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Persona by Queen Latifah
Released: Aug 2009
Label: Flavor Unit Records
Billed as the Queen's return to hip-hop and R&B, Persona is way heavier on the R&B, particularly the downtempo, adult variety. So if you're looking for the second coming of All Hail the Queen, this ain't it (with the exception of the haughty "Over the Mountain"). But if the overly earnest "The Light" is any indication, hearing Latifah rap after years in jazz and acting is a bit like hearing your mom rap (albeit a super-hip mom): she just seems more comfortable singing. So while Persona is lackluster in spots, it's also a classy attempt to bridge all her queendoms.
Rachel Devitt