Lola Monroe stays working. Today, the 26-year-old firecracker dropped her fifth mixtape Lipstick And Pistols. The tape gathers her closest friends Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Cassie and more for a tight 16 tracks that aims to prove once again she isn’t a slouch when it comes to rhyming. As she went live with Lipstick And Pistols on the Internet a few hours ago, XXL spoke with Monroe about Juicy J’s contributions, Boosie’s pending release from prison, and why she felt Taylor Gang wasn’t the perfect fit for her. –Eric Diep
You had a crazy year with the birth of your baby. Did it stop you from working on this mixtape?
I actually finished the mixtape before I even got on tour. What held it up was contracts and business. It was done. I was on tour six months pregnant, so believe me nothing is stopping my work. So, it was already done. What was holding me back was the deals with contracts. I didn’t feel like there was no need to pause and stop. Except, maybe like two months–the month I had the baby and the following month trying to get myself together. Other than that, there was no need to. I feel like as a women, we’re very strong. We are able to do anything we put our mind to. You just have to keep it going.
How has it been balancing being a mom and a musician? Is it difficult for you?
I wouldn’t say difficult. Its all about figuring out the balance. Once you figure that out, everything will go smooth. But now, I also have another priority. Thank God I have a great support around me. Los is the most amazing father. He’s really, really supporative. He’s right there. He’s hands on. It makes things a little easier. When you do have that, you need to balance it out with someone else. It’s going smooth.
Juicy J is featured on two tracks here. What did you learn from him while you guys were in the studio?
He would always tell me, “Be you and go into your D.C. back.” He was listening to my stuff before we even met. He listened back and he was aware of it. He was like, “Stick with that. Don’t change.” When I would get in the studio and work with him, I would be able to tap into things that makes me really comfortable.
You have Azealia Banks on a track called “Dark Red Lipstick (Remix)”. Why did you want to collaborate with her?
She killed her verse. I think Azealia is dope. I love her flow. I love what she brings. She does a lot of stuff with house music. I love house. I think she’s a dope artist. She heard the song “Dark Red Lipstick” and she hit me up and was like, “I love ‘Dark Red Lipstick!’” I was like, “Well, bitch, get on it!” That would be great. I know she would kill it. She send me her verse and it was so hard.
Where do you see yourself among other female MCs?
My whole thing is I don’t compare myself to them. I feel like my story, my look, my background. The fact that I came from a different part of the industry and I made a transition that no one else has speaks for itself. So, I have no limitations. I kind of don’t compare myself to who might be beside me or around me. I feel like my story hasn’t been told where I come from. Any of it. I am just in my own lane.
What’s your story right now?
Coming from a struggle. Being able to make it out. I had to grow in front of the world. I started rapping and putting out music in front of the world. So, I wasn’t like these other artists where I was able to make my shit. Be a little seasoned. Figure it out. Underground. No one knows me. I kept on doing it, even when I kept getting shot down and told “What, she’s rapping?” I kept on going. I think I’m that person people can see in and say, “Yo, she did it.” You can do anything you put your mind to it. They like to judge a book by its cover. And they just saw this pretty girl, taking these sexy pictures. There’s no one in the industry that’s told that side of D.C., especially from a female rapper. And I don’t make myself bigger than my fans. I’m just like everyone else. My path is just a little different as far as where I am going. But as far as where I came from, I feel like we come from similar backgrounds. I don’t make myself bigger or untouchable or unattainable.
Your verse on Wiz Khalifa’s “Initiation” got you a lot of looks. Do you think that verse helped you in any way?
It got out to more people. Of course [it helped me] because of his fanbase and it was an album that was given to the world. I definitely believe it reached a lot of people. Another verse that really hit people was my “Stay Schemin’” freestyle. That sticks with a lot of people. If I go on Twitter, that’s the verse that they quote the most out of every remix that I ever done.
There was a lot of back and forth with your Taylor Gang situation. You said, “You can’t get dropped unless you’re signed.” What really happened?
You can’t get dropped if you’re not signed. There’s no contract. How do you get dropped? It was an affiliation. I mean, it got to the point of the contract. But the contract really didn’t make sense. Our business teams couldn’t see eye to eye on things. I’ve never been the type to jump on anything if it doesn’t make sense business-wise. Cause at the end of the day, we’re really here because its a business. Wiz is cool. As a person, as an individual, Wiz is a great guy. He’s a really good guy. But, business-wise, it didn’t really make sense. So, I just didn’t sign.
You are one of the rare people who made a mixtape with Boosie. How big will it be once he gets out?
Did you know we made that before he got locked up? We were in the studio for three days straight and we made 16 songs in three days. No sleep. Worked. And he got locked up a few days later.
It’s going to be really huge [when he gets out.] People gravitate to that anyway. You get locked up and all that happens to you. They feel to that and they connect to that, especially in hip-hop and the listeners. When he comes out, its going to be pandaemonium. He’s gonna have to book a tour throughout the whole year. I’m pretty sure they can’t wait for him to make the music that’s expresses that and talks about it. There’s so many street niggas that relate to that. There’s nobody that has that voice for them right now in hip-hop, especially being that it just happened. I rock with Boosie.