Actress Nia Long has been a fixture in African-American pop culture since getting her start in Hollywood back in the early 90s and when she was recently put on the spot about her name popping up in the lyrics of one of today’s most prominent Hip Hop artists, she had an unforgettable response.
From her memorable roles in classic Black films like Boyz N The Hood and Friday, to her early stint on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Nia’s gorgeous features and charismatic personality quickly made her one of the most admired Black actresses of this generation. Speaking with host Larry King during a recent appearance on Larry King Live, Nia gave a detailed reply to his question about why she’s the go-to muse for hip hop culture.
“I think the thing with me and hip hop music…here’s the deal. I grew up in a time where, you know, Puffy Combs was, you know, running nightclubs in New York City and Boyz N The Hood was out and Heavy D (my beloved brother, who I miss madly). You had Biggie Smalls, you had Tupac….so, this was an era where 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. I think it’s just kind of part of the acknowledgement .”
When Larry got specific and quoted recent lyrics from J.Cole’s hit single “No Role Modelz,” in which he raps: “My only regret was too young for Lisa Bonet, my only regret was too young for Nia Long,” she gave a surprising…and comical….reply.
“He’s really not to young, he just doesn’t know it,” she said with a smile as Larry let out a laugh.
Nia also touched on a handful other topics including why she didn’t watch Cuba Gooding Jr. on The People vs. OJ Simpson, what it was like working with some of the most talented Black actors in Hollywood and her thoughts on Jada Pickett spearheading this year’s Oscars boycott.
Check out some of her comments the clips below.