Jennifer-Lopez-hip-hop-samples-moments
YouTube

Jennifer Lopez's Best Hip-Hop Songs And Moments, Ranked

In celebration of Jennifer Lopez's 49th birthday this week, VIBE Viva ranked her greatest hip-hop tracks and moments throughout the decades. 

Before Jennifer Lopez landed the “role of a lifetime” in 1997 as the late Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in the biopic Selena, we were introduced to the aspiring singer-actress as Janet Jackson’s backup dancer in the video for “That’s The Way Love Goes” and as a Fly Girl on In Living Color, which was rooted in hip-hop culture.

Naturally, when Lopez ventured off into music, those influences followed her as an artist. “I love the hip-hop, I love the R&B; it’s gonna manifest itself in my music,” she told MTV News in 2013. Nearly 20 years after the release of On the 6, Lopez’s hip-hop collaborations have made her a familiar face within the community.

In celebration of the multi-faceted star’s 49th birthday this week, VIBE Viva ranked her greatest hip-hop tracks and moments throughout the decades.

Check it out below.

__

13. “I’m Glad” (2002)

Don’t let the elegant harp strings on “I’m Glad” fool you. The mid-tempo track samples Schoolly D’s “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?” Schoolly D has been recognized as the OG gangsta rapper; therefore, sampling anything from his discography proves that the World of Dance judge is a real G.

Co-written by Lopez herself, “I’m Glad” still goes hard to this day, and the accompanying Flashdance-inspired video ranks among her best.

12. “I’m Into You” feat. Lil Wayne (2011)

The island-flavored “I’m Into You” is hands down one of the most underrated songs of Lopez’s discography. And Lil Wayne’s clever wordplay is impressive, e.g., “You’re way too fly, I could be your jet fuel.” The second single released off Love? failed to crack the Top 40 in the U.S., which is absurd since “I’m Into You” is the perfect soundtrack for sipping piña coladas with the crew all summer. Reaching No. 9 on the U.K. Singles Chart, the Stargate-produced track further solidified Ms. Lopez’s international appeal.

11. “Get Right” (Remix) feat. Fabolous (2005)

Without a doubt, the lead single off Rebirth brought the funk, but Fabolous’ verse took it to the next level. “I ain’t Mr. Right, I’m Mr. Right Now,” he raps over those infectious horn riffs. Co-produced by On the 6 collaborator Corey Rooney, “Get Right” was a bit unorthodox at the time, but it translated into a classic J.Lo sound. Bonus points for the multiple characters (from a DJ to busy bartender to an exotic dancer) Lopez portrayed in the original video.

10. “Dinero” feat. Cardi B and DJ Khaled (2018)

Music lovers nearly lost their minds when rumors started swirling that J.Lo and Cardi B were joining forces for a dream collaboration and they did not disappoint when the single officially dropped. In a nutshell, “Dinero” is the ultimate hustler’s anthem, with production notes from DJ Khaled.

On the fiery track, Lopez flaunts her millions and flexes her rapping skills at the same time. “They say money talk/but my talking bilingual,” she declares in the second verse. As expected, Ms. Belcalis Almanzar does her thing, offering fans a glimpse into her fabulous life. But the former Love & Hip-Hop: New York star stays true to her roots, e.g., “Two bad bitches that came from the Bronx/Cardi from the pole and Jenny from the block.” Iconic.

9. “Control Myself” with LL Cool J (2006)

J.Lo and Uncle L’s musical chemistry was so amazing the first time around in “All I Have” in 2002 that the duo reunited four years later on “Control Myself,” an homage to hip-hop’s golden era. Case in point: The beat samples and the vocals interpolate Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force’s “Looking for the Perfect Beat” and “Planet Rock,” which automatically places this collab in the Top 10.

8. “Jenny From the Block” (Trackmasters Remix) feat. Jadakiss and Styles (2002)

By the time Jenny’s This Is Me… Then hit store shelves, the Bronx-bred superstar was still riding high off the success of making history as the first entertainer to have a No. 1 movie and album in the same week with The Wedding Planner and J.Lo, which produced the hits “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” “I’m Real” and “Play.”

However, Lopez set out to prove that fame and fortune haven’t changed her. She enlisted Jadakiss and Styles from The L.O.X. to create the now-iconic “Jenny From the Block” — a precursor to 2014’s “Same Girl” — which utilizes Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx.” “I stay grounded as the amounts roll in,” she insists on the first verse. It’s impossible not to sing into your hairbrush whenever this bop comes on.

7. “All I Have” feat. LL Cool J (2002)

Lopez’s dazzling Las Vegas residency is fittingly named after her smash hit “All I Have,” which stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four consecutive weeks. Built around a sample of Debra Laws’ classic R&B ballad “Very Special,” Jen and LL deserve an award for their superb portrayal of soon-to-be ex-lovers as they go back and forth over calling it quits. When the rap legend pleas, “Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have,” Jennifer’s reaction is savage AF: “You’ll be needing me but too bad.”

6. “I’m Gonna Be Alright” (Trackmasters Remix) feat. Nas (2002)

Containing replayed elements of Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It,” the third and final single off J to tha L-O! The Remixes isn’t your average breakup anthem. The entertainer shows resilience on “I’m Gonna Be Alright,” which features rap titan Nas. The Trackmasters remix peaked at No. 10 on the charts during the summer of ‘02, and it went on to become Lopez’s sixth Top 10 hit. With its haunting melody and lyrics depicting an unhealthy relationship, the slowed down tempo on “I’m Gonna Be Alright” allows listeners to get deep in their feelings.

5. J.Lo and Diddy’s VMA Red Carpet Appearance (2000)

Lopez and then-boyfriend Diddy became the most stylish VMA couple of all time when they walked the red carpet on Sept. 7, 2000. The Bronx Barbie turned heads in an all-white ensemble that included big hoop earrings, a bedazzled bandana and a Sean John crop top. On the brink of becoming a global phenomenon, Lopez walked away with her first Moonman that night, but the actress-turned-singer’s appearance with the hip-hop mogul gave her street credibility.

4. Cameo in Diddy’s “Been Around the World” with The Notorious B.I.G. and Mase (1997)

J.Lo knows how to make an entrance. When the Nuyorican bombshell appears as Princess of Tunisia (a fictional country) in then-Puff Daddy's “Been Around the World” video, the storyline suddenly becomes more interesting. The pair’s sultry dance sequence (skip to 8:12) went on to become an unforgettable moment in pop culture.

3. “Ain’t It Funny”(Murder Remix) feat. Ja Rule and Caddillac Tah (2002)

Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” turns 25 next year, but it’s still one of the most recognized tracks in hip-hop history. It also laid the foundation for the “Ain’t It Funny” remix, which was released as the lead single off 2002’s J to tha L-O! The Remixes. The original version first appeared on Lopez’s sophomore album, and it took a Latin approach.

“This song was totally different, but it was still about the same thing,” Lopez explained to Sway Calloway during an interview that was featured in 2003’s The Reel Me. “Ain’t it funny that you wanted this and now fate has brought us to the point where I don’t want you no more.” The latter served as the premise for the remix, which became her third chart-topper. Within the first five seconds, Ja shouts “It must be the a** that got me like that,” referring to J.Lo’s famous derriere, which set the tone for the entire record.

2. “I’m Real” (Murder Remix) feat. Ja Rule (2001)

The original and the remixed versions of “I’m Real” are as different as day and night, but it’s also the secret sauce behind the massive success that followed both songs. Featured on the reissue of 2001’s J.Lo, the remix marked Lopez’s foray into hip-hop music. Jen’s soft coos and "R-U-L-E’s" gruff flow are a surprisingly perfect match on “I’m Real,” which samples Rick James’ “Mary Jane” and Mary Jane Girls’ “All Night Long.” The formula worked because it instantly became a summer anthem. Oh, and Lopez’s Juicy Couture pink velour tracksuit was (and still is) epic.

1.“Feelin’ So Good” feat. Fat Joe and Big Pun (1999)

Before #GoodVibesOnly was a hashtag, “Feelin’ So Good” was all that and then some. The hip hop-coated track brought balance to On the 6, which mainly consisted of ballads and mid-tempo songs. It borrows from Strafe’s popular 1984 hit “Set It Off,” giving the record its old-school hip-hop vibe. Furthermore, Fat Joe and the late Big Pun’s verses are nothing short of rap perfection. J.Lo, Pun and Joey Crack coming together on one track is a moment to cherish, especially since Pun died a few days after the single was released.

Produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, the feel-good song only reached No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it paved the way for Lopez to be able to work with the likes of other high-profile rappers, including Rick Ross, T.I., Flo Rida, Pitbull and French Montana. “Feelin’ So Good” is a quintessential J.Lo record because it’s all about living life to the fullest, which seems to be Lopez’s personal motto.

 

Princess Gabbara is a multimedia journalist and storyteller. She’s a former reporter for the Lansing State Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, who has written for outlets such as BitchMedia.org, Shondaland, Bustle, The Boombox, Ebony magazine, Jetmag.com, Essence, Sesi, and Greatist. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram: @PrincessGabbara.

From the Web

More on Vibe

A guest tries Dove Body Wash Mousse as Dove, Getty Images for Dove and Girlgaze debut Project #ShowUs at Beautycon NYC on April 06, 2019 in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Dove

Jump-Start Your Dove Body Wash Spa Day With These 14 Self-Care Jams

When was the last time you enjoyed a spa day? Dove has allowed you to come up with one sooner than later thanks to their newly formulated body washes.

Introduced to retailers last week, the beauty brand's latest body washes contain "Moisture Renew Blend," a gathering of skin-natural nutrients that help revive and maintain the skin's moisture barrier. Because many of us lose lipids during shower/bath time, the new formula makes room for an enhanced blend of stearic and palmitic acids to better mimic what is naturally found in the skin.

The beauty enthusiasts and natural lovers out there will be thrilled to know the product was made with 100 percent gentle naturally-derived cleansers (Glycinate and DEFI), free of sulfates and parabens, and pH balanced.

With 14 new variants and Valentine's Day around the corner, it's only right to plan ahead for a focused day of self-care. Below is a playlist supporting each new scent. From Ari Lennox's "Shea Butter Baby" painting a theme for the Pampering Body Wash Shea Butter & Warm Vanilla to D'Angelo's "Alright" absorbing the vibe of the Sensitive Skin Body Wash, there's a scent and dynamic sound made for you.

Listen to the full playlist here and enjoy the benefits of each Dove Body Wash below.

 

***

 

1. Tycho - "Awake" 

Try: Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Provides: Instantly soft skin, lasting nourishment

2. Sade - "Kiss of Life" (Kaytranada Edit)

Try: Dove Renewing Body Wash Peony & Rose Oil

Provides: Revival for dewy, supple skin

3. Skip Marley and H.E.R.- "Slow Down" 

Try: Dove Glowing Body Wash Mango Butter & Almond Butter

Provides: Moisture for radiant skin

4. Snoh Aalegra - "I Want You Around" 

Try: Dove Purifying Detox Body Wash with Green Clay

Provides: A deep cleanse and renews skin

5. D'Angelo - "Alright"

Try: Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Provides: A gently cleanse and nourishes skin

6. SiR and Masego - "Ooh Nah Nah" 

Try: Dove Refreshing Body Wash Cucumber & Green Tea

Provides: A revitalization and refreshes skin

7. Lizzo - "Water Me"

Try: Dove Restoring Body Wash Coconut Butter & Cocoa Butter

Provides: Perfect pampering and softens skin

8. Beyonce, Wizkid, Saint Jhn and Blue Ivy Carter - "Brown Skin Girl" 

Try: Dove Hydrating Body Wash Aloe & Birch Water

Provides: Refreshing and invigorating skin

9. Jill Scott - "Golden" (Kaytranada Edit)

Try: Dove Dryness Relief Body Wash with Jojoba Oil

Provides: A deeply nourish and restoration of dry skin

10. Kaytranada and Kali Uchis- "10%"

Try: Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash with Sea Minerals

Provides: An instantly reveal of visibly smoother skin

11. Ari Lennox and J. Cole - "Shea Butter Baby" 

Try: Dove Pampering Body Wash Shea Butter & Warm Vanilla

Provides: Nourishment and feeds skin

12. bLAck pARty - "Purple Heart" 

Try: Dove Relaxing Body Wash Lavender Oil & Chamomile

Provides: Calming and comforting skin

13. Erykah Badu - "Honey"

Try: Dove Rejuvenating Body Wash Pomegranate & Hibiscus Tea

Provides: Energy and revitalization of skin

14. Koffee- "Toast" 

Try: Dove Revitalizing Body Wash Blue Fig & Orange Blossom

Provides: Restoration and replenishes skin

Learn more about Dove's moisture renew blend here.

Continue Reading
Tyler the Creator attends the 62nd annual GRAMMY Awards on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

11 Takeaways From The 2020 Grammys

There are many factors that go into winning a Grammy, the most coveted music prize of the industry. It’s more than “is the song good?” Sometimes it’s based on campaigning, other times it’s based on what voters feel should be the industry standard. However, the fun doesn’t come until after the ceremony, where all the winners have been revealed and it’s time to process what it all means for the larger picture and the future of recording.

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards was met with controversy this year thanks to a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences from ousted CEO, Deborah Dugan. Through her explosive claims and allegations, the voting process has gotten even less transparent— and we’re left with more questions and mysteries than answers. Still, artists and media moved forward, and the focus has temporarily shifted back to the music and the awards.

Here are 11 takeaways from VIBE that capture the essence of key wins (and snubs) at the Grammy Awards.

Continue Reading
Drake accepts Best Rap Song for 'God's Plan' onstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

10 Problems With The Grammy Awards And How To Fix Them

Going into the 2020 iteration of the show, The Grammy Awards couldn’t be more irrelevant and in a place of struggling to attract younger viewers. Each year sets new lows in the coveted 18-49 demographic, and the show continues to take one step forward and ten steps back when it comes to its relationship with hip-hop. The step forward this year will be the confirmed tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle featuring Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, and YG. Fixing what was once the most cherished institution of the music business and one of the most-watched events of each year is complicated and will require drastic directional shifts and changes to elements of the show that have been part of its fabric for many years. These are the 10 problems with the Grammy Awards and how to fix them.

Continue Reading

Top Stories