Hip-Hop’s been a historically male-driven genre, that we’ve luckily seen shift in recent years. When once there were only one or two women rappers dominating the national conversation, today there are many. Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, Doja Cat, and The City Girls are just a few holding it down.
Needless to say, this is one of my favorite series’, and I’m glad to discuss 7 more women who are killing it in Northern California rap. The game moves fast, so maybe we can look forward to a new update sooner than 2021. Read on below to get familiar with 7 more women rappers from Northern California.
CB – Sacramento, CA
CB stepped into 2019 with a hit on her hands. The ThisShitGoRacimo produced “Deebo” with IzzyMoneyIzz, has received more than five and a half million views as of the publishing of this article. Sonically “Deebo” is as regional as it gets, but what makes CB such an intriguing artist is her commitment to trying new sounds, and her the ability to craft commercially viable records while doing so.
Records like “Save Her” and “Rags To Riches” best demonstrate the strength of her pen-game. While she’s yet to have a record land as hard as “Deebo”, with her talent it’s really only a matter of time.
Su’Lan – Oakland & Pittsburg, CA
Su’Lan is one of the acts I’m personally most excited to see in 2020. The foul-mouthed duo has only been releasing music for a little under a year, but they’ve accomplished a fair amount in that short time. It’s still very early in the group’s career, but they’ve managed to generate considerable industry interest, at least in some part due to the fact that they’re represented by Francois Wiley, the same manager who worked Kamaiyah early in her career.
Sonically, these girls fit right in with the new-age Detroit inspired mobb sound that’s become popular in Bay Area releases in recent years. Listening to their debut mixtape Tia & Tamera you’ll learn, they’re foul-mouthed shit talkers who will have you convinced that they’ll rob your man, but only after snatching him from you.
Heaven Marina – San Jose, CA
Heaven Marina is one half of the Hyphy Duo with Seanny Sean. If you’re one to frequent Bay Area functions, you’ve likely seen commanding attention with her twerking as a member of Priceless Da Roc’s Turn Up Gang. This is a vital part of her identity as an artist. Heaven Marina is at her best when she’s recording records for all to shake ass to.
She’s someone who’s already outside a lot and has even found success as a YouTube personality. Because of that, I think we can expect to see her leverage her outgoing personality into a formidable rap career. That is, if she continues to drop records that play to her strengths like the 2 Live Crew sampling “Hoochie Mama”.
Gritty Lex – Sacramento, CA
Of the women featured here, Gritty Lex probably most represents Generation Z. Her visual and sonic aesthetic is less in line with regional trends, and more akin to the national artists championing the juxtaposition of trap music with emo, lo-fi, and punk. All of which can be heard on her Resurrection EP. But don’t get it twisted, songs like “Cupcake No Feeling (Freestyle)” make it clear that she’s a Northern California product.
Lyrically Lex covers rising above the odds, collecting a check, and partaking in recreational drugs. It’s still very early for her, and she hasn’t received a ton of views or spins just yet but her records show promise. Plus her relationships with Shootergang Kony, NyNy, and others might point to there being much more in store in the near future.
Coley Ru – San Francisco, CA
It seems all of San Francisco knows who Coley Ru is, despite the long periods of time that pass without dropping music. Luckily the rapper, who has ties to Yatta, has ended the most recent dry spell with the Drew Beez assisted “Nan Hoe”, a remix of Trick Daddy and Trina’s “Nann Nigga”. The record seems an apt introduction for the uninitiated. She’s dripping in game and finesse.
On records she makes it clear that she’ll get one up on a man, before she’d ever allow him to take advantage of her. She’s all about collecting a check and giving her haters something to hate on. She’s got the image, the talent, and the reputation. The only thing holding Coley Ru back is productivity. There just isn’t much music fans can turn to. She only released 3 songs in 2019, and provided a guest verse on Yatta’s “You Told Me”. Hopefully that changes in 2020.
AJ, The One – Inglewood, CA
Alright I know, AJ, The One is a native of Los Angeles. But the UC Berkeley graduate has roots in the Bay Area. It’d be fair to say she cut her teeth in Oakland and Berkeley’s art/rap scene the last few years. That hard work has already paid off in interesting ways. AJ, The One recently found herself featured briefly on Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow.
AJ’s brolic rap delivery is much more commanding than one would assume by looking at her. This fact paired with her decidedly woman-first lyrics paint a picture of an artist that demands a lot from the world, but is willing to work it. Since appearing on Rhythm + Flow, AJ’s been teasing new music and rocking shows. Let’s see what she has in store for 2020.