The world sees plenty of Queen Latifah (real name Dana Owens) these days — at movie theaters, on magazine covers, in CoverGirl ads — but it rarely hears new music from her. Latifah’s last two albums consisted entirely of jazz and soul standards.
“Trav’lin Light,” released in 2007, sold 263,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and “The Dana Owens Album,” which came out three years earlier, sold 730,000.
Recently, Latifah went back to rapping (and yes, singing) on everything from a Lady Gaga remix to a Rhymefest mixtape. “Persona,” her first album of new material since 1997, is due August 22 on Flavor Unit Entertainment.
Billboard: How does it feel to be rapping again?
Queen Latifah: It feels good. It’s like riding a bike — once you know it, you know it. This album is definitely rooted in hip-hop, but there’s a lot of singing, too. I’ve been singing a lot over the past few years, so I wanted to bring it all under one roof. But really, I’ve always sung on my records. I was always a person who mixed a lot of melody with rhymes. It’s fun getting my feet wet again.
Billboard: This is your first time working with producers Cool & Dre. What made you decide to record “Persona” with them?
Latifah: I met them during this pilot that we did with Eve called “Bridging the Gap” about an artist getting to meet their hero. At the end of the episode, Eve and I…
continue reading interview from source by Monica Herrera