Nia Long responds to J. Cole's lyrics about her

The actress and longtime hip hop muse explains why rappers just can’t stop talking about her.

By Serena Brahney
Senior Producer, Larry King Now

Back in 1993, when we were all 23 years younger, A Tribe Called Quest’s late, great Phife Dawg rapped, “Trini-born black like Nia Long’s grandmother, on the essential ‘Steve Biko (Stir it Up).’

In 2000’s Nas hit, ‘Oochie Wally,’ Bravehearts’ Horse waxed, "Like Nia Long in a cherry thong with the lights on.”

And come 2005, Kanye West added Nia to his reference-heavy lyrical lexicon with his ‘Touch the Sky’ line, “Couldn’t keep it at home, thought I needed a Nia Long.” (Guess Kim’ll have to do, boo.)

Girlfriend has a long history as one of hip hop’s most revered muses.

Noting the phenomenon, Larry King put the question to Nia in a recent interview. “Are you kind of a sex symbol?” he asked the NAACP Image Award-winning actress. “The truth, are you?”

Coy and coquettish, Nia turned the tables: “I need to ask you that. What do you think?”

“I grew up in a time when Puffy Combs was running nightclubs in New York City and ‘Boyz n the Hood’ was out,” Nia went on to explain. “We were all sort of growing up in this business and kind of changed the game a little bit and gave urban music, rap music, black films – we had a space to actually do our thing, and I think that the rappers just, kind of, are feeling Nia Long a little bit.”

And things haven't much changed. The latest emcee to add his name to the Nia Long fan club is J. Cole – on the Grammy nominee’s 2015 single ‘No Role Modelz,’ he raps, "My only regret was too young for Nia Long.” 

But Nia, now 45, says that just isn’t the case. Check out her response to J. Cole’s shoutout in the clip below:

(Sidenote: J. Cole just might be working on a joint album with Kendrick Lamar, which is almost too good to process.)

You can watch Nia’s full episode – in which she candidly discusses three decades of working in Hollywood, the Obamas, and sex scenes with Cuba Gooding, Jr. – here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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