Before she was Queen Latifah, she was Dana Owens, a burgeoning female MC. Back then, everyone's favorite hip-hop multi-hyphenate found herself in a position that would have made most students curl up and cry.
"When I was 17, I attended the same high school my mother taught at," Queen Latifah reveals during the next episode of MTV's new show "When I Was 17," which airs Saturday at 11 a.m. and also features Drake and Olympic softball player Jennie Finch. "Now this may sound like a bad thing to a lot of people, but thank God my mother was the cool teacher that everyone liked."
The rapper-turned-Oscar-nominated actress isn't telling a tall tale, according to manager Sha-Kim Compere, who was a fellow classmate.
"You would gravitate to her because of her free spirit," he said of Latifah's mother, an Irvington High School teacher in New Jersey. "She was one of the friendliest people."
Well, apparently, like mother like daughter, because Latifah explains that in high school, she was voted most comical and most popular by her peers.
"I was that girl," she says. "That's how the people voted, and I have to honor the request of the people."
Long live the Queen.
"When I Was 17" — this week featuring Drake, Queen Latifah and Jennie Finch — airs Saturday at 11 a.m. on MTV.