Black Female Artists You Should Be Listening to Besides Beyoncé and Rihanna

By Linnea Rosenberg

Whether or not you’re the biggest Beyoncé or Rihanna fan, you have to admit that these two fiercely black female artists are no “one hit wonders.” With Bey’s “Formation” fueling the Black Lives Matter movement and her recent drop of new album “Lemonade,” as well as the Barbadian singer’s album “ANTI” hitting number one on the Billboard 200 chart, there is no doubting their immense political and social influence as musicians and powerful women of color. Everyone knows their music is catchy; I know I’m not the only one who drops whatever I’m doing when “Bitch Better Have My Money” plays on the radio. However, as someone who is eternally on the hunt for up-and-coming female electronic and hip-hop/rap artists, I find my Spotify playlists spilling over with an eclectic amalgam of contemporary and classic bangers from a range of women artists of color.

Below is just a sampling of a few of my favorite and most-listened tracks. Don’t worry—Beyoncé and Rihanna aren’t going anywhere. These women below go just as hard, if not harder, than the top chart’s reigning queens. Give the following songs a chance if you need a boost while jogging on the treadmill at the Field House, taking a shower in the early morning, or letting loose on weekday night instead of doing important research for your final papers.

  1. Kamaiyah – “How Does It Feel
  2. JLin – “Unknown Tongues
  3. Amber London – “Nebula
  4. Sasha Go Hard – “Girl Code
  5. Tink – “Million
  6. Angel Haze – “Babe Ruthless
  7. Junglepussy – “Now Or Later
  8. Kelela – “All The Way Down
  9. Erykah Badu – “Soldier
  10. Dai Burger – “Class President
  11. Lil Kim – “Queen Bitch
  12. Audra the Rapper – “No.Body

[Editor's note: Angel Haze, while formerly considered a black female artist, identifies as agender. Of course, the song recommendation still stands!]