Missy Elliott

Iconic Looks, Endless Inspiration: The Fashion Legacy of Black Female Rappers


Oct. 21 2023, Published 9:21 p.m. ET

Iconic! There’s simply no other word to describe the remarkable fashion style of our Black queens in the hip-hop scene. From Missy Elliott to Eve to Nicki Minaj and Cardi B today, these female rappers are leaving a mark not only for their talent on the mic but also for pushing boundaries in the fashion scene.

Let’s take a look at several trailblazing Black female rappers and their signature styles.

Missy Elliott

The “Supa Dupa Fly” rapper had a more tomboy approach to fashion in the 90s and early 2000s. Missy was known for sporting tracksuits and sneakers on the red carpet. Missy also knew how to rock an accessory, whether it was a bold belt or matching hat. “My personal style early on was so crazy,” she told BET. “I just wore whatever I felt at the time. And nobody looked at me like I was crazy. So when I put on that blow-up suit with the finger waves, it was like, 'whoever this girl is, this is her.'

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She continued, “I just love being creative and wasn't afraid to try different things. I did whatever I felt at the time.”


As we moved into the early ‘00s, female rappers like Eve took centerstage and had a tough yet chic approach to fashion. Some of her top fashion moments include her hot pink fur coat ensemble at the 2000 American Music Awards, the 2003 Met Gala where she wore a black Gucci gown with ruffles (showing off her signature paw print tattoos), and every look from her “Gangsta Lovin’” music video.

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The “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” artist definitely influenced the style of future rappers like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.

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Nicki Minaj

There is no denying that Nicki Minaj referenced fellow female rapper Lil Kim when she first came onto the scene — the self-proclaimed Barbie rocked platinum blonde wigs, and bright and bold ensembles, and was not afraid to show off her curves. However, Nicki’s style has evolved, and now the “Black Friday” artist leans toward more sophisticated designers such as Alexander McQueen, Versace, and Balmain.

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“I've constantly tried new things, even as a child, and have always been obsessed with pink. Now I'm just a little more ladylike and fearless. You should never feel afraid to become a piece of art. It's exhilarating,” she explained to Teen Vogue.

Megan Thee Stallion

Hot girl meets glamour when it comes to Megan Thee Stallion’s style. The “WAP” rapper is not afraid to show some skin with her sexy ensembles, but she does so with grace.

"I choose my own clothing," Megan wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times. "Let me repeat: I choose what I wear, not because I am trying to appeal to men, but because I am showing pride in my appearance, and a positive body image is central to who I am as a woman and a performer."

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This positive body image can be seen in her most recent red carpet appearance, where she wore a completely sheer and beaded gown by ​​Salih ​​Balta.

Black Girl Magic

Before women could embrace their femininity fashion-wise in the rap industry, they had to embrace masculine fashion to be seen as men's equals.

Fashion, for them, has always been a tool for power and to demand respect. Fast forward, and Black female rappers continue to start fashion standards that inspire and influence the industry, and we love to see it!

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