Reigning Supreme: Detroit’s Female Rappers Rewrite the Rulebook and Command the Mic

By Amber Ogden, Contributing Writer


Despite the rap industry’s long-standing male dominance, a wave of exceptionally talented female emcees is breaking through. Notably, many remarkable women hail from Detroit, a city with a storied musical past and a history of pioneering firsts. Among these trailblazers was Lichelle Marie Laws, better known by her stage name Bo$$, a woman who etched her name in history as the first female emcee to secure a record deal with Def Jam. This monumental achievement paved the way for many others. Sadly, Laws’ recent passing at the age of 54 leaves a legacy of resilience and determination, inspiring a new generation of female emcees.


Over the years, the world of music has witnessed the emergence of several talented artists out of the city, including Kash Doll, Dej Loaf, and Neisha Neshae. These female artists have established themselves in the industry, each with unique styles—continually setting the bar higher with each mix tape, album, or single release.


The tradition of emerging female emcees is still alive through the energetic and distinctive style of up-and-coming artists like Lana LaDonna. Also named “That Gworl,” Lana always brings the heat; recently dropping ‘On Yo Radar,’ she infuses her music with her larger-than-life persona and firey lyrics.


“I knew I wanted to be an entertainer. I’ve been practicing my autograph for as long as I can remember. I looked at artists like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, JLo, Beyonce, and even Rihanna. These people started as music artists, and now they’re moguls. Knowing that I don’t want to do anything else—I’ve never wanted to do anything else—that’s what keeps me going,” Lana Ladonna said.


In October 2023, Lana Ladonna made her mark in the music industry by headlining her first solo concert at The Willis Show Bar. Before this, she delivered an electrifying performance at the Motor City Roots Festival, which marked her first-ever concert appearance. 


Kash Doll, a talented female rapper, has been teasing her fans with recent hit singles like ”Power Freestyle”, ”F*** ‘Em” and ”Big 1”. Her highly anticipated new album is set to be released in May, and she plans to embark on a tour in the fall of this year. Female lyricists like Kash Doll constantly push the boundaries in the music industry, and she is undoubtedly one to watch.


Brooklyn Queen is a talented and ambitious emcee who has been making waves in the Detroit rap game since a young age. At just 18, she has already established herself and earned her spot in the industry. With her talent, drive, and dedication, it’s clear that Brooklyn Queen is well on her way to becoming a household name in the rap game.


“God plays a big part in my life and family, and I’m dedicated to what I do. Having this career is my dream. I don’t see myself doing anything else. So that motivates me to keep working and striving in my career,” Brooklyn Queen said.


Looking to the future, Brooklyn Queen is excited about the possibility of one of her songs becoming a hit and taking her to even greater heights. She loves the rush of performing on stage and connecting with her audience and is eager to perform on as many stages as possible in the coming summer months.


“Performing the music and creating the music is the most exciting part for me. Getting on the stage and being in the bright lights is exciting, and I love that feeling,” Brooklyn Queen said.


Even closer to home, former Michigan Chronicle Multimedia Journalist Lynzee Mychael released her own LP. Mychael, whose stage name is Cherri Gordi, dropped her project on Jan. 12, 2024. The 10-song Low Sister is a mix of Mychael’s gritty lyricism, slick rhyme schemes, and smooth flow over a series of melodic yet hard-hitting beats.


Throughout the history of rap music, rap battles have been a highly regarded method for rappers to showcase their bar game and attack their opponents lyrically. These rap battles are considered a test of one’s rap prowess and are often used to sharpen their skills in the booth.


Miz Korona, an award-winning Detroit rapper with a history in battle rapping, is essential to the rap game. In the movie 8 Mile, she battled rapper Xzibit in the famous “lunch truck” scene. She has become a standout artist who has significantly impacted the industry by commanding her audience with her Detroit style and lyrical prowess. As a heavy hitter in her own right, she will perform alongside rap legends Rakim, Big Herk, Kid Capri, Dj Los, and Awesome Dre on Mar. 27 at the Sound Board, Motor City Casino, as the only female emcee on the run of the show.


At times, rap battles are born from social media beef. A ‘friendly fire’ between rapper Jazmin Renae, who wrote “No Kit” in response to Pretty Brayah’s “Captin Underpants,” caught the attention of many. These battles can pressure artists to get in the booth and produce new music, as both rappers continue to do after the beef by dropping consistent visuals with their singles.


Opposite of the beef and battles can also bring female artists together on collaborative projects. A notable project is the “We Run the City” track titled “No Hook,” directed by rapper and director Carla Rae, the CEO. The track showcases the lyrical skills of female rappers, such as Brooklyn Queen, Slime, Lana Ladonna, and Klajuan.


Lana Ladonna discussed her dream collaboration, which reflects her taste in music and personality. She mentioned a few famous artists, such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Future, but revealed that Cardi B was why she got into music. She also expressed her desire to work with producers like Pharrell, Dr. Dre, and Timbaland.


When asked what she is most looking forward to in her career, Lana Ladonna said, ” Blowing up! Skyrocketing!”



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