Monday, November 30, 2009

Queen Latifah - "U.N.I.T.Y." (forgotten song)

OK, having recently reviewed BDP, let's take a quick look at another hip-hop song that no longer gets the attention it should. Queen Latifah's 1993 single "U.N.I.T.Y." (from the "Black Reign" LP) did well when it first came out, but I can't remember when I last heard it on the radio, TV, or even at the Y.

I first heard this feminist paean featured prominently in the soundtrack for the excellent 1996 indie film "Girls Town". Queen Latifiah raps with authority: you don't doubt it when she says "I punched him dead in his eye" or "who you calling a bitch?" While I don't begrudge her for her crossover success (film, TV, book, modeling), it is unfortunate that it leaves her less time for powerful anthems like this.

Like "My Philosophy", this song features an excellent saxophone sample; this time it is "Message From the Inner City" from the 1973 LP "2nd Crusade" by The Crusaders. However, you really have to listen carefully to the nearly 9 minute long song to pick out the riff used for "U.N.I.T.Y." A good pull for Queen Latifah and co-producer Kay Gee of Naughty By Nature.

Link: YouTube.

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