Lauryn Hill Celebrates Queen Latifah With A Blazing Performance Of Ladies First (Video)

Just over a week ago at the Revolt Music Conference, Queen Latifah was the recipient of the annual Jimmy Iovine Icon Award. Named after the record mogul, recently showcased in The Defiant Ones documentary, who helped shape the careers of Dr. Dre, Tupac, U2, Tom Petty, Will.I.Am and many more, the award was given to Latifah in honor of her lifetime of achievements in music, film, television, business and philanthropy. Even to this day, Latifah continues to impact the culture with her outsized talent.

The event, which was held in Miami, was a star-studded affair with T.I., Joey Bada$$, Fab 5 Freddy, Sean “Diddy” Combs and more on hand to celebrate the Queen. A number of stars made their way to the stage to pay tribute to Latifah, and MC Lyte, one of Latifah’s earliest peers, record a video testimonial to what Latifah meant to her.

“I love Latifah’s voice,” said Lyte. “Queen Latifah has been able to dare greatly, tackling each thing as it comes up. She’s continued to forge a terrain that not many have been able to do.” Lyte also emphasized that it’s always been bigger than Hip-Hop for Latifah. “Back in the studio, she’d be sitting there with a guitar, singing and I’m like ‘But, wait. This is Hip-Hop. What you doin’?!’ So, even then, her sights on what it is she looked to accomplish were just far off in the distance, and now she’s living all of it out.” On the subject of Latifah’s empowering women’s anthem, “U.N.I.T.Y.,” Lyte said “I think it gave us courage to stand up and be these proud Black sisters that had something to say that could not be delayed.”

One such woman that Latifah inspired, with that song and more, was fellow New Jersey native, Lauryn Hill. As a triple-threat rapper, singer and actor, herself, Hill was the perfect choice of a performer to celebrate Latifah through her songs. Lauryn ripped through a fiery medley, including rousing renditions of “Ladies First” and “U.N.I.T.Y.”

Latifah can be seen briefly in the phone footage, taking it all in. Congratulations to Queen Latifah for all that she has achieved, thus far, and what is certain to come.