Queen Latifah’s star was just beginning to shine back in 1992. She’d just dropped her sophomore album Nature of a Sista’ and was enjoying the successes of fame as she lived out her rap star dreams, but the New Jersey emcee’s life came to a halt when she received news that her older brother, Lancelot Owens Jr., died in a motorcycle accident.
In an episode of Untold Stories of Hip Hop, Latifah shared that the loss of her brother derailed her career for a time. “Losing my brother, that was a devastating time for me,” she said. “We had just bought a house ’cause I was missing my family from being on the road so much, and my brother, my mother, and myself were gonna live in it. We bought it [with] this big ridiculous jacuzzi. He sat in the jacuzzi fully dressed and he was like, ‘Yo, this is gon’ be fun.'”
“I was supposed to be with him that day on the motorcycle,” the rap mogul added. “But one of our friends had to move, so we were moving all day. After my brother passed away that ruined my world. Rocked me to my core. I’ve never been the same since.” Latifah shared that she leaned on her friends in the hip hop industry to help her through the rough time, noting that the late-great Heavy D was a source of wisdom because he’d also lost a brother.
The rapper decided to put her energy into crafting her 1993 album Black Reign, a record she dedicated to her brother that has gone down in hip hop history as her most successful release. Check out her clips from Untold Stories of Hip Hop below.