Lil Mo Sends Words of Encouragement to Missy Elliott
On the eve of the release of her upcoming album, "P.S. I Love Me," R&B songstress Lil Mo chatted with XXL about her latest projects, being inspired by Lil Wayne's business savvy, her relationship with longtime mentor Missy Elliott and her love for Justin Bieber, among other things.
"My first album was released in 2001. It's my ten year anniversary this year, so, I'm doing it big," the Queens, New York, raised artist tells XXL. "I first came out as the hook girl and turned into the hip-hop R&B hood girl with the gospel voice,. But, I'm taking a different approach now. I want to do everything that has to do with me... I'm a role model, I'm iconic, and, like my nickname 'godmother,' I've taken on the role of being everyone's mom."
A mother of three herself to eight-year-old and six-year-old girls and a two-year-old boy, Mo says "P.S. I Love Me" is "all about love and feeling good. It's a studio album with a live feel. It's like Jodeci mixed with Mary J. Blige mixed with Faith Evans mixed with SWV... it's a plethora of everything I came up on."
Promotional single, "On The Floor," featuring hypeman and radio personality Fat Man Scoop, is a party track and is now available on iTunes. The lead single is titled "TMS (Taylor-Made Suits)" and features vocals by Dirty Money's Dawnn. Other tracks include the aptly-titled "Perfect Man," about finding a partner who appreciates his lover.
Aside from "P.S. I Love Me," which is tentatively slated for a late August date through her own label Honey Child Entertainment and Bronx Bridge Entertainment with distribution through Fontana/Universal, Lil Mo, who has been out of the limelight since her 2007 Koch release "Pain & Paper," recently released the free mixtape titled "P.S. I Love You," on her thelilmoshow.com website. The tape features a track dear to her heart titled "Big Sister," which Mo says is in dedication to rapper/producer Missy.
Recalling the day she got a beep from Missy while shopping at her hometown Green Acres mall, Mo credits Missy with helping launch and steering her career. That's why "Big Sister" was an important song for her to include in the project, she adds. "She just helped me so much in my career. Ten years ago, had it not been for that phone call... she chose me," says Lil Mo. "I have no choice but to show her respect. I owe her a thank-you."
Lil Mo also offered Missy, who recently revealed having Graves disease, words of encouragement. "I don't want her to panic. My mother had Graves disease, and, from experience, I know she can be healed," she says "I don't want her to feel alone in this. I have her in my prayers."
As part of her marketing plan to roll out "P.S. I Love Me" and inspired by Lil Wayne's approach a couple of years ago ("He flooded the streets with so much music," she says), Lil Mo will release one track a week as part of a scheme she calls "Music MO-ndays," which kicked off July 4th and leads up to the album's release. Included will be tracks off "P.S. I Love You," like her take on Drake's "Marvin's Room," titled "Mo's Room," and a remix to Kelly Rowland's "Motivation."
Weezy isn't the only newer artists that Mo admires. In fact, she admits that one of the artists she keeps in rotation is none-other-than Justin Bieber (**CHECK OUT XXL'S JULY/AUGUST 2011 ISSUE FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH THE BIEBZ ABOUT HIS LOVE FOR URBAN MUSIC**).
"I don't think people realize the anointing in his voice. I actually rehears to him before my shows these days," she gushes, adding that she's also a fan of Jason Derulo. "I love his placements. He's no. 1 on my list right now."
Additionally, Lil Mo has a perfume line in the works and hopes to continue growing her website by blogging about current events that she feels passionate about, like the Casey Anthony trial and Bishop Eddie Long.