U.N.I.T.Y.

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"U.N.I.T.Y" is the Grammy Award-winning song by rapper/actress Queen Latifah off of 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".

The song won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. It remains Latifah's biggest hit single in the USA to date, and her only one to reach the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.

"U.N.I.T.Y."
Unity single.jpg
Single by Queen Latifah
from the album Black Reign
Released November 9, 1993 (US) January 6, 1994 (UK)
Format 12", CD single, cassette single
Recorded 1993
Genre Jazz rap, Political hip hop
Label Motown Records
Songwriter(s) Queen Latifah, Kier "Kay Gee" Gist Of Naughty By Nature
Producer(s) Kay Gee
Queen Latifah singles chronology
"Just Another Day..."
(1993)
"U.N.I.T.Y."
(1993)
"Black Hand Side"
(1994)
"Just Another Day..."
(1993)
"U.N.I.T.Y."
(1993)
"Black Hand Side"
(1994)

Music video

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.

Chart performance

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.

Peak positions

Chart (1993-94) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 74
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 23
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 7
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks 2

End of year charts

End of year chart (1994) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[1] 82

Remix

A remix version, known as the "Big Titty Remix", can be found on her "Just Another Day..." single.

In other media

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).

References

  1. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1994". Retrieved 2010-08-27.

External links

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