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Within the world of grime, you could argue that it’s a case of too many man. It’s long been an industry dominated by men – with male voices like Stormzy and Skepta continuing to storm the charts, but that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of outstanding female-identifying MCs out there, from scene stalwarts like Lady Leshurr and Nadia Rose to early pioneers like Shystie and Ms Dynamite – not to mention a crop of up-and-comers.
South West London’s Cassie Rytz is a female making waves in the grime scene. She’s just put out her ‘Starts Here‘ mixtape, a self-assured 10-track debut packed with fire, with Rytz melding grime, dancehall and more via gold standard production. As a vocal force within grime herself, below she’s listed her all-time favourite tracks by female grime MCs.
1. Lady Leshurr – ‘Queen’s Speech Ep.4′
“Lady Leshurr’s ability to combine banter with bars is hard and she always has cool visuals to match.”
2. Female Takeover – ‘Game Over’
“Growing up with my brother listening to grime, it was sick to see a track with all the top females on it.”
3. Lioness – ‘DBT Freestyle’
“Lioness is one of the hardest, and her using a tune to address her haters in the industry? Mad respect.”
4. RoxXxan – ‘Too F*cking Facety’
“Respect to RoxXxan with this tune because she stayed true to herself and her image when everyone was telling her to be different. I resonate with that a lot.”
5. Mikey J & The UK Female Allstars – ‘Rock The Mic’
“Again, a perfect example of dope females coming together to show why they should be respected in this grime game!”
6. Stush – ‘Ah Me Dat’
“I didn’t know much about Stush until I heard this song. Her mix of dancehall with grime is similar to what I do.”
7. Laughta – ‘Pree My Ting’
“Laughta is Laughta. She owns her tracks, there’s never any doubt that she’s jumped on a riddim and it didn’t bang.”
8. So Solid Crew & Ms Dynamite – ‘Envy’
“I know this is a So Solid track, however I think we can all agree that Ms Dynamite owned this track. Every time I hear this tune, I remember no matter where, what or who I’m with, I have to kill it!”
9. C Cane – ‘Levels’
“The irony of this song… C Cane is definitely levels above loads of other MCs. I love her flows and bars.”
10. Lady Fury – ‘Beginning Of The End’
“I remember the first time hearing this song, I was beyond gassed to hear a female MC spit with the aggression, diction, clarity and grittiness. It showed me that I don’t have to spit a certain way to be accepted as a female MC.”
Cassie Rytz’s ‘Starts Here’ mixtape is out now – stream/download it here.