The Next Big… Female Rapper (Part 2)

Here’s the second part of my investigation into who will be the next big female rapper to follow in the footsteps of Nicki Minaj and Azealia Banks…

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Dominique Young Unique (Sony Music)

19-year-old Dominique is one of the most fun and colourful of the new breed of female rappers, but that doesn’t mean she’ll lay off on the attitude. She’s been around for about three years, but was signed to a worldwide deal with Sony a few months ago. Although she’s from Florida her management Big Life is based in the UK, and she’ll get her first exposure to commercial pop fans with a feature on the Bless Beats remix of JLS’s new single Hottest Girl In The World. UK pop fans will also appreciate her choice of sample on the track Yo Yo, Nicola Roberts’ single of the same name!

Hit potential: 68% Poptasticness: 52%

DENA (Unsigned)

The female rapper trend has spread to Germany, and Berlin has produced one of the most unique and interesting new rap girls. Denitza Todorova, better known as DENA and originally from Bulgaria, had a viral hit with her catchy song Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools and its brilliant video earlier this summer. She’s definitely more of an indie novelty act than part of the real hip-hop scene, and fittingly most of her support has been from blogs such as Stereogum and Disco Naiveté. I’ve listened to some of her other tracks and none are anywhere near as strong, but the vision and humour behind the song are so spot on that I believe there’s got to be more where it came from.

Hit potential: 31% Poptasticness: 70%

Kreayshawn (Columbia)

Following her breakthrough hit Gucci Gucci last year, which has been viewed 38 million times on YouTube so far, Kreayshawn signed to Columbia and releases her debut album Somethin’ ‘Bout Kreay this week. Her real name is Natassia Gail Zolot, she looks a bit like a brunette Lady Gaga, and her family is Russian, though she has lived in California all her life. The major label influence on her new music and videos is clear, and everything is suddenly a lot more shiny and calculated. As none of her recent releases have been as big as Gucci Gucci I wonder if her moment has already passed, but there’s still a chance she could be the white rap queen if one of her new tracks takes off.

Hit potential: 45% Poptasticness: 64%

K.Flay (RCA)

As a white California-based female rapper whose name begins with K, you’d expect K.Flay to get a lot of comparisons to Kreayshawn, but in fact her Wikipedia page labels her an American Lady Sovereign! Considering Lady Sov’s recent absence, maybe it actually is her with an American accent? K.Flay (aka Kristine Flaherty) is currently working on her debut album for RCA and released her first single for RCA, We Hate Everyone (produced by Liam from The Prodigy) earlier this year. According to Rolling Stone she has “no street cred” but that’s not necessarily a problem in the charts. Does she have good songs on that album of hers is a more important question!

Hit potential: 38% Poptasticness: 36%

Rye Rye (N.E.E.T/Interscope)

Rye Rye was the first artist signed to M.I.A.’s label N.E.E.T. and has been developing as an artist under her wing since 2007, even appearing in the Paper Planes video. She finally released her debut album, the enticingly titled Go! Pop! Bang! in May this year, following a two year delay. It features an impressive and varied list of collaborations including Robyn, Tyga and Akon. Despite the M.I.A. associations, I think Rye Rye would appeal more to fans of Nicki Minaj, especially RedOne-produced DNA and Boom Boom which covers the chorus of the Vengaboys song. The album hasn’t set the charts alight, but I do think she could do well in the UK if properly launched here.

Hit potential: 53% Poptasticness: 73%

So that’s my top ten. Which one do you think will be the next Nicki or Azealia? Or is there another exciting up-and-coming female rapper I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments box below!

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