The 50 Best Rap Songs by Women

10. Foxy Brown f/ Jay-Z "I'll Be" (1997)

Album: Ill Na Na

The Trackmasters' formula in the late-1990s was to revive the R&B stars of the 1980s, to call on memory and nostalgia for the aspirational sound of a more bourgeois era in soul music's history. Case in point: Foxy Brown's debut LP Ill Na Na. Her lead single, "Get Me Home," lifted Eugene Wilde's "Gotta Get You Home Tonight," and peaked at No. 41 on the Hot 100. It was her second single, which featured a guest spot from Jay-Z, that really hit, cracking the top ten thanks in large part to its flip of Rene and Angela's electro-R&B hit "I'll Be Good." Foxy and Jay weren't your grandparents' tag-team. Jay handled the hook, while Foxy's deep vocals and unfadeable swagger carried the record. It was the highest-charting single ever for both Foxy and Jay at that time. The artist formerly known as Inge Marchand would go on to have creative success—her 2001 LP Broken Silence is one of hip-hop's most slept-on releases—but never this level of popularity. Having peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100, "I'll Be Good" remains Foxy Brown's only Top 40 single.  —David Drake

Tags: foxy_brown
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