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OK, 'female rappers' are women who rap. They taught you that in Metaphysics 101. But do such emcees exist? Ah, that is an ontological question.

And the answer is yes. I've been a fan of women's rhymes ever since I was old enough to buy vinyl (which is to say, not that long, more's the pity); not soulless tripe that is spewed out onto the airwaves by overpaid R&B cretins who are slumming it as if to get props, but the real deal. (Note: some deals are realer than others. The value of your investment may go up as well as down.) I'm talking positive rhymes (Latifah), distinctive styles (MC Lyte), and no macho posturing (well, maybe excepting Rah Digga).

Here is the beginnings of a vaguely chronological list: some of the women who have made it in hip-hop.

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