Joell Ortiz doesn’t just have a crush on Sanaa Lathan. She’s also his muse.
The rapper professed his feelings for the actress over Wu-Tang’s “Our Dreams” on “Letter to Sanaa,” which dropped Wednesday, the same day that coincidentally marked the 10th anniversary of Lathan's breakout film, Love & Basketball. However, it was another movie that inspired his music.
“Sanaa first got my attention from her performance in the movie Brown Sugar,” Ortiz tells VIBE. “The music, the story the script and most of all the performances were all incredible. It was part of my inspiration to write ‘Call Me.’”
The Brooklyn native hasn’t met the actress yet but he already has their first date figured out⎯a romantic tour of his home borough starting with dinner at Park Slope’s Bogota Latin Bistro and ending at Bembe, a Williamsburg lounge where he plans to flex his world music knowledge and salsa skills.
“[Bembe] has a live Congo player that plays along with whatever the DJ spins [and] if she were up to it I’d teach her the little Salsa I picked up from hanging out at Copa as a kid,” he says. “I may not be a Hollywood Rich guy but one thing I know for sure Sanna would have mad fun with me on a date.” ⎯Starrene Rhett