- Browse by Category
- Browse by Country
A Los Angeles native, Ms. Latifah is a spoken word artist who started her career at the Jazzman’s Café in Atlanta in 2006.1 Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base for her witty, sophisticated poetry and engaging performances. After recording some of her poetry, Ms. Latifah talked with several radio stations about playing her work, but was told by one DJ that despite her obvious talent, radio stations would never play her poetry. The experience, however, motivated her to prove that she could in fact succeed on her own terms, writing a piece entitled, “Radio,” which went on to be played at radio stations across the country.2 Although Ms. Latifah considers herself primarily a spoken word artist, she also raps and sings, fusing hip hop, rap and neo-soul elements into her work.
As a black Muslim, Ms. Latifah strives to remain an example that individuals do not need to sell out in order to fit in.3 She says, “I perform because there are few young, African-American women that are not conforming to society’s expectations. I want to be the one to prove that you can be yourself and still get support.”4 Ms. Latifah has written a number of tracks including, “Bites the Dust,” “Plan B,” and “They Call Me Crazy.” Ms. Latifah has won several poetry slams and also performed on stage with artists like Lupe Fiasco, Ludacris, The Last Poets, Malcolm Jamal Warner and Ken Ford.5