Queen Latifah is one of the most talented female emcees of all time. Although her career in the film industry has been nothing short of magnificent, we cannot forget that she is the god-mother of hip-hop. Her career in film cannot overshadow the legacy that she left in hip hop. At one point in her show, Whoopi Goldberg praised her for rapping without using explicit words which were associated with hip-hop. Her talents were brought to the limelight by Mark Howard James who saw her perform with Eddie Stockley in a group named, Quiet Storm.
Their first demo tape, “Wrath of My Madness” was sent to Dante Ross of Tommy Boy Records who was quite impressed with it. The tape went on air within 12 hours and she got signed by Tommy Boy Records. Queen Latifah’s raps are about issues surrounding the black woman, which has resulted in her being branded as a “feminist rapper.” Her songs have covered female issues such as domestic abuse, harassment on the streets, and relationship issues.
Over the course of her career, she has won numerous accolades such as multiple Grammy Awards, NAACP Image Awards, as well as a host of other film awards and recognitions. Queen Latifah became the first rapper to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in 1997. Queen Latifah is a true female hip-hop legend. Here are her top 10 songs of all time.
# 10 – Go Head
At number 10 in our list of the top 10 Queen Latifah songs is a song that sampled a Chaoui song and was produced by Timbaland. The video of the song was filmed at a raceway park in New Jersey. The Timbaland beats are insane, and Queen Latifah brings her top tier rapping skills to this track.
# 9 – It’s Alright
If you have watched the film, “Nothing To Lose,” then you probably recognise this song from the movie’s soundtracks. “Its Alright” is one of the few Queen Latifah’s singles where she features only her singing, without rapping. This song proves that Queen Latifah is not only good at rapping, but she has got some amazing vocals.
# 8 – Bananas (Who You Gonna Call?)
Queen Latifah’s 1998 album, Order in Court has some bangers and it is one of her most underrated albums in my opinion. The song was recorded in New York City and features New Jersey Rapper Apache. The song has two music videos with one video showing Queen Latifah and Tommy Davidson playing a video game after which Queen Latifah loses the game. The second video of the song introduces the next song in our list after Queen Latifah tells her counterpart after losing the game, that she will find him in “Paper.”
# 7 – Paper
Although I don’t like the sample of this song, I have always admired Queen Latifah’s magical vocals. “Paper,” is the first song that Queen Latifah released that does not showcase her rapping skills. The song was released on 5th May 1998 and is written by Paco Michael, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong.
# 6 – Court Is In Session
“Court Is In Session” is the second track from Queen Latifah’s 1998 album, Order In The Court. In the track, Queen Latifah starts off with some cool opening bars, saying, “Court is in session, I’m the judge, jury and the prosecution….” Queen Latifah’s flow and incredible rapping skills in the song compliment the beat of this song which make it a must listen if you haven’t.
# 5 – Black Hand Side
Queen Latifah’s album, Black Reign, was a classic and no wonder it appears so much on this list. At her peak, Queen Latifah was one of the few female artists who you could listen to and feel that her message could resonate well with everyone. The song samples, “Hello It’s Me” by The Isley Brothers and the lyrics were written by Queen Latifah and S.I.D.
# 4 – Dance For Me
Queen Latifah was so talented that at times, it seemed like she could do it all. The number four song in our list of her best songs is the song, “Dance For Me.” The song comes from her classic debut studio album, All Hail The Queen which was released in 1989. The track peaked at position 14 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-hop songs.
# 3 – Just Another Day
“Just Another Day” will definitely give you a strong sense of nostalgia even if you weren’t born in the 90’s. The song comes from her album, Black Reign and it’s about how a normal day in Queen Latifah’s neighbourhood looks like. In the song, she takes pride in her neighbourhood despite the crime, presence of police, and danger that always lurks. The song is featured as a soundtrack in HBO’s Documentary Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock. The track peaked at position 54 on Billboard Hot 100 and remained on the chart for more than 10 weeks.
# 2 – Ladies First
“Ladies First” is one of Queen Latifah’s most significant songs since its message showed the White Americans a very different perspective about Black women. The song features another incredible female rapper by the name Monie Love who complimented Queen Latifah’s amazing verses. Queen Latifah’s flow during the intro is one of the best that female rap has ever produced. “Ladies First,” which is the seventh single from her debut studio album, All Hail The Queen, was ranked 35 on VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Hip Hop songs.
# 1 0 – U.N.I.T.Y.
The number one song in our list of the greatest songs from this celebrated hip hop female icon comes from her album, Black Reign. The 1993 hit song was released at a time when hip-hop was more of a lifestyle than a music genre. What caught the attention of news outlets, parental groups and political leaders is the lyrics to the song. Due to its message, the song was often played across many radio stations uncensored. U.N.I.T.Y. is the biggest and most successful Queen Latifah hit of all time. The track peaked at position seven in the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and won Queen Latifah the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1995.
Top 10 Queen Latifah Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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