Queen Latifah made U.S. government history after the Library of Congress elected her music for this year’s National Recording Registry list. Latifah’s 1989 debut album, All Hail the Queen, is the project inducted amid 600 works and titles on the registry.
Every year the cultural preservation entity shares a list of 25 recordings inducted into the registry–from songs to significant speeches and even radio broadcasts. Latifah landed at number 21 amid the 2023 inductees.
The Library of Congress’ announcement praised the artist’s impact on hip-hop and rap. It partially read:
“The release of Queen Latifah’s debut album, All Hail the Queen, in 1989 solidified the success of her past singles while also announcing that rap could be female, Afrocentric, and incorporate a fusion of musical genres. Those genres also include reggae, as well as hip-hop, house, and jazz, as she raps in the song Come Into My House. Moreover, Queen Latifah sang as well as rapped on the album. Lyrically, the album addresses race, gender, political, and social issues that were both contemporary and yet remain universal.”
The statement also highlighted that Latifah, born Dana Elaine Owens, was just 19 when she shared the impactful project.
Moreover, the statement affirmed that while Queen Latifah wasn’t the first female rapper, she also did ground-breaking work through collaborations, including Monie Love on Ladies First.
“The success of All Hail the Queen was both a product of, and led to, Queen Latifah’s success in other areas of the industry,” LOC said.
The music speaks for itself–beyond landing on the National Recording Registry–Queen Latifah has also secured at least seven Grammy nominations. She won one in 1995 for ‘Best Rap Solo Performance’ in U.N.I.T.Y.
But those other successful lanes include acting, where Latifah has won multiple prestigious awards, including an Emmy Award, multiple Screen Actors Guild Awards, and multiple NAACP Image awards.
Among those are dozens of nominations in mentioned categories and plenty of others like the BAFTA Awards and Academy Awards.
In recent years we’ve seen the creator receive her flowers for the ceilings shattered in her professional life. And YES, that includes music, acting, and producing!
In 2019, Havard University named her an honoree of the W.E.B. DuBois medal for her contributions to Black history and culture.
Then, in 2021, she accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards–complete with a tribute performance starring Lil’ Kim, Monie Love, MC Lyte, and Rapsody.
All 25 recordings were added to the National Recording Registry on April 12. Other notable entries in Black music included Koko Taylor’s 1966 hit Wang Dang Doodle, Wynton Marsalis’ 1985 Black Codes, and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Daddy Yankee’s popular 2004 single, Gasolina, also made the cut, coming in at number 24.