Lil’Mama Smooches Her Way to the Top of the Chart with “Lip Gloss”
Brooklyn, NY (rushprnews) May 20,2007 – While rapper’s who sport the prefix Lil’ might be a dozen, there is nothing common about 17-year-old Lil’ Mama. The teenaged rap phenomenon’s first commercial hit “Lip Gloss” is fastly becoming a celebratory anthem for girls of all ages. But unlike kiddie rappers who rely heavily on short-sited gimmicks, Lil’ Mama is a multi-faceted artist who boasts the ability to sing, rap and write her own material. Her Jive Records debut, Voice of The Young People explores the mindset of a young woman who is truly wise beyond her years.
Growing up between Brooklyn’s rough East New York section and Harlem, Lil’ Mama was forced to overcome both personal and financial struggles at an early age. As one of eight brothers and sisters, the rapper born Niatia Kirkland started to express herself artistically as a little girl through poetry and dance. When she was just 10-years-old, Lil’ Mama decided to try and put a rhythm behind her poems.
“Between the ages of 10 and 12 I started finding myself with rap,” remembers Mama. “That’s when I was writing and my father got me into the studio and I recorded some of my first songs. They were more like freestyles. I would take someone else’s beat and write a rhyme to it using my own hook.”
By the time Lil’ Mama started attending Brooklyn’s Edward R. Murrow high school she was creating all original material. “I started recording my own songs over original beats, coming up with ideas and letting my imagination really come through my music,” she says. “My father really helped me develop as an artist. He basically built me around knowing how to express myself.
There’s different lanes I take you through with my music. People might think, ‘Am I normal for thinking that way?’ I’m just letting you know I think that way too.” While Lil’ Mama’s musical career was starting to fall into place, her personal life took a turn for the worse. In 2003 she learned her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer.
As she had always done in the past, Mama came to terms with her emotions through her music. In 2006, Mama teamed up with Ali Samii (former DMX’s manager) of Xtra Mile Production and headed out to Atlanta where she got the chance to record with Nappy Roots’ producer James “Groove” Chambers.
Together they recorded seven songs, including “Lip Gloss,” which would quickly find its way onto New York’s home for hip-hop and R&B, Hot 97.
“I was going to a Hot 97 free concert and I went to meet up with DJ Enuff to get tickets and I told him I wanted him to play some of my joints on the radio,” says Lil’ Mama. “He gave me this long speech about how he can’t really play music from unknown artist’s so I was like, ‘You have to hear my record!’ So we got in the car and I put it on and he’s like, ‘Oh this beat is crazy!’ He played it on the air the next day.”
DJ Enuff wasn’t the only industry heavyweight to take notice of Lil’ Mama’s wide ranging appeal. Dave Lighty, the Senior A&R at Jive Records was also floored by the 17-year-old’s instant smash and immediately set out to track her down. “One story I heard was my manager’s friend is friends with somebody who is friends with Dave Lighty,” explains Mama. “I guess that’s how he found me.”
On January 10, 2007 Barry Weiss (President of Jive) officially signed the 5’2″ rapper to Jive Records. Now with her major label deal to her credit, Lil’ Mama has been in and out of various recording studios in New York, Atlanta and Miami and has worked with famed producers like Swizz Beatz and Scott Storch. Her debut album, Voice of The Young People features a wide range of musical and topical issues. Somber songs like “Life” explore a foster child’s journey and the hardships of a pregnant teenager.
“Everybody’s talking about the same things on the radio-murder, sex and drugs,” says Mama. “They have people behind them telling them it’s cool and I disagree. There are so many more people struggling and going through so much and to hear somebody brag about the jewelry and stuff like that, it’s overrated.”
With 17 hard years behind her, Lil’ Mama is determined to fill her future with greatness. “People should know that I’m coming from the bottom and I’m going go to the top,” she states with utter confidence. “I see myself as an artist who was built on influences. I feel like I have a little bit of everything in me ’cause I take heed to my environment. So I’m offering you everything that I’ve learned in my life and what I’ve become.”
And just like that, a new star is born.
RUSH PR NEWS newswire and press release services at www.rushprnews.com
Anne Howard www.annehowardpublicist.com writer and publicist