Read A 2010s era post-review of Queen Latifah’s ’93 album “Black Reign” @ Democracy & Hip-Hop

“U.N.I.T.Y.” is an existential monologue on the day-to-day struggles of Black women in the hood and still surpasses academic feminists in the song’s critical ability to distinguish linguistic form and content. Today, unfortunately, we know Latifah as the hip-hop Oprah, representing the worst in bourgeois feminism and commercial feel-good spectacle, a far cry from her ’96 Set It Off film persona “Cleo,” at times present in Reign and throughout her hip-hop career. This isn’t selling out, we should bear in mind. Afterall, this latter feminism, as we’ve seen on Black Reign, coexisted with the street one as competing contradictory themes. All we know now is which tendency overcame the other.