Q is for Queen Latifah. Her given name is Dana Owens but she was given the nickname Latifah (which is Arabic for gentle and kind) by her cousin. She started beatboxing for the hip-hop group Fresh Ladies in 1988 and by 1989, at the age of 19, she had her first recording contract. By 1991 she began making guest appearances on television and in 1993 she starred in the sitcom “Living Single.” Though her primary focus has been on acting, she has never lost sight of her musical roots. After her Academy Award nominated performance in the musical “Chicago” (2003) she shifted her focus from rap and hip-hop to jazz vocals. Since we have no women in hip-hop on the survey yet, I’m going to play Queen Latifah’s first hit “Ladies First.” This song was #35 on VH1’s greatest hip-hop songs of all time.
It blows my mind that there is such a thing as a hip-hop old fogey but there is and I am it. Well, if I’m honest, I should be a hip-hop old fogey but I was always too much of a nerd to ever really be a huge fan. Still, since I was a young person as hip hop became popular, I will claim my old lady right to declare. “These darn kids today with their Puffy Dogs and their Snoopy Daddys don’t know what good hip-hop is.”
Also, “get off my lawn!”