Queen Latifah Says Today’s Rappers Have Gotten Soft (Video)
Queen Latifah recently appeared on Ebro In The Morning. The MC-turned-actress-turned-producer reunited with the radio personality who says he once appeared on an episode of Living Single. In the candid conversation, Queen Lah recalled some career highlights.
At 9:00 in, Latifah recalls forming Flavor Unit with her mentor/producer 45 King. She then discusses helping the clique, including Apache and others, improve their record contracts. That led her and business partner Shakim Compere to build a full-fledged management arm. After they took on Naughty By Nature, Monica, Faith Evans, and even Outkast, in their breakthrough days, as clients. Last year, Flavor Unit Entertainment produced The Art Of Organized Noize. While Latifah says her Summer Jam appearance alongside Remy Ma was not a symbolic stance against Nicki Minaj, the Newark, New Jersey mogul did not mince her words for today’s crop of MCs.
At 31:50, Latifah tells the hosts, “[Music] is also something that should be used to speak about what’s going on around you. I feel like a lot of rappers, they lost their balls. They got soft. They got soft. Like, when things are going on in the world, like with [Donald] Trump, or elections, or…this was the stuff [my generation of MCs] chewed on.”
Latifah illustrates her point highlighting lyrics promoting possibly dangerous drug use. “[For instance] how much heroin…people are addicted to heroin; where’s the flip-side of the ‘Molly Percocet’? Well, the flip-side [that could be told in some lyrics] is that you’re missin’ out on life, you sleep, you crash the car. I’m not judging either way, I’m just saying it’s always good to have both [of] those sides.” The 1980s Tommy Boy Records MC says her era can relate but told a different story. “With us it was crack. Crack invaded us. It took all our friends away ’cause they was on that pipe. So we didn’t just talk about how fun it is to get coked up. We talked about how bad it is too. Or HIV, or different things that are out there that are happening…we spoke on that stuff. That’s where you got the Boogie Down Productions, the Eric B. & Rakim, a Queen Latifah…various artists could talk about what was going on on both sides, from many perspectives. We were connected; we had the power to change peoples’ minds about things going on in the world, not just whose ass is the fattest. Dumb sh*t.”
Latifah takes credit as being part of a class of MCs that improved equality in the world. “We actually helped stop apartheid in South Africa by getting people to divest in companies that were doing business over there. Okay, you want to sell Coca-Cola in South Africa? We’re not drinking that. ‘Okay. Oh, sh*t. We’re gonna have to divest.’ So they pulled their money out…until they got it together. We do have that power, but we just don’t use it like we should.”
Last year, Latifah brought some fresh raps out in Naughty By Nature’s “God Is Us” which released as a music video.