Fashion & Beauty Trend of Black Female Rappers


Hip hop artists have great influence on African American women’s fashion, beauty, and culture. Their music videos feature not only music but also the culture and fashion trend of the time. The trends appearing in music videos of 2022 can be summarized into two keywords: “Y2K” and “retro”. Experts say that younger generations tend to find consolation from nostalgia when they are having hardship, which brought the Y2K and retro trend back to life. We will pinpoint some of these fashion and beauty trends from hottest female rappers’ music videos and their fashion.

For the sake of timeliness of our trend analysis, we only covered music videos and stage performance made in or after September 2022.

01. Hair

Barbie ponytail

Once an iconic style of ’90s, it is often called 90’s ponytail, retro ponytail, Genie ponytail, and ponytail with swoop. You can see barbie ponytail styles in a newly released music video by rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.

Screenshot of Cardi B’s Hotshit music video

Screenshot of Nicki Minaj’s Likkie Miss Remix music video

90’s Updo

Center part bang and natural curl are the key elements of this style. In the early 2000s, hip hop artists endured long hours to flatten their hair to make this hairdo, but 20 years later, today, a person with textured hair can easily wear 90’s updos in various colors and styles thanks to the advancement of lace front wigs.

A screenshot of Cardi B’s Hotshit music video

Rapper Latto featured in a music video of Nardo Wick’s Baby WYD?

Deep side part and pigtail

One of the representative hairstyles of millennial culture in the early 2000s. The rounded up hair tips gave birth to the name pigtail. Deep side part can go along with a barbie ponytail or two ponytails, and hair accessories and braids can be added as a highlight.

@Flomillishit Rapper Flo Milli’s ads for fashion brand Supreme

@trinarockstarr Rapper Trina’s hairdo at 2022 BET Hip Hop Award

02. Fashion

Y2K cargo pants

Low-rise cargo pants and body jewelry along with a display of brand name underwear are the key characteristics, and it is often called fold over waist or Y2K cargo pants. Military patterns and leather are most popular. This style can be found at Tomorrow 2 music video released in September this year by a rookie rapper Glorilla.

A screenshot of the music video, Tomorrow 2, by Glorilla and Cardi B

A display of Tom Ford underwear under low rise pants

Barbie & pink

Nicki Minaj’s iconic barbie doll look of 2010 came back again after the barbie trend of today after twelve years. Aside from barbie styles, many artists are wearing pink-themed styles this year.

Super Bass released in 2010

03. Nail

Chrome nail

Silver, gold, and chrome nails are another Y2K trend that bring back the memories of cyber and techno styles in the 2000s. At the time, it was called mirror nails.

@erierinailz Rapper Lizzo at 2022 MTV VMA awards

Screenshot from a Persuasive music video by Doechii & SZA released in last September

Duck nail

Its shape resembles a duck’s feet, so it is called duck nails. This is part of Y2K style that is going hot this year. Due to the uncanny look, it is either loved or hated. And often it is considered the ugliest trend. However, more than 5,000 videos are uploaded on TikTok in this style.

Rapper Cardi B’s nail featured in Glorilla’s music video

04. Jewelry

Belly chain

Compared to the early 2000s’ belly chain trend, today’s belly chain has grown out of its fixed framework of wearing them with low-rise jeans or velvet sweat pants and has become more sophisticated with various items including cargo pants, skirts, jeans, crop tops, and bikinis.

Aaliyah, Chirstina Aguilera and Nelly Furtado wearing belly chains in 2001

@coileray Rapper Coi Leray performance in September 2022

@glorillapimp Rapper Glorilla’s body jewelry

05. Makeup

Gloss & lip line

Compared to the last year when most people wore a facial mask, 2022 eye makeups are less vibrant. But when it comes to lip makeup, they are glossy with dark lip lines or overlines with gradation.

 Dark lip lines started out in the low-income areas where African Americans and Latin Americans interacted to create a single diaspora style. However, famous rappers like Lil Kim wore them, and it became largely popular in ’90s.

@latto777 Dark lip line makeups of rapper Latto

@theestallion Rapper Megan the stallion wearing ombre lip makeup

@thegirljt City Girls member JT wearing ombre lip makeup

’90s skinny brow

Coming in the late 2000s, thick and bold eyebrows with pomade gels dominated the makeup trend for a while. However, since the second half of this year, lighter colored and lightly touched eyebrows and thinner looks are anticipated to be popular. Thinner brows once had become a trend in ’90s by Gwen Stefani, Naomi Campbell, and Angelina Jolie.

@iwantalexx Singer/rapper Lizzo’s much thinner eyebrow

@glamour Rapper Doja Cat at 2022 Billboard Award


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