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In Focus: Queen Latifah


Like a number of MCs from her era, Queen Latifah's inescapable charm and way with words eventually transcended hip hop, becoming a household name in TV, and working in blockbuster films.

Frequently referred to as the First Lady of hip hop, New Jersey-born Dana Elaine Owens came to prominence in the late '80s and early '90s, the so-called "golden era" of rap, when the genre finally dispensed with its training wheels and became a global sensation with a cast of unforgettable characters. Latifah, one of the few prominent women in the scene, made initial steps that many female MCs have followed since.