Brat has never been one to mince words and “What’chu Like” was a natural extension of her singular style. It was also her final Billboard top 40 single.
Lil’ Kim: “Not Tonight”
Lil’ Kim’s classic discography is soaked in songs that prioritize gratification over the bruised egos and hurt feelings of men. Her 1996 debut album, Hardcore, treated sexual encounters in the same vein as her male predecessors: with unabashed vulgarity and a general disregard for the opinions of others (i.e. Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun” and Akinyele’s “Put it in Your Mouth”).
“Not Tonight” — in trademark Lil’ Kim fashion — painted oral sex for women as an ostentatious act necessary to keep them satisfied: “The only way you seein’ me is if you eatin’ me/ Downtown/Taste my love like Horace Brown.”
The remix of the song sampled Kool & The Gang’s “Ladies Night” and featured Missy Elliott, Da Brat, Angie Martinez and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — and became a top 40 hit.
Foxy Brown featuring Kelis: “Candy”
“Even though I’m sweet/Ain’t nuttin sweet/Let me know when you’re ready to eat.” Foxy, like Kim, also deemed it obligatory to make a song about her sweet spot and aptly titled it “Candy.”
Everything about the third and final single from her 2001 album Broken Silence is infectious. From its immaculate production by the Neptunes to its confectionary chorus performed by Kelis, “Candy” combined Foxy’s husky cadence with more luscious and synthy soundscapes.
The end product turned out to be one of the most fun and catchy songs of her career. Critics praised the single and it appeared on several Billboard charts.
Missy Elliott featuring Trina and Ludacris: “One Minute Man”
Missy Elliott’s mind knows no bounds when it comes to her execution of bars. However, on “One Minute Man” the emcee relied on sensual crooning to drive home the importance of, well, her lover’s longevity: “Now follow my intuitions/What you’re wishing/See I’mma keep you up all night/For a long time.”
The buoyant tempo of the song made it the perfect playground for Ludacris to brag about his staying power and for Trina to double down on her desires.
But for the remix, Missy recruited the one and only JAY-Z to boost the song’s bravado with one of his most famous verses: “I’m trying to give you 60 seconds of perfection/I’m trying to give you cab fare and directions/Get your independent ass out of here — question?”
Khia: “My Neck, My Back”
This Tampa native seemingly appeared from thin air when “My Neck, My Back,” the 2002 lead single from her debut album Thug Misses, took the hip-hop world by storm. Women in rap have been exploring sex in their songs for years, but Khia’s cool and casual flow felt incongruous on a track glorifying all kinds of foreplay.
The song’s composition, which consists of a looped low club beat, perfectly complements Khia’s frosty but crass word choice: “First you gotta put your neck into it/Don’t stop/Just do it/Do it/Then you roll your tongue/From the crack back to the front.”
Artists like Miley Cyrus and Saweetie have done their own renditions of the song, but neither were able to capture the magic of its originator. Khia hasn’t managed to emulate the success of “My Neck, My Back,” but the song has nestled itself nicely into the pop culture canon.
Shawnna: “Gettin’ Some”
Disturbing Tha Peace protégé Shawnna had quite the anthem on her hands with 2006′s “Gettin’ Some.” As the first single from her second album, Block Music, the song serves as an ode to oral sex.
While it boldly samples Too $hort’s “Blowjob Betty,” Shawnna’s syrupy inflection makes her lyrical delivery more smooth than brash — but she still manages to get dirty with the details: “And now we got ‘em/hey lil mama, can you give me a sec/I got a little somethin somethin bout as big as yo legs.”
The song’s popularity allowed Shawnna to receive her first platinum certification as a solo artist.
Trina featuring Killer Mike: “Look Back at Me”
No one does hip-hop quite like Trina. The Miami-born Diamond Princess has vocalized her sexual demands over the course of six albums for the last 20 years. “Look Back at Me,” from 2008’s Still Da Baddest, finds the rapper not just trying to eclipse Killer Mike with dirty talk, ultimately, she’s trying to outdo Trina.
Innuendo and nuance have never been her forte and on this particular song she reminds listeners that sordidness is her strong suit: “Licky, licky, licky, licky, licky for an hour/I’mma make it rain for you/Here’s a golden shower.”
Her latest record, The One, was released earlier this year and affirms that Trina is still as risqué — and unruly — as ever.
Nicki Minaj: “Anaconda”
“Anaconda,” the 2014 smash single from Nicki Minaj’s third album The Pinkprint, cleverly interpolates Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 hit “Baby Got Back.” Not only does “Anaconda” serve as an ode to women with curvaceous figures but reveals Nicki’s storytelling abilities when it comes to sharing salacious sexual trysts.
From detailing just how well-endowed her lovers are to specifically naming the sexual acts that they engaged in, the rapper decided that nothing was off limits on one of the most popular songs in her arsenal: “He toss my salad like his name Romaine/And when we done I make him buy me Balmain.”
Nicki’s last record, 2018’s Queen, reiterated her proclivity for carnal phrases and the robust imagery that accompanied them.
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