With almost four decades down as the inarguable and undisputed Queen of Pop, Madonna is still at the top of her game — her latest album, Madame X, recently became her ninth LP to go No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Throughout the theatrics of her longstanding career, amidst the many controversial moments and beyond the fact that, aside from Janet Jackson, she’s the literal prototype for every single one of your current favorite pop singers, Madonna has managed to stay grounded and, quite frankly, always keep it cool. Part of that could possibly be credited to her appreciation for Hip-Hop culture.
While Madame X showcases a more Latin pop-influenced side of Madge, it still doesn’t come without a rap collab or two. A standout from the new album even sees her reuniting with Migos member Quavo on a song called “Future” — you may remember she was featured on his debut solo LP Quavo Huncho last year alongside Cardi B on the album cut “Champagne Rosé.” However, Madonna’s rap cred extends way beyond just jumping on the current wave of trap. Allow us school you all real quick.
Take a look at 10 times Madonna proved she holds a special place in the realm of rap, and how Hip-Hop has shown an equal appreciation for the reigning Queen of Pop:
Mark Goodman and Dave Murphy Bring the Bars to ‘Erotica‘ on “Did You Do It?” (1992)
What started out as a playful rap while mixing the Erotica album cut “Waiting” ended up being a sexually-charged reprise of the song that made it on the actual album. Whether or not they “did it” in real-life is still something fans ponder over to this day.
Embracing the New Jack Swing Era For Her ‘Bedtime Stories‘ Album (1994)
The Bedtime Stories album showed Madonna diving into a more soulful sound — she might even be the first artist to sample Aaliyah, too! — and it was all thanks to production provided by Babyface, Dallas Austin and Dave “Jam” Hall. The latter blessed her with the beat for “Human Nature,” which famously incorporates a sample of Main Source’s hit 1994 rap single “What You Need.”
Making Love (and Music) With Tupac (1994 – 1995)
The union between these two music icons was a well-known rumor that went on for ages, which Madonna officially confirmed a few years ago during an interview on Howard Stern. What many may not know though is that Pac was supposed to be on the aforementioned Bedtime Stories album, but was pulled off at the last minute more than likely due to to his legal troubles. Take a listen to what could’ve been below:
Linking Up With Missy Elliott for Gap’s ‘New Groove’ Campaign (Summer 2003)
Not only does “Madonna & Missy” have a nice ring of alliteration to it, but the two actually made for the perfect pair to promote a perfect pair of jeans. The jingle is pretty catchy, too.
Jay-Z Sampling “Justify My Love” on ‘The Black Album‘ (Fall 2003)
Even though this is more of an interpolation than an actual feature, the idea of the King of Hip-Hop and the Queen of Pop sharing any form of musical space is a pretty cool concept. Like everything that Hov touches, this DJ Quik-produced track turned out dope.
Collaborating with Timbaland, The Neptunes, Kanye West and Danja for ‘Hard Candy‘ (2008)
With Pharrell, Kanye West and Timbaland on your album — mind you, this was the peak era of production for all three guys! — the result was going to be nothing short of epic. The worldwide success of “4 Minutes” proved that without a question.
Getting a Lil Wayne Feature on Her Greatest Hits Album ‘Celebration‘ (2009)
Madonna has been running things for so long that one greatest hits album just wasn’t enough. For the third one, Weezy joined in on the celebration to deliver his classic witty flow and bars that could fit on even the most pop-tinged of songs. If only they made a music video for this one.
Bringing Out Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. for the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show (2012)
“Give Me All Your Luvin’” was the lead single off Madonna’s MDNA album, and ending up being one of two songs on the LP to include a feature from Nicki Minaj. The Madonna/Minaj saga would go on to continue on her next album, Rebel Heart, with the Diplo-produced “Bitch I’m Madonna.” Just imagine what a whole collab album would sound like!
Collaborating with Nas For a Career Retrospect on the ‘Rebel Heart‘ Bonus Track “Veni Vidi Vici” (2015)
As both artists are considered legends in their respective genres, this was a monumental moment for music. The song plays out with both taking an Illmatic-style trip down memory lane to showcase where they’ve been and everything they still plan to accomplish in their careers. A perfect collab, indeed.
Recruiting Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd For “Crave” (2019)
On Madame X, we see Madonna continuing to show her respect to rap — Mike Dean is recruited on the production side of seven songs, including one deluxe edition track alongside Pharrell again. One of the standout’s from Dean’s production side is the track with Swae Lee, which even has an eye-grabbing music video to go with it. Hopefully this rap relationship continues for another 14 albums!
Listen to ‘Madame X,’ the new album by Madonna, right now on all streaming platforms. Who could you see the pop queen collaborating with in Hip-Hop next?