If I were to do a top ten richest rappers in the world not one of them would be a woman. I don’t know what it is about the Hip Hop industry, but to make it really big you need to be a dude. That isn’t to say there hasn’t been any female success in this genre. Plenty of women have made ludicrous amounts of money rapping, but you tend to find that they don’t limit themselves to spitting rhymes. You find more of a musical blend, more R ‘n B and pop influences in the work of the artists on this list.
Top 10 Richest Female Rappers In 2023
Without further delay, let’s take a look at the list.
10. Cardi B – $8 Million
Cardi B first gained fame as a social media influencer. She later starred in the reality series Love & Hip Hop: New York and dropped two mixtapes, Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 and Vol 2.
In 2018, she released her debut album Invasion of Privacy, which featured hip hop, R&B, and trap elements. Produced by 30 Roc, Craig Kallman, Tainy, Frank Dukes, DJ Mustard, among others, it included 13 tracks including “Get Up 10”, “Bodak Yellow”, “Be Careful”, “Bickenhead”, and “Money Bag.” Not only that but it also featured guest appearances from 21 Savage, SZA, YG, Chance the Rapper, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin.
A commercial success, it reached number one on the US Billboard 200. That’s not all, it also received numerous awards including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and BET Award for Album of the Year. In 2019, the album also achieved a Guinness World Record for being the most streamed album on Apple Music.
While she hasn’t released any albums since, she has worked on numerous collaborations over the past years including the hits “South of the Border” (Ed Sheeran ft. Camila Cabello and Cardi B), “Wild Side” (Normani ft. Cardi B), “Taki Taki” (DJ Snake ft. Ozuna, Cardi B, and Selena Gomez), and “Tomorrow 2” (GioRilla ft. Cardi B).
She has also starred in numerous reality series including Rhythm + Flow, Cardi Tries, and Untold Stories of Hip Hop.
9. Eve – $10 Million
Eve rose to fame in the late 90s with the release of her debut album Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady. Released by Interscope Records, it included 18 tracks, all of which were written by Eve herself. Some noteworthy titles included “What Y’all Want”, “Gotta Man”, “Love Is Blind”, and “Scenario 2000.” Not only was it praised by critics, but it also reached number one on the Billboard 200, making her the third female rap artist to achieve such a feat.
Her second album, Scorpion, was released in 2001. Another critical success, it entered the Billboard 200 at number four with over 162,000 first-week sales. Named after her zodiac sign, it consisted of 16 tracks including the duet with Gwen Stefani, “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”, which ended up winning a Grammy Award for Best Rap Collaboration.
Since then, she has released two additional albums: Eve-Olution and Lip Lock, the latter of which came out in 2013. Some highlights from those projects include “Grind or Die”, “She Bad Bad”, “Zero Below”, “Gangsta Lovin”, and “Satisfaction.” Not only that but she also supported her 2013 album with a concert tour. In 2017, she also co-headlined Ruff Ryders’ 20th Anniversary Tour.
8. DJ Spinderella – $10 Million
DJ Spinderella is a member of the popular hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa. Their debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious, was released in 1986 and was one of the first to be released by an all-female rap group. Not only did it reach the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Performance.
Two years later, they released their second album, A Salt with a Deadly Pepa. Preceded by the single “Shake Your Thang”, it included 12 tracks including “I Gotcha”, “A Salt with a Deadly Pepa”, “Get Up Everybody (Get Up)”, “Twist and Shout”, and “Hyped on the Mic.” Met with praise upon its release, it charted on the Billboard 200 within the top 40 and was certified gold by the RIAA in December 1988.
Over the next decade, the group came out with three albums: Blacks’ Magic, Very Necessary, and Brand New. They gave rise to several RIAA-certified hits including “What Man (with En Vogue)”, “Let’s Talk About Sex”, “Do You Want Me”, and “Shoop.”
In 2019, however, DJ Spinderella surprised everyone by announcing that she had been “terminated” from the hip-hop group.
7. M.I.A. – $14 Million
M.I.A. is a British rapper who’s known for combining elements of hip-hop electronic, dance, and alternative music with electric instruments. Prior to her music career, she worked as a filmmaker, designer, and visual artist. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that she started gaining fame as an underground music artist.
In 2005, she released her debut album Aruglar, which included collaborations with Richard X, Diplo, Justine Frischmann, Greg Fleming, and Switch. Lauded by critics, it came with 13 tracks including “Bucky Done Gun”, “Banana Skit”, “Hombre”, “Sunshowers”, “Galang”, and “Fire Fire”, all of which were written by M.I.A. herself. By mid-2007, the album had received a Mercury Prize award nomination and had sold more than 129,000 copies in the U.S.
Two years later, she released the album Kala, which like her previous project, received widespread critical acclaim. It also spawned the hit singles “Bird Flu”, “Paper Planes”, “Boyz”, and “Jimmy.”
As of 2023, she has released four additional albums including Maya, Matangi, AIM, and Mata. Not only that, but she has also headlined a number of tours in support of the projects.
6. Cheryl James – $14 Million
Cheryl James, aka “Salt”, is best known as a member of the hip-hop trio Salt-N-Pepa. Throughout the 80s and 90s, they released five albums: Hot, Cool & Vicious, A Salt with a Deadly Pepa, Blacks’ Magic, Very Necessary, and Brand New. Not only did they receive a number of awards, including a Grammy, but they also became the first female rap group to receive gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications from the RIAA.
To date, they have sold more than 15 million records across the world, making them one of the best selling rap groups of all time. For their achievements, they also received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022. In fact, their success has earned them the nickname “The First Ladies of Rap”.
After many years together, the group disbanded in 2002. However, they would later come back together in 2008. In fact, it was the focus of the 2008 VH reality series The Salt-N-Pepa Show.
Since then, James has appeared in several other TV programs including Celebrity Family Feud, The Wendy Williams Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, That’s My Jam, Guilty Pleasures, and Celebrity Page.
5. Sandra Denton – $15 Million
Sandra Denton is the third member of Salt-N-Peppa. She initially met James aka “Salt” while working as a customer service representative at Sears. Together, they eventually released a single titled, “The Showstopper” in 1985, which became a moderate hit. The pair were later joined by DJ Spinderella in 1986, which marked the beginning of the rap trio.
Aside from her music career, she has also acted in a couple of films including Joe’s apartment and First Time Felon. In 2007, she also starred in the VH1 reality series The Surreal Life: Fame Games, where she competed against other artists for a chance to win $100,000.
In 2010, she also starred in her own reality series titled, Let’s Talk About Pep, which premiered on VH1. She also co-wrote an autobiography of the same name that focused on her personal life and family. To support the book, she even launched her own social media network for fans.
4. Lil’ Kim – $18 Million
Lil’ Kim began freestyling rap in her teens. At the age of twenty, she was discovered by The Notorious B.I.G., who invited her to join his hip-hop group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Their debut album, Conspiracy, was subsequently released in 1995.
A year later, she released her first solo album Hard Core, which spawned the hit singles “Crush on You”, “Not Tonight (Ladies Night)”, and “No Time.” For the project, she also collaborated with several producers including Puff Daddy, Jermaine Dupri, David Willis, and Stevie J.
Since then, she has dropped four additional albums: The Notorious K.I.M., La Bella Mafia, The Naked Truth, and 9. Some popular hits from those titles include “Lady Marmalade (with Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mya), “In the Air Tonite (ft. Phil Collins)”, “The Jump Off (ft. Mr. Cheeks)”, and “Lighters Up.” Not only that, but she also participated in a number of joint tours including Puff Daddy’s No Way Out Tour and Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour.
That’s not all, she has also appeared in several films including Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story, Miracle Across 125th Street and has made several appearances in the reality shows Hiking with the Rappers, American Gangster: Trap Queens and Girls Cruise.
3. Missy Elliot – $50 Million
Missy Elliot aka the “Queen of Rap” began her music career with the hip-hop trio Siseta in the early to mid 90s. It wasn’t until 1997 that she launched her solo career with the release of her debut album Supa Dupa Fly. Not only did it receive acclaim from critics, who praised her persona and performance, but it also entered the Billboard 200 at number three. Some of the most popular tracks include “Beep Me 911”, “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”, “Hit Em with da Tee”, and “Sock It 2 Me”.
Two years later, she released her second album Da Real World, which spawned the hits “Hot Boyz”, “All n My Grill”, and “She’s a Bitch.” It was soon followed by Miss E…So Addictive in 2001 and Under Construction in 2002, the latter of which earned her two Grammy Award nominations—one for Best Album of the Year and one for Best Rap Album.
Since then, she has dropped two more albums: This Is Not a Test! and The Cookbook. She also opened for Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, 50 Cent, and Janet Jackson at various concerts.
On top of that, she has appeared in a number of TV shows over the past few years including America’s Best Dance Crew, The Voice, Star, and My Super Sweet 16.
2. Queen Latifah – $60 Million
Queen Latifah released her debut album All Hail the Queen in 1989. Met with praise, it spawned five albums including “Ladies First”, which remains one of her most popular songs to this date. She eventually followed up with Nature of a Sista’ in 1991. From there, she starred in the Fox sitcom Living Single, where she played the role of Khadijah James.
That same year, she dropped her third album Black Reign, which went on to receive gold certification from the RIAA. Not only that but it also spawned the hit song “U.N.I.T.Y.”, which won a Grammy Award and charted within the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Since then, she has released four additional albums, the most recent of which came out in 2009. Not only that but she also participated in the 2005-06 Sugar Water Festival Tour and the 2007 Travlin’ Light Tour. Her acting career has also picked up; some of her more recent film credits include The Tiger Rising, End of the Road, Miracles From Heaven, 22 Jump Street, House of Bodies, and Joyful Noise.
Since 2021, she has also been starring in the CBS crime drama The Equalizer, which she also works on as an executive producer.
1. Nicki Minaj – $75 Million
Nicki Minaj is often considered the greatest female rapper of the 21st century. She began her career in the late 2000s with several mixtapes before releasing her debut album Pink Friday in 2010. A huge hit, it topped the Billboard 200 and spawned several hit songs including “Super Bass”, which has since been certified diamond but the RIAA.
It was soon followed by Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in 2012. Another commercial success, it gave rise to several singles including “Starships”, “Pound the Alarm”, “Automatic”, “Va Va Voom”, “Right by My Side”, and “Beez in the Trap.” To promote the album, she also embarked on the Pink Friday Tour, which consisted of 41 show dates.
To date, she has released two additional albums: The Pinkprint and Queen. Not only that but she has also collaborated with several music artists including Karol G, Lil Wayne, Lil Baby, Mike Will Make It, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Juicy J, and Myrian Fares. In 2019, she also co-headlined The Nicki Wrld Tour alongside fellow rapper Juice Wrld.