Don’t call it a comeback, but Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton, and Nadine Velazquez are back in action on the new ABC musical drama Queens, a series that has potential to be major hit with hip-hop heads, ‘90s enthusiasts, and fans of great TV. The series, which follows the members of the fictional ‘90s rap outfit the “Nasty Bitches” as they look for a second shot at fame following a decades-long break (and a little redemption along the way) premiered Tuesday, October 19 with a number of faces that look oh so familiar.
But, if you’re having hard time putting two and two together and have found yourself stumped trying to put faces to names, fear not, as we have put together a quick yet comprehensive list of the Queens cast and just about everywhere you’ve seen the stars before…
Brandy (Naomi A.K.A. ‘Xplicit Lyrics’)
On Queens, Brandy plays “Nasty Bitches” founding member Naomi, a.k.a. “Xplicit Lyrics.” One of the most successful musical artists of the past quarter-century, Brandy has sold more than 40 million records, received countless accolades including a Grammy, an American Music Award, and seven Billboard Music Awards; and appeared on some of the biggest pop songs of the late 20th Century. On top of that, Brandy has had a rather successful acting career over the years including the 1997 made-for-TV adaptation of Cinderella, Moesha, and, most recently, the Fox musical drama Star.
Eve (Brianna A.K.A. ‘Professor Sex’)
Taking on the role of Brianna, a.k.a. “Professor Sex” in the Queens cast is rapper-turned-actress Eve. The “Ruff Ryders’ First Lady” rose to prominence in the late 1990s as one of the most prolific members of the DMX-led rap collective before reaching new heights in the early 2000s when she proved time and time again that she could handle herself in front of a camera just as much as she could on the microphone. After making her feature-film debut in the Vin Diesel-led spy thriller xXx, Eve became a fixture of the Barbershop franchise as Terri Jones. Since then, Eve has led her own sitcom, Eve, served as a co-host of The Talk, and popped up in countless TV shows.
Naturi Naughton (Jill A.K.A. ‘Da Thrill’)
Naturi Naughton appears on Queens as Jill a.k.a. “Da Thrill,” one of the founding members of the Nasty Bitches. After rising to fame as part of the R&B group 3LW in the early 21st Century, Naughton broke out on her own, both as a solo performer and actress. In 2009, Naughton portrayed the Queen Bee of Bad Boy Records, Lil’ Kim, in the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious, and quickly found a great deal of success in the acting world soon thereafter. Following one-off appearances on Mad Men, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Let’s Stay Together, Naughton earned a spot in the Power cast, on which she portrayed Tasha St. Patrick, a role she later reprised on Power Book II: Ghost.
Nadine Velazquez (Valeria A.K.A. Butter Pecan)
On Queens, Nadine Velazquez plays Valeria, a.k.a. “Butter Pecan,” the fourth and final member of the Nasty Bitches. Unlike her three co-leads, Velazquez doesn’t have a music background, but what she does have is years of experience in the acting world. Throughout her career, Velazquez has appeared in movies like Flight, Snitch, and Ride Along 2, but most will remember her for her various TV roles over the course of the 21st Century. Shows like My Name Is Earl, The League, and Major Crimes have all featured Velazquez in prominent roles. She has also had smaller, one-off roles on shows like Entourage, Las Vegas, CSI: NY, and Arrested Development.
Taylor Selé (Eric Jones)
Taylor Selé joins the Queens cast as Eric Jones, the Nasty Bitches’ manager. Throughout his career, which goes back to a series of short films in 2011, Selé has made appearances on critically-acclaimed shows like Homeland, Orange is the New Black, and When They See Us. Selé also showed up on an episode of the criminally underrated High Maintenance on HBO, as well as Godfather of Harlem and Blue Bloods. He most recently appeared on the Starz original series P-Valley, where he played Coach.
Pepi Sonuga (Lil Muffin)
Pepi Sonuga appears on Queens as Lauren “Lil Muffin” Rice, a young rapper who finds support in the Nasty Bitches. Since making her acting debut in the 2013 Cuba Gooding, Jr. drama Life of a King, Sonuga has appeared on multiple TV shows, ranging from soap operas like General Hospital to horror comedies like the insanely awesome Ash vs. Evil Dead. At one point, Sonuga had one of the main roles on the Freeform series Famous in Love. More recently, she has taken on roles on Cake, 9-1-1, and Into the Dark.
Precious Way (Jojo)
Taking on the role of Jojo, Naomi’s estranged daughter on Queens, is up-and-coming actress Precious Way. Prior to landing the recurring role on the ABC musical drama, Way portrayed Chanel Dupree on the NBC soap opera, Days of Our Lives.
Felisha Terrell (Tina)
Felisha Terrell shows up on Queens as Tina, one of Jill’s best friends. The former Teen Wolf star has spent the past decade appearing on shows like Just Add Magic, Supernatural, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Amazon original sci-fi series Utopia.
Emerson Brooks (Darren)
Emerson Brooks appears on Queens in a recurring role as Darren. Over the course of his career, Brooks has appeared in various Marvel projects (both in and out of the MCU), including Captain America: The Winter Soldier and video games like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Marvel Heroes, and 2020’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Outside of the realm of comic books, Brooks has landed roles on shows like The Last Ship, The Goldbergs, and NCIS: Los Angeles, to name a few.
And then there is hip-hop artist (and meme legend) Cam’ron, who plays a version of himself on Queens. In addition to turning out hits like “Oh Boy” and “Hey Ma,” Cam’ron has also appeared in movies like Paper Soldiers and Killa Season as well as the reality TV series Love and Hip Hop: New York.
New episodes of Queens air at 10 p.m. ET, Tuesdays on ABC. CinemaBlend’s 2021 fall TV schedule has information on all the other great new and returning shows coming out in the final months of the year.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he’s not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.