After mixed reviews and slow sales of the poppier “Nature Of A Sista” LP, Tommy Boy made the decision to let Queen Latifah go, which gave her the chance to release her new album “Black Reign” on Motown Records. It was a good decision from the renowned label to bring her on since Latifah probably dropped the strongest effort of her discography. On this one, the Queen chose to use a more hardcore and direct approach to address the shameless sexism in Hip Hop. The best example is on one of the singles, a classic titled “U.N.I.T.Y”, where she hollers confidently before every hook “Who you callin’ a bitch”. Even the beats are more street oriented, Kay Gee of Naughty by Nature, Tony Dofat and the underrated S.I.D. all delivered a coherent east coast boom bap backdrop all the way through. There is no dull moment, but songs like “Just Another Day…” or the opener “Black Hand Side” are real classics that still sound amazing after all these years. The softer cut comes at the end of the album with “Weekend Love”, a beautiful dancehall crossover featuring Tony Rebel, and “Winki’s Theme”, a jazz influenced number in memory of her lost brother. There is no denying after this LP that Queen Latifah is one of the best emcees to ever grace a mic!
As usual, you have the album, the videos, the remixes, some live performances and an interview below. You can also dig in the samples on www.whosampled.com.
- Just Another Day
- Black Hand Side
- I Can’t Understand
- Weekend Love (featuring Tony Rebel)
- U.N.I.T.Y. (Big Titty Mix)
- Just Another Day (New Jack Remix)
- Just Another Day… (It Feels Good, Yeah Remix Edit)
- Black Hand Side (Al’s Remix Extended)
- Black Hand Side (Jay’s Lab Groove)
Live Performances & Interview: