It's 2015 and it's still hard to be a woman in hip hop. Male rappers on the national scene still far outnumber women in the genre, despite the success of Nicki Minaj and (ugh) Iggy Azalea. Dallas' own scene is as representative of that as any other city with a notable hip-hop presence. But the femcees who are making a name for themselves on the mic in Dallas are fierce, and many of them are making moves into national consciousness.
So even if you're not plugged in to the local rap scene, make sure to add these five talented ladies to your playlist and explore some of the city's best hidden talents.
Of the female rappers in Dallas, Sam Lao is likely the one who has received the most buzz. In this scene, Lao is royalty, and for good reason. Outside of her biting and expertly-delivered rhymes, Sam Lao's real coup is that she can really, actually sing. The resulting vibe is Robyn-meets-Erykah Badu, in both aesthetic and sound. Lao's versatility is demonstrated in the people that she's shared the stage with -- everyone from Sarah Jaffe to rap collective the Brain Gang, whom she first made her name with alongside the likes of Blue, the Misfit and Dr. Dre protege Love, JT.
Robin Rhymes has been rapping in Dallas for a long time, and her carefully honed flow sounds like she's been doing it since the day she was born. Rhymes' rapid-fire delivery is reminiscent of Trina and Shawnna, and she's as unafraid to talk about fucking, fighting and rapping with the same confidence as her male counterparts, whom she is equally unafraid to put on blast. Rhymes was featured on Say Cheese TV's "Queens of Dallas," but has otherwise stayed under the radar for people not in the know.
At first glance, Jenny Robinson sits squarely in the same vein as Iggy Azalea, but one careful listen will show you that comparison is unfair. Azalea's tone-deaf provocateur schtick is nothing when placed beside Robinson's deeply authentic "gives no fucks," lady badass persona. With each track, Robinson effortlessly makes an argument for her inclusion as one of Dallas' best rappers, female or otherwise. Outside of her rhymes, Jenny Robinson's 2014 record Gothika (produced by Blue, the Misfit) demonstrates her flawless ability to sample tracks.
Snow Tha Product is a badass for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that she raps in both Spanish and English at warp speed. Latina rappers are relatively rare, especially on a national level, but Snow Tha Product may very well be the first to really blow up. She's currently signed to Atlantic Records, and has been featured on tracks alongside Lupe Fiasco, Ty Dolla $ig, and Too $hort. Technically, Snow Tha Product is from California, but she moved to Fort Worth, and the local scene is more than happy to claim her as their own.
She's young, but Angelica Cokes has big plans. Performing as Geli GreaterThan, Cokes also works as a graphic designer, cinematographer and photographer. She's new to the scene, but local hip-hop listeners are excited about what she's been able to do in her short career. The future is bright for Geli GreaterThan, if tracks like "Plague" are any indication. With mentors like X The Misfit from Brain Gang, she's seemingly going in the right direction.
DC9 AT NIGHT'S GREATEST HITS
50 Signs You've Been Partying Too Long in Denton Florida Georgia Line Danced on the Grave of Country at Gexa on Saturday What Your Favorite North Texas Band Says About You Does Dallas Want Its Own Austin City Limits? The Best Places in Dallas to Go When You're Stoned