The Real Queen of Hip-Hop: Queen Latifah Cultural Analysis Essay Example
The one and only Queen Latifah paved the walkway so that other female MC artists could walk. While other female MCs were trying to fit in with the "male dominated" industry, Queen Latifah came into the industry demanding respect. Queen Latifah is multi-talented. She changed the hip-hop game by standing up for the feminist values that she believed in through her music. Not only does she rap, but she acts, sings, is in social politics, is an executive officer of the Flavor Unit Records, likes to give back to the community, and influenced the fashion industry. She became an influencer to both female rappers and singers such as Eve, Lil' Kim, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Remy Ma, and so much more. Through her sick flow, self confidence, and her being multi-talented showed that anything is possible for women The only way for Queen Latifah to go was up.
As a female rapper it was already hard for artists to gain respect from the males in the industry, but being a feminist was one of the main reasons why people like Queen Latifah. She was not afraid to stand up for the rights of her sisters. She believed that it was okay to be “bold” and that women needed to encourage other women. Queen Latifah's, music shared the values of feminism and Afrocentric beliefs. In her album All Hail the Queen, Queen Latifah and Monie Love created the “women’s power” anthem called,” Ladies First. They made it clear that being a woman was okay, that they were coming through with rhymes, men could not stop them, and that it was time for a social change. After that, the message that Queen Latifah’s began to give out was heard in every women's and men’s song such as Missy Elliot with “We Run This," Tupac with,” Keep Ya Head Up,",” Lauryn Hill with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the Beastie Boys with their song called, “Sure Shot” that showing their respect to women, and Beyonce, “Run the World”
The music video for “Ladies First” was about giving respect to not only the women in the music industry but to the women in the nation and about black power. Queen Latifah had pictures of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth shown throughout the video. She also showed her destroying the apartheid that happened in South Africa that segregated the black and whites and giving the country black fists, which stands for black power. Queen Latifah and Monie Love were also dressed in traditional African attire, which showed her passion and love for her origins. This music video will remind people of bits of music performances done by Kendrick Lamar due to him being so big on black power just like Queen Latifah.
In Queen Latifah’s album Black Reign she brought in some deeper issues that happen within the community with men and women into her music. Her song U.N.I.T.Y she set the record straight and spoke on the issues of disrespect towards women in society, speaking on the issues of women getting harassed in the streets, domestic violence, and negative slurs like bitch and hoe. She talks about the everyday challenges that women have to go through. She made it known that it is okay for women to speak their minds and stand up for themselves. She inspired people to be strong in their music and within their lives. Women in the industry began to speak on respect for themselves as women. For example, female artist Princess Nokia is known for her feminst lyrics and self confidence. Queen Latifah has shown these new artists that a women’s respect for themselves and other women is very important.
Fashion in the 1980’s and the 1990’s was a combination of all types of styles from the oversized clothing to Queen Latifah’s afrocentric style. She was confident in her music and her sense of fashion. She believed that by wearing Africa clothing it would bring success to her African brothers and sisters and that she would feel more in touch with her African ancestors. (Tietjen,2016) It was a way for her to feel powerful. Even in the popular show, Living Single Queen Latifah wore clothing that represented historically black colleges. Queen Latifah was always shown in the more “manly” type of clothing such as suits, baggy clothing or jeans. Fashion has always been big in the hip-hop industry Queen Latifah has not only shown her support for her people, but that she is comfortable in the clothes that she wears. Now the afrocentric style clothing is worn today by celebrities like Beyonce who is also now into supporting historically black colleges.
As everyone may know, Queen Latifah is a multi-talented women. She wasn’t always just a female MC. She expanded her career by acting, singing, and being the face of Covergirl. From the movie, “Set It Off” to the popular drama “Star”. Queen Latifah never failed to let her fans down. In her first big movie called, “Set It Off’ Queen Latifah played the role of a committed thief that was more on the “manly” side. She was dressed in baggy clothes with her hair corn rolled to the back. She did not have a problem doing this role, due to the fact that she is already a bisexual women. She showed the world that she was not only a rapper, but she could act and play any role and kill it. In the show, Star Queen Latifah acts as a woman in power of a music company and manages a girl group. Which connects to her in real life, because she became chief executive officer of the Flavor Unit Records and Management Company and signed many artists including Naughty by Nature.
Overall, Queen Latifah pushed her way through the male dominated industry and earned respect for herself and her sisters, by stepping up and expanding her career. Till this day, Queen Latifah has continued to be a huge impact on the hip-hop industry. She has continued to inspire people by being the positive person that she is and by always sticking to supporting women in all different type of working fields. She has changed the industry for the better and most importantly she taught people something that not just anyone can teach, which is self love and respect. Without Queen Latifah a lot of things would not have been possible for other artists. The message that she gave off from all the things that she has done was, no matter if you are a male or a female, you can do anything you put your mind to.
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