The BET Awards 2021 tribute to Queen Laitfah was one of the grandest moments of the night. Audiences went wild when legendary rappers Lil Kim, MC Lyte, Monie Love, and the more recent emcee Rapsody performed Queen’s hit songs “Ladies First” and “U.N.I.T.Y.” Each of these iconic rappers have connections to the Queen, either through features on hit records or enduring friendships.
Here’s what you should know about each of these ladies who all hail the Queen:
Latifah and Rapsody at an Essence x Target event in Atlanta, 2019
Rapsody and Latifah have been friends since they worked together on the track “Hatshepsut” on Rapsody’s 2008 album Eve. Rapsody told Billboard in 2019 that Latifah told her stories and gave her advice while working on the track. Rapsody also gave props to Latifah on the track, when she rapped, “Latifah still a queen, I'm just tryna follow her path.”
Latifah and Love at an event in Gary, Indiana in 1990
Monie Love and Queen Latifah have been tight since the beginning of their careers. Love was a Latifah protege, and featured on the hit single “Ladies First” on All Hail the Queen, Latifah's debut album. After track became a hit in 1989, Love put out her 1990 debut album Down to Earth.
Latifah and Lyte at Essence's Black Women in Music in 2016
Two of the first female rappers, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah also go all the way back, In 1994,the long time friends appeared together on Brandy’s 1994 hit “I Wanna Be Down (Remix).” They reunited with Brandy and Yo-Yo to perform the song at the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Latifah and Kim at VH1's Hip Hop Honors in 2016
Though the two queens of rap represent different eras in hip hop, Lil Kim and Queen Latifah have crossed paths many times. Latifah made a guest appearance in the music video for Kim’s iconic “Ladies Night (Remix)” alongside Mary J. Blige, T-Boz, SWV, and Xscape. Kim also signed to Flavor Unit Entertainment, the management company Latifah cofounded with Shakim Compere in 2006.