Lil Mama talks ‘Sausage’ and staying focused

Photo credit: Derek Blanks

Some entertainers embody the full package. They can dance, sing and act. They are phenomenal in practicing their craft and share it with the world in order to spread happiness. Lil Mama is that type of an artist. As she has navigated her way through the entertainment business, she has made some missteps, and experienced some great success. She takes it all in stride. We had the opportunity to speak with Lil Mama and talk to her about remaining focused and what she has coming up in the future.

You have over six million views for “Sausage,” the song feels like 1989. What inspired you to do that song?

Well, I’m a hip-hop student. I love the original state of hip-hop. I’m highly influenced by [it] and it’s very organic when I hear that type of beat to do that type of music. I like to be animated and have fun with the song. The Sausage Movement inspired it.

What is the Sausage Movement?

The Sausage Movement is an online sensation where a group of young kids would stand around in a circle and someone would say sausage, keep it going, and everybody would say sausage after saying four lines. It’s an interactive rap kind of like free styling. I thought it was so cute. Some of the content is a little fresh for the age group, it is what it is. I saw so many different videos, it was dope and I decided I had to make my own version of it. I made an entire song. Once I got started with it, it continued on. When I put it up on my Instagram I learned the movement started off in Miami from a young guy by the name of Big Mac, I think his name is Matthew but he goes by Big Mac. I bigged him up on Instagram I shouted him out then he bigged me up on his Instagram. I definitely wanted to pay homage to the person that started it. I got in on something that is fun and what’s happening in the world.

You are such an awesome all-around talent. If you had one thing you wanted to be known for, what would you want it to be?

I can’t see myself not being able to express my talent. When it’s time to act, I want to act. When it’s time for music, I incorporate my dancing skills and writing skills whether it’s singing [or] harmonizing. I always want to apply it. When I think about [it overall], I love music. Music is my first love. Music is a driving force in my life.

Your style is so New York. How much does New York influence you and what you do?

I’m highly influenced. My father was a deejay, my mother was a singer and dancer. She would do the hustle in the park. I have no idea what these “jams” were, but I would hear stories about people packing the yard out with loud music, dancing , drinking and having a good time just doing the hustle and all of that. That’s a culture. I remember being a kid and talking to the entire party through my pop’s headphones like a microphone. Little things like that shaped and molded me. My mother didn’t listen to Hot 97 when I was younger. She played old-school R&B music. She would play Anita Baker, Patti LaBelle; all types of people.

Photo courtesy of Bet Hip Hop Awards

In 2008 you released VYP: Voice of The Young People. That spawned the hit “Lip Gloss.” In 2015 it seems as though you have truly become the voice of the young people and you have embraced it. Tell us how you think that happened?

A lot of times when you are a creative person, [you] tend to go all over the place, although I can go all over the place. I started thinking about my focus. In music, I have to think about what I would choose as far as genre and energy, and I love party music. That’s why you can feel my spirit through a song like sausage because that’s my spot.

Speak a little on your involvement with the Hip Hop Sisters Network.

Hip Hop Sisters at one point was forming a group. Lyte was planning to do a reality show with Monie Love, Yo-Yo, Rage, herself, M.C. Smooth and myself. She wanted to bring women in hip-hop out. This was before the Sisterhood of Hip Hop’s show. She shopped it to different networks and they took the idea and did it with a younger crowd. During the time I spent with them, I got a lot from the other women. They really became my sisters. Rage had something she had to offer in her story, as to how people can change, how things turn out. Yo-Yo has the School of Hip Hop and still works with young people. Lyte being the voice of BET, working at the Grammys is so inspiring. It’s an honor to be involved. It feels really good because they have so much great advice and help to offer.

You have had some obstacles during your career, what allows you to remain resilient and so focused?

God first. I see God in everything that I do. When I go through things in my life I’m always trying to learn from my experience. I’m always trying to make myself better. If I’m the problem I acknowledge that and fix that. God blessed me with a beautiful family. We are very deep and I mean that as a double entendre. They give it to me raw. There is no other way for me to live my life but to grow from my experiences, bounce back and be resilient. The majority of my family is born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and this is one of the toughest places to grow up in the world. People have to bounce back every day from stuff. In this music business or entertaining, it could be cyber bullying or people trying to blackball you. The same thing exists in the streets, and when you have people who encourage you to keep going and God is in your spirit helping you to keep focused and giving you ideas and energy this is the reason why I’m able to keep going and see a brighter day past the darkness and the clouds. You have to have that tunnel vision and see that light at the end of it.

Photo credit: Derek Blanks

What’s next for Lil Mama?

More music is in the works. I want to keep the fans involved. I want it to be organic and authentic at all times. Whatever I do, I want it to reflect what’s happening with me and with society. I want it to be truthful to where I’m coming from. I have a few movie scripts coming my way. You never know what might happen. The sky is the limit. Music, movies, traveling the world making money and just enjoying life, my family and meeting great people, that’s important to me.

Could you share a few words of encouragement for our readers?

I would say don’t let this hard time break down your dreams. … If you have a dream, if you have a vision, stay focused, because the moment that you allow a distraction to come your way in the midst of you moving forward that will be the end to everything. Doubting yourself will be the end to everything. As long you believe in yourself and have people around you who encourage your dream and encourage your vision, it will come to pass. And even if it’s not as perfect as you thought it would be the first time, the second time will be so much better, because you would have learned from all that you’ve done leading up to it. Keep going [and] stay focused.

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