Female rapper Queen Latifah (Dana Owens), mentored by
Afrika Bambaataa's "Native Tongues" collective, debuted with
Wrath of My Madness (1988) and All Hail The Queen (1989), which
contained songs such as
Ladies First and Dance For Me
that were as much about soul music or reggae as about hip-hop.
Like most rappers, Latifah was unable to match its quality on the sophomore
album, Nature of a Sista (1991).
After the commercial success of
Black Reign (1993) and U.N.I.T.Y.,
Latifah launched parallel careers in cinema and television.
Order in the Court (1998) marked a turn towards an even more conventional pop, jazz and soul format.
It is probably her most musical album, and the focus has clearly
shifted towards her vocal skills.
The Dana Owens Album (2004) is a covers collection, and her first all-vocal album. This album reinvented her career as a pop-jazz vocalist, a role
that she successfully replicated on another cover collection, Trav'ling Light (2007).
Then, to complete her decline, she turned to mainstream pop with Persona (2009).
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