*After an exciting presentation of the BET Awards 2017, Pandora decided to take a deeper look at the ‘Best Female Rap’ category to analyze who really holds the crown as the ‘Queen of Hip-Hop’.

Pandora reviewed listener data from its 76 million monthly users to evaluate the rise and decline of artists Remy Ma, Young M.A., Nicki Minaj, Cardi B and Missy Elliot over the past year. From this information, they were able to create a ranking from 1-5 based off listener engagement including most added artist station, most streamed track and most engaged geographic.


#1: Unsurprisingly, Nicki Minaj continues to dominate the category with an impressive 2.1 million station adds within the last year, meaning listeners are personally creating stations using songs by Nicki Minaj and/or her name directly. The most streamed song from Nicki Minaj within the last year is actually a guest feature on the song ‘Swalla’ by Jason Derulo with 35.4 million spins and her largest U.S. listener base is split between California and Texas.

Nicki Minaj attends the "Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City.

Nicki Minaj attends the “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City.

Nicki Minaj 

Artist station adds: 2.1 million

Top song: Swalla: 35.4 million spins

Top Markets:

CA: 11%

TX: 10%

FL: 6%

NY: 5%

PA: 4%


The most surprising stats start at our #2 addition, note the remainder of the list below;

#2: Beginning the summer of 2016 with breakout hit ‘Ooouuu’, rapper Young M.A. surged in the charts due to her unforgettable hit song, celebrated freestyle tracks, innovative stage presence and growing fan base in her hometown of New York City. Her breakout hit song ‘Ooouuu’ has been streamed over 76.5 million times and listeners have created almost 1 million stations based off her likeness.

young M.A.

Young M.A.

Young M.A.

Artist station adds: 855,347

Top song: OOOUUU: 76.5 million spins

Top Markets:

NY: 10%

CA: 9%

TX: 8%

FL: 7%

PA: 6%


#3: No stranger to the hit list, Missy Elliott experienced an impressive return to music releasing three singles over the past year and numerous endorsements that kept her music front and center with listeners. Missy Elliott landed a respectable 298,691 station adds and her hit song ‘Pep Rally’ was streamed 1.3 million times since its release.

Missy Elliott in her video for "WTF (Where They From)"

Missy Elliott in her video for “WTF (Where They From)”

Missy Elliott

Artist station adds: 298,691

Top song: Pep Rally 1.3 million spins

Top Markets:

CA: 14%

TX: 9%

FL: 7%

NY: 6%

IL: 4%


#4: Controversial rapper Remy Ma has many hip-hop fans split between herself and rival Nick Minaj ever since the release of her infamous diss track ‘Shether’. Removing the hip-hop beef from the equation, Remy Ma has celebrated a pretty remarkable year on her road to public redemption since being released from prison. She scored a #1 hit with longtime collaborator Fat Joe, appeared on the hit reality TV show ‘Love and Hip-Hop New York’ and most recently, performed a critically acclaimed set during the ‘Hot 97 Summer Jam’ concert. Though Remy Ma’s station adds trail significantly behind Nicki Minaj and Young M.A, do not count the Bronx bred emcee out of the race, as she is still preparing to release her highly anticipated second studio album in the near future.

remy ma1 - the real

Remy Ma as co-host on ‘The Real’

Remy Ma

Artist station adds: 187,914

Top song: All The Way Up: 52.2 million spins

Top Markets:

NY: 12%

CA: 8%

PA: 7%

TX: 6.1%

FL: 6%


#5: Rounding out the list is rapper Cardi B who is undoubtedly the breakout star of 2017. Beginning her rise in hip-hop, Cardi B used her star power from a weekly appearance on ‘Love and Hip New York’ to jumpstart a rap career that hip-hop critics panned as inauthentic. After the release of her debut mixtape in 2016, Cardi B released a flurry of singles alongside visuals to make her name/presence known in the hip-hop world. A colorful personality and clever vernacular, Cardi B is a star on the rise and Pandora wouldn’t be surprised if she topped the list in 2018.

cardi b

Cardi B

Cardi B 

Artist station adds: 170,259

Top song: Foreva—4.4 million spins

Top Markets:

CA: 11%

NY: 9%

TX: 8%

FL: 6%

PA: 5%




Duran Brown
Pandora | Director, Consumer Communications
E: [email protected]