Queen Latifah was certainly not the first female rapper, but she was the first one to become a bona fide star. Her strong, intelligent, gregarious persona made her arguably the first MC who could properly be described as feminist.
As far as accomplished singers/actresses go, Queen Latifah is one of the most successful. She can rap with the best artists out there and then turn around and act her way to an Oscar nomination. For this versatility and for her dynamic character, we welcome the First Lady of Hip Hop and queen of the big screen to Private Sessions.
A rapper extraordinaire and performer first, Queen Latifah broke onto the scene with the 1989 platinum album All Hail the Queen. Its hit single, "Ladies First", celebrated black women's contributions to the struggle for black liberation in America, Africa, and around the world. It became a rap classic, eventually named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll.
As she continued making chart-topping albums and took home awards (including a Grammy) she was recognized as the trailblazer in female hip-hop. Latifah proved to be an excellent actress as well, starring on the TV series Living Single before doing films like Set it Off, Bringing Down the House co-starring with Steve Martin, Beauty Shop and Chicago, for which she received an Oscar nomination, garnering the title as the first female rapper to be nominated in Academy history. She recently also voiced the character Ellie in the Ice Age movies, shared screen time with Emma Thompson and Will Ferrell in Stranger than Fiction and blew audiences away in this summer’s Hairspray, based on the Broadway musical.
This morning 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. Don’t miss it!