Female rap is getting a revival thanks to Nicki Minaj. The femcee is dominating music with her guest features and solo single “Your Love,” which became the first song by a female artist unaccompanied to reach No. 1 on the Rap Songs chart since Missy Elliott’s “Work It” in November 2002.
The Associated Press interviewed some of Minaj’s peers and collaborators, including Pharrell, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Eve, and Queen Latifah, to get their thoughts on her and female rap in general. Here’s what they had to say.
Pharrell: “I think since Nicki came out there’s going to be a lot of new girls coming out. There’s always one that paves the way and opens the door [and] I think she reopened the door to hip-hop for females.”
Ludacris: “Now that you have somebody that has pretty much her own style and does her own thing, people are gravitating toward it, so I think that makes her stick out ’cause she’s so different.”
50 Cent: “There’s not as many female rappers because there’s not as many emerging crews. When those new crews come up, there’s a potential for a female artist when the head of that crew sees the idea of bringing someone to speak from a female perspective.”
Eve: “Even though Nicki is representing for females period, she’s not representing for every female. She’s a specific type of entertainer. There are a lot of different kind of men out there representing for the males, and you need a lot of different females that represent for the different kinds of females. … Honestly, between [Lauryn Hill] and me and Nicki being out there, hopefully a lot of other females will be coming up.”
Queen Latifah: “Part of the reason hip-hop was dead is because there weren’t any female emcees out, really like in the forefront of hip-hop, playing on the radio, in the daytime, every day.”