They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Queen Latifah cover art for episode 17 of the They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Aug 3, 2021

Episode 17: Queen Latifah - U.N.I.T.Y.

Episode Summary

This episode we're talking about someone who has had three different careers when most are lucky to have just one. From her beginnings as golden age hip-hop artist, then the transition to television and movies, to award-winning jazz singer, we'll be discussing Queen Latifah!


Christina: Welcome back to They Reminisce Over You. I'm Christina.

Miguel: And I'm Miguel. This week we are talking about singer, rapper, actress, producer, all around thespian, award winner, hip-hop icon, all that—

Christina: Queen! Literally.

Miguel: Queen. All that stuff. Queen Latifah. If you hear any noise in the background, there's currently a thunderstorm happening, but we're going to record anyway, because we were supposed to do it yesterday and we're doing it now. So, you're going to have to deal with it, but hopefully it won't be too bad. Ready to get into it?

Christina: Yep!

Miguel: Let's start. Okay.

Christina: So I looked up a little bit about how she got started. And I just found out that she was in a group called Ladies Fresh and an original member of the Flavor Unit, which that I knew, but I didn't know about the previous group. And another thing that I read about was she got the attention of Tommy Boy music employee, Dante Ross, which we had talked about Dante Ross in a previous episode, but I can't remember who it was we were talking about.

Miguel: I don't know. We talk about people all the time and they kind of go overlapping in several episodes. I can't think of it right now.

Christina: Yeah. So I actually didn't know too much about her beginnings just because she came out a little bit earlier than when I was getting into hip hop music. So, I thought I'd do my little background check on her.

Miguel: Okay. Well, like you said, she was part of the original Flavor Unit. The Flavor Unit that we know is not the Flavor Unit of those days. It was started by DJ Mark, the 45 King. That's a very '70s and '80s name if I've ever heard one. But he started it. He was a producer/DJ and he kinda put the group together.

So it was her, Nikki D, "Daddy's Little Girl[1]," Chill Rob G, Apache, his brother, Latee. I don't know how to say his name. They were all just a bunch of young rappers from Jersey and he decided to put them together and here we go. We are the Flavor Unit, the original Flavor Unit.

The first time I heard her though was on 1580 KDAY[2], which I've mentioned a few times on this podcast. It was on 1580 and I think "Wrath of My Madness[3]" might've been the first one that I heard. And yeah, it was a time where hip hop was just starting out and hitting outside of New York. So you could get away with doing a lot of different styles as one person. Cause "Wrath of My Madness" sounds nothing like "Dance For Me" or "Come Into My House." Like, it wasn't unusual for a rap act to have a house record. So those were my introductions to her. And then on De La Soul's "Buddy," the "Buddy (remix)[4]" too.

Christina: I think the first time I may have, or my first memory of her is actually "U.N.I.T.Y."

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: I do know some of the older songs, but I think I may have discovered those later.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: So I'm not exactly sure what I heard first from her, but that seems to pop into my head when I think about how I was introduced her. Because that was released in '93. So by then I was—

Miguel: Yeah, that timeline adds up for you.

Christina: Yeah. Anything before that, I was just starting to discover. So if I hear it, I hear it. But if I didn't that wasn't unusual either.

Miguel: Yeah, '93 is when she started making her escape from hip hop.

Christina: Yeah, exactly. Just when I discovered her.

Miguel: And jumping into movies and television. But that's not a bad entry point. I like "U.N.I.T.Y."

Christina: Yeah. And I think that's her most popular song and she got a Grammy[5] off that song, I think.

Miguel: I don't know if she won a Grammy for it. I didn't look that stuff up. I just assumed you did, since that's your area of expertise. Awards, and charts and such.

Christina: Yeah. Sometimes I forget.

Miguel: But I do know that in comparison to her later stuff, the early stuff, which I love, wasn't nearly as recognized as the older things that we're going to talk about later. Like her jazz albums and such. But hey, I liked it.

Christina: Well, why don't we just jump into the first album then, All Hail the Queen. 1989.

Miguel: All Hail the Queen. Yes. Like I said, my first hearing of her was on "Wrath Of My Madness." It was, constantly being played on the radio. And at that point, at least for me, I was probably 13, 14 at the time, so I really didn't make any distinction between, oh, it's a woman rapper, or these guys are letting this woman do it. It's like everybody were just rappers at that point. And she happened to be somebody that I liked. Pretty much anything that came out after that, I was all in on it.

Christina: I don't know if I'm like way off. I think I noticed this more when I was listening to the second album, but something about her style, reminded me of Heavy D.[6][7]

Miguel: It's funny that you say that because I have it written right here and I was going to say that as well, because I never noticed it before, until listening back to it this week. It was like, this sounds like Heavy D, like the, her cadence, her tone, everything.

Christina: Then the little bit of the reggae influence and stuff, too.

Miguel: Right. It's like, oh my God, I'm listening to Heavy D.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: And never noticed it. And they both came out around the same time. Like, I think his first album came out the year before this one did. So, I don't know if it was intentional, and she was like, that's the lane I'm going with? Or if it was just organic.

Christina: I kind of feel like it was probably just of the time and, uh, where's he from?

Miguel: He's from "Moneyearnin' Mount Vernon."[8]

Christina: Oh, well she's from Jersey. So, not the same place.

Miguel: No, but close.

Christina: But, I mean, I think they were, of that time.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: It was very, rhythmic and...

Miguel: That's one way of putting it. Yes.

Christina: Yeah, it was very rhythmic and very danceable.

Miguel: Yeah. Because like I said, you could have "Wrath of My Madness" and then "Come Into My House" be on the same album and it didn't sound weird.

Christina: "Give me body![9]"

Miguel: Which I've been singing. All. Week. Long.

Christina: I can't stop saying it every time I listen to it.

Miguel: And something else I picked up on that I didn't notice then, is she was doing a lot of singing on these early records, too. But I really didn't notice it until later, when she kind of branched off and started doing more of the singing. It was like, oh, she's always been singing on these records.

Christina: When we were deciding who to talk about next, and we were at saying, let's talk about Queen Latifah, and I was just saying it's funny how she's doing all this jazzy stuff now. But just going back and listening to all this stuff, actually is not that unusual at all because she always had the jazz elements. She always did different musical styles.

Miguel: Yep.

Christina: It's just the jazz albums don't have rap. [Both laugh]

This was the first time I listened to this album in full. There were a few songs that I was already familiar with. Of course, "Ladies First." That's like the anthem for women. [Laughs] "Wrath of My Madness." But yeah, I hadn't heard these house songs before, like, "Dance For Me," is kind of—

Miguel: Yeah, it's kind of a house record.

Christina: Yeah. So yeah, I didn't realize that she had already been doing all these different musical styles. 'Cause in my mind I knew she sang, but I always thought of her as a rapper turned jazz singer, who used to sing a little bit. But all of these seeds were already here.

Miguel: Yeah. I just didn't notice it.

Christina: Usually when I go back and listen to albums that were before '93, sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. Just because, if I wasn't listening to it at the time, I just don't. But this one I really liked, even though it was released in '89 when I wasn't really listening to rap, but I would definitely listen to this one again.

Miguel: The only problem I have with it is it sounds really bad, quality wise, because it's just an old album. So I wish that someone could put together a billion dollar GoFundMe so we can remaster all these old albums from the late '80s and early '90s, because—

Christina: You want to hear "Come Into My House" at its full potential? [Both laugh]

Miguel: Actually, that one doesn't sound as bad as some of the other mixes on here, like "Wrath of My Madness." I really wish I could hear the bass in that song, but I can't. It just sounds really flat either in my headphones or listening to it in the car.

Christina: I think this is very, like, quintessential late '80s rap and going into the early '90s in terms of how it sounds. Like, I can see people dancing around in rayon shirts.

Miguel: Of course.

Christina: [Laughs] And like, hair in different levels.

Miguel: Well, you saw the videos.

Christina: I did.

Miguel: She's got like uniform, business suits on.

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: And dancers bopping around the background with their African medallions, and she's always in a head wrap and everything.

Christina: Because she's a queen!

Miguel: She presented herself as royal and very militaristic.

Christina: Yes. I was about to say royal, but also, very like, in charge.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Like I said, this was released in '89, but I mean, that's just one year away from the '90s. But, I've said this to you before, all these songs were like, "in the '90s." It's like, we had this view of like, everything's going to change now. So, much of the music, people would actually literally say, "in the '90s, x and x won't happen anymore."

Miguel: Right.

Christina: Or, "it's the '90s, so now blah, blah, blah."

Miguel: Yeah. it was at the height of Afrocentricity and—

Christina: Feminism too.

Miguel: Feminism. All of that stuff was coming together at that time.

Christina: Yeah, it was just like, this is our time.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: Like, it's the '90s.

Miguel: We've struggled long enough. It's time for us to make a stand and take a step forward.

Christina: And here we are in 2021.

Miguel: And still doing the same things. Like people are still fighting for the same stuff.

Christina: Yeah, so a lot of the early '90s had this theme, but I think by like the mid '90s, people kind of stopped that. [Laughs]

Miguel: Because they had made it, that's why. Like you go from a point where people are dancing around with Africa medallions on. Like, the genre got so popular that by the mid '90s, you've got people wearing platinum and diamonds all over the place. So, people got comfortable, basically. At least in my opinion.

Christina: Yeah. Cause like late '90s was the quote, "bling-bling" era.

Miguel: Right. It was a quick run. Like you went from ashy to classy, in like five years.

Christina: So, I really liked the dance-y and the house songs. The "Dance For Me" and "Come Into My House," they just, they're infectious. You kind of want to just get up and start—

Miguel: Give me body!

Christina: Vogueing and/or just doing a lot of arm and leg movements. I noticed in "Latifah's Law" as I was saying, she was always doing some jazzy, "be boop be boop boop" from the beginning. "Ladies First" of course. It's funny, I was thinking about how I couldn't hear Monie Love's accent. Cause I didn't realize she was British until, I dunno, I found out not that long ago, but in the song she says, "born in London and sound American." So, I guess she was in America long enough to not have an accent anymore.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: You know how sometimes when people rap or sing, then you just don't hear their non American accent.

Miguel: Yeah. Like you can hear it on other songs a little bit.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: But she hides it well.

Christina: Yeah. But, I'd say my overall favorite is "Wrath of My Madness."

Miguel: Yeah, me too. Again, because that was the first one that I heard. It's just always been my favorite. And I've had an issue with "Ladies First," since it first came out and I'll tell you why. Because Monie loves spells lady, L-A-D-I-E. And it's bothered me from the first time I've heard this record.

Christina: I noticed that.

Miguel: It has always bothered me.

Christina: You know what? I didn't write it in my notes, but when I heard it, I was like—

Miguel: Ever since I was a child.

Christina: That's not how you spell "lady." I know she's trying to make it rhyme—

Miguel: I understand why she did it. Yes.

Christina: But I'm sure she could have come up with something else.

Miguel: It has bothered me since the first time I heard it.

Christina: But, at least that sounds intentional. Unlike Warren G saying "N-X-E-T, next."[10]

Miguel: Yeah, he definitely didn't do that on purpose. I'll let it go.

Christina: I think she knew what she was doing.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: All this time I thought she had some like, Jamaican roots or something because she's always doing the little bit of reggae and Patois and no, her parents are just both American.

Miguel: Yeah. That's just the time we were in.

Christina: Well, it sounds fine to me. I don't know how West Indians and particular, Jamaicans may feel about it, but—

Miguel: We're going to have to ask some people that were in New York at the time. 'Cause it was an east coast thing.

Christina: Yes. A lot of east coast—

Miguel: Like, you really didn't get it much from west coast artists throwing random Patois and Caribbean type slang.

Christina: Because a lot of the east coast rappers did have some West Indian roots or something, at least. So I just assumed she did too, but I guess maybe it's just the people she was around, and the stuff she was listening to. 'Cause she does it a lot.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: But overall, I definitely think this is a strong debut album, even though I didn't hear it until now. [Laughs] But, I'm sure if I was listening to hip hop in 1989, I would have been all over this.

Miguel: Yeah. Because as I've mentioned before, there weren't really many rappers to choose from. So, if you actually were able to make it on the radio, you were pretty good. Like, I don't remember there being rappers played on the radio and you're like, oh my God, they suck. Because of the effort that it took to actually get to that point, you had to be good. And she was.

Christina: Give me body!

Miguel: [Laughs] So, you're just going to keep singing that?

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: After a while they started to get a little more established and the Flavor Unit was growing and expanding. So she kind of took the lead in taking over running the Flavor Unit because apparently The 45 King got some drug issues and whatnot, and really wasn't taking care of business the way that they were supposed to. So, she took it upon herself to like, start an LLC and trademark the name and all that stuff. So, they could be an official moneymaking entity. Some of the guys who were down with it before didn't like it too much. Others were like, that's a great idea. Let's get this money.

Christina: Why didn't they like it?

Miguel: Just because they felt, why are you like, taking this on? It should be one of us because we've been here longer and we're older, blah, blah, blah. Cause she was the youngest one in crew. But at the same time, if you wanted to, then you should have stepped up and did it. That's the way I look at it.

But she ended up starting Flavor Unit Records, Flavor Unit Management, and after a couple years, some fell off and they brought new people in like Naughty By Nature, Freddie Foxxx, Black Sheep, and some of the old ones stuck around, I think Apache and one other kinda made it through. But the second go round, basically completely whole new Flavor Unit.

Christina: Yeah, that's the Flavor Unit I know.

[music break]

Miguel: So let's talk about her second album.

Christina: Nature of a Sista', 1991.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: Yeah, this was where actually I put in my notes about her style reminding me of Heavy D. I actually pulled up some Heavy D just to see if I was way off. And I'm like, I don't know, sounds similar to me.

Miguel: I forget which song it was that I was listening to the other day, but it just hit me like, this sounds just like Heavy D. And I never noticed it in however many years it's been that I've been listening to Queen Latifah, until last week.

Christina: And I think we've sort of mentioned this before too, is like people, we have a tendency to compare, like, if it's a female rapper, then we try to compare to another female rapper. Instead of just who they sound like. And it's like, no, I can't compare it to Monie Love or Yo-Yo or...she sounds like Heavy D to me.

Miguel: Yeah. Which makes sense. Like, you don't have to compare her to another woman. My favorite song on this album though, is "Latifah's Had It Up To Here."

Christina: Produced by Naughty By Nature.

Miguel: That was the biggest hit for me.

Christina: Yeah, I liked that one as well. And this one, as I was saying, she was this rapper and now she's a jazz singer. But this song, listening to it now, I could totally hear this being performed with an orchestra or live instruments.

Miguel: Which is why I sent you that video of her performing it at the Kennedy Center.[11] I am convinced, I don't know what else she performed that night, but I am convinced that 90% of that crowd had no idea what that song was that she was performing. But the fact that she pulled it off in front of this black tie audience is amazing to me.

Christina: And you could just see what a pro she is though. Just watching her perform. Like it was...she made it look so easy, like she could do it in her sleep. I want to say before MTV started doing those unplugged concerts, I think I never really thought of rap being something that you would listen to with live instruments. Like sometimes, you know, you'll hear samples with like horns or pianos or whatever, right? But it always seemed like a very like electronic music to me. Like, you'd have to have a DJ playing a record or something. Not an actual drummer, an actual guitarist or piano player.

And so I think that's why it seems surprising to think that you could perform this music like that. But again, now that I know that it can be done and it has been done, just hearing the old songs is like, oh yeah, obviously like this song totally sounds like something that can just be played live.

Miguel: And that's because a lot of them were. A lot of those older albums, even though they had samples, there was a lot of live instrumentation as well.

Christina: I think for me, it might've been Jay-Z's Unplugged[12] was the first time where I was like, wow, you could do all this stuff live? And The Roots, I mean, obviously they're a great band too, but that they were able to recreate that with live instruments and it was like, wow, like, rap can be like this.

Miguel: Well it's because you jumped into hip hop a little bit later. When the live instrumentation was gone basically, because there was Stetsasonic, which was the first hip hop band, uh, which Prince Paul was in and Daddy-O and all them. But they had live instrumentation as well. And there was a couple other like backing bands, mostly out of New York, but for the most part once it became more sample heavy, then it just trended that way for awhile, until Biz Markie got sued for I think it was "Spring Again." And that's when everybody's like, oh, we got to step away from the sampling shit.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: It's gonna cost us way too much money.

Christina: Yeah. So, "Latifah's Had It Up To Here" is definitely my favorite song on this album. And I liked "That's The Way We Flow." Cause you know, I kind of liked that back and forth style. I have no idea who Safari Sister Swatch is. Someone she was rapping with.

Miguel: I don't remember. I don't recall.

Christina: And "Fly Girl." I thought that was hilarious. So in "Fly Girl," you know, she's kind of going back and forth with a guy who's hitting on her, right? And the part where he's like, "You're fine," and she's like, "THANK YOU!" But just the way she said it gets me every single time. She's like, "Thank you. BUT I'm not that type of girl you think I am." [Laughs]

Miguel: That song is very '90s. If you think about '90s hip hop and '90s music, urban music, that is it. That's what you're going to be hearing in a Black TV show/movie. That's going to be on a soundtrack or something. I wouldn't be surprised, if it was on a soundtrack. I didn't look it up, but very like, Strictly Business or Mo' Money. One of those type of soundtracks.

Christina: I can see it. So this one she continued with, playing with different styles and stuff. She had the reggae vibes, again, a lot of the singing. Like "Give Me Your Love." It kind of sounds like, you know, like '90s R&B, like Vanessa Williams and Karyn White, that kind of R&B, that's what this song reminded me of.

And, that last song, "How Do I Love Thee?" where it's like that whispery, talking through the phone kind of thing. I can't get into that though. [Laughs]

I think it did pretty well on the charts when I was looking up the Billboard and stuff, but I just, I like that she experiments with all these different sounds, but when she gets too far on that side, I'm just like, I can't. I can't get with it. It's not for me.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: When I was reading a review about it, someone was saying it kind of sounded like Madonna's "Justify My Love." And I was like, I didn't like that one either. So, I think I just don't like that whispery, "How do I love thee." [Both laugh]

Miguel: She was being sultry.

Christina: She was, and other people liked it, so, she obviously liked it if she recorded it.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: So, good for her.

Miguel: All right. So, her next album was Black Reign. It's a little more aggressive than her previous work, but still has the songs that, where she's singing—

Christina: Right.

Miguel: —that are really melodic as well.

Christina: Yeah, I had in my notes that this one felt more quote, hip hop than the last album. When I was just looking at reviews the last album didn't do well, because some people thought she was trying to do too much in terms of like, doing the different styles. And she was dropped from Tommy Boy,[13] due to low sales.

Miguel: And like I was saying earlier, things were changing so fast at this time, what she was doing wasn't as popular as it was like, two years before. Because at this time we've gone from De La Soul, with their daisies and all this stuff to two years later, they're like De La Soul Is Dead. These are the same people. All of music was kind of changing that quickly, and I think that album got caught up in that transition as well. Cause there's a lot of people who came out around the same time that it was like, uhhh, which way are we going with this? Are we going to be just Timberlands and hoodies? Or are still still happy happy, joy joy?

Christina: Right. Yeah, because by '93 things were starting to get less whimsical. [Laughs] I'd say '93 to '95 that "in the '90s we could do whatever we want" was starting to wind down a little. [Laughs]

Miguel: Like, you had even gotten Run-DMC out of the fedoras, they're wearing bald heads and hoodies and black boots. So things had changed. Quickly.

Christina: This one feels very 1993 and very different from an 1989 album.

Miguel: Yeah. It's not even close.

Christina: Yeah, even though she's still doing the singing, she's still doing, I think she's got a little jazzy stuff, a little bit of reggae but overall it felt a little more, hoodies and Timbs, as you said.

Miguel: Right. And I think that's just from the Naughty By Nature influence because they were Flavor Unit artists, so—

Christina: Right.

Miguel: That style was kind of moving towards the forefront anyway, like it was becoming a little more street oriented.

Christina: I thought it was funny that there's that song, "Rough..." and Heavy D was on it, and I'm like, oh, now that he's on a song with her, I don't hear it anymore. [Both laugh]

Miguel: That's funny.

Christina: Because I think when I was thinking she sounded like him was more of the dance-y kind of hip hop. Whereas, when we got to this album, it was less of that.

Miguel: But even his music was trending in this direction too, around this time. Cause the Blue Funk album is not like the first couple albums.

Christina: Right. So the, the other thing that I thought was funny too about the '90s was, she has a song with Treach "Coochie Bang." [Laughs] When they just talking about wearing condoms, basically. And I just found that funny that that was another theme in the '90s was talking about safe sex and condoms and all that stuff. And like, everyone had had some kind of condom PSA or something basically. And we can't forget about TLC and Left Eye always wearing it. Actually, all of them would be wearing condoms all over their clothes and stuff, and then Salt n' Pepa had "Let Talk About Sex." So, I don't know if that was part of these, in the '90s, we gotta do all these things—

Miguel: Well, it was like, also at the height of like, crack and AIDS. So, it's like, uh if y'all wanna live, you need to strap up.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: It's not safe in these streets.

Christina: There's always wearing Jimmy hat, or something.

Miguel: Yeah. It was like, we know y'all gonna be hoes, be safe about it.

Christina: So she has that song with Treach. And then in "Just Another Day" she said something about, she got to get her gun and her Jimmy hats, in case she needs protection, and it's like, protection from everything!

Miguel: Yeah. Just in case she gets some tonight. And just in case you got to put somebody down in the street.

Christina: Exactly. She's going to be protected.

Miguel: I'm prepared on both sides.

Christina: So I just thought that was funny. Cause I remember when I was a kid and my sisters would see me watching my music videos and see TLC with their condoms all over the place. And they're just like, why are they doing that? I'm like, I don't know. [Laughs]

Miguel: Why don't they have these in their purses?

Christina: I don't know. I'm 13. [Both laugh]

Miguel: You tell me!

Christina: Like it's about safe sex. Okay? [Laughs]

Miguel: You wouldn't know about that. You're not as cultured as me.

Christina: So, I think this one, "U.N.I.T.Y.," that's my favorite song on here. But technically, it's my favorite song.

Miguel: Okay. Why technically?

Christina: The album version is different from the video version.

Miguel: It is.

Christina: So I like the video version better.

Miguel: Okay. I get it.

Christina: They both have the jazzy sound, but the album one is a little bit more jazzy.

Miguel: But now that I think about it. I was trying to figure this out the other day when I was listening to it. I'm not sure if this version that's on here now, was actually on the album when it was first released. Cause I don't remember this version being on the album.

Christina: I don't think I've ever heard this version.

Miguel: I heard it, but I don't remember it being on the album.

Christina: I'm guessing the video version is probably the radio version too.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Yeah. Cause I've never bought a Queen Latifah album, so whatever I would have heard had to be either the radio version, single version or video version. And so, as soon as it came on I was like, have I just not heard this song in a while? Cause it's not like totally different. It just, it's a little more smoothed out.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: It's a little bit more jazzy, but mostly the same.

Miguel: Yeah. I don't remember this version being on the album. I could be wrong, but I don't remember that one being on the album.

Christina: The thing that I always thought was funny on this song was, so she's talking about, you know, some guy walked by and grabbed her butt when she was wearing her shorts. And then she said, "then the little one said, yeah me, bitch." And I don't know why with her calling somebody, "the little one" always makes me laugh. And I instantly thought of Vinnie just because, you know, Naughty By Nature's part of the crew and stuff. And Vinnie is playing the little one in the video. [Laughs]

Miguel: Cause he's the little one.

Christina: [Laughs] He's the little one. She didn't punch him dead in his eye in the video though. But yeah, I that's who I thought of and that's who played the part, but it's probably just an old memory in my head anyways.

Miguel: Yeah, that you forgot about.

Christina: Yeah, cause he's the little one. [Laughs] "Yeah, me bitch."

Miguel: My favorites on this album, it's a tie for me. It's either "Just Another Day" or "Black Hand Side." And I listened to them a lot this week and I can't decide which one I like better. So, it's both of them for me.

Christina: I can be your tiebreaker and say "Just Another Day."

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: I like that one better than "Black Hand Side," but I like that one too. "Just Another Day" reminds me of Ice Cube's "It Was A Good Day." Just talking about their day and what's going on in their neighborhood. I really like "Weekend Love," even though it sounds like something I would hear on a Caribbean cruise ship. [Laughs]

Miguel: As someone who's spent a lot of time on cruise ships in the Caribbean, I can confirm that's the type of song you would hear playing.

Christina: It's definitely, very cruise ship.

Miguel: It is.

Christina: And, the last song "Winki's Theme," which she dedicated to her brother. So this kind of gives us a peek into where her music was gonna go. Because even though she had done that sort of like, jazzy live instrumentational stuff before, I think this one sounds even more further away from, I guess, like the hip hop roots—

Miguel: Right.

Christina: —and stuff. And at first I didn't really like the song, but then after listening to it, I couldn't stop humming it under my breath. I'm like, you know what? I think I do like the song, I just had to let it marinate.

Miguel: You were converted.

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: I don't remember it. I don't think I even listened to it. I didn't make it to that part of the album because I only really listened to the songs that I liked this time.

Christina: I would hum it, but I think I've done enough singing and humming on this podcast, I should be embarrassed at this point. [Laughs]

Miguel: I don't think so. I've heard much worse.

Christina: So shall I hum it then?

Miguel: No, no, no. We don't need that. We don't need that.

Christina: Rude.

[music break]

Miguel: So, around the same time as this album is when we got the Flavor Unit compilation album. I can't tell you many songs from it. Just looking at the track listening right now, I know "Roll Wit Tha Flava," which is basically the group cut. And then obviously, "Hey, Mr. DJ," by Zhané.

Christina: Ooh, let me look up the track listing. I didn't even look at that.

Miguel: Those are only two I remember.

Christina: What was it? The Flavor Unit compilation?

Miguel: Roll Wit Tha Flava. Now this has always bothered me as well. The name of their crew is the Flavor Unit, F-L-A-V-O-R. Why are you going to name your album Roll Wit Tha Flava, F-L-A-V-A? That has always bothered me.

Christina: I don't know.

Miguel: It's right up there with Monie spelling lady, L-A-D-I-E. It should be Roll Wit Tha Flavor. You are the Flavor Unit. It's right there. But what do I know?

Christina: I can't find the track listing, but that song I know. And "Hey, Mr. DJ" was on that compilation?

Miguel: That's where it was released first.

Christina: Oh. I don't remember.

Miguel: Because she was managing Naughty By Nature, and KayGee found them. And Bob's your uncle. But there's a song with D-Nice, The Bigga Sistas with a song called "Sounds of Fatness."

Christina: Sounds of fatness?

Miguel: Yeah. I guess they were some big girls. I don't remember don't remember 'em at all. The Almighty RSO had a song on there. That's your man, Benzino's group, when he was still Ray Dogg. Freddie Foxx—

Christina: Ray Dogg?

Miguel: That was his original rap name, Ray Dogg.

Christina: Isn't that the same—

Miguel: No, not the Reh Dogg that you're thinking of!

Christina: [Laughing] I know. I was just gonna say, isn't that the same name? So, this is like early YouTube. There's this guy named Reh Dogg. Not—

Miguel: R-E-H D-O-G-G.

Christina: And he did some low budget, rap videos, shall we say?

Miguel: They were terrible.

Christina: So, anyone who was into early YouTube, y'all probably know what we're talking about.

Miguel: Why must I cry?

Christina: [Singing] "Why must I cry? Why must I cry?"[14]

Miguel: [Laughing] No, not that Reh Dogg.

Christina: [Laughing] Okay.

Miguel: Different guy. So there was a lot of people on this album and a lot of songs that I don't remember other than those two. And in the "Roll Wit The Flava" video, Treach is rubbing this sticker real creepy-like.

Christina: Gross.

Miguel: It's terrible.

Christina: I have the video pulled up right in front of me because when I was trying to find the track, listing the video pulled up instead.

Miguel: Because he does it in the video for a little bit. And then at the very end, that's how it closes. They play him doing it again.

Christina: I'm going to play it. I want to see it. I'm gonna go right to the end.

[Plays "Roll Wit The Flava" video[15]]

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Oh, Kid Capri's in here.

Miguel: Yeah. It's a lot of people in it.

Christina: Yeah. There's Queen Latifah with her, um, boss bitch jacket on sitting at her t—eww, gross. Yes. Creepy. Why is he doing that?

Miguel: I don't know.

Christina: Oh man. I remember this now. Ugh. Alright. [laughs]

Miguel: Oh boy.

But this was around the same time that she started branching out away from music and getting into movies and TV. So, there's a run from like '93 to '95 where there was no Queen Latifah music. And she's putting all of her work in movies and television.

Christina: [Singing] Living... single...[16]

Miguel: Living Single.

Christina: [Singing] "in a '90s kind of world!" See, all this in the '90s, right?

Miguel: There you go. What else was she in at that point? She was in House Party 2. I remember her in that.

Christina: She had a small part in Juice. Remember she was—

Miguel: Yeah. She was like, hosting the deejay thingy.

Christina: Yeah, Q was auditioning for the deejay battle.[17]

Miguel: Yeah. I see the list here.

Christina: Her IMDb[18] is, loooong.

Miguel: Yeah. It''s not normal.

Christina: It's not normal.

Miguel: She's got credits in every area, producing, executive producing, acting. writing, directing, all of it. What else was she in? My Life? I don't remember that or know what it is. But, what we watched the other night, Set It Off.

Christina: Set It Off. That was a good rewatch. I enjoyed it.

Miguel: She was Cleo.

Christina: My favorite part was her little celebratory dance after they did their first bank heist and she's, woo!

Miguel: When she shot the ceiling.

Christina: Yep. She's dancing. She's woo-ing.

Miguel: Cleo was the loosest of cannons.

Christina: Yeah, that was a pretty good,

Miguel: It was it was better than I remember it being, but it was worse than I remember it being at the same time, if that makes any sense.

Christina: [Laughing] What? Nope.

Miguel: Okay. Like, it was a good plot.

Christina: Except...

Miguel: Okay, let me take that back. It was a good idea, but the way that it played out wasn't really good. But, at the same time, it was okay for 1990 whatever.

Christina: '96. It was a good plot in the sense of like, they all went through something to finally make them say, yeah, let's go rob these banks. Except Jada Pinkett's character, spoiler, but Jada Pinkett's character, her brother gets killed by the LAPD accidentally. They could have just avoided all of this bank robbery and just sued the LAPD.

Miguel: [Laughs]

Christina: So I think they could have given her a different reason. Oh, my brother got killed. Let's rob these banks, right?

Miguel: The thing that I had an issue with was, it was a lot of overacting. Outside of Queen Latifah. Like, everybody else was doing too much. They were going a little too far with it. But her character, even though she was going too far, it made sense because that's who she was. Like, her character is supposed to be out there. Like, Vivica Fox just snapping all the time. It was a bit too much. Like you were just a bank teller two days ago. And now you're this criminal mastermind all of a sudden yelling at people?

Christina: She was mad.

Miguel: Still.

Christina: They fired her!

Miguel: She wouldn't all of a sudden take the lead in a bank heist though.

Christina: Whereas Cleo, she's—

Miguel: Yeah, she's all in. She's down for everything, you saw the people she hung out with. She's hanging out with Dr. Dre, who's a gun runner sitting in a random warehouse, just shooting at targets for no reason.

Christina: And she's living in somebody's garage.

Miguel: Whose garage was this? Like, when they said "shut up, you live in a garage," I thought they meant that she lived in like a garage that was attached to a house, not an auto body shop.

Christina: With a car that always needed fixing.

Miguel: She had a rusted out '64 Impala, but she lived in a auto shop. But I want to know whose it was. And why wasn't she making money fixing cars? She's just sitting around doing nothing all the time. When you have a place to make money right there.

Christina: I don't know. You're asking too many questions.

Miguel: And she was a car thief. Like you have all these opportunities to make money, but you sitting around with your girlfriend who doesn't speak.

Christina: She's lazy, I guess. She only does those things when she has to.

Miguel: I guess, I guess. But, like I said, it was better than I thought it was and it was worse than I remember. Both at the same time.

Christina: Yeah. I think I only watched it once, so I didn't remember anything. So it was basically almost watching it for the first time. Cause there was like, some tiny things that I remember, but for the most part, it was pretty new to me. It's like, did I watch this movie?

Miguel: I definitely watched it and that's my critique. It was better than I remember, and worse than I remember at the same time.

Christina: My critique is, why didn't she just sue the LAPD?

Miguel: The movie would have been over in 20 minutes.

Christina: Yeah. And then she could have kept dating, what's his name? Blair Underwood.

Miguel: Your favorite Black hiker.

Christina: Yeah, my favorite Black hiker,[19] Blair Underwood. And, you know? Whatever.

Miguel: Oh, well.

Christina: All right. Shall we continue with the segue and talk a little bit about her film and TV during this time?

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Since we're already here, and there's no music to talk about just yet.

Miguel: So, we kinda have to.

Christina: Well, Living Single. Hello, that is definitely a classic, and we all know there'd be no Friends if there wasn't a Living Single.

Miguel: It's true[20]. Admitted by the higher ups at NBC who said, give me one of those, but make it White.

Christina: Less urban, please.

Miguel: Apparently she was on The Fresh Prince (of Bel-Air) twice playing two different characters. I don't remember either of them.

Christina: I don't remember.

Miguel: But Living Single is the thing that kind of put her out there as an actress, other than Set It Off.

Christina: I loved Living Single.

Miguel: I know. I'm aware. She played Khadijah.

Christina: Yes, Khadijah who owned a hip hop magazine.

Miguel: Flavor, of course.

Christina: She is very, always about Flavor Unit, Flavor Unit, Flavor Unit. So of course—

Miguel: It's going to be Flavor magazine. I really want to start rewatching Living Single. I really want to see Overton Wakefield Jones. Talking all slow. [Laughs]

Christina: And then Kyle who always like, hello, I'm debonair.

Miguel: Yes. Oh man. What was, uh Kim Fields' character's name?

Christina: Ummm.

Miguel: Regine.

Christina: Yes, Regine.

Miguel: Even though her name was really Regina.

Christina: Well, of course she would be Regine.

Miguel: Regine, and what was the last? Maxine.

Christina: Maxine Shaw, attorney at law. Wasn't she always coming over, eating up all their food?

Miguel: All the time. Like, she would come in and go straight to the food.

Christina: Um, what's her name? The character's name? Overton's love interest?

Miguel: Oh, uh, Khadijah's cousin?

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: Synclaire.

Christina: Ahh, Synclaire.

Miguel: The wannabe actress, but she was a little bit ditzy. I think at the end, she ended up getting an acting gig. If I recall correctly, I could be wrong. I could be making that up. I don't know.

Christina: Yeah. That was like at the height of these Black comedies. There's Living Single, Fresh Prince.

Miguel: Martin.

Christina: Martin, A Different World. Like it was just, again, I think that's probably why everyone felt so, like, it's the '90s!

Miguel: Again, that's why people tended to get comfortable. It's like, we doing it now!

Christina: We made it! We're here!

Miguel: We don't need to fight for anything else.

Christina: And then all the shows got canceled.

Miguel: Buh-bye.

Christina: Byeeeee.

Miguel: Yeah, just looking through the rest of her early '90s stuff, I don't remember her in Hoodlum. I've only seen Hoodlum one time.

Christina: I don't even know what that is.

Miguel: But I don't remember it.

Christina: Is that a TV show?

Miguel: No, it's a movie with, Lawrence Fishburne.

Christina: Hoodlum?

Miguel: It's like, set in the 30's. He's playing a gangster.

Christina: Oh, I know what you're talking about, but I can't remember if I've actually seen it.

Miguel: Yeah. I've definitely seen it. I don't remember much about it. I remember her in The Bone Collector though. She was Denzel's nurse.

Christina: Hmm. I do not remember that.

Miguel: Cause he played the cop that was paralyzed in The Bone Collector.

Christina: I don't even remember the movie, actually.

Miguel: Yeah, he was a forensic investigator and he got hurt. Like, something fell on him when he was on the job and he was paralyzed. And Angelina Jolie is like a street cop and she stumbles across this murder. And he's like, well, you're going to be my eyes out on the street. So, it's like heavy technology where they're using her to tell him what's going on back at his hospital bed and he's using a computer to put the crime scene together. And Queen Latifah plays his nurse.

Christina: Okay. Any other TV and film stuff in the '90s?

Miguel: Uh, Bringing Out The Dead. I've never seen that. So I can't talk about it.

Christina: Same.

Miguel: If anybody has seen it, you can let us know on the bird or Instagram, but I have no idea what it is.

[music break]

Miguel: So that brings us to 1998 with her album Order In The Court. So she's back in these hip hop streets.

Christina: Right. This one was not available for streaming.

Miguel: No, it wasn't.

Christina: So, I didn't hear the entire album. I tried to look up some stuff on YouTube. So, the ones that were at least singles were there, cause there was some, like videos and stuff.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: So, I only heard three songs off of this album but sounds like '98 hip hop. And I didn't know, "Bananas"[21] is apparently a Foxy Brown diss track.

Miguel: I meant to get into this and I completely forgot about the Foxy Brown beef that she had. I was going to save it for when we do the beef episode.

Christina: You can save it. I just wanted to bring that up.

Miguel: Yeah, I didn't go into that one. And there's a couple other songs that I'm not going to bring up until then.

Christina: Right. Okay. So, you can learn more about it in the next episode when we talk about rap beefs. All right. So I only heard three songs, "Bananas" "Paper,"[22] and "It's Alright."[23]

Miguel: I only remember "Bananas" from when it came out, and the rest of the album I don't, other than "Parlay."[24] I remember that one, but since it's not available to listen to I didn't go back and try and track it down.

Christina: A lot of times, uh, if you look for an artist on YouTube, they will just have playlists of the albums. Cause even sometimes when it's not available for streaming, it'll be on YouTube for some reason.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Like the official artist's YouTube channel. But yeah, this one I had to kind of search for a bit and I was like, nah, I'm not going to search for every single song. So let me just put it in the album name and see what pops up, and those were the three. I mean, it was cool. It sounded like, the '98 hip hop style and stuff.

Miguel: Like, what I remember of it is, it was very 1998. Nothing really stood out. but it wasn't bad either.

Christina: Right. So, after that album is pretty much where she's like, I ain't doing rap anymore. This is where she went full on jazz.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: The next album, The Dana Owens Album 2004. There's a couple more of like soul songs that I was okay with, but I'm just not into like full on jazz. I like jazz elements in hip hop, but I don't really just listen to straight jazz.

Miguel: I actually liked this album. I hadn't heard it before until this week, but first of all, it's an album of covers. So, like you said she's just doing a bunch of jazz versions of different songs and it feels like sitting in a smoky jazz club. Like I should have on a fedora. Waiting for some random dame to come in and like, hey, I need you to help me find who killed my, my papa. While I'm sitting at the bar and nursing some scotch.

Christina: [Laughs]

Miguel: Yeah, see, I'll help you out.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: It's, it's much like that.

Christina: She's straight up this time, just switched genres. Not just like, oh I'm going to experiment with this and that. It was just like, nope, I'm doing something completely different.

Yeah, there was a couple of songs that had more of like the soul sound, like I was saying, there was "Simply Beautiful" with Al Green. And then there was "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh," which I think has the "Love and Happiness" sample or something. I can't remember. So those ones were cool, but I'm not really into the lounge lizard, Liza Minnelli. [Laughs]

Miguel: Liza Minnelli. Oh man.

Christina: I just think of like, I don't know if I'm getting it mixed up with another album, but it just makes me feel like, I should be a flapper.

Miguel: Yeah. Yeah. It's definitely in that realm.

Christina: Because it's not just jazzy. It's like 30's jazz.

Miguel: Yeah, it is.

Christina: 20's, 30's. I don't know, those times.

Miguel: Yeah, it's very traditional jazz as they say. It was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal[25].

Christina: There we go.

Miguel: Like I was saying earlier, this stuff has way more critical acclaim than any of the hip hop stuff that she's done.

Christina: Interesting.

Miguel: Like award nominations, the sales, the rankings on the Billboard charts. This stuff is by far her best critiqued work. But I get it, like she's a legit jazz artist now.

Christina: Yeah, it's not that it sounded bad. It's just, this is not what I listen to.

Miguel: Yeah, I'm not a jazz guy, but like I said, this album though? If I'm just sitting around doing nothing I would listen to it. Have it on playing in the background while I'm working or something.

Christina: Yeah, same. But, I just, I wouldn't go out of my way to put it on.

Miguel: Right, I'm not going to hit the freeway and turn it on in the car.

Christina: [Laughing] Nope.

Miguel: But if I'm just sitting around doing some work and want some music on in the background, I'd throw it.

Christina: Or if we owned a cafe or something.

Miguel: [Laughing] Right. But I'm not going to have it on my workout playlist or anything.

Christina: Well the next album Trav'lin Light, 2007. I have in my notes, I put "Queen Latifah's juke joint." Cause that's what it sounded like to me I'm like, or like a speakeasy.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: It's more of that, um...

Miguel: It doesn't have like the, what is it? Like the Boardwalk Empire vibe, but it's another jazzy album, another album of covers, but it's not as yeah, see, as the last album.

[Both laugh]

I only kind of skimmed through this one, but it's cool too. I would again, have this on in the background while I'm doing stuff, but I'm not gonna add it to any of my mixes or playlists.

Christina: Right. Yeah, it's just, for me, it's like, cafe background music.

Miguel: It's something that you will put on that's not annoying. And it's not overpowering your senses and you're singing along with it or something like that.

Christina: Well, she came back in 2009 with Persona. And this, technically is like a rap album, but this kind of reminds me of when we were talking about when Usher came back after Confessions and he's doing sort of more like the dance/pop rap.

Miguel: Like, I wouldn't even consider this a rap album.

Christina: I mean, I guess I only say that cause she raps on it.

Miguel: A little bit, but it's mostly like a bunch of pop songs.

Christina: Yeah to me it's like dance, R&B.

Miguel: Yeah. It's—

Christina: Like, "Cue The Rain" sounds like "DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again," like that kind of song.

Miguel: Yeah. As I was listening to it, I thought about the episode of Atlanta when they were talking about Flo Rida and Darius said that "moms need to enjoy rap too." That's what this is. To me.

Christina: I wrote down it's like how Black Eyed Peas sounded when they added Fergie.

Miguel: Yeah.

It's music that you hear when you walk into Hot Topic. It's not bad, but it's not for me. I wasn't the target demographic for this album.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: So, I'm not going to say it's bad, but it's not something that I would listen to.

Christina: Yeah. Same here.

Miguel: Once was enough.

Christina: I think the only one that I would, in terms of full albums, only one I would listen to again, is the first one.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: That one's my favorite out of her full discography. There are handfuls of songs on the second and third album and maybe the fourth, if I can actually find some. But yeah, everything after the mid-'90s, I'm just like, meh, not for me. Again, it's not for lack of talent because I think the great thing about Queen Latifah, what makes her great is she can do all of these things.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And she could do it well. it's just not my style.

Miguel: I was just going to say, it's funny that she's had three completely different careers. Like you take her first couple of hip hop albums. It's completely different than the film and movie stuff, which is completely different than all the jazz things that she's been doing over the past few years. And even with the jazz stuff that she's doing, her the last real album was what, 2009? That's still what, 11 years ago? 12 years ago.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: I didn't realize how long it's been that she hasn't been doing hip hop. And it's been 12 years that she's done anything in terms of music. Like she performs every now and then, and she jumps on a song here and there, but in terms of an album, I guess that part of her career is just done. Like, I'm goinna just stick to movies and TV.

Christina: Yep. Because even movies she's not in, there's been a couple of things that we watched in the last little while where we'll be like, Flavor Unit!

Miguel: Right. Flavor Unit productions is out here.

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: Basically any movie she's in, she's probably producing it.

Christina: Yeah. few of the ones we watched she'll make like a little cameo or something. What was one we watched, the one with T.I.?

Miguel: Oh, T.I. and Mike Epps? The Trap.

Christina: Yeah. Where she had a small part—

Miguel: That movie is so silly, but her role is hilarious.

Christina: She plays the doctor, but she also, what did she say when she puts her badge away?

Miguel: I don't remember. It's something about, it's basically she, she was code switching.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: She was a doctor and then she put the badge away and then she cussed out Mike Epps and T.I., more than once.

Christina: It wasn't the best movie, but it was worth the watch.

Miguel: Yeah. If you need to waste some time—

Christina: It's entertaining. Yeah.

Miguel: you want to laugh at some silliness.

Christina: Don't expect too much from it, but it is entertaining.

Miguel: It's funny. You got T.I. trying to be a chef and Mike Epps is Mike Epps.

Christina: Yeah, and Teyana Taylor being Teyana.

Miguel: Teyana Taylor on 11. That was pretty funny. We also watched Last Holiday.

Christina: That one was cute.

Miguel: Her and LL cool J.

Christina: It is so funny watching her and L.L. be sort of like, meek characters.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: She's got her little church shoes on. They both worked at the same department store and he's like, he's not lip licking LL that's for sure. He's just like, um hi, can I take you out?

Miguel: Do you want to go to a basketball game? I got these tickets.

Christina: Yeah. So it's really funny to see them both play—

Miguel: She's got a crush on him. He's got a crush on her, but they're both scared to do anything about it.

Christina: They're basically Overton and um...

Miguel: And Synclaire. That's basically what it is.

Christina: Again, it's not like, don't expect too much from it but it's one of those, like—

Miguel: It's a funny rom-com.

Christina: Yeah, it's a rom-com, something, you'd watch around the holidays.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: You know how movies come out around Christmas or Valentine's day or whatever? It's one of those types of movies, but it was entertaining and it was funny and it was cute.

Miguel: We also watched, Beauty Shop. She was a character in Barbershop 2. So that character moves to Atlanta and opens her own shop down there. So that one was, eh, again predictable, but it wasn't bad.

Christina: Entertaining. Yeah, it's like, sometimes you just want to watch something that just entertains you. Everything doesn't have to make you think or tug at your heartstrings. Sometimes you just want to laugh.

Miguel: And that's exactly what that was.

Christina: Yeah. Well we didn't rewatch this recently, but we watched Ice Age. You know I love my—

Miguel: Yeah. We've seen the Ice Age movies—

Christina: —little animated films.

Miguel: —with her playing, the mammoth.

Christina: Thats's a good one if you like animated films.

Miguel: Yeah, those are pretty entertaining.

Christina: A lot of times you think of animated films as being for kids. but they know parents have to watch it too.

Miguel: So there's a lot of adult humor. Kinda sprinkled in. Not bad adult humor, but stuff that the kids won't get. But it's funny to us.

Christina: I enjoy Ice Age.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: I can't remember if you watched it with me or if I watched it by myself, Girls Trip?

Miguel: No, I watched it with you.

Christina: Okay. That was funny too.

Miguel: Yeah that one was pretty good.

Christina: I liked it. I hate, like, we've talked about this before for where, you know, when like people just try too hard like, let's make a women's film. And it's like, look, you can just have a movie where all the leads are women and not make a big deal out of it.

Miguel: And just let it play.

Christina: Just let it play. And it guess what? It works. It's not like, ooooh they're all women, and they're funny.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: It's just like, just four girls going to Vegas. There you go. There's your story.

Miguel: Yeah. No, they went to Essence Fest.

Christina: I mean, Essence Fest, New Orleans.

Miguel: Yeah, and that's all you really need.

Christina: Yeah, and it worked.

Miguel: Shenanigans happen.

Christina: So that was a pretty good one too. I started watching Joyful Noise just because it's one of the few Queen Latifah films that we actually have on our streaming services, but I didn't get too far.

I just thought this was funny. Cause I wanted to see how it played out with her and Dolly being opposites of each other. And I just saw, I don't know, I think Wikipedia or something said that they promoted the movie on 106 and Park her and Dolly Parton.

Miguel: Oh, okay.

Christina: I was gonna try to see if I could find the clip, but I just forgot to look for it. I was like, I would love to see Dolly Parton on 106 and Park.

Miguel: Yeah, I'm going to have look this up. This is something I need to see.

[Note: We found a clip.[26]]

Christina: Just the little bit that I saw so far, it just seems like it'll probably be an entertaining movie too.

Miguel: I wouldn't mind watching it.

Christina: I remember watching, um, so she had her daytime talk show.

Miguel: Yes. Twice

Christina: Twice? See, I don't remember twice. It went away and came back?

Miguel: Yeah. They brought it back. I don't remember exactly when. Maybe like three, four years ago or something. But the first time was like in the '90s, the late '90s, early 2000's. And then it came back a few years ago.

Christina: I remember watching some of it. And again, this is Queen Latifah who can do everything. She had a daytime talk show on top of doing all this other stuff.

Miguel: Like I said. Twice.

Christina: I was just looking at random clips on YouTube and there was one where she did the "I Wanna Be Down" reunion. So she had Brandy on, and she brought MC Lyte and Yo-Yo. But Queen Latifah was telling the story about how she borrowed Hype Williams' jacket for the video shoot. So he was obviously directing the video. I don't know why she borrowed his jacket, but she said she was trying to keep it. She asked if she could take it. And he was like, no, you gotta give it back.

Miguel: Oh boy.

[music break]

Christina: I guess that's basically wraps up what we know about her in terms of her music and, um, film and TV. Every time we decide to talk about someone either it's like their birthday that we didn't realize.

Miguel: Some huge event happening in their life.

Christina: Yeah. So she recently got the lifetime achievement award from BET and I watched the performance. Lil' Kim, Monie Love, Rapsody, MC Lyte performed a medley of her hits. I would suggest watching that. That was pretty interesting.

Miguel: I watched that.

Christina: It was a good performance.

Miguel: And forgot to watch Queen Latifah's speech. I had it lined up to watch it when I was finished with it, got distracted by something and completely forgot about it until right now. So I watched the performance. I just didn't see her speech, which was really good, apparently.

Christina: I did watch it, but now I can't remember.

Miguel: If you haven't seen it, go ahead and check it out. I'm going to do the same.

Christina: And then I randomly came across an episode where she hosted Def Comedy Jam.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: She came out with a leather suit not like a suit, but like a onesie.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: Like, uh, a leather jumpsuit and a gun.[27]

[Both laugh]

Miguel: Okay. I don't remember that. I'm going to have to look this up too.

Christina: She told a couple of jokes and people laughed and stuff, cause I think she's really good at delivery.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: The jokes were, ehhh, not bad for non comedian, I guess. And I was like, oh, she doing stand up now? But it turns out she was just hosting, cause why wouldn't she do stand up? She's done everything else, right? But she came out, told a couple jokes and she's like, yay, you guys laughed. I forgot why she had this gun.

Miguel: Yeah, I'm gonna have to look this up.

Christina: So, I stumbled onto this documentary. And her mom was talking about how close she was with her brother when they were little kids and stuff. And, if you didn't know, he'd passed away in a motorcycle accident. But, she taught her brother not to hit girls.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: Queen Latifah was a rambunctious child.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: And she said she bit him in the ear, like, really hard.

Miguel: [Laughing] Is she Mike Tyson, or something?

Christina: She bit him in the ear really hard. And he was so mad, but because he was taught not to hit girls, he didn't fight back. He told her about it, and his mom, their mom told her [him], you know you can teach her a lesson. [Laughing] So she said the next time she grabbed a Tonka truck and bonked him in the head. And so he punched her in the face. But then she said he cried because he felt bad.

Miguel: Because he knew he wasn't supposed to do it.

Christina: Even though, cause she's like, she told him that he could teach her a lesson, but he felt bad because they were close and he didn't want to hurt her, even though she was bonking him with Tonka trucks.

Miguel: Oh man. Yeah, that's a very sibling thing to do.

Christina: But yeah, I didn't get around to finishing that either, but many things to go back and look at.

Miguel: So, of her full discography, her filmography. What is your favorite Queen Latifah moment?

Christina: I'm going to say U.N.I.T.Y. and specifically the part where she's like "Who you callin' a bitch?" because that was just very memorable.

Miguel: Living out your fantasies, vicariously through Queen Latifah.

Christina: All the times I wanted lash out at somebody and I didn't.

Miguel: You got Queen Latifah sitting on one shoulder.

Christina: So maybe if Queen Latifah stays on my shoulder, I won't come up with the best comeback three days later.

Miguel: Okay. Sounds good to me.

For me, I'm going to say my favorite moment is her in Set It Off, playing Cleo.

Christina: That's a pretty good favorite moment.

Miguel: That's hands down, my favorite. Just all of the reckless shit that she was doing and really didn't care. And then how it ends because of her.

Christina: Right. And she, she cares about her friends.

Miguel: Yeah, even though she doesn't act like it sometimes.

Christina: Well—

Miguel: She'll put a gun in your face, and it's like, I wasn't gonna shoot her!

Christina: See, there's a difference between being reckless and not caring about your friends. [Laughs]

Miguel: Yeah, those are two different things.

But Cleo is my favorite Queen Latifah moment. Either that or her playing the doctor in that, the movie with Mike Epps and T.I. that we watched.

Christina: Yeah, that was pretty good.

Miguel: But I'm going to say Cleo.

Christina: Oh, I almost forgot to mention, we wanted to watch that movie where we saw some random clip on Twitter. Somebody posted this random clip.

Miguel: Oh, when she was was riding this bike all over the place.

Christina: Like, a bicycle not a motorcycle.

Miguel: Yeah, she's playing a bike messenger and she's like jumping over trucks and she's starts in Philly and ends up in Brooklyn. Then she's in LA.

Christina: This is supposed to be one ride.

Miguel: Yeah, it's supposed to be one trip.

Christina: But, for some reason they have all these filming locations.

Miguel: And she's jumping over cars and trains.

Christina: Going through the subway, except we don't know who's riding this bike at the time because they have a helmet on. I'm watching the clip, like what is going on with this bike messenger? And then she skids to a stop in some warehouse, pulls off her um, helmet.

And at the same time that I'm thinking Queen Latifah! The person in the video says that too. And it's just hilarious. And I was like, oh my God, we have to watch this movie.

Miguel: Yes, and we will post that tweet[28] as well.

Christina: We couldn't find the movie though.

Miguel: Because he wasn't happy when he saw that it was Queen Latifah.

[Both laugh]

Christina: I think he was more surprised than not happy.

Miguel: Yeah I wouldn't say he was upset that it was her, but he was more upset at all the stunts that were happening and then finding out it was her.

Christina: And she's riding her bike recklessly through three cities to I think "Crazy In Love."

Miguel: Yeah, it was "Crazy In Love" playing and you get to the end and it's Queen Latifah.

Christina: Yeah. Just like, hi, I'm here.

Miguel: Yeah. While everybody's cheering her on.

All right. You got anything else you would like to add?

Christina: Should we watch The Equalizer? Which is what she's currently doing.

Miguel: Yeah, she's currently in The Equalizer, so we should check that out. And I know she's in a movie with Adam Sandler. That's in production right now, I saw some pictures[29] from it where they're walking down the street, holding hands. So I guess they're a couple in it.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: I just know he's playing a basketball scout and it's Adam Sandler movie. So, it can go plenty of ways. It can be really good, like Uncut Gems, or it can be Grownups part 4 or whatever, so it can go either way.

But I have nothing else to add to this.

Christina: Yeah That's pretty much all I got.

Miguel: So we're going to end here. Thank you again for listening to They Reminisce Over You. Make sure to check us out on social media, @troypodcast on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out our website, If you're interested in hearing a Queen Latifah playlist, you can search the title of this episode on Spotify and it will come up. So, you get to hear all the songs that we've been talking about. Um, make sure to subscribe, rate, and review, because that helps us move up the charts.

Christina: It helps people find us.

Miguel: We are number one in Botswana this week.

Christina: Are we?

Miguel: No, I just made that up.

[Both laugh]

But, I would like to be, so, if you haven't given us a review, go out and do that on your podcast service of choice, we would appreciate it. That's pretty much all I have. So I guess we'll talk to you next week. Oh no, in two weeks.

Christina: In two weeks.

Miguel: Until then, bye.

Christina: Byeeee.