We can’t predict all that 2021 has in store for us. It feels like just about anything is possible after the 12-month span we experienced in 2020. We can, however, expect the ladies of hip-hop and R&B to continue to be recognized for more than hit songs and hot looks. Leading ladies are going beyond just blessing fans with their signature sounds and aesthetics. They are defying the odds, breaking barriers and speaking their truths with passion and purpose. Echoing the spirit of pioneering musicians like Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Tina Turner and many others, female rappers, singers and sonic hybrids of today are making sure everybody puts some respect on their names. In the face of gender bias and outdated stereotypes, modern renaissance women have been leveling the playing field, while leaving their mark in the process.
Currently at the forefront of pop culture, Cardi B is one the voices of her generation. And the Bronx-bred superwoman uses her powers for good. The outspoken and unapologetic MC has been using her platforms, which has included her social media accounts, to shed light and her thoughts on issues like voter registration and body insecurity and also put naysayers like Candace Owens and internet trolls in their place.
Whether or not we get new albums from Rihanna and Beyoncé in 2021 remains to be seen. Either way, we’ll feel their impact. King B started the year off by delivering her latest adidas x Ivy Park collection, the hotly anticipated “Icy Park” capsule. Not long after making waves with her drip, the “Irreplaceable” artist came to the rescue of fellow Texans that were impacted by the devastating winter storm Uri.
That Rihanna reign still won’t let up, especially as her fashion empire continues to grow. The hit-making mogul, who became the first woman to create an original fashion label with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, is now at the helm of the widely successful cosmetic brand Fenty Beauty and the billion-dollar Savage x Fenty lingerie line.
A consistent wave of talented and impactful female artists have continued to break through glass ceilings. A plethora of new faces including Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Flo Milli, City Girls, Tierra Whack, Saweetie and others are also playing their part in pushing the culture forward. There are many ways to salute a queen during Women’s History Month. Here with our Ladies First Playlist, we show love to the artists that created hard-hitting anthems equipped to soundtrack twerk sessions, workouts, Ladies Night Out and simply going hard. Happy International Women’s Day queens!
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