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2009 album from the R&B singer, rapper, actress, author and entrepreneur featuring three bonus tracks. The album features guest appearances from Dre (Cool & Dre), Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Jadakiss and Pharrell. The production was handled by Cool & Dre and Pharrell Williams. ''It doesn't have a specific theme - each [song] was so different from the next, me being the common denominator. And I realized my different characters were coming through on these [songs]. My acting, singing and rapping identities all came together under one roof as well as my taste in different kinds of music. I'd say its half rap and half singing. If I had to categorize it, it would be more like Hip Hop Urban Alternative''. -Queen Latifah (L.A. Times). Features the singles 'Cue The Rain' and 'People'.
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1. The Light - An Excellent rap track on making it in the entertainment business and lot letting discouragement from others stop you with an excellent intro shouting out others who have made it who originate from New Jersey such as Bruce Springsteen, The Jonas Brothers, Whitney Houston, John Travolta, ETC. - 5/5
2. Fast Car FT Missy Elliott - Missy's rap made this song. but Latifah's - She was t-paining too much With the auto tune. - 3/5
3. Cue The rain - The first single, Based from the Classic The Chain by Fleetwood Mac. A Very catchy song about being driven "SO Insane" In a relationship - 5/5
4. My Couch FT Dre of Cool & DRE - While lyrically it's a great song, Dre's over use of Auto-tune can get a tad annoying 3.5/5
5. Take me Away With you Featuring Marsha Ambrosius, of Floetry fame - Marsha and Queen - GREAT COMBINATION. need I say More? 5/5
6. With you - This is a like a dub version of "Take me Away With you" - Unnecessary addition to the album - 2 stars
7. Hard to love ya FT Dre of cool & Dre, Busta Rhymes, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II men - One of my favorites on the album. Title pretty much explains what The song is about - 5/5
8. What's The plan - Another over use of Autotune by I think Dre (Male vocals went uncredited in this) - I'm not feeling this one too much - 1.5/5
9. Long A$$ week - Who hasn't had one of those? -5/5
10. Runnin - Latifah's beeing runnin away from love and herself; great song - 5/5
11. People FT Mary J Blige - A positive mesagge - Seeing people for what they are - Just people - 5/5
12. If he wanna FT Serani - Another love song Like "weekend Love" FT Tony Rebel from Black Reign (1993) with a Reggae singer. Great vocals from Both Serani and QL 4.5/5
13. Over the mountain - A great rap about keeping the faith and overcoming obsticales and what QL is still searching for- 4.5/5
14. The World - The Best Track on The Album- A story about the abuse she faced during her childhood in verse 1 and in verse 2, an abused 14 year old boy. As the lyrics state "Lesson #1 - the world ain't fair. They'll chew you, spit you out, Put you're faith in it if you dare" - 5/5
15. Spotlight (Itunes bonus) - Great track but It didn't really set in well with the rest of the album, So I can see why it didn't make the CD
16. Champion (Itunes bonus, from the 2008 AT&T TEAM USA Soundtrack) - Now, This track would have been a perfect Addition to the cd - 5/5
17/18. Be Yourself & Faith Weather Friend FT Contest Winner Ingrid Woode; Itunes bonus)- These also didn't blend in with the rest of the album, So I can see removing them. but great songs nonetheless 5/5 for both
Normally, I don't agree with Album cuts, But the 4 iTunes bonuses don't really fit the album, so in this case, it's understandable. While it's a great album, I expected a lot more rapping and I definitely did not expect the use of Auto-Tune. She can SANG! She doesn't need auto-tune. But it's still a must have for Latifah fans
The album kicks off with 'The Light' which is an uplifting and fitting track where Queen basically lets all know that she is back lyrically as a femme-c. Her flow is on point and the track is a mix of light and grit. Next is 'Fast Car' which features a guest rap spot by Missy Elliot. This cut has a futuristic feel and is apparently the next single per Queen in interviews during the promo of the album. 'Cue the Rain' the first single, follows in its original 6+ minute form where she sings a portion of Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain.' 'The Couch' has Queen exploring her sensual side, which continues with 'Take Me Away (With You)' featuring a Prince-esque sounding Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry on ad-libs and the hook. Queen mixes singing with a nice flow. The track goes on with 'With You' which has a Euro-Dance vibe to it, one of the stand out tracks in my opinion and a total departure for Queen that she executes magnificently.
'Hard to Love Ya' is an urban and truthful song featuring Busta Rhymes while 'What's the Plan' has a throwback early 80s sound with Queen just on the hook singing "What's the plan?" 'Long Ass Week' is a nice, chill rap cut encouraging nothing but relaxation and good times in spite of. 'Runnin' is a relationship song dealing with the theme of the title. 'People' featuring Mary J. Blige is another inspirational track where Queen flows effortlessly over a mid-tempo track; it sounds like she is preaching almost the way she puts it down. 'If He Wanna' produced by the Neptunes is another exceptional stand out track, her voice is the purest you might ever hear on the album, if not ever, and she vocally hits a couple of runs and ad-libs that are exciting to hear. 'Over the Mountain' and 'The World' finish off the album as typical story-teller/inspirational songs.
The album should definitely be commended. This is an album. Even the not-so strong cuts can be appreciated because work was put into this. Although I do loathe the ever played-out auto tune bit she uses here and there on the album, for songs like 'Fast Car' and 'With You' they just wouldn't work without it; Queen doesn't overuse it or try to compete with the younger artist doing it today, which will make songs like these classic a decade from now and not just swept under the rug.
You can tell this wasn't some fly-by-night project. I know that this will probably not be commercially received as it deserves to be given the current state the music industry is in, but I hope there is a break through because this album deserves the ears of many. This album is definitely more Pop, Dance, and R&B than anything, with a dabble of rap here and there, to give all Queen Latifah fans something they can enjoy, hence the title: Persona