What hasn’t Queen Latifah done?
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She’s married people live on MTV, she’s acted in movies and hit television shows and she’s released songs that have gone on to garner millions of views and streams. She’s a Renaissance woman of the highest caliber, compelling and talented.
For the 52-year-old, Newark, New Jersey-born artist, and entertainer, the sky is the limit. She released her debut album, All Hail The Queen, in 1989 and she was Khadijah James on the hit Fox television series Living Single, in the 90s.
She’s also earned a Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, three SAG Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and an Oscar nomination.
But what does the mighty emcee have to say about the world outside of her songs and her roles on screen? What are her thoughts on life, liberty, her craft, and more?
Without further ado, let’s dive into the 30 best Queen Latifah quotes.
1. “Dolly Parton made me chicken and dumplings. That Tennessee woman can burn some pots! And we know that I am not necessarily shy to a fork!”
2. “I want to see 10 female rappers getting regular rotation. It can’t be all about a man’s opinion.”
3. “Sometimes you do have to bank on yourself. You do have to believe in your ideas enough to really get out there and fight for it despite what people think of some young kids from the hood.”
4. “When I’m wearing too-high heels and swaying my hips, I do that Sharon Stone kind of thing—she has the sexiest walk, a New York cool thing that throws you back.”
5. “My mom will make me walk the dogs or take out the trash when I go home.”
6. “Sometimes I pray when I really feel like I need God to help me with something, and sometimes we just have conversations. We just kick it.”
7. “Hip-hop definitely taught me a lot. Having to create your own identity and become known and respected in a male-dominated field—it requires some guts. There are times you have to be strong, and times when you have to stand alone for what you believe in.”
8. “Running for office was definitely something I’ve thought about. When I was younger, I wanted to major in political science. And I’ve been engaged in current events since I was a kid. If I can make a difference and feel passionately and capable, then I would. Why not?”
9. “I realized there was racism because people thought, ‘Oh, if you like rock ‘n’ roll, that makes you like a white kid.'”
10. “I’m cool with myself. If I can’t have the body of Angie Bassett, so be it.”
11. “I’m probably proudest of being able to lift a lot of us out of the ‘hood. That’s the biggest thing, that I’ve been able to employ a lot of people and give them opportunities.”
12. “I don’t feel like I need to share my personal life, and I don’t care if people think I’m gay or not. Assume whatever you want. You do it anyway.”
13. “I often go to bed in my birthday suit. But I like teddies and cute little undies that match. I like a sexy bra and panty set, or little shorts.”
14. “I learned early that I had to work harder than the white kids and harder than the boys.”
15. “Lets be clear, Dolly Parton is a rapper. Somewhere before all the country, I don’t know what happens up there in the mountains when you’re growing up, but she has been spitting rhymes for a very long time—50 years I’d say.”
16. “My mother wouldn’t allow me to speak slang when I was growing up. But when I got outside, around my friends, it was ‘Yo’ and ‘That’s the joint’ and ‘Yo, what’s up?’ So I had my game for my friends and my game for my mom.”
17. “I know a lot of people who really aren’t beautiful because their attitudes are very nasty… Whether I make the 50 most beautiful list or not, I’m always going to feel like I’m number one most beautiful to myself… I get that from my mom, and my daddy and my friends who raised me.”
18. “I’d say, if you want to be an artist, start with your art; start with making great music and it will, hopefully, eventually cut through all of the nonsense that is out there.”
19. “When it came time to be a professional rapper, I wouldn’t sign anything without reading it. There was no way I was going to have people make decisions for me or wake up one day and find that I was broke because I never bothered to read a contract.”
20. “To me, doing a gay pride show is one of the most fun things. My first show that paid more than $10,000 was in a gay club on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco.”
21. “There’s no way I can represent for everyone. I can’t represent for all women or all big women or all black women. It’s important for people not to make celebrities their source of who they should be in life. I can’t take on the pressure of being perfect. Nobody is.”
22. “I want to have and adopt. I always have; ever since I was 18, I wanted a baby, and I wanted to have and adopt because there are a lot of kids. I want to adopt an American baby though, you know what I mean, no offense. Just because there are so many kids here that need our help.”
23. “I got a few marriage proposals in my 20s. I just wasn’t ready. I just knew if I committed, I would’ve wound up doing something wrong, messing it up. I still felt like I had some living to do.”
24. “I’m a sucker for a man who cries. It just gets to me.”
25. “If I ran into a 19-year-old version of myself, I’d just tell her to live, full out. I might also tell her to go ahead and have a few babies and not worry about the timing of it.”
26. “Most people don’t have so much talent that they can become a success all their own. We all need people to help us and lift us up.”
27. “I’m not one of those people who wake up chatting. I usually don’t want to speak for the first 10 or 20 minutes. And I don’t really want you to talk to me either!”
28. “If my brother and I wanted money in our pockets, we had to get jobs—my first was at 15, at Burger King. We had to come up with ways to create an income.”
29. “I’m proud of everything I do, but I think I’m the most happy about becoming a rapper. It was my entrance into everything. That helped me get into acting.”
30. “When I’m doing something I love, I can lose sleep. I can go and go and go and go. My work ethic is pretty intense. But when it comes to doing something that I don’t love every day, I’m not very good at it. That’s called work, and I don’t like work that much.”
Photo credit: BET Awards