Lynise Walters, better known as Queen Pen, is a New York-born rapper who made a name for herself in the mid to late 90s after connecting with Teddy Riley. She quickly gained a following after putting her skills on full display. Queen Pen is another female MC who isn’t talked about enough, but she’s another giant of the Golden Era that deserves her just due.
Queen Pen | Humble Beginnings
Queen Pen took an interest in rapping at a young age. As a teenager, she always had a notebook with her, ready to write her rhymes, leading people to call her “Pen.” Already having the nickname “Queen,” the young girl decided to combine the two names and call herself Queen Pen.
By the age of seventeen, Queen Pen found herself the mother of two sons, working hard to make ends meet. That is until fate stepped in.
Fun Fact: Her youngest son’s father is the late Darren “Buffy” Robinson of The Fat Boys!
While out to eat at an IHOP in Virginia Beach, Queen Pen ran into Teddy Riley and told him she was a rapper. He invited her to his studio and was instantly impressed by her skills. Although he didn’t have anything for her right at that moment, he promised her he’d have something for her soon.
The Big Opportunity
Queen Pen received a call from Teddy Riley, who was working on a project with Blackstreet and thought she would be a perfect addition to the song. Shortly after recording her verse for the song, Teddy Riley signed her to his label, Lil’ Man. “No Diggity,” released in 1996, turned out to be an instant hit.
Queen Pen got to work on her debut album as soon as she was signed. My Melody was released in 1997. The album reached number 13 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and contained songs like “Party Ain’t A Party” and “Girlfriend,” which had a lot of people talking back in the day….I’ll let you listen to the song to see why!
Queen Pen Vs. Foxy
That next year, Queen Pen won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group in 1998 for “No Diggity,” even though she wasn’t listed as a featured rapper on the song.
Despite this success, Queen Pen found herself in a beef with fellow rapper Foxy Brown. Foxy Brown had already been beefing with Queen Latifah when Queen’s song “Girlfriend” was released. Although the two women didn’t initially seem to have any sort of animosity, Foxy Brown released the diss tracks “10% Dis” and “Talk to Me,” where she threw shots at both Queen Latifah and Queen Pen, making homophobic remarks towards both ladies. Queen Pen didn’t take kindly to being picked on and decided to address Foxy Brown face-to-face. During a music convention, both artists attended, Queen Pen caught Foxy Brown in the lobby of the Reno Hilton in Nevada, and a physical altercation occurred. The situation was allegedly broken up by Derek “DC” Clark, Noreaga, and Cam’ron. It was said another fight occurred later but was broken up before it could get physical. Thankfully the two artists eventually settled the beef.
When 1999 rolled around, Queen Pen gave birth to her third child and decided to step away from music to focus on her family.
The rapper would not return to the studio again until 2001 when she released her album Conversations with Queen. This album featured tracks like “Ghetto Divorce” and “I Got Cha.” This album was released on Motown Records due to Teddy Riley’s label going under. Despite his plans to start a new label, this did not come to fruition, causing Queen Pen to have to find a new label.
You know we can’t have a Queen Pen article without one of her most notable hits! This song still hits today, but the video gives you everything from the 90s – the clothes, the hair, the dances – it’s an overall good time!
This song put Queen Pen’s gangsta on full display! Although she was returning from her hiatus with this song, you could tell she had not lost her skill or her confidence. She still had it!
Where Is Queen Pen Now?
As of right now, Queen Pen is still focused on family. She is now a mother of five and a grandmother and is staying out of the limelight.
Her sons Donlynn and Quintion Walters followed in their mother’s footsteps and are rappers – Nefu Da Don and Q Nhannaz, respectively.
Although Queen Pen’s reign was shorter than some, her talent will forever be remembered and respected.
Where To Find Queen Pen
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