Lists are made to be debated, so naturally there was some outcry over the 2014 XXL Freshman class, but one of the loudest cries was about the exclusion of a female artist this year. Iggy Azalea was the first female MC to make the cut in 2012, Angel Haze followed in 2013, and this year there was a noticeable absence. There are a few artists, however, who were worthy of consideration.
The North Carolina rapper actually landed on XXL's list of the "20 Best Female Rappers of All Time," but she didn't make it onto the Freshman cover. She's currently signed to 9th Wonder's label Jamla Records, and her 2012 album The Idea of Beautiful, included notable collaborations with artists such as Mac Miller, Big Daddy Kane and Childish Gambino. She's steadily continued to release music since then (she's featured on the new compilation Jamla is the Squad) and we'll likely be hearing a lot more from her in the future.
Nitty Scott MC
Brooklyn rapper, Nitty Scott, has been putting in work on the circuit for some time now but she was only eligible for being voted onto the list. In addition to dropping projects like The Boombox Diaries, Vol. 1, she was featured in the 2011 Bet Hip Hop Awards cypher, and recently she's been rolling out weekly clips and teasing music with her "Chilluminati Tuesdays" series. The latest edition included a preview of the track "Knowbody Knows" from her upcoming album The Art of Chill.
This New Orleans native has been earning herself a reputation as being one of the fiercest spitters around, especially after the release of her mixtape The Coronation. In addition to production from Lex Luger and a feature from Keri Hilson, 3D Na'Tee also landed a chance to work with Timbaland on the project. Her talents certainly haven't gone unrecognized. This year she even hit the stage at SXSW to deliver those bars live.
The first lady of Meek Mill's Dreamchasers label is relatively new on the scene, but it's easy to see why the MMG rapper wanted her on board. One of her first big shows was rocking the house at Philly's annual Powerhouse concert, where she joined Meek on stage, and she's definitely got rhymes to compete with the boys.
Refer to her "RapFix Live" freestyle for if you want to see for yourself.
Nyemiah Supreme has been running around Harlem and sharing studio time with the Dipset boys (Juelz and Jim Jones) for a while now, and eventually Timbaland took notice of her work and signed her to his Mosley Music Group label. One of the lead singles from her recent EP There Can Only Be More Than 1, was "Rock & Roll," a collaboration with Timbo, which even included a cameo in the video.
The Queens rapper is also set to star in the new Oxygen series "Sisterhood of Hip Hop," which will document a few female artists and their journey to succeed in the industry. See her "RapFix Live" freestyle here.
This year XXL included singers August Alsina and Ty Dolla $ign on the cover, writing, "Yeah, we've got R&B this year," so was there room for SZA then? The latest addition to the TDE family recently dropped her Z album with features from Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller and more. There's no denying that she has a powerful voice, a solid fan base, and is well on her way to stardom.
Snow Tha Product
Atlantic Records signee, Snow Tha Product, has also been making a name for herself. Last year's mixtape Good Nights & Bad Mornings 2: The Hangover included features from Tech N9ne, Ty Dolla $ign, Trae Tha Truth and more, and her debut album is slated for release later this year.
(Lee Mazin and Nyemiah Supreme freestyle on 'RapFix Live')