Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah has returned to her rap roots…somewhat. Her new album “Persona” reflects an eclectic mix of rap, pop, R&B and reggae that results in a schizophrenic compilation that showcases Latifah’s broad range of talent. The album, which was released on August 25th, is largely facilitated by production duo Cool & Dre and features an array of talented artists as guests. Fellow rap veteran Busta Rhymes is featured on “Hard to Love Ya,” while Mary J. Blige makes an appearance on “People.” Reggae singer Serani appears on the mellow “If He Wanna.”

“Cue the Rain,” the first single from “Persona,” is a pop/rock inspired track that sounds like the promotional theme from any given musical. However, one exciting aspect of the album is Latifah’s return to rap. Latifah does prove that despite an Oscar nomination, a popular television sitcom and two previous jazz albums, she hasn’t lost her Newark, New Jersey edge when it comes to rap.

Regardless, it generally sounds like Latifah has barely flexed a muscle to create “Persona.” The result is a collection of standard songs. Listeners may find that while Latifah offers a competent performance on most tracks, the ease with which she does it makes for a passionless album.

Written by Shaira B.

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