Queen Latifah is one of of the biggest stars in Hip-Hop and Hollywood, but she is now taking on obesity, heath and Hip-Hop.
Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window) Queen Latifah has been party to numerous movements, but now she is taking on obesity. She talks to Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur about the Its Bigger Than Me movement, general health in Hip-Hop and even her thoughts on the state of the culture. AllHipHop: I am very intrigued by this new movement, Its Bigger Than Me . So first things first, can you tell us a little bit about it and what prompted you to start this? Queen Latifah: Well, I connected with Novo Nordisklast summer when I was filming a movie in New Mexico. They came out and we had a conversation about a campaign, a movement they wanted to create based around obesity I was like, Okay, well tell me more. The whole goal was to let people know that obesity is a disease that can be treated and that its bigger than you, Its Bigger Than Me. Its not just one shape, one size. It doesnt look one certain way. Queen Latifah: It was a good time and a good opportunity for us to talk about this now with body positivity and body image and body shaming and all these things coming to light. That we could explain a little more about what it is because I think a lot of people have this picture in their mind when they hear the word obese. They think you have to be 600 pounds and thats not the case. Queen Latifah: Also, with COVID bringing to light these huge health disparities disparities in healthcare, its an opportunity for us to talk about it more and find out what it is and perhaps they could have a chance to live a healthier life. This affects us. This affects two out of five Americans. This affects almost 50% of Black women, almost 50% of Latino women. This is right in my family, in my community. Why not have a conversation to start talking about how we can make a change? AllHipHop: Okay. Men have typically I should say, In Hip-Hop, men sort of embraced a little more. You got Heavy D, you got Big Pun. Now it seems maybe the perception at least is changing. Lizzo most notably. How do you feel about it as its reflected in our Hip-Hop culture? Queen Latifah: Well, I would say that thats even more why we should be talking about it because I know Heavy D, and I know what Hev went through with his weight. I know Hev was trying to lose weight. I know Hev when he was running five miles a day and trying to drop weight and how challenging it was for him. We all know that Big Pun lost 100 pounds before he passed. You know what I mean? We know Pun was having his challenges with obesity as well. We dont want to lose Hevs. We dont want to lose Puns. You know what I mean? Hev was like my brother, you know what I mean? These are major losses at a young age. They should still be here. Queen Latifah: When we think about this, Id rather go the Jadakiss route and think about, you the dead prez route and think about how we could live more healthy lives, more healthy lifestyles. Hip-Hop can definitely affect healthy lifestyles. And Im not saying you have to be skinny. Im not saying you have to be a certain body type. This affects men as well as women. But I think that we can definitely make a difference in the idea of talking about health. Its kind of tricky because Hip-Hop is this competitive sport in a way, but its really backed up by people who are really just human beings. Queen Latifah: Were human beings behind the personas and we all need some help along the way. We all have a sister or a brother or a cousin or so. And so in our lives or mother, father, or kids, and they need to hear a different conversation. They dont need to get chipped up along the way or have negative things said to them growing up, thats going to make them not live their best life. So thats what a lot of this conversation is about. AllHipHop: Youve never been skinny or super small. We always been well received in our community. Have you run into any hiccups from a career perspective or even maybe in Hip-Hop? For you and your size. Even in the earlier days. Remember when Rakim did the second video, Dont Sweat the Technique? And we were like, What? What is he doing? It was just the representations have changed throughout the years. Queen Latifah: I would say so. I dont think you could come into this business as a woman and not face some sort of something in regards to your image. We as women are always expected to look some sort of way, and thats just in life period. Its unfortunate, because its really not realistic. A lot of it and men in real life, dont even date women who look like that. Youd have to go to a specific place where we all know to find certain women who look a certain way. Or go online looking at that. But in real life, thats not real. We talk about whats real and whats not. And so Ive always tried to bring as much realness, my own realness to my career that I could bring. AllHipHop: Yeah. I agree. Im working out crazy and technically Im obese, according to the BMI. I ended up on that fence and Im like, What? But on t Read more