On Monday evening, VH1 held the 2016 Hip Hop Honors to pay tribute to the women of hip hop. During the ceremony, Queen Latifah stood up to deliver a brief but blazing speech.

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She championed her fellow female artists as the foundation upon which hip hop has flourished. “All of these queens in this building, we built hip hop,” she declared. “We built hip hop. And there’s no way that I can allow us to be erased from the history or the future of hip hop.”

Latifah then transitioned from women’s legacy in hip hop to the uneasy, bitter climate in the wake of so many shootings. And regarding systemic racism, she was clear. “If I go outside and try to hail a cab, and he passes me for the white woman, that racism is still alive and kicking,” said Latifah. “And we need to change that. And I’m not blaming the white lady, she needed a cab too.”

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You can follow the link below to watch the full speech at Billboard.com.


Top Image via Getty. Embedded Image via Twitter.