The spirit of a woman is one to behold and when translated into music can reach deep into your soul and shake the core of your existence.
South Africa has produced some of the hottest femcees, telling their stories through their own unique and diverse perspectives; and in a male-dominated music industry, this is no easy feat. Continuing with our women's month features we take a look at some of the female emcees who have made their mark in South Africa and are challenging the perceptions of hip-hop fanatics around the globe.
Dope Saint Jude
The playful yet hard-hitting lyrics of Dope Saint Jude has been heard across the world this year, and it has definitely been one of the most fruitful years for the Cape Town rapper. Having toured the USA and France already, she has gone from strength to strength using her self-produced beats as the platform for her sassy stage presence.
Moving from Cape Town a year or two ago, Miss Patty Monroe has been making some major moves. This year saw her take her energetic, rapid-fire lyrics further up into Africa to Kenya and Uganda. Her latest project Castles steers away from her typical demeanour and focusses on malnourishment, an important topic that she believes needs to be addressed.
Congolese/South African rapper Rouge has garnered an immense amount of attention this year. After featuring on AKA's 2015 track The Baddest, the right elements have come together to place her on the upper echelon of the hip-hop industry in South Africa. Her track Mbongo Zaka has become a defining moment in her career, with one of the most visually pleasing music videos we've seen this year.
Undeniably one of the most unique femcees in South Africa at the moment, Nicci St. Bruce aka Push Push brings a raw, unadulterated essence to electro/bass tunes. There's a definite glitch-hop influence in her music reminiscent of PH Fat and Sedge Warbler, but with her own "brat rapping in a PE accent" style.
Durban based Clara-T brings straight underground hip-hop flavour to the forefront. As one of the most lyrically gifted femcees in SA, and also one of the youngest, Clara-T is just getting started with her takeover of the industry. Her track City is a perfect example of the kind of vocabulary she holds within her arsenal and with her eyes on the prize, this young femcee is looking to claim her thrown.
Chazz Le Hippie
As the host of Back To The City 2016 this year, it's clear that Chazz has arrived in the hip-hop industry. In 2014, she claimed the spot as Slaghuis Queen of Street Rap Winner and also landed herself a South African Hip Hop Awards Nomination. Chazz epitomises the term "dynamite comes in small packages" and has the ability to elevate her verses to a fever pitch; which is evident in the last verse of her track Fast Traap.
One of the better-known femcees in South Africa, Nadia Nakai has become an icon in the South African hip-hop industry. She has come a long way from her 2013 single Like Me, which showcased her lyrical skills brilliantly and is now catering to her massive fanbase base bringing radio-ready hip-hop to the forefront.
Gigi Lamayne is probably one of the hardest working emcees in the studio, frequently releasing music and featuring on countless tracks this year. She won the best female at the SA Hip Hop Awards in 2013 and 2014 and has continued making her mark in the industry ever since. Her forthcoming album Genesis will definitely be one to look out for later this year.
The first lady of Motswako had one of the biggest tracks of this year so far, Kuse Kuze, with fellow Ambitious Entertainment artist Emtee. Being in the same stable as HHP, Cassper Nyovest and Khuli Chana, Fifi has become one of South Africa's favourite femcees and has racked up 3 SAMAs in the last three years.
The "Triple Threat" Lil Red brings her many talents to create a radio-friendly, accessible sound. Her signature red mane is hard to miss and her performances are sure to get you bouncing in the club. She has performed at a few top-notch event this year already and it looks like she is just getting started to kick things off.
You can mention South African hip-hop without including Kanyi. She has been on the frontline of the hip-hop movement for years and is still one of the most talented lyricists in the country. With an impeccable flow that puts your head in a whirl, she is untouchable when it comes to her execution. Her track Ingoma literally sounds like a voodoo spell, putting you in a trance.
Yugen Blakrok has had a very busy year so far, taking her flows and introspective lyrics to Germany, Czech Republic and France. Yugen stays true to underground hip-hop, from her beat selection to her demeanour, even her kung fu references bleeds "real" hip-hop. In a world of quick fixes and manufactured artists, Yugen keeps the tattered flag flying, to remind all those who have forgotten the roots of hip-hop.
Miss Celaneous doesn't hou her bek for anyone and is known as one of the most outspoken emcees in the country. What makes Miss Celaneous so potent as an artist is her versatility, able to sing on a R'nB track, then bust a hard 16 bar on a hip-hop beat. Ever-evolving and impressing with her tenacity and drive, she is an unapologetic go-getter with her eyes on the throne.
Notable mention: Protista and Lex Lafoy (formerly known as Lexicon)
When it comes to hip-hop, nothing quite encapsulates the genre as much as the battle and when these two hit it off it was bound to be flames. Protista and Lexicon went head to head at Scrambles For Money, a battle competition which brings the best underground emcees together to spit their bars to win the cash prize. This is how it went down: