Laverne Cox Loves 'Trouble'

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Netflix's Orange is the New Black is back, and Laverne Cox returns to her role as transgender prisoner Sophia Burset. For Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" feature, she shares her favorite music.


I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. OK, you can be real with me. I know you or somebody you know spent the weekend binge-watching Orange Is The New Black. The Netflix original series returns to prison for a second season, delving into the lives of incarcerated women, including transgender prisoner Sophia Burset played by transgender actress and activist Laverne Cox. Lavern Cox has been making quite a splash of late. She was featured recently on the cover of Time magazine, becoming the first transgender person to snag that spot. When we caught up with her last year, we talked about a lot of things. And she also shared the music she loves for our regular feature called In Your Ear.

LAVERNE COX: Hi. My name is Laverne Cox, and one of the songs that I'm really loving right now is Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble."


TAYLOR SWIFT: (Singing) Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago, I was in your sights, you got me alone. You found me, you found me, you found me. I guess you didn’t care

COX: And the reason I love that song is that it's a great reminder to me that usually, the men who come into my life who are trouble, they show me right away.


SWIFT: (Singing) I knew you were trouble when you walked in so shame on me now. Flew me to places I’d never been. Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground. Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble.

COX: So it's my job to just listen, to see the red flags, listen to what they're saying to me and run the other way. So I love that Taylor Swift song for that reason.


SWIFT: (Singing) Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble. I knew you were trouble when you walked in. Trouble, trouble, trouble. I knew you were trouble when you walked in. Trouble, trouble, trouble.

COX: Another song I'm listening to right now and loving is from an independent recording artist by the name of Mila Jam. And the song is called "Masters of the Universe."


MILA JAM: (Singing) La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. So la, la, light up the sky, put your sword in the sky.

COX: It features a sample from the old, like, '80s Tetris game, and the song is such a great workout song for me, and just makes me feel empowered, and like I'm the master of my own universe. Mila Jam, "Masters of the Universe." It rocks.


JAM: (Singing) Cause you gotta do what you gotta do – sing – everyone know your own power when love comes around know it’s only for you. Let the music give you power, fight for the rhythm of a system solar. You’re the one that knows you best, you don’t have to make it, make it work. We are the chosen ones, masters of the universe. La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

COX: Another song that I'm listening to and loving is an old song by Beyonce called "Dance for You." And I put the video on and, like, dance to the song in my apartment, and it makes me feel really sexy. It's great when, like, I have a date coming up or something, and it just makes me feel really sexy and strong and wonderful.


BEYONCE: (Singing) Loving you is really all that’s on my mind. And I can’t help but to think about it day and night. I wanna make that body rock, sit back and watch. Tonight I'm gonna dance for you.

COX: "Dance for You," Beyonce. So good.


BEYONCE: (Singing) Tonight I'm gonna dance for you. Tonight I'm going to put my body on your body. Boy I like it when you watch me. Tonight it's going down.

MARTIN: That was actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox telling us what's playing in her ear. To hear our previous conversation with her, you can go to, click on the programs tab and then TELL ME MORE.

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