It’s no secret the life span of a hip-hop video model is a short one. It’s best that any ladies pursuing that path have something to fall back on. As is the case with Angel Lola Luv n.k.a Lola Monroe. Clearly, the 23-year-old stunner has the assets to cushion any fall from grace, but before the hands of time could give her an unceremonious boot from the modeling game, the Chocolate City cutie bowed out gracefully to pursue a career in rap.
Now, four mixtapes in, the retired video vixen with the unreal 34C-20-40 dimensions has officially switch sides. Nah, not like that. Though she did play a rather convincing lady lover in 50 Cent’s directorial debut, Before I Self Destruct. Lola is no longer the lovely accessory in your favorite rappers’ video; instead she’s the main attraction, the rap goddess spitting her own rhymes and recruiting other dimes to pose as video ornaments. Before hitting the studio to begin work on her still-untitled debut, Lola weighs in on the state of the video vixen game, domestic violence, the mis-education of Montana Fishburne, and her non-beef with Nicki Minaj.
You’re officially a retired video vixen/model, with a name change and all. What inspired the transition to grab the mic?
Lola Monroe: Well, music is always something that’s been a part of me ever since I was a child. When I was younger, about 12 years old, I used to write poems and when I got about age 14/15, I used to go through different family issues and young love and I would use music as my getaway. So I would rewrite R&B songs and just basically use it as a way to release different emotions. So when I got into the industry I knew that I would eventually get out of the videos and being featured in publications as a video model, and get into what my heart was in, which was music so it was about that time for me to make that transition.
Was it hard to make that transition?
When I made that transition I was at my peak. I was getting hella requests for different videos from different artists and directors, and I was getting a lot of offers with grants of money and I rejected all that ‘cause I had to make a choice. And I made that transition and I started putting out different mixtapes and I’m currently about to put out my fourth mixtape—my last mixtape was with [Lil] Boosie and it was called Untouchables and we recorded that about a week before he got locked up and we went in the studio for three days and we just knocked out the whole mixtape. So you know, it’s going pretty good right now.
Because of your modeling career and the lyrics of some female rappers, do people expect your lyrics to be more sexually based?
I think initially it was like that. I think that’s what they expected. Again, they were so used to seeing just sexy images—that’s all they knew of Angel Lola Luv. But they didn’t know where I came from, they didn’t know my background. They didn’t know that I came from the bottom. They didn’t know I had to overcome so many trials and tribulations in my life. So they expected me to only rap about having sexual content. So when I started putting out music, you know, they started listening. They knew it was more to me.
You mentioned working with Lil Boosie, you’ve also spent some time in the studio with prominent females in the game like, Trina, Diamond, and Rasheeda. How have those artists embraced you?
Well, I’ve definitely [felt] a good vibe… I’ve definitely gotten a lot of women embracing the whole movement, my movement, I have a “Boss Bitch” movement. My movement empowers women so I kinda get that back and I get good feedback from that and I get a good reaction being as it’s empowering women and I have a positive thing that comes out from my movement a lot of the female artists they back me with it and they definitely wit’ it.
So you haven’t experienced much of the catty competition that occurs between some female rappers?
I definitely believe that it’s there ‘cause women are women regardless and it’s a lot of competition and there can be a lot of competition especially in female rap because there aren’t a lot of us. But I’m actually… I keep to myself a lot and I do these features and the artists that I do work with I haven’t got that from, but I’m pretty sure it’s there with other artists in the game… You know, it’s competitive, the rap game is competitive, that’s what it’s about, so I’m sure it’s there but I don’t get that too much and if I do, you know, you really wouldn’t know about it… I really be into my work so much and I’m not really into the gossip and you know that part of the game so if it goes on I don’t really pay it too much mind.
Back in January when you announced that you were retiring and really fully focusing on your rap career, there was a bit of controversy over some things you said about Nicki Minaj. What are your thoughts on Nicki and your relationship with her, if you have one?
I think it was really blown outta proportion; it’s definitely not a beef. Beef, it’s too much of a serious word. She’s doing her thing, I’m doing my thing, it was definitely blown out of proportion. They asked me a question during an interview and, you know, I responded and media being media they just blew it into some like huge beef and it really wasn’t that. And I think I did another interview and they took my words and it wasn’t even what I said and that was just something else, too, but you know, I’m about my business, that’s what I’m focused on. Any beef… it’s not even beef and that’s about it.
So to set the record straight there’s no tension with you and Nicki? You’re just focused on what you’re doing and she’s doing what she’s doing?
Right. There’s definitely not no beef, it ain’t nothin’ like that.
Do you listen to her music?
No, I actually don’t. I don’t listen to her stuff. I think, you know, she’s a dope artist, but her music isn’t really like kind of my forte. I don’t listen to that type of music… My preference in music is a bit deeper. Like, I like a lot of substance and emotion, and I think that’s what makes us different artists also. Like, she has her own style; I have my own style… I still think she’s a dope artist, but she’s a different type of artist.
You’ve always been an advocate of models carrying themselves in a certain way so that their behavior doesn’t reflect badly on all models as a whole. When you look at someone like a Kat Stacks—granted she’s not a video model—but when you see people attacking her and her making videos talking about her exploits with rappers, what do you think about that?
I mean, I really don’t even want to speak too much on that, but what I can say in general I feel like no woman should be hit. No woman should be attacked, no man should place their hands on a woman, period. On another note, I feel like as women when we are put in the limelight or put in a certain position it’s our responsibility to take upon that leadership and set a good example because when you’re in the industry and you’re out there you have so many young women looking at you. And you have so many girls that look at that and they might want to be in that limelight so they feel like what you’re doing is what they need to do in order to get famous or in order for success. A lot of young girls that are not in the game take being in the limelight as success by itself when it really isn’t. It’s what you do with yourself that determines your success… There is a lot of young girls that are misguided and they don’t know any better, it’s our responsibility to put out a good example. At the end of the day, for a lot of these women that are in the game I am kind of disappointed. Even aside from models, there are people in the game that aren’t models that don’t put out a good representation, show good leadership. It’s kind of disappointing, but I feel like it’s very much necessary. That’s another reason I do what I do with my music. It’s not just about me. I put out a movement along with my music, so that I can show better leadership for the other girls.
What your saying right now kind of applies to Laurence Fishburne’s daughter, Montana, who has a porno movie out right now and she justified doing it by saying she wanted to be famous like Kim Kardashian. That’s kinda mindboggling when you hear that.
It is. It kind of doesn’t make sense to me because you got to kind of understand, I’m not saying what Kim Kardashian did was okay but there is a difference between having an intimate sex tape out and actually getting into porn. It’s totally different and when you compare it as Black women we’re received very, very different [treatment] from Caucasian women. So it’s a difference, but even with that being her explanation it really doesn’t make any sense. That’s just a misguided young girl. Terribly misguided.
I saw on your Twitter page that you’re a big fan of the Eminem and Rihanna “Love The Way You Lie” video.
Oh, yes. When I first saw it, it gave me chills. First of all he had my girl in there. I love Megan Fox. It was dope to see that. Rihanna looked beautiful. Just the concept of the video, it really, really gave me chills because it’s so real. Like it’s so real.
So have you ever been in a toxic relationship like that?
No I haven’t, but I’ve been around it.
Are you in a relationship now?
[Laughs] I don’t speak on my personal situations, but I do have someone in my life. I do, but I don’t get into my relationship and stuff.
Lastly, as a retired veteran of the video vixen game, do you like the new talent out there? Any ladies you particularly like?
Yeah, Rosa Acosta is doing her thing. There’s a girl Cat, she was featured in XXL as well, she’s with Style Elite, she’s doing her thing. And um, I like Keyshia Dior. I like that they still have class to what they do.
That’s good. We have similar taste. I like everyone that you mentioned as well.
[Laughs] That’s a good thing. —Rondell Conway