A stunningly illustrated oracle deck featuring 52 of hip-hop’s most influential queens (from Lauryn Hill to Megan Thee Stallion) serving as compass points for spiritual growth and portals to guidance and meditation—from the author of God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop
The fifty-two artists included—from MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, and Lil’ Kim to Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj—are hip-hop’s oracles, now immortalized from tape deck to card deck. Veteran music journalist and certified oracle reader Kathy Iandoli matched each queen with an appropriate symbol, based on her decades of experience interviewing (and befriending) iconic artists, past and present. Rendered in the bold, colorful, pop art–style portraiture of artist Monica Ahanonu on sturdy, oversized cards with rounded corners, these DJs, MCs, and singers will guide you the same way they’ve blazed trails from the underground to the mainstream since day one.
The author, Kathy Iandoli reached out and sent a free copy of the deck for me to review (and enjoy!). So thanks a lot, Kathy, because I love it!
This deck is so colourful and vibrant and the women featured on the cards are legitimately inspiring. This is the second oracle card that features musicians that I’ve got, and it is superior in every way. The cards are beautiful, the book is thorough, and the readings are accurate. I definitely recommend this deck to anyone who loves music, hip hop, and iconic women!
🃏🃏🃏🃏/5! Four out of five fools!
The Art: ♣️♣️♣️♣️♣️
I am absolutely blown away by the art on this deck. The likenesses are so accurate and the colours are beautiful. The art is both modern and retro which fits the selection of queens from the beginnings of rap until now. The artist is Monica Ahanonu and I cannot recommend following her on Instagram enough! It’s full of bold colours, beautiful portraits, and black voices. (@MonicaAhanonu)The cards themselves are great. Like most oracle decks, the cards are wider than tarot, but still easy to hold and shuffle. They’re not too thick but don’t feel flimsy, and don’t stick together at all.
The Symbolism: ♥️♥️♥️♥️
The design of the cards is fairly simple, but the artist does a pretty good job of making sure each queen really exudes the meaning of the card through facial expressions or by including extra symbols. Foxy Brown’s face is PURE ATTITUDE whether you know her or not and the cash raining down on the City Girls definitely says hustle. Still, there are many cards that really rely on you knowing the figure to get the full effect. Mary J. Blige is a remarkable symbol for healing if you know her story, but if you don’t you may not totally understand. Especially since the book doesn’t really say what Mary healed from. Honestly, I think I just need to also have God Save the Queens by Kathy Iandoli nearby to get everything I really want out of this deck! Haha
More hip-hop queens from Kathy Iandoli
The Book: ♠️♠️♠️♠️
The included book is great! It’s full colour and for each card you get keywords, a quick rundown on the featured Queen and what makes her iconic, and then a paragraph outlining what it means to get the card in a reading. At the front of the book the author gives examples of certain spreads and what a card might mean in that kind of spread with specific examples. It was really helpful! My FAVOURITE thing in the whole book is a spread entitled “What’s your Hip-Hop Supergroup?” You literally pull cards and build a supergroup from the artists! It says it’s great for making playlists or to do with friends and y’all— she’s right! What cool about this is that you really learn something about others playing with you – no two people will come up with an identical group even if they pull the same cards! And the playlists I made where all suspiciously appropriate for what I was doing or the energy I needed for the day.
The one thing I would have liked but didn’t find are specific song recommendations on each card. Just one song that perfectly captured the message. I’m sure that, like me, many that gravitate toward the deck know some of the queens but will eventually pull a card with a figure they’re unfamiliar with. Spotify will tell you the top hits, but I’d relish a recommendation by the writer of the book who is knowledgeable and (presumably) has good taste!
The Reading: ♦️♦️♦️♦️♦️
The big question— do they work? The short answer is YES. I used them for morning readings and for specific questions or problems and got really helpful and accurate readings. A few times I ended up hearing a song by the artist later in the day in a strange way— like my neighbour who listens to classic rock suddenly listening to Lizzo, and my sister who isn’t a hip hop fan deciding to put on a local Detroit rap, hip hop and R&B radio station and a song by each of the three artists I drew played in a row. It was wild!
I pulled a card with my Patreon group from both the Hip Hop Queens and a tarot deck and got Lisa Left-Eye Lopez (vision) and the 3 of Wands. These cards lined up so perfectly I was genuinely shocked and they really helped me through the week. (Also it made me listen to TLC and they’re fabulous. Creep?! It’s the best!)
The card meanings in the book are really clear so even if you don’t know much about the Queen just looking at the card, you can still get an accurate reading.
All in all I would definitely recommend checking it out if the subject matter is of interest to you. And if, like me, your hip-hop knowledge and fandom doesn’t really extend past 2005 (or 1999!) you’ll still love the words of wisdom from Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, and Erykah Badu while discovering some new artists you may never have come across! I especially love the idea of building a super group and a playlist based on the cards you pull! It’s fun and functional and beautiful to look at.
Meet the Creators
Illustrator: Monica Ahanuno