By Jillian Rago
It is no secret that the music industry in Canada is heavily male dominated. But these Canadian women have grabbed the mic and paved the way for female voices - pioneering hip-hop and rap in the country.
1. Michele Geister
Michele Geister is not a household name when it comes to hip-hop. However, she was instrumental to bringing hip-hop to the forefront of Canadian media. Michele was a producer of Rapcity, one of the first TV shows to focus solely on local rap and hip-hop music.
The show ran for 14 years. Geister also produced Soul in the City, a weekly one-hour series that focused on Canada’s urban music.
2. Michi Mee
© Kenny Lavish | Youtube
One of the first Canadian women to break into hip hop was none other than Michi Mee. She and rapper, La Luv, produced several hits in the late 80s to late 90s. Their songs garnered national and international success.
At the height of her music career, Michie Mee and other artists produced a single to shed light on Canada’s lack of inclusion of hip-hop, in mainstream music outlets. Hip hop is ever evolving but remains as one of the most popular music genres in Canada today.
© We Are Dream Warriors | YouTube
3. Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado came to the hip-hop scene with the release of her third album, Loose. “Promiscuous” and “Say It Right” were instant hits. Furtado credits much of her success from this album to producer, Timbaland. Timbaland produced several hit songs for artists, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, and more.
4. Keshia Chante
Keshia Chante, like the other women on this list, started her music career at a young age. She signed with SonyMusic Canada at the age of 14. Her hits, “Unpredicatable” and “Bad Boy,” topped the radio charts. Both singles were from her debut album.
She became a co-host on BET’s 106&Park. In 2018, it was announced that she would be the celebrity correspondent on Entertainment Tonight Canada. The same year she released part 2 of her EP, Unbound.
5. Reema Major
At 15, Reema Major was the rapper to watch. She was asked to appear on BET’s Hip Hop Awards, the youngest Canadian female rapper to do so.
Major stands out as a lyricist among other popular rappers today. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
As a producer, WondaGurl has worked with the likes of Travis Scott, Jay-Z, and Drake, to name a few. But her dream is to make music for movies, games, and commercials.
When speaking about her experiences as a woman in the music industry, for BETNetworks’ YouTube channel, she says that it has been up and down.
“Being a female helped, because once people see that I’m the one behind the beats, they have crazy amount of respect for me afterwards.” - WondaGurl
Whether they are creating a platform for artists to be heard or producing chart-topping hits, these women are dominating all aspects of music. It is safe to say that the future of hip-hop and rap in Canada is definitely female.