Queen Latifah Returns to Rap in March

Queen Latifah is headed back to where she started—rapping. The Oscar-nominated actress will depart from her last two jazz albums and return to her roots with her first hip-hop album in 11 years, scheduled for release in March.

“The last two albums have been kinda jazzy, standards, eclectic, but this one is hip-hop, dance. It’s back to the roots,” she told Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” about her first rap album since 1998’s Order in the Court.

“It’s like all the original Queen Latifah, ‘U.N.I.T.Y.,’ ‘Ladies First’ feel, but bring that to now,” added the host of Wednesday’s 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards. “It’s sick, it’s a banger!”

The 38-year-old entertainer, whose real name is Dana Owens, made her musical debut in 1989 with All Hail the Queen, an album that spawned the female anthem “Ladies First.” Her arguably most-acclaimed hit came in 1994 when she released the Grammy Award-winning “U.N.I.T.Y.” off Black Reign.