I am not a huge fan of rap or hip-hop unless there is great music and other singing mixed in with it (like some of Prince, Eminem, and Linkin Park’s songs), but in the early ’90s, I fell head over heels for one such rapper, Queen Latifah. There was something different about her and yes, I will admit, I was attracted to her as a woman. She is a feminist, beautiful, inspiring, and has an amazing voice. The first song I heard of hers was U.N.I.T.Y. about how men treat women and the names they call them. This became an anthem of sorts for me because of how boys had treated me in High School and the names they had called me. Since this is generally a PG blog, I won’t post the lyrics, but you can watch the video here (note: foul language!):
Queen Latifah would go on to win a Grammy for that song. What I love so much about Queen Latifah is that she doesn’t limit herself. She is not only a rapper/singer, but she is also an actress, songwriter, model, comedienne, producer, record producer, and even had her own talk show for a while. She inspires me to pursue my dreams, no matter what they are, and not to limit myself to just one field. The world is indeed an oyster and I should definitely be looking for the pearls. Whenever I want to try something new, I think about her and all of the great successes she has had and I know I can do whatever it is I set my heart and talents to. She is an amazing role model for every young woman.
Here is Queen Latifah performing her song, Just Another Day, which is a mix of smooth jazz and rap:
And here is a soulful jazzy song titled Mercy, Mercy, Mercy:
Interesting Facts: Queen Latifah’s real name is Dana Elaine Owens. She is 5’10”. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Latifah’s work in music, film and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records. (source)