Appropriate for Women’s History Month, today’s Rap Flashback salutes and sends birthday shouts out to a woman who’s among the most important, talented, and successful Hip Hop’s ever known. New Jersey’s own Dana Elaine Owens, better known as Queen Latifah, released her debut album, All The Hail Queen, featuring the Monie Love assisted hit single, “Ladies First” in 1989. 1991’s Nature of a Sista and 1993’s Black Reign produced a steady stream of hits, including the powerful “U.N.I.T.Y”, from Black Reign. The track focuses on woman’s empowerment, painting vivid tales of women standing up for themselves against abusive men in one verse and cautioning woman to not fall prey to the dangers of the street life in the next.
Though she recorded albums through 2009, it’s her work on the small screen, the silver screen, and on stage that catapulted her into the mainstream and she’s never looked back. Latifah starred as Khadijah James, the main character on the mid-90’s hit sitcom Living Single. She also played “Cleo”, both the brains and brawn of bank robbing quartet on the hit 1996 movie, Set It Off. Never one to pigeonhole her talents however, Queen Latifah went on to star as Matron “Mama” Morton on the ultra successful musical, Chicago. She had her own daytime talk show at one point, entitled The Queen Latifah Show.
A true testament to her greatness, Latifah boasts an impressive list of awards and recognition, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Grammy, an Emmy, a Golden Globe, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination, and record sales totaling over two million. Ever the savvy business woman, she even has her own makeup line, “The Queen Collection“, under Cover Girl. Needless to say, Queen Latifah has solidified herself as an ultra successful and very powerful person in the entertainment industry. Accordingly, today we salute Queen Latifah for her many contributions to both Hip Hop and Pop culture and for her remarkable career. And of course, we wish her the happiest of birthdays!
“U.N.I.T.Y., love a black woman from infinity to infinity…“