Thursday Open Thread: Old Souls Week – Queen Latifah

Today’s Old Soul is Queen Latifah.


Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970),[2] better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, model, television producer, record producer, comedienne, and talk show host. She has long been considered one of hip-hop’s pioneer feminists.[3] Her work in music, film, and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination. She currently hosts her own talk show, The Queen Latifah Show.

Early life[edit]
Latifah was born in Newark, New Jersey, and lived primarily in East Orange, New Jersey.[4] She is the daughter of Rita (née Bray), a teacher at Irvington High School (Latifah’s alma mater) and Lancelot Owens, Sr, a police officer.[5][6][7] Her parents divorced when Latifah was ten.[7] Latifah was raised in the Baptist faith[8] and attended Catholic school in Newark.[9][10] Her stage name, Latifah (لطيفة laţīfa), meaning “delicate” and “very kind” in Arabic, she found in an Arabic book of names when she was eight.[7] Always a tall girl, the 5-foot-10-inch (1.78 m) Latifah was a power forward on her high school girls basketball team.[11][12] She performed the number “Home” from the musical The Wiz in a high school play.[13]


Music career[edit]
Beginning (1988–1989)[edit]
She started beat boxing for the hip-hop group Ladies Fresh and was one of the members of the original version of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of MCs grouped around producer DJ King Gemini, who made a demo recording of Queen Latifah’s rap Princess of the Posse. He gave the recording to Fab 5 Freddy, the host of Yo! MTV Raps. The song got the attention of Tommy Boy Music employee Dante Ross, who signed Latifah and in 1988 issued her first single, “Wrath of My Madness”.

Rapping (1989–2002)[edit]
Latifah made her mark in hip-hop by rapping about issues of black women. Her songs covered topics including domestic violence, harassment on the streets, and relationship problems.[14] Freddy helped Latifah sign with Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah’s first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was nineteen.[7] That year, she appeared as Referee on the UK label Music of Life album 1989—The Hustlers Convention (live). In 1998, co-produced by Ro Smith, now CEO of Def Ro Inc., she released her fourth hip-hop album Order in the Court, which was released by Motown Records. Latifah was also a member of the hip-hop collective Native Tongues.

Singing (2003–09)[edit]
After Order in the Court, Latifah shifted primarily to singing soul music and jazz standards, which she had used sparingly in her previous hip-hop-oriented records. In 2004, she released the soul/jazz standards The Dana Owens Album. On July 11, 2007, Latifah sang at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as the headlining act in a live jazz concert. Before a crowd of more than 12,400, she was backed by a 10-piece live orchestra and three backup vocalists, which was billed as the Queen Latifah Orchestra. Latifah performed new arrangements of standards including “California Dreaming”, first made popular by 1960s icons The Mamas & the Papas. Later in 2007, Latifah released an album titled Trav’lin’ Light. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Joe Sample, George Duke, Christian McBride, and Stevie Wonder made guest appearances.[15] It was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” category.[16]

In 2009, Latifah, along with the NJPAC Jubilation Choir,[17] recorded the title track on the album Oh, Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration, covering the song that the Edwin Hawkins Singers made popular in 1969.[18]

Return to hip hop (2008–present)[edit]
In 2008, Latifah was asked if she would make another hip-hop album. She was quoted saying the album was done already and it would be called “All Hail the Queen II”. The following year, in 2009, she released her album Persona. The song “Cue the Rain” was released as the album’s lead single. She also has a song with Missy Elliott.[19] 2011 saw Queen Latifah sing “Who Can I Turn To” in a duet with Tony Bennett for his album “Duets II”.[20] In January 2012, while appearing on 106 & Park with Dolly Parton, to promote Joyful Noise, Latifah stated that she had been working on a new album.

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34 Responses to Thursday Open Thread: Old Souls Week – Queen Latifah

  1. rikyrah says:

    Matchmakers find modern fans in the digital age
    By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune contact the reporter

    The Internet has upended innumerable traditional business models. Travel agents. Retail stores. Newspapers (sigh).

    Yet online dating, which has ballooned into a $2.1 billion industry used by almost 40 percent of dating singles, hasn’t killed one of the most old-fashioned professions of all: matchmakers.

    Some of these professional cupids say they are seeing renewed and expanded interest in their services as disillusioned digital daters trade computer algorithms for human judgment.

    A matchmaking school is reporting growing enrollment.

    Even online dating behemoths and have invested in personal matchmaking services in the past year that charge several thousand dollars for human attention

  2. rikyrah says:

    jesseWilliams. ✔ @iJesseWilliams

    When #Halloween comes around, how exactly does dressing as Trayvon and other illustrations of black pain, make you feel? Please be specific.
    3:22 PM – 28 Oct 2014

    jesseWilliams. ✔ @iJesseWilliams

    What about black pain is so fun to you? From where is that joy derived?
    3:21 PM – 28 Oct 2014

    jesseWilliams. ✔ @iJesseWilliams

    How does that work exactly?
    3:24 PM – 28 Oct 2014

  3. Feeling really depressed right now.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Republicans will probably take the Senate. Here’s why it will be a nightmare for them

    By Paul Waldman October 28 

    The latest Washington Post poll only confirms what everyone already knows: Though there’s still a week left, and there are plenty of close races that could fall to the Democrats, this is going to be a good election for the GOP. Chances are Republicans are going to take over the Senate, giving them unified control of Congress. This is a goal Republicans have been working toward for years. And it will be a nightmare for them.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) visits Stephens Pipe and Steel in Russell Springs, Ky., on Monday to meet voters. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

    There are multiple reasons for this, but they all have their roots in the fundamental dilemma that has plagued the GOP throughout Barack Obama’s presidency: the contradictory demands of appealing to a broad electorate and appeasing an eternally angry and suspicious base. The tension this creates will play out in new ways if and when Republicans take over the Senate.

    Yesterday, the Atlantic’s Molly Ball reported on how this contradiction is manifesting itself on the campaign trail:

    In Kansas recently, Republican Senator Pat Roberts, who’s in a tough race for reelection, made a statement that left me puzzled. “A vote for me is a vote to change the Senate back to a Republican majority, and we’ll get things done,” he said. “And it means a stop to the Obama agenda.”

    Wait a minute, I thought. Which is it—ending the status quo of Washington gridlock? Or ratcheting up the gridlock by obstructing President Obama? You can’t “get things done” in Washington without the president’s signature, and no matter what happens in this year’s elections, he’s not going anywhere for another two years.

    Yet these two seemingly contradictory messages are at the heart of Republican Senate campaigns across the country. I’ve heard them from candidate after candidate.

  5. Chris Christie is an embarrassment. And the media look like idiots calling him a straight talker. Fools. He’s an effing bully. The media condones his bullying & then turn around & condemn school & cyber bullying. What the living hell? What kind of ISH is this?

    • Ametia says:

      They’re propping this bully up, like the rest of the RETHUGS. It’s an absolute disgrace.

    • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

      SG2, I tried to send you a private message on twitter, but it won’t go through.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        Nope, I used twitter. I tried to respond to you on twitter with the private message gadget, but it won’t let me, and I don’t know what the problem is because it let’s me do it with others. That’s why I’m responding to you on here. Forgive me, sorry about that.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        Okay, now it’s working. It was slow transmitting. However, the first time I tried this morning, I got a message saying “not allowed to send”.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Uncensored – Key & Peele – Georgina and Esther and Satan

    Published on Oct 2, 2014
    Two religious women lament Satan’s influence on their families’ lives and compare the painful things they each want to do to him.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Republicans blast ‘Obamacare for Banks’
    10/30/14 11:02 AM
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    By Steve Benen
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), still scrambling to save his career, told voters in Kentucky last night about his disdain for “Dodd/Frank.” The longtime senator quickly added, “If you don’t know what that is, it’s Obamacare for banks.”

    It’s an increasingly common phrase, especially from McConnell.
    McConnell attacked the Dodd/Frank financial reform bill in further audio obtained by this week by Windsor, calling it “Obamacare for banks.”

    McConnell said he would “definitely” defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, calling it “the biggest part of the Dodd/Frank bill.”
    It’s not just the Minority Leader, either. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also blasted Dodd/Frank this week. “If you don’t know what that is, it’s Obamacare for banks,” the failed vice presidential candidate complained.

    For those unfamiliar with the law, “Dodd/Frank” is a shorthand label for the financial regulatory reform bill approved by lawmakers in 2010, applying new safeguards and restrictions on Wall Street in the aftermath of the 2008 crash. The bill’s principal authors were then-Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and then-Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

    True to form, Republican lawmakers, who reject nearly all regulations of the financial industry on ideological grounds, strongly opposed Wall Street reform when it was under consideration, and continue to complain incessantly about it four years later.

    But it’s worth pausing to appreciate exactly what GOP leaders mean when they condemn the law as “Obamacare for banks.”

    As Adam Serwer joked last night, “I guess ‘Obamacare for banks’ workshopped better than ‘let predatory lenders take you for everything.’” That’s funny, but it’s also true – McConnell, Ryan, and much of their Republican brethren remain absolutely convinced that current federal laws are simply too mean to Wall Street. Sure, loose regulations of the financial industry helped create the global economic crash six years ago, GOP leaders sometimes concede, but that’s hardly a reason to avoid loose regulations of the financial industry going forward.

    In other words, Republicans believe, right now, that Congress should roll back efforts to prevent Wall Street recklessness. The GOP believes this agenda can be made politically palatable by throwing the word “Obamacare” in there, hoping voters just aren’t knowledgeable enough to know the difference.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Glenn Greenwald on “The Last Word:” Canadian Attacks Weren’t Terrorism
    Because Canada was asking for it by being a war-mongering country By Charles Johnson WTF1 day ago • Views: 10,287

    Here’s the Mighty Glenn Greenwald on the Lawrence O’Donnell show, explaining that in his view the attacks in Canada last week were not terrorism — but on the other hand, the US and Canada and Israel (he’s obsessed with Israel) are always committing terrorist acts.

    I think that’s a fair description of his viewpoints. See what you think.

  9. rikyrah says:

    GOP overinvests in ‘arrogance’ talking point
    10/30/14 11:37 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Benjy Sarlin reported overnight on developments in Georgia’s U.S. Senate race, including a curious new complaint from Republican candidate David Perdue about President Obama.
    At a rally alongside Romney, Perdue attacked the president for encouraging voters to support his Democratic opponent, Michelle Nunn.

    “The arrogance of this guy, coming into Georgia on our radio station in Atlanta and saying you got to elect Michelle Nunn because I need her in Washington to continue my policies to do good for America,” Perdue told a crowd of several dozen supporters, referring to a recent interview by the president. “Not on my watch.”
    Wait, now it’s “arrogant” for a president to campaign in support of a candidate he supports? Since when?

    The president hopes Nunn wins, and he made an appearance in local media to encourage voters to support her. In what sense is this a display of “arrogance”? If Perdue wins and runs for re-election in 2020, and President Ted Cruz encourages Georgians to vote for him, would that be “arrogant,” too, or does this only apply to Obama?

  10. rikyrah says:

    Jon Favreau @jonfavs
    Please let him run again RT @igorbobic: “He hasn’t helped the poor, hasn’t helped the minorities,” Romney says of Obama

  11. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill
    If you think Dems haven’t done enough to move country forward, they’re still only thing preventing GOP taking us back to 1800s. #VoteDem
    11:53 AM – 30 Oct 2014

  12. rikyrah says:

    Nancy LeTourneau @Smartypants60
    When Dems distanced themselves from PBO, they distanced themselves from their own policy successes & fed into R frame that its all abt Obama
    10:16 AM – 30 Oct 2014

  13. rikyrah says:

    Architect of Democratic strategy for keeping Senate is hopeful, but realistic

    By Greg Sargent October 30 at 9:23 AM 

    The chief architect of the Democrats’ strategy for holding their Senate majority is cautiously optimistic about next week’s outcome. With a heavy emphasis on the cautious part.

    In an interview with me, Guy Cecil, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, sounded realistic about the challenges Democrats face, seeming to suggest at one point that keeping the majority might not be the most likely outcome. However, he continued to project confidence, insisting that internal polling had enough races within the margin of error to position Democrats to hold the majority if things go right.

    If Democrats do manage to keep the Senate, it will be in no small part due to Cecil’s efforts. He has spent two years putting in place a strategy based on the overriding premise that the only way Democrats can possibly hang on, given the formidable fundamentals they face, is with a serious, sustained, and very expensive effort to change the composition of the midterm electorate.

    To that end, Cecil told me that at the end of the day, at least $60 million will have been invested in voter mobilization alone. He also responded to reports that President Obama’s advisers are angry with Democrats for distancing themselves from him. A lightly edited and trimmed down version of our conversation follows.

  14. rikyrah says:

    A poll tax by another name is still a poll tax
    10/30/14 12:48 PM
    By Steve Benen
    For supporters of voting restrictions, opposition to voter-ID laws seems practically inexplicable. After all, they argue, having an ID is a common part of modern American life, and if these laws prevent fraud, the requirements deserve broad support.

    We know, of course, that the fraud argument is baseless, but it’s often overlooked how difficult getting proper identification – never before necessary to cast a ballot in the United States – can be in practice. To that end the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU published a report this week on “stories from actual voters” in Texas who are facing disenfranchisement for no good reason. Emily Badger flagged one especially striking example:
    Olester McGriff, an African-American man, lives in Dallas. He has voted in several Texas elections. This year when he went to the polls he was unable to vote due to the new photo ID law. Mr. McGriff had a kidney transplant and can no longer drive; his driver’s license expired in 2008. He tried to get an ID twice prior to voting. In May, he visited an office in Grand Prairie and was told he could not get an ID because he was outside of Dallas County. In July, he visited an office in Irving and was told they were out of IDs and would have to come back another day.

    He is unable to get around easily. Mr. McGriff got to the polls during early voting because Susan McMinn, an experienced election volunteer, gave him a ride. He brought with him his expired driver’s license, his birth certificate, his voter registration card, and other documentation, but none were sufficient under Texas’s new photo ID requirement.
    One person was prohibited from voting because his driver’s license ”was taken away from him in connection with a DUI.” Another Texan discovered he’d need a replacement birth certificate and a new ID, which required a series of procedural steps and a $30 fee he’d struggle to afford.

    To hear opponents of voting rights tell it, voter-ID laws sound simple and easy. The practical reality is obviously far different – and in all likelihood, the laws’ proponents know this and don’t care. Indeed, a federal district court recently concluded that Texas’ law was designed specifically to discriminate against minority communities.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Revenge Of Mitch McConnell: GOP Senate Will Halt Obama Nominations

    BySahil Kapur
    PublishedOctober 30, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT 3101 views

    If Republicans win control of the Senate next week, as many expect, they will gain a powerful weapon to reshape President Barack Obama’s legacy in his final two years: the authority to block his nominations.

    Under a Democratic-led Senate, Obama has enjoyed remarkable success in confirming his executive appointees and remaking the federal courts in his image.

    A recent New Yorker essay by legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin fleshed out Obama’s contribution to the United States judiciary, which spans two Supreme Court justices, 53 appeals court judges and 223 trial court judges, all with lifetime tenure. Today 9 of 13 appeals courts, which have the last word on a vast majority of legal issues, have a Democratic majority; before he took office Republicans controlled 10 of 13.

    “It’s been absolutely huge,” conservative legal scholar and Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett said of Obama’s impact on the courts. “We’ve noticed patterns of voting with respect to certain kinds of legislation that gets upheld. There are certain executive branch practices that get upheld that would not have been upheld before.”

    Even Obama’s executive branch picks have mostly been confirmed, though many have faced delays due to Republican filibusters and stalling tactics.

    That streak could screech to a halt if Republicans win the net six seats needed to take the Senate come January. In that scenario, probable Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) could prevent any nomination from coming up in committee, and probable Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could block anyone from receiving a full Senate vote.

    “My guess is Obama would have to present nominees that are much much more acceptable to Republicans, or they won’t even schedule hearings,” Barnett said.

  16. Good morning, everyone!

    Rikyrah, Queen Latifah looks stunning.

  17. rikyrah says:


    I’m not trying to be picky here. But, there’s a big difference between putting that woman in that isolation tent with nothing like they did in NJ, and doing what this woman is doing in Maine. her arrogance is getting on my nerves. But, maybe it’s just me.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  19. Good morning. I’ll check back up on you guys later.

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