Rapsody & Latifah Unite As Two Generations Of Hip-Hop Queens (Audio)
Today (August 23), Rapsody released her Eve album. The North Carolina MC’s first project since the 2017 Grammy-nominated Laila’s Wisdom keeps the conceptual style going. Rap’ titled each of the 16 songs after great Black women in history, ranging from “Afeni” to “Michelle” to “Maya.” The Jamla/Roc Nation affair involves GZA, J. Cole, J.I.D., and others. However, one of the most exciting appearances is care of Queen Latifah on “Hatshepsut.” The Nottz-produced song is named after the first female pharaoh of Egypt. Although on the musical side, Queen Lah’ has expanded to singing, including Jazz vocals, the living legend returns to the medium where many Hip-Hop Heads first encountered her: rapping.
Rapsody’s verse is an extension of Eve‘s over-arching theme: “You telling me this, you telling me that / I promise once you been with me, baby, you’ll never go back / Queens’ll always have your back / I’m thinking Roberta Flack / First time I ever saw your face I fell in love just like that / I know your burden gets bad, you take and carry my bags / We cry together, hold you down the days you broken and sad / And I’ma always keep it real, no I don’t care if you mad / I’m here to make you better, I’m just like Coretta, in fact / See, only kings would understand just how that metaphor match / Latifah still a queen, I’m just try’na follow her path,” she begins, before referencing “Wrath Of My Madness” in her next bar, complementing the Roberta Flack lyrics.
At the close of her verse, Rapsody proclaims “U-N-I-T-Y” in the Rap space. Instantly, Latifah begins her bars showing that her powerful message remains timeless. The Grammy-winning artist shows her lyrical prowess is as strong as it’s ever been. “Even living single we connected by the tribe / Was raised by a queen, know how to be one / And love one and raise a king / When he’s older I’ll describe how to love him / Queens come in all shapes and colors / Though we sit on thrones we don’t look down on each other / I learned how to move from my mother and my aunties / Got the blood of the Ashanti I could be Cleo or Gandhi / To protect mine, it’s peace of mind, word to Jersey / I’m a giant, a queen’s pride stronger than all of mine’s / Connected by lines, sisterhood / The day you try to test me, look homie I wish you would / Open doors for the ladies as a queen like I should / That’s why I’m Queen Latifah in every village, every hood / And, I’m good / And every city worldwide / And why I been reigning for the last 25.”
Both Rapsody and Queen Latifah remind listeners that women are royalty in Rap, and in all facets of life. They should be treated as such. Meanwhile, specifically in Hip-Hop, these two loving artists encourage unity, not competition.
Earlier this week, while appearing on The Breakfast Club, Rapsody revealed that it was longtime friend and collaborator Murs who made the Queen Latifah feature happen. “I can’t remember the last time she rapped,” Rapsody responded after Angela Yee asked about securing the guest. “She’s bustin’ on this one. This that Queen-Queen. She’s put out Jazz albums, of course. The way I got in touch with Queen Latifah is Murs came down to North Carolina to record [The Iliad Is Dead And The Odyssey Is Over] with 9th [Wonder]. We were talking about tattoos; he pulled up his shirt and he had a tattoo of Queen Latifah on his rib-cage. He was like, ‘Have you ever worked with her?’ I was like, ‘Nah, but she’s on my [wish] list. I’ve met her, but I don’t know how to get in touch wit her.'” Murs offered to help his longtime collaborator. Involving Latifah’s business partner Shakim Compere and 9th Wonder, the developments ultimately led to the collaboration.
In addition to new music from Rapsody and Queen Latifah, the official AFH playlist includes songs from Pete Rock’s recent instrumental album (Return Of The SP1200), as well as tracks from Little Brother, Nas, Big K.R.I.T., Rick Ross, YBN Cordae, J. Cole, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Duckwrth, Joyner Lucas, Anderson .Paak & André 3000, Billy Danze, Tobe Nwigwe, Conway The Machine, Aaron May, 2 Chainz, Ghostface Killah, Casey Veggies, Westside Gunn, Boogie, Erick Sermon, Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, Che Noir, 38 Spesh, Big Sean, Denzel Curry, GoldLink, Benny The Butcher, Lute, Atmosphere, Masta Ace & Marco Polo, Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, Drake, Omen, AZ, Wu-Tang Clan, Evidence, and others.
Interviews with Rapsody, Murs, 9th Wonder, and others are available at AFH TV. We are currently offering free 7-day subscriptions.