On March 4, 2003, Jones released her third studio album, La Bella Mafia.
It debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 166,000 copies in its first week, The first single, “The Jump Off“, featuring Mr.
A., Jones began a solo career by making guest performances on R&B albums and recording her debut album, Hard Core, which was released in November 1996. 11 on the Billboard 200, the highest debut for a female rap album at that time, A remix of the album’s track “Not Tonight” saw Jones team up with Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat and Left Eye of TLC. Delores Tucker criticized the label “for producing this filth,” referring to perceived graphic sexual content in Jones’ lyrics, and labeling them “gangsta porno rap”.
In 2002, Jones recorded a new entrance theme for then World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Women’s Champion Trish Stratus entitled, “Time to Rock ‘n Roll”, which was used during broadcasts, until Stratus’ retirement.
She said that her prison sentence left her with no time to promote the project. In May 2006, Debbie Harry released a song in tribute to Jones called “Dirty and Deep” in protest of her conviction.
From 1998 to 2000, Jones continued her road to stardom under the management of B. G.’s best friend, Damion “D-Roc” Butler’s “Roc Management”, touring and modeling for various fashion and pop culture companies including Candie’s, Versace, Iceberg, and Baby Phat.
The song was part of the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence movie Nothing to Lose, nominated for a Grammy Award, and certified Platinum. That same year, she launched her own label Queen Bee Entertainment.
She was also nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with singer Christina Aguilera for the song “Can’t Hold Us Down“, from Aguilera’s album Stripped.
Greg Thomas, an English professor at Syracuse University, began teaching “Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen [email protected]#$H Lyricism 101”. Professor Thomas considered Jones’ lyrics “the art with the most profound sexual politics I’ve ever seen anywhere.” Jones also made an appearance on the multi-platform videogame Def Jam: Fight for NY.