She started beatboxing for the rap group Ladies Fresh. Latifah was one of the members of the original version of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of Emcees grouped around producer DJ Mark the 45 King. Mark James aka "DJ Mark the 45 King" made a demo recording of Queen Latifah's rap Princess of the Posse. He gave the recording to the host of Yo! MTV Raps, Fab 5 Freddy. The song got the attention of Tommy Boy Music employee Dante Ross, who signed Latifah and in 1988 issued her first single, "Wrath of My Madness".
As usual, you can find the basics about her life and career at The Other Wiki.
- "Ladies First"
- "Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here"
- "Black Hand Side"
- "Just Another Day..."
- "I Can't Understand"
- "Name Callin'"
- 1989: All Hail the Queen
- 1991: Nature of a Sista
- 1993: Black Reign
- 1998: Order in the Court
- 2004: The Dana Owens Album
- 2007: Trav'lin' Light
- 2009: Persona
Works Queen has appeared in:
- Living Single (1993-1998)
- Set It Off (1996)
- Bringing Out the Dead (1999, voiceover only)
- Chicago (2002)
- Bringing Down the House (2003)
- Taxi (2004)
- Beauty Shop (2005)
- Last Holiday (2006)
- Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
- 30 Rock (recurring role as bloviating but well-meaning Rhode Island Congresswoman Regina Bookman, 2006-2013)
- Ice Age (second movie onwards, 2006-)
- Hairspray (2007)
- The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
- Steel Magnolias (2012)
- 22 Jump Street (2014)
- Bessie (2015)
- The Wiz Live! (2015)
- Girls Trip (2017)
- Flint (TV Movie, 2017)
- STAR (2016-2019)
- Sayonara Wild Hearts (2019)
"All Hail the Queen's Tropes":
- The Big Girl
- Big Beautiful Woman: Her Chicago character provides the page image. She has slimmed down considerably in recent years, but she's still curvy enough to have this trope apply to her. Especially the "beautiful" part.
- Biker Babe: Loves sports bikes.
- Canon Discontinuity: Her early albums aren't easy to find in stores.
- Cover Album: The Dana Owens Album, Trav'lin' Light
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Name Callin'" features Latifah cursing almost every other word. And it's quite sexy, really.
- I Know Kickboxing
- Letters 2 Numbers: "Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here," "Listen 2 Me,"
- McDonalds: She worked there prior to her music career.
- Meaningful Name
- Promoted Fangirl: Watching The Wiz on Broadway inspired her to become a performer, then she eventually earned the title role in NBC's TV version of The Wiz.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Statuesque Stunner: As the intro notes, she's 5'10 and quite attractive.
- Self-Titled Album: The Dana Owens Album
- Sitcom: Living Single, 30 Rock
- Spelling Song: "U.N.I.T.Y."
- Take That!:
- "I Can't Understand" and "Rough" from Black Reign were responses to Roxanne Shantaé's diss to her on the latter's track "Big Lady":You don't wanna be a sista' in the name of rap
And yet you wanna talk shit and your style is wack
I would have squashed it before and made the whole issue dead
But now I'm fed, so it's off with your head
Now, the moral of the verse is your career is through
And don't be fuckin' with nobody who ain't fuckin' with you
If I was in yo shoes I'd let the BS start walkin'
Next time there might not be no talkin'.
- "Name Callin'" was allegedly a subliminal diss towards Foxy Brown. A Part 2 was recorded after Brown released a homophobic diss towards Latifah in response to the first. note I don't spit subliminals no doubt
This way you don't walk around wondering who the fuck I'm talkin' bout'
I'm not trippin', I heard you rippin'
But I'm into breakin' bitches, sending them back to their first career; strippin'.
- "I Can't Understand" and "Rough" from Black Reign were responses to Roxanne Shantaé's diss to her on the latter's track "Big Lady":