Lil Mama: Young Feminine Energy

posted May 21, 2007 12:00:00 AM CDT | 117 comments

There are a lot of great things that come from the Planet Brooklyn; Michael Jordan, Notorious B.I.G., Spike Lee, Jay-Z and possibly Niatia Kirkland. The 17 year-old rhyme maven appropriately billed as Lil Mama is coming for the throne. Far from a kiddie-MC, the former Edward R. Murrow High School student recently inked a deal with Jive Records. Her single, Lip Gloss is rising up the charts.

With a video and spins translating into buzz across the country, Ms. Kirkland is set to be propelled into the stratosphere with some of her elite peers. The catchy, kid-friendly song showcases the young starlets talents: rapping, singing and dancing. Graciously, she sits down with HHDX as she talks about her influences growing up, how life has changed for her and her plans for the future.

HHDX: So, what makes your lip gloss so poppin?
LM:
[Laughs] Because Im wearing it! But, no really, its just basically very pretty. All the ladies wear it. Its glamorous. Mines is very sparkly very pretty. I think mines just outshines the ordinary types.

HHDX: Your song runs tough in New York and the video is getting burn nationwide. What has changed in your life since people are now becoming familiar with you?

LM:
Well, the one thing that I have become aware of is that people are starting to notice me more. I was walking down the street one time and there were people who were just screaming out my name just to see if it was me. It kind of had me shocked. Theyd be in shock, too. I am also traveling more and more. Im performing in more places. One of my best performances was in New York. It was before I really got on and was noticed. It wasnt even a rap show. It was a dance competition and those were the times where I had more fun. I really do have more fun dancing, performing my songs fully, by entertaining, not just rapping.

HHDX: Being that youre 16 and came up in an era where there werent really any female MCs poppin off who were your rhyming influences growing up?

LM:
Well, Im 17 now and growing up I would look up to MCs like Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, MC Lyte, of course, Eve and Jay-Z just to name a few.

HHDX: A lot of older rap fans say that the young ones dont know about hip-hop/rap music before Pac. What are your thoughts about that?
LM:
Personally, Ill let them just believe whatever it is that they choose to believe and Ill just continue to prove all my doubters wrong.

HHDX: People see a lot of potential in you. I just caught your freestyle over Hovs Show Me What You Got and you are impressive with your flows. How do you manage to still stay yourself and enjoy your childhood while being in the spotlight?
LM:
Whenever I am at home, Ill be around my friends. Theyre the same ones that Ive had forever and I love them. I have had people tell me that I cant do some of the things that Im used to doing because of what Im doing now. But Im still going to do it anyway [laughs]. I really love to dance. I havent been dancing in awhile. I was in a dance group and wed have practices and I miss that. Other than that, Id go to Empire Skating Rink, but theyre closing that down, so I dont know where all the kidsll go now.

HHDX: Youve been honing your skills for the past five years what has been one important thing that youve learned about being in the business?
LM: Well, the most important thing for me that Ive learned is to be constantly consistent and always, always stay humble.

HHDX: As you get older, do you see your content changing, as well?
LM:
Really, I dont know what I am going to do, yet. Im still young, you know? Im going to stick with what Im talking about now because thats relevant to me now.

HHDX: Where do you see your career branching out into as time goes on?

LM: I really want to get into acting that would be my next move. I also want to take my career to the next level. I want to create a ballad and venture out into other businesses. I dont want to place myself in a box by just being an artist or a rapper. I want to have no limits on my career.

HHDX: How do people like your classmates see you now that youre on TV and on the radio?
LM:
Well, the school I used to go to was cool. The people there are excited and proud of me. There were quite a few who thought that it would never happen, but are shocked that it did. People would say, We always would see you dancing, singing or rapping up and down the hallways! It feels good, right now, everything is lovely.

HHDX: With record sales going down and people downloading more than ever if your solo debut falls short of your expectations whats the next move for you?
LM:
I really dont think like that, so I dont know. What I do know is that Im going to continue to keep God first and let him decide things. My next performance is doing something for Radio One in Miami, Florida. Im also going to be down there to finish recording my album. Were going to start pushing the next single soon, too. Its going to be "Make It Hot."

HHDX: As a rising star in the game what is some advice that you can pass on to others trying to make it into the business?
LM: All I can say to anyone is that you need to always stay focused and stay humble. I believe that by always working on your craft and not let anyone tell you that you cant do it will also help. A lot of people will try to blindfold you so you cant see your dreams, but its up to you to stay focused on what you want.

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