BY JAKE PAINE • AUGUST 23, 2019
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.”