‘Jersey,’ Queen Latifah

The soundtrack of the movie, "New Jersey Drive."

The soundtrack of the movie, “New Jersey Drive.”

The 1995 movie “New Jersey Drive,” about teenagers leading lives of petty crime in Newark, didn’t have much success at the box office. But it did have a hit, star-studded hip-hop soundtrack, featuring contributions from Total (featuring The Notorious B.IG.), Redman, OutKast and others.

Queen Latifah — who has roots in Irvington, East Orange and Newark, and who had her biggest hit as a rapper, “U.N.I.T.Y.,” the year before — is represented by her statement of home-state pride, “Jersey.”

“Jersey’s what I think about, when I think of home,” she raps, before reminiscing about the past (“I could hear myself on the radio: ’45 King Special Red Alert Show’/’Cause that’s what life was all about to me”) and namechecking a list of prominent New Jerseyans ranging from Bon Jovi to Shaquille O’Neal.

Later she concludes, “I’m down with my hometown sound.”

Check out this low-key anthem, below.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.

If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.


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