Queen Latifah Doesn’t Want Women In Rap To Be Used As Pawns

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When the Queen drops off advice—Latifah, that is—Hip Hop listens. She is widely respected as a Rap pioneer who aided in changing the game, especially for women on the scene. There weren’t many ladies taking to the microphone when Queen Latifah emerged, but now that she has a successful career in and out of music, she’s delivering advice for other women making waves in Rap.

“Don’t be a pawn, control your career, speak from the heart, say what you want to say, represent us, and let’s go. Let’s get this,” she told Laverne Cox on the Grammys red carpet. Latifah was one of dozens of artists who performed during the Grammys’ Hip Hop 50th tribute. She’s ready for another 50 years, and she hopes women in Hip Hop will steer clear of letting the industry take advantage of their talents.

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Like the men in the genre, women are often seen fighting with one another. Whether online or throwing subtle jabs lyrically, it’s easy to find artists with deep-seated tensions. “I would say to you, now is the time for you to do whatever the F you want with your career because we had that done to us,” Latifah told E! News. “A lot of crews kind of claimed, like, the one female in the group and wouldn’t kind of let us all work with each other sometimes.”

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“Then the smart ones, of course, we got to jump on each other’s records and make smash hit music and elevate the whole genre,” she added. “So, if you have the power, or if you want to work with somebody, go work with them. It’s all ego… And most of the time, it’s not our ego. It’s somebody else’s ego competing against someone else’s, and we’re just the pawns.”

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Of course, Latifah didn’t speak on anyone specifically, but it didn’t take long for people to weigh in. For those who didn’t focus on naming names, they were happy to see an icon take a stance against division in Hip Hop and advocate for unity.


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