Queen Latifah is a sensation.
At nineteen, she was the first female solo rapper to have a major record deal. Four years later she had become a top television actress and movie star. She earned a Grammy, started a record label, and became the president of her own company. Today she is rap music's most enduring female force.
But how did Dana Owens, a young girl from Newark, New Jersey, become Queen Latifah and make it to the top of the charts? The most powerful voice in rap has always been quiet about her life.
At once autobiographical and inspirational, Ladies First is the story of a young woman, making tough decisions and terrible mistakes -- about sex and drugs and about who was real and who wasn't -- before she was old enough to drive. It is about the reign of depression that descended on her after her brother's tragic death and how she found a sustaining love in God when it seemed the world was trying to break her. Ladies First is about being confident and sensual in a big, strong body and about blocking out the junk to let in the good. It is about how anyone -- whether from the poorest means or the richest -- can hold her head high in a world full of attitude.
In a queen's universe, each experience is a lesson. Keeping it real and making no excuses, Queen Latifah shares her truth about what's important in life. Full of wisdom and revelations, Ladies First will instill in you the same self-esteem, respect, and courage that brought Queen Latifah peace and her independent edge. Allow her to guide you to discover who you are -- inside and out-as you discover who she is.
Ladies First is one woman's journey to find the riches that were in her life all along, and it is a message of majesty for everyone.With Ladies First, the queen who lives within all of us will rise.
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"I am not a psychologist or a sociologist," Queen Latifah points out. "I don't have any degrees, and I'm not an expert on life. What I am is a young black woman from the inner city who is making it, despite the odds, despite the obstacles I've had to face in the lifetimes that have come my way." In Ladies First, she talks about the importance of women making the move to be strong and self-reliant, using her own rise to stardom as a rapper and actress as an example. The drive and ambition have been with her since childhood: when she was very young and boys would ridicule her for wanting to play basketball with them, she retorted, "I'm not a tomboy--I'm just an athlete." Later, as a teenager, she would sneak out at night and go with friends to New York City to explore the emerging hip-hop scene, eventually cutting her first single in 1987. She talks about the choices she's made about drugs and sex and how she's learned as much from her mistakes as from her successes. And she addresses, glancingly, the rumors about her sexuality that have dogged her for years, and why she'd rather just ignore them: "I want people to see me as someone who is proud and comfortable with who I am.... Be secure in yourself. You don't need me--or any other public person, for that matter--to validate you." That basic principle, applied to all aspects of life, is the core of Ladies First. --Ron HoganAbout the Author:
Queen Latifah, the First Lady of Hip-Hop, is proof that young women can do anything. She is an award-winning musician, actress, and entertainer, and her song "Ladies First" was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Queen Latifah is involved in numerous charities that help to empower children, and wrote this book to show young readers that, just like the Queen, they can stand tall and be the best—all they have to do is believe in themselves.
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