The Motherlode
100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop
By Clover Hope
Illustrator Rachelle Baker
  • Imprint: Abrams Image
  • Publication Date: February 2, 2021
  • Price: $24.99
  • Trim Size: 7 12 x 9
  • ISBN: 978-1-4197-4296-5
  • EAN: 9781419742965
  • Page Count: 240
  • Illustrations: 50 4-color illustrations
  • Format: Paperback
  • Rights: World/All
  • Additional formats:

An illustrated highlight reel of more than 100 women in rap who have helped shape the genre and eschewed gender norms in the process

The Motherlode highlights more than 100 women who have shaped the power, scope, and reach of rap music, including pioneers like Roxanne Shanté, game changers like Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott, and current reigning queens like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Lizzo—as well as everyone who came before, after, and in between. Some of these women were respected but not widely celebrated. Some are impossible not to know. Some of these women have stood on their own; others were forced into templates, compelled to stand beside men in big rap crews. Some have been trapped in a strange critical space between respected MC and object. They are characters, caricatures, lyricists, at times both feminine and explicit. This book profiles each of these women, their musical and career breakthroughs, and the ways in which they each helped change the culture of rap.


“The author and journalist Clover Hope’s enthralling book gives female architects of hip-hop their long awaited dues.”
The New York Times
“The book’s infographics and beautifully illustrated portraits by Rachelle Baker are made to reel readers into every next page.”
The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop illustrates the stigmas, career breakthroughs, highs and lows of hip hop to show how these iconic women helped shape and change the culture of rap.”
The Root
“Over the course of the book’s 238 pages of essays, factoids, interviews, and gorgeous illustrations by Rachelle Baker, Hope leaves very, very few stones unturned in pursuit of a fuller, richer, more in-depth history of women’s contributions to hip-hop music than has ever been attempted before.”
“An appealing survey that highlights many unsung heroines along with the superstars. For hip-hop fans and music historians alike.”

Library Journal

About the author

Clover Hope is a Brooklyn-based writer who has previously worked as an editor at Vibe, XXL, Billboard, and Jezebel. Hope has written for a range of publications far and wide, including Essence, GQ, Wall Street Journal Magazine, the New York Times, Cosmo, Elle, and the Village Voice, among others. She is currently a contributing editor at Pitchfork and an adjunct professor at NYU. She was a cowriter on Beyoncé’s Black Is King film. Her book, The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop, a comprehensive history of female rappers, is in bookstores everywhere.