"U.N.I.T.Y" is the Grammy Award-winning song by rapper/actress Queen Latifah off her 1993 album, Black Reign. The single, released on November 9, 1993 in the United States and on January 6, 1994 in the United Kingdom, spoke out against the disrespect of women in society, addressing issues of street harassment, domestic violence, and slurs against women in hip-hop culture.
Because of its message, many radio and TV stations would play the song without censoring the words "bitch" and "hoes", which appear often in the lyrics, particularly the chorus and the line "who you callin' a bitch?!" that ends each verse. The song samples "Message from the Inner City" by The Crusaders. The song was also featured on Living Single, Latifah's series which aired in the same year.
There is another version which gained airplay called, "U.N.I.T.Y. (Queen Ruff Neck Boot)", which has a similar beat to the album version, reducing most of the jazz sample replacing it with a hip-hop beat. It can be found as a clean version on "20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Queen Latifah" & "Hip-Hop: Gold".
|Single by Queen Latifah|
|from the album Black Reign|
|Released||November 9, 1993 (US) January 6, 1994 (UK)|
|Format||12", CD single, cassette single|
|Genre||Jazz rap, Political hip hop|
|Songwriter(s)||Queen Latifah, Kier "Kay Gee" Gist Of Naughty By Nature|
|Queen Latifah singles chronology|
The video was directed by Mark Gerard who also directed her video "Just Another Day...". In the video, Latifah rides a motorcycle, which is a dedication to her brother Lance, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1992. The key she catches in the beginning and wears throughout the video is the ignition key to his bike.
It features a cameo by rap group Naughty by Nature.
The single was a success, peaking at #23 on The Billboard Hot 100. The single was most successful on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, peaking at #2; the single peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
End of year charts
A remix version, known as the "Big Titty Remix", can be found on her "Just Another Day..." single.
The song is played towards the end of the 1996 film Girls Town and plays during the film's credits. The song's name was used as an episode on Latifah's sitcom, Living Single, and was used as the end credits music for the episode, U.N.I.T.Y a.k.a (Five Card Draw).