Kiwi rapper JessB says it's a great time for female MCs, but believes sections of the hip-hop community need to open their minds and ears to the diverse range of talented women making their mark around the world.

Speaking to iconic New Zealand producer P-Money on a new weekly iheart Radio podcast, JessB (real name Jess Bourke) said she was excited about the growing number of unique female rappers receiving attention and recognition.

"It's so exciting to see so many female rappers . . . none of them sound the same, and all of them doing so good," says Bourke.

"Leikeli47…there's so many, I could go on and on about it. Now more than ever, there is finally room for more than just one.


"It's exciting for me as a female rapper trying to do my thing. I'm like: cool, now's the time."

Jess B chats to P-Money on the Tuborg Turnup podcast. Video / Supplied

But the talented lyricist remains frustrated that new female rappers are not always judged on their merits, and says it's unfair to compare them to the pioneers from hip-hop's old guard.

"I did this interview in Australia on the radio and they were like 'so, Nicki (Minaj) or Cardi (B)?'", she explained.

"And I'm like, 'what?' Then I went on this whole rant about how I refused to choose.

"They were going 'oh, I feel like we need a new Lauryn Hill'. I'm like 'nah, there's never going to be another Lauryn Hill because Lauryn Hill's Lauryn Hill'."

Bourke maintains that if the industry can tolerate and embrace all versions of male hip-hop, women should be allowed the same freedom to explore different styles of rap.

"If dudes get to have rappers with one brain cell rapping the same word over and over, and really super-intellectual dudes having fully-formed concepts flowing through different layers of the song, then I feel like those extremes and everything in between should be able to exist without being compared to Lauryn Hill, or being compared to Cardi, or Nicki.

"They should just be able to exist and if people mess with that stuff then they can."

JessB chats about where her music has taken her around the world. Video / Supplied

Bourke went on to slam the hypocrisy and ignorance of Atlanta rapper Jermaine Dupri's recent Twitter outburst, in which he described Minaj, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion as being "like strippers rapping".


"For every one chick that's rapping about stripping or something along those lines, there's 10 dudes rapping about being in the strip club! What you talkin' bout?

"Everyone's rapping about the same thing but you've got a problem with the woman doing it. Why?"

"So there is still obviously always going to be that pushback. I think it's more dismissive behaviour or comments from men who haven't even engaged before they make a comment."

Tuborg Turnup is a new weekly iHeart radio podcast hosted by P-Money available to stream from today.