According to Lil Mama, Hip-Hop isn’t what it used to be. Prepping the release of her new mixtape Take Me Back, the 26-year-old promises music reminiscent of days old; tracks that take over your body with speaker-knocking beats.

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Since lead single “Sausage” went viral, Lil’ Mama (real name Niatia Jessica Kirkland) keeps the uptempo, feel good momentum going, snagging DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” beat for her follow up track, “Too Fly.”


After competently paying homage to Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez in Vh1’s made-for-TV movie, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story (2013), the “Lip Gloss” rapper, who’s one of eight siblings, continues to tap into her natural talent of creating dope tracks.We caught up with the rapper for a candid interview where she discusses how she handles haters, what you can expect from her new mixtape and more.

The Source: Tell us about your new project, Take Me Back.

“‘Sausage’ is the lead single off the project, set to release on Thanksgiving Day. It’s self-explanatory to me, as far as taking us back to that place of music—I guess you can call it the 90s and music that speaks to me—playing with sounds and letting my fans get a chance to hear what I been up to and what I been working on and how I create music.

“I feel like over the past few years music has gone to a really dark space when it comes to Hip-Hop. As for pop and crossover music, I’ve been hearing some really good music. But as far as Hip-Hop, it’s been really dying out to a place that just sounds slow and dark. I want us to get back to that place of excitement and energy in Hip-Hop music.”

What can fans expect from your “Too Fly” video?

“They can expect dance, of course. I’m still in the process of creating, I need to look at the video myself to get into it, but I know for sure we were dancing and performing. Fans can definitely expect entertainment in every aspect as far as singing, dancing and rapping.”


What separates you from other artists?

“That’s a good question because I feel like we’re all so unique. There’s no one else out there like me and I don’t feel I’m like anyone else, although I’ve been inspired by the greats that came before me and paved the way. I’m a hard worker when it comes to getting in the studio, whether I’m writing, singing or rapping. It’s all a process for me. I’m so focused.

“Growing up in the industry and coming from when I first started to now, I took for granted my natural talent because I didn’t work as hard as I could have at it. I feel like now I’m really growing as an artist and becoming all that I could be and it’s great, it’s a good feeling. I don’t know what anybody else is doing but I know that much about me.”

See Also: Lil Mama Joins TLC to Perform on Dancing with the Stars

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

“I don’t know what the biggest misconception is of me and I really don’t care because a concept is art, and I’m art, so it’s to be taken as you take it. Whatever your concept of who Lil Mama is to you, then that’s who Lil Mama is to you. My concept is my concept, and your outlook is your outlook. I’m not here to change a person’s view; everyone looks at art differently. We can look at the same painting and see two different things.”

How do you handle haters?

“Hate is nothing new. Growing up in New York City I’ve encountered all types of expressions of jealousy and hate, but it’s all in how you deal with it. Haters are going to hate! Haters are going to hate and there’s nothing you can do.

“Most people that hate, I feel, are envious of something they see in you that they don’t have but they want, or they see you doing something they know they can’t do. It’s many different reasons because not everybody who hates on you, hates you. Some people just want better for you and some people don’t want to see you make it, so trying to decipher between that, you’ve been done missed your mark. You got to do what you got to do. I been so focused on me that by the time I turn around, it’s like, ‘who? what? when? where?’ I don’t have time for that.

“If you focus on the haters, your time will be taken up by it. So much time spent trying to make people like you, trying to get people to understand you, that you’re missing what you’re supposed to be doing and that’s being you.”


When was the last time you cried and why?

“I was really teary-eyed in the nail salon. I think I heard Celine Dion singing ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and I was thinking about my mom because that’s her favorite movie. I just started tearing up like wow, I really, really, really miss her. I really miss her. But you think about the good times and who a person represents and my mother was a funny person! She was so beautiful. She didn’t hold any punches; y’all definitely would have heard her mouth. And it wouldn’t have been no Chatty Patty or no on-going dispute, she would have shut sh*t down immediately, she didn’t play! I just miss that. I love that woman. I often find myself emotional about her. I find myself emotional a lot as a woman, and as an emotional woman, I feel like I go in and out of phases.

What can we expect from you next year?

“Look out for an album or new EP. It’s still in development as to what I’m going to do after I put out the mixtape, but I’m definitely releasing more music. I’m going to work with other artists who I feel are very talented. Definitely more film and TV as well for 2016.”

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