|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009) |
"U.N.I.T.Y" is a Grammy Award-winning song by rapper/actress Queen Latifah's 1993 album, Black Reign. The single, released on January 6, 1994, 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 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.
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.
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.
End of year charts
|End of year chart (1994)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||82|
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.