Missy Elliott Praises Queen Latifah At 46th Kennedy Center Honors [VIDEO]

Queen Latifah

Watch MC Lyte and Monie Love perform “Ladies First” in tribute to the showbiz legend.

Queen Latifah is one of the most celebrated Hip-Hop stars of all time. The recording artist/actress became the first female rapper to earn recognition at the Kennedy Center Honors.

This year’s Kennedy Center Honors ceremony occurred at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC on December 3. CBS aired the program on Wednesday (December 27).

Queen Latifah joined Billy Crystal, Renée Fleming, Barry Gibb and Dionne Warwick as 2024 honorees. Fellow Hip-Hop icon Missy Elliott gave a speech praising Latifah at the show.

Missy Elliott Applauds Queen Latifah For Being Unapologetic

“I want to tell y’all a little backstory. I was coming home from high school and I used to watch a lot of videos and I happened to see this young woman rapping, but what caught my attention was her clothes because she had on an African print, the African medallion. And I kept hearing her say, ‘Oh, ladies first, ladies first,’ over and over and over again,” Missy Elliott told the Kennedy Center audience.

Elliott then added, “I sat there and I was like, ‘Wow, she’s saying that during a time that we kept hearing it’s a man’s world.’ She was saying this unapologetically, changing the narrative right there. Something that I was so accustomed to hearing but now I’m hearing, ‘ladies first.'”

Queen Latifah put out the “Ladies First” single featuring Monie Love in 1989. The track lives on the New Jersey native’s All Hail the Queen studio album. “Ladies First” peaked at No. 5 on Billboard‘s Hot Rap Songs chart.

“Then I said, ‘Who is this girl?’ And I looked at the bottom of the screen and it said Queen Latifah. Not Latifah, but Queen Latifah,” Missy Elliott recalled.

She also added, “That only said to me that she was saying, ‘You will respect me… I will be a leader, I will be a provider, I will be an inspiration to many, I will be the blueprint to success, I won’t be just a part of the culture, I’ll be royalty to the culture. I won’t set the bar, I am the bar.'”

MC Lyte & Monie Love Pay Tribute To The Queen

Queen Latifah’s music catalog contains rap LPs like 1989’s All Hail the Queen and 1993’s Black Reign. She also released the jazz projects The Dana Owens Album in 2004 and Trav’lin’ Light in 2007. Latifah’s classic song “U.N.I.T.Y.” won a Grammy Award in 1995 for Best Rap Solo Performance.

In addition, Latifah scored a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance in Chicago. Her list of career accolades also consists of a Golden Globe Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

MC Lyte, Monie Love, and D-Nice paid tribute to Queen Latifah at the Kennedy Center Honors. The three Hip-Hop representatives performed a rendition of “Ladies First.” President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were also in attendance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.