28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 6: Queen Latifah's Nature of A Sista' (1991)

Illustration for article titled 28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 6: Queen Latifah's Nature of A Sista' (1991)
Image: Queen Latifah “Nature of A Sista’” (Tommy Boy Records)

The album cover for Queen Latifah’s sophomore album, Nature Of A Sista’, is a much better take on the album cover for her debut, All Hail the Queen. Where All Hail the Queen had her standing in a stately, militaristic-ish fashion with the album’s title surrounding a silhouette of the African continent—it was a little on the nose—Nature of A Sista’ was simply a picture of Queen Latifah, the most mature looking 21-year-old of all time, wearing a crown, gorgeous jewelry and photographed in a manner that made her look like a queen. Let’s face it, Queen Latifah is hieroglyphics ready on this album cover. Even the lettering spoke to a diasporic and afro-centric Blackness that was very popular in the early ’90s.


Speaking of her maturity, I wrote this last summer when writing about her video for “Ladies First”:

Real talk, I can’t decide if Queen Latifah has been 19 since 1989 or if she’s been 41 since 1989 because she looks the same age now as she was then. What I do know is that any video whose imagery has remained with me in such a significant fashion for 30 years is iconic. Also, whatever water Queen Latifah drinks is what we should all be drinking. Monie Love, too, for that matter.

Yeah, that part.

Either way, this album cover is Black AF. When you see it you can’t help but see a strong Black woman and one whose voice not only needs to be heard, but will be heard. Similarly, if you had told me this was an album cover for a jazz vocalist in 1974, I’d also believe it.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



What a great album; so much good stuff from that era and all the Native Tongues collective group.

And now she’s the Equalizer? Haven’t seen it, but she looks essentially unchanged from the 80s, so expect she’ll throw down some actual magic along with some beatdowns. Sure, ‘Black don’t crack’ (Angela Bassett anyone?) but c’mon, even by that standard have to wonder what kind of crossroads deal was involved here. Anyway, a bit of hellfire smiting would really step the Equalizer up a notch.