Top Female Rappers In India Who Are Revolutionizing Indian Music Scene
Published On: 30 Oct 2023 Updated On: 07 Nov 2023
India is undoubtedly recognised as the centre for musical scenarios and talents. Over so many decades, we have seen numerous kinds of singers and artists come forward to present their unique style of music, be it classical, hip hop, rock, jazz, pop, blues, R&B, indie, rap, and more. However, we have seen very less of a female presence in the rap genre. On the brighter end, it looks like the future of the Indian music scene and music lovers is bright and promising as we excitedly witness a significant rise of Indian female rappers in the industry. Female rappers in India seem to be steadily entering the music scene to take over the throne of their creativity through their brilliant lyricism and songwriting skills.
These female rappers in India we will be mentioning in this article today are widely known for penning down their lyrics based on a variety of topics, such as prejudiced societal norms, personal life experiences, women empowerment, protests aimed towards bigger social problems, and many more. They are slowly rising and garnering attention in the midst of a male-dominated industry and genre within the Indian music scene because of their powerful presence and rich musical medleys, creating a revolutionary breakthrough for other female listeners and music lovers alike. They are fierce, fearless, unapologetically themselves, and boast immaculate vocal performances with intricate verse techniques. These are the female rappers of India who are revolutionizing the Indian music scene—
MC Manmeet Kaur
MC Manmeet Kaur is one of the top female rappers in India. She comes from the state of Chandigarh but lives in Goa and expresses herself as a singer, hip-hop artist, producer, beatmaker, video director, storyteller, rapper, and nomad. She was ahead of her time and emerged in the light of the music scene when there were very less female rapper artists in India. We would describe Manmeet Kaur as a fearless artist who does not stop herself from challenging against inequality and misogyny that is instilled within the Indian society, especially against the women community. Her boundless love for music crawled out of her when her brother exposed her to a variety of musical rhythms in the early 2000s. Even though her parents were concerned about her choice to pursue the unconventional career path, MC Manmeet Kaur proceeded to follow her heart and started writing and composing songs, spitting some burning verses against the judgemental opinions of society as a way to vent her anger. In the following years, she had multiple gigs across Mumbai city, allowing herself to grow as a hip-hop artist and solidifying her presence in the music industry. Kaur’s music surpasses all barriers and her presence with her artistic nature in the hip-hop community continues to justify the resilience of the rest of the female artists and paving the way for the forthcoming generations.
Svetha Yallapragada Rao, who is popularly known as Raja Kumari as her stage name is an American songwriter, rapper, and singer with Indian roots. Most of her songs are said to be highly influenced by her real-life events. Raja Kumari says, “Whether it’s writing for other artists or myself, it’s important to create art from the events going on around you.” She is also a Grammy-nominated artist who has collaborated with global artists like Gwen Stefani, Sidhu Moosewala, Iggy Azalea, Fall Out Boy, Fifth Harmony, and Knife Party. Raja Kumari was the first female rapper to appear at NH7, the biggest music festival in India, and also helped co-write a song for several artists. Her collaboration with Iggy Azalea for the album ‘The New Classic’ earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, proving her dynamism as a vocalist and a songwriter. Her participation with Fall Out Boy on the hit number ‘Centuries’ also earned her BMI Pop Award the same year. One of her many songs that caught the attention of the listeners is ‘Mute’, where she speaks about confronting the stereotypes and stigma that lie within the music industry. The lyrics resonate with everyone as they apply to many kinds of situations. You can also find her voicing out her identity struggle because of her dual cultural background in her single ‘N.R.I’. Her flair of artistry is unmatched and truly captivates the souls of music lovers around the world.
Irfana Hameed hails from Kodaikanal City in Kerala who created history when she became the first female musician to sign with Def Jam Recordings India. Irfana began her musical adventure with Veena and Carnatic vocal training, however, the biggest influence she received was through Eminem’s music, which made her fall in love with the rap genre. In 2021, after she debuted her EP called ‘Ko-Lab’, it became an immediate smash and Irfana received recognition for her unpolished delivery and wordplay, especially in her tracks like ‘Zig Zag’ and ‘Program’. Further, she became well-known as a rapper in South India thanks to her song “Kannil Pettole.” Irfana Hameed has also worked on a number of projects, such as the theme song for the Netflix web show ‘Masaba Masaba’ and a Women’s Day promotion with Rashmika Mandanna. The music type of Irfana Hameed mainly concentrates on pop beats with realistic issues like feminism, patriarchy, Muslim religion, Tamil culture, and prejudice against women.
Meba Ofilia is another skilled rapper who is immensely popular in India and is slowly creating waves in the Indian music scene. She comes from Shillong, Meghalaya. Meba, who initially had stage fright, overcame her anxiety with perseverance and embarked on the musical journey through songwriting. She released her single ‘Done Talking’ in 2016 by collaborating with Big Ri, who is the founder of Khasi Bloodz, which left a powerful impact on the music industry, leading them to earn the Best Indian Act Award during the 2018 MTV European Music Awards. Meba describes the song as a voice about one’s commitment to art, love, and existence. Talking about her journey as an artist, Meba Ofilia says, “I’m at an age where I’m experiencing a lot of things, learning too many things in such a short period, giving up on things which no longer serve my purpose. And writing is a way to vent out.” According to the artist, even if she had not turned out to be a rapper, she would still be writing through other means, and that’s how she is known for expressing her train of thoughts through music. Check out her popular releases like ‘Done Talking’, ‘Untitled.shg’, ‘Feelings’, ‘Rani Cypher’, and more.
Agsy, who is also known as Agrita Dhawan, is a Faridabad-born female rapper in India who has made a name for herself in the industry because of her multifaceted talent as a singer, rapper, songwriter, composer, and lyricist. She has bagged home several awards for her music and even participated in many music shows. She secured the top 15 in MTV Hustle S1 and was the only female rapper in the show, creating a buzz among viewers and inspiring many females who dream of pursuing music. Agsy loves to effortlessly blend her music in multiple languages like Hindi, English, Punjabi, and Haryanvi thanks to her cultural background. Additionally, she is recognised for using diverse genres like Indie pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop in her songs, and traversing sub-genres like horrorcore, trap, and reggae. Agsy started her rap journey as a young girl after coming across global artists like Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea, who became her role models instantly. From performing at her college functions to receiving positive feedback from her peers to participating in the MTV Hustle show to impressing the judges there, Agsy is a powerful artist who loves to bring light to toxic social norms like child abuse and sexism through her work of art in varied languages. Check out her latest EP that was released this year called the ‘Rap Goddess’.
Dee MC is another prominent hip-hop female artist from Mumbai, India who has been in the music scene for over 10 years now. Her first experience on stage started in 2012 and this was the moment when she courageously progressed from a b-girl to an emcee. Since then, Dee MC has been travelling across several countries like the UK, Canada, and Belgium, representing Bharat. She has proudly represented Bharat on global stages like DesiFest in Canada and Alchemy Festival in the UK. Even though she has shared global stages outside of Bharat, Dee MC was not well recognised in her own home country until she became a national sensation through her self-composed song for the hit movie Gully Boy. Shortly after she released her viral hit song, her first album ‘Dee=MC²’ was put out giving her fans a full glimpse of her dynamic voice and neat rapping style. Her more recent releases like ‘Vadhaiyaan’, ‘Mumba’, and ‘Piece of Mind’ also garnered new fans all across the nation, currently gaining as much as 28,000 followers on her Spotify account, turning her into one of the highest Indian female rapper listeners in the country.
Another female rapper who is taking over the Indian music scene is from Northeast India, Reble, who goes by the birth name Daiaphi Lamare. At only the age of 21 years, Reble, who is from Nangbah West Haintia Hills in Meghalaya, is gaining much attention from music lovers across the nation for her lyrical skills and artistry. Even though she is only 21 years of age, Reble has been in the music scene for more than 10 years now and proudly represents the Northeast community instead of her state alone. Her biggest influence in music draws from celebrated artists, such as Biggie, André 3000, and Eminem. Reble deeply believes that to connect and bring people together, it is important to create music with lyrics that are not complicated for regular listeners to dissect and understand. In 2019, she released her first single ‘Bad’, followed by songs like ‘Manifest’, ‘Believe’, and ‘Reasons’. These songs emphasise the fearless spirit of the artist and showcase her dynamism in exploring various beats of rap.
Hard Kaur was one of the very first female rappers who gained the attention of music lovers in India during the early 2000s. She comes from an Indian-British cultural background and is also a singer and an actress apart from being a rapper with powerful vocals. Hard Kaur’s musical journey was not a smooth one but it is an extraordinary tale, which traversed from Kanpur to the UK. After her family migrated to the UK at a young age, Hard Kaur discovered her passion for music and rap during the ’90s. She boldly dropped out of school at the young age of 16 years to pursue her dream, which is music. Although she faced many challenges as a woman of colour in the male-dominated industry, her passion and determination did not stop her and her artistic skills and talent paved the way for her. In 2007, she made a breakthrough through her single hit ‘Glassy’, which led her to achieve massive fame and become a star in India. Following that, she made her first LP called Supawoman, which was another massive hit. She has created hit albums like The Rising Mixtape, P.L.A.Y. (Party Loud All Year), and Vol. 1, which keeps her in demand to this day.
Chennai-born Sofia Ashraf’s music became popular among music lovers because of its provocative emotions and blunt school of thought about the government. She is another prominent female rapper in India who does not hold back at smashing barriers and utilises her dynamic voice to raise attention to significant social problems. With her gutsy passion and absolute talent, she honed her musical skills from her college days as she took over the stage and presented her own rap song, bringing awareness to crucial issues like mercury pollution, the Bhopal gas tragedy, the September 11 attack, sexism, and inequality. Her songs like ‘Don’t Work for Dow’ speak about the Bhopal gas tragedy that happened in 1984, enlightening about how the victims were not compensated, and in another song of hers called ‘Kodaikanal Won’t’, she enlightens the listeners about the mercury pollution incident that happened in Kodaikanal. Following the September 11 attacks, Sofia started rapping at a college event while donning a hijab and challenging anti-Muslim sentiment, dubbing her “The Burqa Rapper”. In addition, she has also contributed to Tamil and Bollywood soundtracks.
Krantinaari is a multi-talented artist and an advocate from Mumbai, who does not shy away from expressing her feelings and thoughts through her art. Apart from being a rapper and singer, she is also a graphic designer and an illustrator. She is a part of the Won Tribe duo partnered with Pratika (MC PEP) and is also connected with Wild Wild Women, which is India’s first all-female revolutionary community consisting of various artists from different fields, including hip hop artists, rappers, B-girls, and Graffiti artists. Krantinaari’s music talks about powerful topics like feminism, technology, and sustainability, leaving a lasting impact on the listeners. She started her hip-hop journey coincidentally when she was in 8th grade after watching a string of pro basketball videos on the internet. To express her thoughts and broaden her creative horizons, Krantinaari, who was always outspoken and sociable in nature, embraced her qualities and turned to hip-hop. Inspired by her own experiences in life, Krantinaari uses her lyrics to convey the captivating stories of Indian women and portray the reality they encounter in her songs. Make sure to check out her songs like Labels’, ‘PCOS? Matt Le Stress’, ‘Tyranny of Power’, and more.
Siri Narayan aka SIRI
Siri Narayan, who goes by the stage name SIRI hails from Bengaluru and debuted around 2016. She captivates her listeners by rapping in English, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi, showcasing her multilingual talent. Her music career kick-started when she listened to B.o.B’s ‘Out Of My Mind’, which featured Nicki Minaj. Her interest in life gradually turned towards music as she continued to take part in her college fest and even went on to collaborate with established artists like Sez On The Beat. She is unapologetic about her identity and where she stands with a little bit of sass as she graces the Indie genre with her distinctive style of rap. Her originality is perfectly showcased in TVF’s Girlyapa’s Power Anthem, “Tu Bas Naach,” which is a massive smash. She speaks about how the fact that knowing multiple languages can be fun and helps her pen down the exact thoughts and feelings and transform them into art. She cites, “Sometimes there are similar sounding words in two different languages with different meanings, which makes the process fun. I have my likes as to how I want my rhymes to sound and I design it accordingly.”
Mrunal Shankar is a 22-year-old genZ female rapper who discovered her true love of the rap music genre when she first performed at a bar. She has a distinct voice that leaves the listeners curious to know more about the artist. Mrunal enchants her fans and makes waves in the music scene with her unquestionable frankness and authenticity of her music. She has been a self-taught singer and performer for almost a decade now, which means she started at a young age, and she is recognised for her multi-talented talents and a promising future in the hip-hop community. Mrunal Shankar is currently signed under Kalamkaar and looks forward to what the future awaits for her. Listen to some of her successful releases, such as Kattey, Drunk Writing, Yedechali, GAME OF FAME, Ride With Me, and more.
Pratika Prabhune who popularly introduces herself as MC PEP is another exceptional female rap artist in India hailing from Mumbai. Apart from being a rapper, she is also an outstanding vocalist, producer, and composer. Her range of musical skills is quite impressive and diverse, considering she can sing beautifully, rap artistically, and produce thunderous growl vocals. It was in 2020 when she decided to go out of the box and explore more about herself and her capabilities, enchanting the listeners with her first single release called ‘Burn’. Following her debut, she joined hands with Krantinaari and formed a rap duo Indian band called Won Tribe. Currently, an active member of the all-female Hip-Hop community called the Wild Wild Women, Pratika continues to showcase her true raw self and her passion for music through her collection of hip-hop rap songs, leaving an unforgettable record in the Indian music scene.
Trichia Grace-Ann is a rapper, singer-songwriter, and pianist, who also goes by the pseudonym Trichia Rebello. She was born and raised in Mumbai but also spent her childhood days in Goa, which is her native home. Trichia’s biggest influence in her passion for music comes from her own family, who has a deep-rooted history in music, by initially trained to play the piano at the blooming age of 4, centering predominantly on classical Western music. Along with it, Trichia is also familiar with other music genres like rap, jazz, and hip-hop, having realised by the age of 16 years that she is more confident engaging herself with various genres. Just like that, you will notice that her music blends a hint of jazz elements in her rap songs, bringing everything together and creating an exciting touch to the overall song. Trichia’s songs like ‘Duchess’, ‘The Queen’, and ‘Hocus Pocus’ are some of the songs that gave her an opening in the Indian hip-hop music scene. Make sure to check out her latest single called ‘Fantasy’, featuring FeniFina.
JQueen aka Jacqulin Lucas comes from Mumbai and is known as the rap queen of executing verses in multiple languages. She is the front member of the Wild Wild Women community, who proudly represents the entire women population of India. She, along with her fellow women artists of WWW, is on a deep quest to bring a revolution to the status of women in India. Her music is greatly influenced by the likes of global rappers like Nicki Minaj, and that’s how her musical path started to unfold, eventually becoming one of the prominent female rappers in India even though Jacqulin never received any certified musical education. Check out some of JQueen’s discography like I Do It For Hip Hop, Doing Okay, and her most recent, Living Waves.
Preeti Sutar goes by the pseudonym HashtagPreeti, who is an emerging talent in the Hip-Hop culture in India. She is garnering attention in the rap community for her unique tone and poignant verses, where she effortlessly crafts each rhyme and grasps the attention of the audience. HashtagPreeti started her music career by performing on the streets of Mumbai, as she remarks that those were the days and moments when she truly found comfort and self-expression through rap. Her music defies social boundaries as she fearlessly explores subjects of self-recognition and personal strength. She is also one of the front members of the Wild Wild Women society who breaks gender norms and forese the days ahead when the voices of Indian women are heard, honoured, and respected.
Driti Panchmatia, who is commonly called Demyth, hails from Mumbai and is a popular emcee. She is known for creating and producing conscious music through her undying passion as an artist, causing quite a buzz in the Indian music industry. She is another female hip-hop artist to be included in the revolutionary Wild Wild Women society and she often collaborates with many other artists, sending powerful messages through her songs. Demyth often emphasises the struggles women go through in society in general and gives them strength through her narratives in the verses. She began her musical journey at the tender age of 16 years after she came across the essence of hip-hop for the first time at a Juhu cypher. She delved herself into the hip-hop community by exploring and discovering more about her assets and through urban creativity.
Even though Shia had exposed herself to the music scene since she was a teenager, it wasn’t until the late teen era that she began to consider taking music seriously. She started to accept gigs, take part in open mic events, and competitions, and engage with other artists of like minds. Initially, Shia grew up listening to heavy metal music and bands like Bullet for My Valentine and Metallica were her favourites. However, stumbling across Eminem’s music took a turn and changed for the better in her. One of her latest singles “Shia Bia”, which was released in February 2023, features heavy bass with edgy beats, giving a catchy tone captivating the ears of the listeners. Her more recent music is heavily influenced by pro artists like Wynne, Doja Cat, Little Simz, and more. Despite choosing to go for a more unconventional career path where males are more dominated, Shia is challenging conventions, breaking gender stereotypes and grabbing the attention of music lovers. Check out her latest single ‘Cautious’.
Srushti Tawade is an upcoming and promising artist in the hip-hop community who first caught our attention when she appeared on MTV Hustle 2.0 and gave a groundbreaking performance on the stage. With her playful energy, humorous touch and compelling narrative skills, she enthrals the audience. After she appeared in the singing reality TV show, Srushti Tawade gained massive popularity across the country. Despite still being at the young age of 23 years, she already has an impressive flair for incorporating narratives through her vocals and lyrics.
If you are the reggae, jazz, rap, and pop trope, you are going to love our last pick of the top female rappers in India, who goes by the stage name “TribeMama MaryKali”. Her official name is Anna Katharina Valayil and hails from Kerala. Her passion for music began at an early age as a result of her family’s involvement in the circus, especially with live band performances. If you check out her music videos like ‘Freakay’ and ‘Bless Ya Heels’, TribeMama MaryKali highlights femininity and throws inspiring life insights through her lyrics, apart from the outstanding videography. She often loves to adorn herself in her native sarees and jewellery, representing her culture and promoting self-exploration in her music videos, giving a distinctive element to it. With more than 45,000 followers on Spotify, TribeMama MaryKali is one of the female rappers who is revolutionizing the rap scene in India.
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