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Flo Milli on ‘You Nonetheless Right here, Ho?’, Actuality TV, and Her Unyielding Confidence

Flo Milli on ‘You Nonetheless Right here, Ho?’, Actuality TV, and Her Unyielding Confidence

Flo Milli on 'You Still Here, Ho?', Reality TV, and Her Unyielding Confidence

Discovering a Flo Milli track the place the rapper isn’t expressing her unyielding confidence is a rarity. Her taunting, witty rhymes about effortlessly taking anybody’s man whereas making certain she doesn’t even want one are extra inspiring than they’re insulting. It’s a craft that the Cell, Alabama native aced on her superb debut mixtape Ho, Why Is You Right here? Her follow-up, You Nonetheless Right here, Ho?, launched July 20, furthers that narrative arc whereas exploring totally different tones and exposing her vulnerability. Flo Milli is aware of that she’s nonetheless that woman. And, with the assistance of affirmations, she’s all the time recognized that she can be since deciding to rap on the age of 10.

Following the success of her viral hit “Beef FloMix” in 2019, the rapper, born Tamia Carter, was signed to RCA later that yr. Ho, Why Is You Right here?, launched in 2020, garnered related fanfare. Though Flo Milli is shocked by the eye she’s obtained so far, she actually isn’t. “As a child, I’ve all the time spoken issues into existence, so I all the time knew it could occur, however to truly see it occur was loopy.”

All through You Nonetheless Right here, Ho?, the 22-year-old primarily raps with the fervor of somebody who’s all the time needed to defend themselves. That’s most likely as a result of she was typically teased in highschool, although after we converse over the telephone, she clarifies, “I used to be by no means bullied. I simply didn’t need to be tried.” “Come Outdoors,” the album’s opener, finds the artist daring an enemy to threaten her (“Yeah, you was doin’ all that shit talkin’, bitch, what’s up? / Come exterior, ho,” she warns on the outro). That anger reaches a peak on “Mattress Time,” a searing single the place Flo Milli guarantees to battle anybody who has the audacity to tempt her. She calms down on the OG Parker-produced “Fairly Women,” a mellow, rock-tinged observe about deserving the finer issues in life.

 

“Tilted Halo” is the lone track on the 17-track album that reveals the rapper’s softer facet. (“You say I’m the one you pray for / However I ain’t no one’s angel / I ain’t good, I’m simply searchin’”). However the temporary second of introspection doesn’t dim Flo Milli’s unflagging skill to exalt herself. The cheeky rollout for her debut album proves it: Promo movies featured Flo Milli recreating memorable scenes from Black actuality tv reveals like Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, Basketball Wives, Taste of Love, I Love New York the place she performs Black girls with larger-than-life personas, identical to herself. To advertise her observe “Immodest,” Flo Milli re-enacts a Tiffany “New York” Pollard second from I Love New York: “Name me immodest, however I do know these bitches want to look extra like Ms. Flo Milli,” she proclaims within the skit. Flo Milli’s shit-talking angle and enjoyable persona would simply make her a fan favourite if forged on any actuality present.

Watching these reveals (she coyly admits throughout our interview that she’s a present fan of the Zeus Community), listening to feminine neo-soul artists, like Jill Scott and Erykah Badu—who sang about prioritizing their sexual and romantic needs, and rising up in a house with a mother and sister who persistently nurtured her taught Flo Milli to all the time worth herself. It’s one thing that she all the time needs to advertise for others, even when being in an trade that’s typically dangerous to dark-skinned Black girls like her. She is aware of that her opinion of herself is all that issues.

“I really feel like lots of people count on dark-skinned girls to mechanically be insecure due to the best way society accepts them or doesn’t settle for them,” the rapper says. “I really feel like individuals suppose each dark-skinned girl feels that means. All of us don’t really feel that means.”

ELLE.com talked to Flo Milli in regards to the significance of self-love, rising up within the golden age of actuality tv, and her debut album, You Nonetheless Right here, Ho?

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Flo Milli – PBC (Official Video)

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When do you know that you just have been, as your track states, “Fairly Black Cute”? The place does that confidence stem from?

It comes from the issues I handled as a child. It actually began in highschool as a result of I grew up very assured. I grew up in a home full of ladies. With me being the youngest, I, after all, had cousins and stuff and so they attempt to choose on you, so I needed to have robust pores and skin. After I obtained older, it was numerous women that didn’t like me in class. For what motive? I don’t know. I used to return as a foul bitch, and I used to be simply that woman. Loads of women didn’t like me for sure causes. You simply take care of cattiness quite a bit in class, so it form of got here from there—me being a straight A and B pupil, I used to be in honor society. I actually simply had my head on straight. I actually couldn’t let you know why women didn’t like me, however I had quite a bit to lose, so I’d simply put it within the music as an alternative of combating. That aggression and anger needed to go someplace.

What did it’s a must to lose?

To me, it was quite a bit to lose as a result of I used to be in honor society, I made a 3.8 GPA, so stuff like that may get you kicked out. I truly did get kicked out of honor society within the twelfth grade for entering into fights, however, I imply, it needed to occur. I needed to defend myself.

That’s fascinating as a result of your music undoubtedly feels like one thing you’d hear throughout a battle. It’s very menacing.

On the time, it was simply pointless points with women. I keep in mind going right into a stall and fixing my hair. There was this one woman. I nonetheless don’t know her identify to at the present time, and she or he would say little slick stuff about me. My goddad used to spoil me, and he used to purchase me 30 inches of bundles, like the very best hair, so I got here to high school trying very nice. I assume it was all of that put collectively, and I had a pleasant physique. It was only a lot. I used to be simply giving that woman, and so they didn’t like that.

I used to be simply giving that woman, and so they didn’t like that.

What’s the origin of the identify Flo Milli?

I was in a lady group after I was in center faculty up till highschool, and my identify was all the time Rose Milli. After we had damaged up, I began doing Instagram movies and I’d put them out. I keep in mind [Ethereal’s 2015 single] “Beef.” I did a freestyle to that and everybody was like, you must make this a track. At first, my identify was Clap for Mia, after which after that I assumed that if I’m going to make this a track, I would like a rap identify, so I truly got here up with Flo Milli fast as fuck. I all the time had Milli in my identify, and I got here up with Flo as a result of everybody would say my movement is so laborious.

You grew up in Cell, Alabama. What was your expertise like rising up within the metropolis and the way does it affect your music?

It was very difficult as a result of it’s not a lot there for a music scene and doing what I wished to do. I can solely keep in mind there being one studio that was like an precise skilled studio in my metropolis. The whole lot else was form of within the hood or in anyone’s home. I used to be all the time attempting to take my profession significantly even earlier than I used to be signed. I made certain to go to the very best studio. I used to be working three jobs on the time, and I used to be saving my verify to go to the studio every time I had the cash to.

The way in which I promoted myself was I’d make a video, like a 30-second video on Instagram, after which I’d go and file a track. Then I’d put it on the market and get an IG influencer to repost my video. I’d pay them like $50 out of my verify, and I’d take the remainder of my cash to go to the studio and put the track out after it obtained just a little publicity. That’s form of how I constructed my fanbase.

Your traces are very intelligent. Are you able to clarify your writing course of?

In class, I keep in mind being in historical past class and we didn’t actually have home windows in our college, so we had partitions stuffed with posters and only a bunch of inspirational issues, and I’d form of use what I had. I used to be all the time taught, “Use what God gave you.” I took that recommendation to the max, what my grandma instructed me. It will be occasions after I’d be within the classroom and I’d see numbers and phrases that might poke out to me. Typically, it’s the very best. Typically, it’s simply how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling a sure kind of means about one thing, I’ll make a track about it.

What was going via your thoughts when fascinated with your subsequent mission, which might be You Nonetheless Right here, Ho? Was there stress to duplicate the identical success you had with the debut mixtape?

No, as a result of my complete intention behind it was to do one thing totally different than Ho, Why Is You Right here? My followers don’t understand I take note of the suggestions, what’s being stated, what they need. After all, if I’m listening to, “Oh, she’s not versatile,” for me, it was like proving that [wrong] however not simply to them however to myself. I made it my mission to make it a unique mission as a result of I wished to form of take my followers on a rollercoaster and present them totally different sides of my persona. I really feel like with Ho, Why Is You Right here?, they solely obtained one facet, and that is simply one other facet.

The rollout is impressed by Black actuality tv. What made you need to do this?

My supervisor and I have been pondering and brainstorming issues that might amplify who I already was. We wished to remain true to who I used to be. We thought of what’s one thing about me that’s uncooked and actual that we will implement into this album. She observed that I appreciated actuality TV, and after I was doing TikToks, I’d remake actuality TV moments, so we took that concept from that. I picked all of the reveals I grew up watching. Most of these moments, I form of knew off the again of my head, so it was simple creating them.

Even the truth TV again within the day—like Taste of Love—that kind of actuality TV is golden. We’re by no means going to get that once more. It’s form of like music in a means. There’s sure music that got here out within the ‘90s that folks say we’ll by no means get once more. That’s how I really feel about that. The extra time goes by, issues change. Actuality TV isn’t the identical because it was earlier than. That’s why I form of honed in on older reveals.

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Flo Milli – No Face (Official Skit)

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Tiffany “New York” Pollard is featured on the album. What was that like after already making a parody of her iconic scenes?

It was a full-circle second for me. I can keep in mind nearly getting my ass beat by my dad as a result of I used to be watching Taste of Love at 5 and 6 years outdated. My dad had instructed my mother to cease letting me watch it, however after all she let me do it anyway. I keep in mind operating down the hallway to inform my mother that Taste of Love is about to return on, and when my dad would come again dwelling, he was like, “I assumed I simply stated cease letting her watch that.” I used to be telling Tiffany that “I had obtained whoopings for watching you.”

It was actually dope getting her on every thing although. She was so supportive and really concerned. It was nice working along with her.

“Tilted Halo” is one other spotlight on the album due to how weak you might be all through it. Are you able to inform me in regards to the inventive course of in writing and recording that track?

I used to be actually emotional that day. I wished to point out a weak facet as a result of I believe relatability is highly effective. Folks don’t need to really feel like they’re supporting a robotic. I believe individuals actually gravitated towards me as a result of they discovered my music relatable, and I wished to maintain that going. That was one thing that folks may form of relate to and resonate with. I’m not scared to faucet into that despite the fact that persons are so used to me being hostile or vulgar. I simply wished to point out that it’s not all the time one-sided with me.

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What do you do if you’re not feeling as assured?

I even have a wall of postcards of affirmations. It’s the identical factor I’ve been doing as a child. Simply talking issues into existence. Phrases are spells and that’s why it is referred to as spelling since you converse issues over your life. To select myself again up, I’d simply converse issues I’d wanna really feel—I’m lovely, I’m completely happy, I’m joyful. After all, I can’t depart God out as a result of I’m a really God-fearing individual, and I pray earlier than something, however after that, I’d say I do affirmations, I meditate, and attempt to get my power again into an excellent place.

How do you suppose you slot in or stand out in in the present day’s panorama of feminine rappers and the way does it really feel to be included in a renaissance of feminine rappers?

I really feel like I stand out as a result of my voice could be very distinct and noticeable. I believe I’m very distinctive in my fashion in simply the best way that I costume and all that kind of stuff. I really feel like each feminine MC is bringing one thing totally different to the sport proper now, so I really feel like what I’m bringing is after all assured power, proudly owning who you might be, being unapologetically you and having enjoyable whereas doing that.

It feels very liberating to be part of one thing like this. It’s enjoyable. I noticed it coming. I’ve all the time wished to do that since I used to be a child. I noticed the entire transition. I used to be very concerned when it got here to realizing who’s subsequent and on the scene, so it’s so nice to know that I’m part of it. I keep in mind simply pondering how we’re dominating on the identical time, and it’s an excellent factor as a result of I believe it’s making different girls who might have thought that they couldn’t do or not it’s extra assured.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.



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