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Music / Queen Latifah

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All Hail the Queen
Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey), better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American rapper, actor and singer. Queen Latifah's work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination, and an Academy Award nomination. She was born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of Rita (née Bray), a schoolteacher who worked at Irvington High School, and Lancelot Owens, Sr., a police officer.

She started beatboxing for the rap group Ladies Fresh. Latifah was one of the members of the original version of the Flavor Unit, 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".

Notable songs

  • "Ladies First"
  • "Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here"
  • "U.N.I.T.Y."
  • "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 Latifah has appeared in:

"All Hail the Queen's Tropes":

  • Jazz Rap: Like the rest of the Native Tongues, Latifiah's first three albums were heavily drenched in jazz samples and influence. She'd drop the rapping after the turn of the millennium, and recorded straight jazz standards for her next two.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: "Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here," "Listen 2 Me,"
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something
  • Self-Titled Album: The Dana Owens Album
  • Statuesque Stunner: As the intro notes, she's 5'10 and quite attractive.
  • Supergroup: Latifah's a charter member of both the Flavor Unit (45 King, Apache, Lakim Shabazz, etc) and the Native Tongues (De La Soul, ATCQ, Jungle Brothers, etc) collectives, and one of the few female emcees in either group. Latifah eventually became the leader of Flavor Unit after drug addiction took its toll on the 45 King.
  • 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'.