It's so crucial seeing the rise of female rappers in hiphop again, here in Seattle and everywhere else. I don't think there's any question that Nicki Minaj's rise in the mainstream is bringing more access and ears to females in the mainstream—AKA Banks Iggy (boo) and Azaleia (coo).

There's also plenty new women bubbling under the surface, from Snow Tha Product to Reddd Foxxx. Today, let's have a listen to New York's Angel Haze:


Hers is a name I've been hearing a bit lately from folks back east. Haze's voice almost reminds me of Aubrey until she kicks in that gas and styles more than that guy's seemingly capable of. She should really be getting big props from the more purist side of the game, seeing as it's clear that she spits, like really spits—she doesn't have to rely on, you know, or on extra-extra gangsta talk that seems doubtful she or her folks could back up (the unfortunate thing about Azaelia, especially when she likes to bait guys who clearly have too many guns). Haze, like Nicki and Banks, reps New York, and does it well:


Now hopefully she can do her thing without having to diss her contemporaries, which—as Julianne Escobedo Shepherd points out in her excellent Alternet piece on Nicki's successes and shortcomings as a feminist—is the historic rapper-lady trap. Like Shepherd, I'd like to see a 2012 "Ladies First" as well, or even a "Ladies Night (Not Tonight Remix)", for that matter.