10 Things You Didn’t Know about Monie Love

National Museum of African American Music Monie Love

For those who are true die hard Hip Hop fans, Monie Love is considered a Hip Hop icon. While she did not enjoy the fame and exposure of many of her contemporaries, she definitely left her imprint in the industry. While not overly active in music, she still tours occasionally, and she remains behind the mike as a national radio co-host. Following are 10 facts that you most likely did not know about Monie Love, and we will also address some additional facts that you may find interesting along the way.

1. A Native of London

Unless you are a part of the British Hip Hop culture, it is likely that you are not aware of the fact that Monie Love is a native of London, England. In fact, she was born in the Battersea area of London. What is interesting about this fact is that not many people are aware of the fact that during the apex of what is known as original or true Hip Hop, London the culture was immensely strong and influential in London.

2. Her Real Name

One thing about Hip Hop artists is that they holistically embrace their identity. Rarely do you see Hip Hop artists be quoted or referred to by the official government names. There are rare exceptions where some the government names of rappers have become public knowledge. For instance, fans of LL Cool J know that his name is James Todd Smith, and they know that 50 Cent’s name is Curtis Jackson, but I bet you did not know that Monie Love’s name is Simone Gooden.

With many Hip Hop artists, the culture introduced a new understanding of the world around them, and their adopted names are often a representation of this new paradigm — often leading them to abandon their original identity.

3. She Was Nominated for a Grammy

Be honest, when you think of Grammy nominated artist, or even Grammy nominated Hip Hop artist, Monie Love does not come to mind. With the Grammys initially being a difficult place for Hip Hop artists to find their footing, it was surprising that Monie Love was actually nominated for a Grammy in 1990, for her album “Down to Earth.”

Something else that you may not be aware of is the fact that she actually appeared on a song that won a Grammy — Queen Latifah’s Ladies First.

4. Groomed for the American Audience by Queen Latifah

While Monie Love had made quite the splash in the world of Hip Hop in her native, London, she had not established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the home of Hip Hop, the United States. But that would soon change. Monie’s original popularity came through her associated with the group Native Tongues, but it would America’s Queen of Hip Hop, Queen Latifah. While possessing exceptional delivery skills, she would initially be considered a protégé of Latifah, with a number of cameos on several joints of Latifah. It was her association with Latifah that laid the groundwork for Monie’s rapid ascension in American Hip Hop.

5. A First

While British Hip Hop had definitely made a significant impact on the Hip Hop industry, the American music industry had not fully embraced the marketability of English rappers; however, that would soon change. Along with other British-born rappers, such as Ricky D, Monie became one of the first British-born rappers to be signed to a major record label. Her music was actually distributed to a global market.

6. A Gifted Family

The old adage of “the apple does not fall far from the tree” is definitely applicable here. Monie’s father was a London-based jazz musician. She also had a brother who was a techno musician that went by the stage name of Dave Angel. It seems that creative expression was something that was encouraged in the home.

7. Working with Her Brother

Well, you can probably imagine that when you have a sibling with a similar passion, and you both find success in your own genre’s, at some point you are going to want to work with your sibling. It was no different with Monie Love and her musician brother. In 1991, Monie was featured on her brother, Dave’s, remix of Whitney Houston’s “My Name is Not Susan,” and she even appeared in the video alongside Houston.

8. Humble Beginnings

Every star gets their start somewhere, and rarely is it at the top or apex of their industry of choice. It was no different for Monie Love. She got her start in Hip Hop as an emcee in the British Hip Hop group, Jus Bad Crew. The group featured MC Mel’O’, DJ Pogo, and Sparki. The group would eventually release the single Free Style Proud, on an independent label — Tuff Groove.

9. Collaborated with Legends

You cannot mention original Hip Hop and the name Marley Marl come up. He is definitely considered one of the pioneers of Hip Hop. When it comes to R&B, soul and pop, with the exception of maybe Michael Jackson, no other person has had a more influential impact on these genres over the last 4 decades than the late Prince. While it is not widely known, Monie Love was able to collaborate with both Born to B.R.E.E.D., which ultimately reached #1 on the Hot Dance Music Chart and it rose as high as #7 on the Hot Rap Singles chart.

10. Wrote for Carmen Electra

What very few people know is that her connection with Prince produce one of her most memorable moments, but it likely produced one of the most forgettable as well. Prince requested that Monie write lyrics for Carmen Electra’s self-titled album, and we all know how that turned out.

While spending most of her time fostering her career in radio, she still dabbles in Hip Hop music, appearing on a Ras Kass single as recently as 2013. As mentioned earlier, she still tours with the greats like Whoodini, Run DMC, LL and more. Monie has experienced global success and recognition for her work, and it seems that she is just getting started.

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