Nia Long Reveals How Phife & “Oochie Wally” Affected Her Career & Taste In Lingerie (Video)
In the canon of Hip-Hop lyrics, many MCs have professed their attraction to celebrities. Whether Royce 5’9″ breaking his focus to woo Rihanna during a 2011 BET Cypher or Nas recounting Halle Berry’s air-kiss at a Barbara Streisand concert, these moments have colored the folklore of Rap music. Whether the 1990s, 2000s, or 2010s, Nia Long is one of Hip-Hop’s most famous objects of desire.
Long, a Brooklyn, New York native, would work with MCs including Ice Cube, Will Smith, and LL Cool J in her litany of films. However, just as the actress’ career was getting in gear, she reveals she got a boost from the lyrical shout outs, beginning with A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 Midnight Maruaders album cut “Steve Biko (Stir It Up).” On the song, Phife Dawg name-checked Nia by rapping about his heritage.
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Nia recalled hearing the song—in the company of another late MC. “Phife Dawg rest in peace […] I was in a club with my big brother Heavy D—God rest his soul, and I’m listening [to the music] and I’m jamming,” “So I hear ‘Trini-born-Black, like Nia Long’s grandmother,’ and I’m like ‘Oh my gosh, is there another Nia Long?’ I’m looking around the club like it can’t be me. It’s the beginning of my career; Boyz N’ The Hood had just came out—that moment really gave me my ‘hood credibility.” The song would release two years following Long’s supporting role in the John Singleton film about life in early 1990s South Central, Los Angeles.
Host Jimmy Kimmel proceeds to recite and confirm the existence similar lyrics by Jay Z, Kanye West, the Bravehearts, Lil Wayne, and most recently, J. Cole on “Role Modelz.”
Specifically, the ABC host honed in on Bravehearts’ 2000 gold-certified single “Oochie Wally” lyrics, fantasizing about “Nia Long in a cherry thong.” The actress reveals that after hearing the QB’s Finest single (and remix) lyrics by Bravehearts member Horse, she was both flattered and concerned. “So when I heard that, I got really nervous, like, has someone been in my panty drawer? Like, do I have a cherry thong? Did I have sex with a guy and wear a cherry thong? Then I got really excited, like, maybe I need a cherry thong. So I actually went [to Trashy Lingerie] and got myself a cherry thong.” With a laugh, Nia says that Nas provided great advice in the end. “That’s how I got my husband.”
Long’s spouse is San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka.
Earlier this year, Nia Long starred in film Keanu in addition to her tole on TV’s “Uncle Buck.”