Lil Mama is what you would call a triple threat in entertainment circles. She is an actress, dancer and a singer-rapper. She does all of this at a high level and to be honest she is quite unique when it comes to many of her peers. She recently dropped Take Me Back, her most recent project. Rolling out spoke with her about the project and how she feels about memes and staying relevant in the industry.
Who is Lil Mama on this project and what is the name of the project?
The name of the project is Take Me Back. It’s also a play on words. Take Me Back was set out to be a five-track EP that takes you back to the golden age. It ended up being a seven-track EP. One of the songs is called “Take Me Back” and it is pretty much saying take me back into a romantic relationship that went wrong. It also features other songs addressing issues like memes, addressing the Lil Mama meme that went viral online. A freestyle for the naysayers and it showcases the softer side with love songs like “West Coast Lover” and “Take Me Back.” Overall this project shows me being fearless and free, and allows people to see my growth through my singing and writing ability.
How did you feel about that meme floating across the Internet.
Wow. I came across the meme of myself from the Power 105.1 interview. When I saw it, I immediately started laughing ’cause I thought it was funny. Then I thought it was perfect timing because the mixtape is dropping and I don’t really have to do too much press. I don’t have to do anything dumb or stupid to make my name noticeable. I never have to go through hard marketing dollars because something miraculous always happens. In this case, it was the meme. It could have been something that hurt me, maybe it could have hurt my feelings, put me in a space of depression or insecurity, but instead t it genuinely pushed me on. It inspired me to put the project out. “Meme” was one of the last songs I recorded. As soon as I saw the meme, I reacted and I went and found the perfect track for it, which pretty much came to me from listening to music from the nineties. “Kick in the Door” by Biggie was the perfect one, and I just started writing to let a person know that this isn’t something that’s hurting me; this is something that is working for me. Thank God that I’m in a space to understand that part.
What has helped you remain visible in the mainstream?
Things like becoming a part of a hit TV show “America’s Best Dance Crew” that we did seven seasons of, being sporadic and crazy old Lil Mama getting on stage with Jay Z and Alicia Keys, becoming part of an all-star cast of “Crazy Sexy Cool” — all of these things have helped me stay relevant. Sticking to the music and getting back to the music and doing a song like “Sausage” that blew up helped me remain relevant also. Most importantly, the source, God, has done this. I have a natural talent and gift and I feel like God allows me to shine when I work hard and I do what I’m supposed to do — it pays off in a way. I was told quite a few times that the work that I’m going to have to put in is going to be more than what others have to put in. It’s not going to be an easy task. God is going to challenge me and he knows that I know what I am capable of. When I push myself is when I become really successful.
Do you feel that artists should have a responsibility to be socially conscious?
I do feel like artists have a responsibility to be socially conscious and speak on issues of the world. At the end of the day, we have families and friends and we are all in this together. If you are one who feels like you don’t want to talk about the issues or you are unaware of the issues it can be irresponsible, other times I may want to filter out my thoughts and ideas by speaking with my family. My father and my grandparents give me a better perspective being that I am so young. As much as I think artists have a responsibility to speak out, I also think it’s a choice. You don’t just want to say anything.
How was 2015 for you and what can we expect in 2016.
2015 was such a successful year for me. I’m getting on the right track from my own perspective. I’m in a great space now. I’ve grown as a businesswoman, artist, sister daughter and a friend. I’m so proud of myself for being able to deliver a project like Take Me Back. I took my time effort and money to create this project. This projects is not just for my fans, it’s for myself as well. It’s helping me shape and mold my future.