The first Faith Evans album without the Bad Boy logo on the sleeve and the word "faith" in the title, The First Lady thankfully offers nothing else in the way of a shake-up. The wait between 2001's Faithfully and this 2005 release was easily the longest in Evans' career. If there was any creative block during the time away, it doesn't show. In fact, The First Lady proves that she only gets better with time, as she goes through more ups and downs and continues to absorb her inspirations.
Despite a career in hip-hop that spans a decade, Faith Evans is still chiefly known as the widow of murdered rap star Biggie Smalls, and co-singer on Puff Daddy's Biggie tribute, I'll Be Missing You. However, The First Lady sees her finally establishing her own identity - and then some. Significantly, it was released not on hip-hop label Bad Boy but on Capitol, famous stable of Brian Wilson and Frank Sinatra; the result is an album of hallucinatory soul.