The Lauryn Hill Effect and Who Should Be The Standard of The Female Rapper

Billboard put the world in a frenzy, when they put “The Gawdess” Lauryn Hill on their “Greatest Rappers of All Time” list. She came in at number 7. On a mainstream/good music standard, that would be ok. However, if we are talking about Rappers, I’m still under the act of Rappers making 100% Rap Albums and although I think Miseducation speaks for itself, I wouldn’t call that a rap/hip-hop album, no matter what Vivian Green tells me.

We may get on Ja, 50 and Drake as a hip-hop community, but Lauryn Hill dropped some real great R&B Records too, yet people don’t question her ability to emcee, at least not publicly. Her raps were more of “the guest feature” than the main course of a lot of her songs yet “Lauryn the rapper” is who most women are told to strive to be.

Present day the “Lauryn Hill Style” is held in high regard but it doesn’t seem to reach like it use to and even Lauryn Hill is a victim of that.

The monotone, semi slick wit with a hint of black woman consciousness is cool but are we truly getting bars? Is this just the alternative to the mainstream that’s held in high regard under the act of “she’s saying something”? Are the Jean Grae’s, Rhapsody’s and Tink’s really as good as their cult following suggest? What can’t be denied is they are all fruit from the Lauryn tree, but let’s be real, none of them are going to give you “Miseducation” caliber music in 2016 or ever for that matter. That’s just a music reality.

If that style is truly great, how come we don’t speak of the Late Great Guru as being one of the Greatest Emcees when list get mentioned?

Maybe this all truly spawns from the tree of Bahamadia? Her and Lauryn rap a lot alike. Bahamadia had better bars but never made mainstream impact. True, the look and the voice in this industry may have hindered her, but wouldn’t that be the same reason some of the new female emcees won’t prosper today?

Can these women of today truly rap better than Bahamadia?

Let’s take it back a step. Was Lauryn Hill the best female rapper of the 90’s? Sure it’s not really that difficult to out rap Wyclef and Pras, but we can’t ignore that no one really pushed for the Lauryn solo project until she remade Killing Me Softly and there was no rap on that.

It’s bigger than Kim, Foxxy and Missy. Was Lauryn a better rapper than Da Brat? How about Rah Digga?

There actually was a decent amount of dope female emcees that gave your bars. They just didn’t sing, sell sex first or have runaway hits that surpassed the summer.

The 2000’s we got Remy Ma and Eve and I think Eve is truly the greatest female rapper of all time because on just reading resume, she is the Female LL Cool J.

Present Day we have Nicki and although she can hop in the pop lane whenever she feels, rap wise, she should be the benchmark for the female emcee today, whether anybody likes it or not. Lyrics alone, I think she’s one of the best out and if you threw her in a battle or a cypher with Jean, Tink and Rhapsody, they would have a serious problem. We talk that talk about content and “saying something”, but when the bars got to come out, they got to be impressive and no female emcee lyrically has impressed men and women more than Nicki has the past 6 years.

Did Lauryn Hill Hurt The Standard of The Female Rapper?
Possibly. Women in this male dominated music industry want that respect, allure and of course the sales that Lauryn had. However, she’s definitely not the best emcee to pattern yourself after. Fact is, The Fugees and Lauryn Hill only put out 2 great albums total and it was more about the singing and the music than the lyrical ability for both albums.

Lauryn Hill made an irreplaceable mark on the game, but it wasn’t cause she was a great rapper, she was a great artist. Many emcees will never sell 7 million on the debut or for one album ever. They also don’t have the vocal ability to pull off X-Factor, Doo Wop and Everything Is Everything.

Who Should Be The Standard of The Female Rapper?
In my view, aspiring female emcees really need to pop in “Harriet Thugman”, “Let There Be Eve…” and the rest of her catalog as well as Da Brat’s Catalog if you really trying to be a emcee. You don’t want to go back that far? Listen to Nicki’s Mixtape, Remy Ma during Terror Squads peak, Dreezy out of Chicago or under the radar, Lola Monroe, cause she’s getting pretty good on the low.

Also. I’m not mad if the “Female Rap Standard” is Jay-Z, Nas or even Busta Rhymes in his prime. Just aspire to be someone with great lyrical ability, if for nothing else, the culture. You can be as strong, independent and tasteful as you want to be with you appearance and your content, but if you can’t really spit at a high level, no man, woman or child really wants to hear that ish. The “good for a girl” day has been over and these women got to spit that heat just like these guys have to or your just another voice trying to be heard.

A lot of these ladies are good, but I just don’t feel them. Sorry, it’s not a “man thing” it’s they can’t rap better than Digga thing. If you really got bars, they won’t categorize you. Rah Digga was never categorized.

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