Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Road Trip! The Garden State, Part 3: Set Adrift With The Queen, Hooray!

No, not Queen Elizabeth, the one from Newark, New Jersey:  Queen Latifah.  In the late 80s there were blessed few female hip hop artists but that changed with the release of 1989's All Hail the Queen.  Tracks on that album featured some hiphop heavies, including De La Soul and KRS-One, but her duet with BritHop's Monie Love became a feminist rallying cry.  "Ladies First" is still one of my fave dance tracks.

Huh, I wonder what she's been doing since then?  She seems to have kept a low profile.  In 1991, though, she appeared in the video for Naughty By Nature's "O.P.P."  NBN are from East Orange, NJ and Latifah mentored them.  They took a break in 2002 but reformed in 2006 and in March this year performed at the Garden State Film Festival in support of I Want My Name Back, a documentary tracing the history of The Sugar Hill Gang.  It's a good bet they did 1993's "Hip Hop Hooray."

Okay, so we've covered the "Queen" and the "Hooray," but what about the "Set Adrift" up there?  This much is true:  I'm a P.M. Dawn fan.  Their demo was passed over by Tommy Boy Records but eventually the Cordes brothers found a home on independent Warlock and later Island Records.  They came by their soulful sound honestly:  their stepfather, George Brown, was a founding member of Kool and the Gang, who we visited back in NYC at Cafe Wha?  In 1991 they released Of the Heart,  of the Soul and of the Cross which featured their international monster hit "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss."

Gorgeous, no?  Okay, our last stop will be in Red Bank sometime this week.  Till then, enjoy the grooves!  


  1. Oh yeah, I'm a big fan of Queen Latifah! She's a very good actor too of course. :)


Thanks for commenting!