Hip-hop is seen as a "man's world," and it's easy to see why: Since 2000, just 17 female rappers have made it into the top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100 chart, Jezebel reports. That number goes down even further when you eliminate the female rappers who did so either as a featured artist on a song by a male or males, or with a featured artist of their own. Since 2010, only three have cracked the top 20 with solo singles: Nicki Minaj, Young M.A., and, most recently, Cardi B of Love & Hip Hop. Meanwhile, more than 184 male rappers or rap acts have made it into the Top 20 since 2000.
Jezebel runs down some of the other issues with the lack of diversity in the genre, like the fact that there is no Grammy award for best female rap solo performance (one did exist, but only for two years) and the recent interview given by rapper and record label owner Rick Ross in which he said he doesn't sign female rappers because he's afraid he'd have sex with them and things would get messy. Following that interview, Pitchfork surveyed hip-hop record labels and found that no label had signed more than two female rappers. Three of the labels hadn't signed any. Earlier this year, Pitchfork conducted an investigation dating back to 1991 and concluded that the rap industry and mainstream society only support one "rap queen" at a time. "There are plenty of women rappers out there," concludes Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak. "But what seems to be lacking is opportunity." (Read more rap music stories.)