Queen Latifah

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Queen Latifah

She’s a television and a film actress. A soon-to-be talk show host. A label president. An artist manager. An author and an entrepreneur. Blessed with style, substance and mad skills, Queen Latifah has blossomed into a one-woman entertainment conglomerate, heralded by the press and the industry as a force to be reckoned with and a talent to be watched. She has, quite simply, done it all and shows no sign of slowing down. Yet with all of her accomplishments and all of her acclaim, it has been a long, long time since Queen Latifah has made an album.

After more than four years the wait is over. ORDER IN THE COURT marks the return of the premiere female microphone artist and the maiden release on Queen Latifah’s own Flavor Unit Records, a label deal recently inked with Motown Records.

As far as Queen Latifah is concerned, though she’s about stepping back into the arena after a lengthy hiatus, she is typically confident and self-assured. “It’s not like I haven’t been highly visible since BLACK REIGN (which went gold) came out. My name and image have certainly been out there, but when it comes to being back in the rap game, well,” Queen Latifah smiles, “I just gotta go get them. That’s my attitude. The main thing is that the music is right. And you know I made sure of that!”

And then some. Helping Latifah make it right, make it funky and make it sound so good are an elite crew of hip hop and R&B artists, among them Dru Hill, Faith Evans, Pras (of the Fugees) and Apache, who guests on the explosive first single “Bananas.” With production from Kay Gee, Diamond D, DJ Clark Kent and Queen Latifah herself, ORDER IN THE COURT is more than just another hip hop album: it is the strongest album of Queen Latifah’s already impressive career. “I’m really pleased with this CD because it really reflects 100 percent of Queen Latifah. I have a lot of different qualities on various levels and I hope that people hearing ORDER IN THE COURT will pick up on that.”

The first peek at one of Queen Latifah’s different qualities is “Bananas.” Ask Latifah to describe the track, which she co-wrote, and she says, “It’s the professional side of the somewhat hard-core MC that’s in me. It’s an in-your-face kind of record. I knew that I didn’t want my first single in all these years to be some sappy kind of song. Or something that would just go straight pop. I want to represent for the hip hop community, first and foremost. So, ‘Bananas’ is for them first, and whatever audiences wanna come and join in on the party … great! But that track is dedicated to those who truly love hip hop.” Latifah smiles “As we go along with other singles, it will give me a chance to display my versatility.”

Such versatility is evident on songs like “Paper,” which boasts edgy grooves and sultry singing from the Queen; the lip smacking “Turn U On”, produced by Chad “Dr. Cuess” Elliot & Al West; the emotionally direct “Life,” which deals with the frustrations of day-to-day life and the need not to give up hope. “I mean, Tupac and me were close and his death and Biggie’s really affected me. I truly believe that there’s something in life worth going after, even if it’s just being on the mike, making a record.”

Perhaps the most personal track is “What You Gonna Do,” one of several that Latifah co-wrote and co-produced. “What You Gonna Do” deals, as did 1994’s “Winkie’s Theme,” with the tragic death of Latifah’s beloved brother, Lance. “I think it will become a trademark for me to include a song about my brother on every album. This song brings it all back to God, which is where I think it should all end up. I think things like this are what make me different from other rappers. It’s not about me trying to make records that I know are gonna hit. I kinda like to push the envelop and be more creative and bring something new to listen to.”

That dedication to both her craft and her audience shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been even a casual observer of Queen Latifah’s spectacular reign. From her ground-breaking 1989 debut ALL HAIL THE QUEEN, which all but set the visual and contextual standard for female rappers; to her bold foray into R&B on hit albums like 1991’s NATURE OF A SISTA and 1994’s BLACK REIGN, which became the very first CD from a female rap artist to go Gold; to her best rap solo Grammy in 1994 for the anthemic U.N.I.T.Y., Latifah has been redefining what a woman in the hip hop game can and should say and be.

And as anyone who owns a TV set or goes to movies can attest to, Latifah’s refusal to play by some pre-conceived rules has helped make her one of Hollywood’s fastest rising young stars. Her first TV series, Fox’s “Living Single” was a huge success and is currently in syndication. From the small screen Latifah made the leap to film. After a few years of bit parts, Latifah’s star turn in Set It Off created an audible critical buzz. Fans of sci-fi thrilled to Latifah’s performance in the recent Warner Brothers’ film Sphere, co-starring Sharon Stone and Dustin Hoffman, and later this year, Latifah will heat up the screen in Living Out Loud, with Danny DeVito and Holly Hunter.

In addition to acting, Latifah recently inked a deal to host her own talk show in the fall of 1999. She’s also in the midst of writing a book on self-esteem, tentatively entitled “From the Heart of a Queen” for William Morrow Publishing.

Then, there’s Flavor Unit Entertainment, the 8-year-old company owned and operated by Latifah and her partner Sha-kim Compere. The company, based in New Jersey, manages some of the biggest names in music like LL Cool J, Outkast and the hot new singing group N.E.X.T. Flavor Unit Entertainment is also the home of Flavor Unit Records.

Actor. Host. Manager. Executive. Entrepreneur. Label owner. Author. Rapper. All rise. Court’s in session and the honorable and inimitable Queen Latifah is ready to state her case.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Queen Latifah on A&E channel’s Private Sessions this Sunday *April 13th* 9am Eastern!

    April 13th at 9 am Eastern, in an in-depth interview QUEEN LATIFAH tells all – from her beginnings breaking into the evolving hip hop industry to her diverse acting roles covering comedies, dramas, and taking over movie musicals, as well as her latest accomplishment, receiving an Emmy nomination for this year’s Life Support. She also performs “Travilin’ Light”, “Poetry Man” and “California Dreamin’” as well as a rare performance of her signature hit “U.N.I.T.Y”!! Plus, check out AETV.com for a web-only performance of “Simply Beautiful”. You won’t want to miss this!

  2. I love Queen. I believe what we see on TV is the person she is. No Hollywood drama. I love her confidence and her ability to stand on her own. You do not hear about her in and out of relationships and just mess. I wish she would sing more because I love her jazz sound. You are one person on the tube that I can honestly say makes me “star struck” and that is good because I just don’t get into the hollywood hoopla. you know what they are wearing who they are dating, blah, blah, blah. I do watch you because you are positive. Keep it up and God Bless You.

  3. I luv queen latifa i hav seen all of the vids that she has been in and I still think that brining down the house is one of the best. Q.L pushes her self to do so many things, but she does not push herself to far. She is a great loving person and can do any thing if she puts her mind to it.

  4. Queen Latifah i like you alot and i want to be with you no matter what you are the most prettiest women i ever loved and i want my life to be with you as you are the women i want to be with you are not alone i am here for you if you need me i am here to listen i always wanted to be with you as you are the most beautiful women in my heart as you are so special women in the world to me and i always wanted to asked you out on a date so i think you are sexy women i want to be with but will you go out with me like on a date and make out with me because i wanted to get to know you and i want to get so close to you my love you are not alone in this i am here for you if you want me my arms always open for you my shoulder is always open for you to cry on and i never will let you go i promise you i love you to much and i love you more then anything i dont want to see anything happen to you sweetheart i want you to be safe and protected i want you to be loved and safe with me i can do anything to have you in my heart as you as my wife i make sure you eat right foods and be healthy and you are the only women i can count on and i trust you your the women of my dreams all i ever wanted is to be with you and treat you good as goal and my Queen always I will never keep my good women down i mean that your the best one yet i just want you and i always wanted you the day you are the only women who is beautiful and perfect for me but you and i Have alot in common i mean it we do i have deepest crush on you all these days of my life i always wanted you like my girlfriend to me sweetheart and i want to hold you in my arms and never let you go i always love you i always will as you are mine and you are belong to me no body but me who loves you the most important to me in my whole life that is you Queen latifah i am giving you my heart and flowers with love forever.
    Robin Morgan

  5. Do you need a makeup artist i have been doing makeup for 10 yrs and i need a job if you need a hard working great spirt caring makeup artist , please call me,for the next big movie role or that award show event please !!!!!! and if you hear of a great job doing makeup ,please let a sister know need work!!!!!!!!! i love you girrrrrrl Ms Queen !!!!!!!!!!! michelllee, chgo chi-town

  6. I do not know if you will read, but the same way I will follow you tentar.Eu already have a good time, I love all your work, you and mayor, I am in love with you … you are beautiful, sexy, enfim , you are perfect!
    I am Brazilian, live in Rio de Janeiro,
    I’m studying English for one day so I can talk to you …. this is one of my dreams that one day I’m going to touch you I love you …… Laifah Queen!
    Beijos, Chayenne

    Please answer!

  7. Firstly congrqatulations, my parter and I wish you and Jeanette a lifetime of happiness. MY question is:Why are celebrities so quiet in the face of threats by prop.8. Especially the women who have so much less of a gamble. Seems to me Ellen degeneris isss the only person in hollywood wirh real balls.I so admire your talent and the way you protect your hip hop roots, but whaT ADOUT YOUR PEOPLE/ ISN’T IT TIME FOR A GOOD SUPPORTIVE WORD FOR US? wITH UNBOUNDED RESPECT AND ADMIRATION,
    PAUL HILLAN-SHERRY

  8. I just would like to know if the Queen is born March 17th or 18th–does anyone know? on Wikipedia they have both dates. Me & my Boo are the 17th & 19th of March is she our sandwich or is she my bday buddy? Thx if you know!!

    PS. We agree that she is what she portrays on film, TV etc. She is good people–we love you–congrats on your happy marriage!!

  9. Queen Latifah,I want to write to you because I have your fanmail address writing down on a piece of paper. How I found out your fanmail address because I looked it up on the computer when I was looking you up in the system to see how thngs was going for you. You are my favorite actress because you play a good role of invertating different peaople in the movies you plays in. I think the world of you now Queen Latifah because you are such a beautiful looking woman that I would like to meet one of these days. I’ve checked up on your tour dates but you’re having your concert or tour too far for me to go because I don’nt have money to get there.

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