Hip-hop, like most fields, is, tragically, dominated by men. But the last six months have been a different story; by and large, the best rap songs have come from women. These six songs, including collaborations between high profile superstars, promising releases from up-and-comers and Noname’s social justice diss track, are our favorites –– tracks that truly represent WAP.
“WAP” by Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion
Listeners will be scrambling to find both a bucket and a mop after listening to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s new single “WAP,” which serves as the lead single from Cardi’s upcoming second studio album. In addition to outlining the stringent requirements needed for being either Cardi or Megan’s sexual partner, the track includes various external sound effects –– including a truck horn –– paired together to create a musical masterpiece.
Like anything, a song’s success can often be judged based on its relevancy in mainstream media. Since its Aug. 7 release date, “WAP” has entered the TikTok realm as individuals — mostly teenage girls — attempt the WAP dance challenge and has also gained the attention of middle-aged white men publicly and loudly wondering if a “wet a– p—y” is what modern feminists are truly fighting for.
“Song 33” by Noname
“I saw a demon on my shoulder, it’s lookin’ like patriarchy,” raps Noname in “Song 33’s” opening line. That demon? Probably J. Cole, who, at the height of the protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breona Taylor and countless others, released the track “Snow on tha Bluff,” a considerable portion of which was spent complaining about Noname’s social media activism. Noname’s response, which she criticized herself for ever releasing, sums up the absurdity of Cole’s initial track while emphasizing the oft-overlooked violence against trans people and women of color. The track ends with a strong motto for the millions still protesting for justice: “This a new vanguard / I’m the new vanguard.”
“May I” by Flo Milli
Flo Milli’s first two songs, “Beef FloMix” and “In the Party,” were viral TikTok hits (although these days, what successful song isn’t also a TikTok song?) –– generating considerable hype around the relatively unknown rapper in a short span. Her debut EP “Ho, why is you here?” — or as Notre Dame would put it, “Ho, why is you HERE?” — signals the arrival of a charismatic new hip-hop star. The project’s 12 tracks, almost all of them under three minutes, are bona fide party starters, with the deep cut “May I,” featuring an infectious bounce and flow, emerging as the best non-single.
“Jobs” by City Girls
Miami natives JT and Yung Miami, better known as City Girls, took the hip-hop world by storm with their 2018 hit “Act Up.” The duo’s recent release “City On Lock” features standout tracks like “Flewed Out” and“Jobs,” the latter of which reinforces that being a self-sufficient, confident, “rich a– b—h with an attitude” is indeed a full-time job.
“Trap or Cap” by Young M.A
Early into quarantine, a string of rappers released incredibly cheesy and mediocre videos attempting to capitalize on the moment by overloading on corona-related references. Young M.A’s “Red Flu” was not one of those. The Brooklyn-bred artist blazes across seven tracks, coming as hard as ever and sacrificing nothing. Standout tracks “Trap or Cap” and “Dripset” take Urban Dictionary buzzwords and turn them into the catchy bangers we’ve come to expect from Young M.A.
“Industry Games” by CHIKA
It came as no surprise to fans of CHIKA’s debut project “INDUSTRY” that the Gen Z rapper was included in XXL’s Freshman — or maybe First-Year — Class, but those not hip to her rise were caught off guard. On the title track “INDUSTRY GAMES,” CHIKA flexes a breakneck flow, rapping circles around newfound competitors, peers and haters while calling them on their B.S. It’s the most coldhearted song on an EP that overflows with heart and character, making the entire project worth a listen.
Other WAP-worthy songs: “Savage Remix” by Megan Thee Stallion (feat. Beyonce), “MUWOP” by Mulatto (feat. Gucci Mane), “IPHONE” by Rico Nasty