Flo Milli Knows She’s That Girl

Finding a Flo Milli song where the rapper isn’t expressing her unyielding confidence is a rarity. Her taunting, witty rhymes about effortlessly taking anyone’s man while ensuring she doesn’t even need one are more inspiring than they’re insulting. It’s a craft that the Mobile, Alabama native aced on her glorious debut mixtape Ho, Why Is You Here? Her follow-up, You Still Here, Ho?, released July 20, furthers that narrative arc while exploring different tones and exposing her vulnerability. Flo Milli knows that she’s still that girl. And, with the assistance of affirmations, she’s at all times known that she could be since deciding to rap on the age of 10.

Following the success of her viral hit “Beef FloMix” in 2019, the rapper, born Tamia Carter, was signed to RCA later that 12 months. Ho, Why Is You Here?, released in 2020, garnered similar fanfare. Although Flo Milli is shocked by the eye she’s received so far, she really isn’t. “As a child, I’ve at all times spoken things into existence, so I at all times knew it could occur, but to really see it occur was crazy.”

Throughout You Still Here, Ho?, the 22-year-old mainly raps with the fervor of somebody who’s at all times needed to defend themselves. That’s probably because she was often teased in highschool, though once we speak over the phone, she clarifies, “I used to be never bullied. I just didn’t need to be tried.” “Come Outside,” the album’s opener, finds the artist daring an enemy to threaten her (“Yeah, you was doin’ all that shit talkin’, bitch, what’s up? / Come outside, ho,” she warns on the outro). That anger reaches a peak on “Bed Time,” a searing single where Flo Milli guarantees to fight anyone who has the audacity to tempt her. She calms down on the OG Parker-produced “Pretty Girls,” a mellow, rock-tinged track about deserving the finer things in life.


“Tilted Halo” is the lone song on the 17-track album that reveals the rapper’s softer side. (“You say I’m the one you pray for / But I ain’t no one’s angel / I ain’t perfect, I’m just searchin’”). However the temporary moment of introspection doesn’t dim Flo Milli’s unflagging ability to exalt herself. The cheeky rollout for her debut album proves it: Promo videos featured Flo Milli recreating memorable scenes from Black reality television shows like Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, Basketball Wives, Flavor of Love, I Love Latest York where she plays Black women with larger-than-life personas, identical to herself. To advertise her track “Conceited,” Flo Milli re-enacts a Tiffany “Latest York” Pollard moment from I Love Latest York: “Call me conceited, but I do know these bitches would really like to look more like Ms. Flo Milli,” she proclaims within the skit. Flo Milli’s shit-talking attitude and fun personality would easily make her a fan favorite if forged on any reality show.

Watching those shows (she coyly admits during our interview that she’s a current fan of the Zeus Network), listening to female neo-soul artists, like Jill Scott and Erykah Badu—who sang about prioritizing their sexual and romantic desires, and growing up in a house with a mom and sister who consistently nurtured her taught Flo Milli to at all times value herself. It’s something that she at all times wants to advertise for others, even when being in an industry that is commonly harmful to dark-skinned Black women like her. She knows that her opinion of herself is all that matters.

“I feel like a variety of people expect dark-skinned women to routinely be insecure due to the way in which society accepts them or doesn’t accept them,” the rapper says. “I feel like people think every dark-skinned woman feels that way. All of us don’t feel that way.”

ELLE.com talked to Flo Milli in regards to the importance of self-love, growing up within the golden age of reality television, and her debut album, You Still Here, Ho?

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Flo Milli – PBC (Official Video)

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When did you realize that you just were, as your song states, “Pretty Black Cute”? Where does that confidence stem from?

It comes from the things I handled as a child. It really began in highschool because I grew up very confident. I grew up in a house filled with women. With me being the youngest, I, after all, had cousins and stuff and so they try to choose on you, so I needed to have tough skin. Once I got older, it was a variety of girls that didn’t like me at school. For what reason? I don’t know. I used to come back as a nasty bitch, and I used to be just that girl. Lots of girls didn’t like me for certain reasons. You simply take care of cattiness rather a lot at school, so it sort of got here from there—me being a straight A and B student, I used to be in honor society. I actually just had my head on straight. I actually couldn’t inform you why girls didn’t like me, but I had rather a lot to lose, so I’d just put it within the music as a substitute of fighting. That aggression and anger needed to go somewhere.

What did you have got to lose?

To me, it was rather a lot to lose because I used to be in honor society, I made a 3.8 GPA, so stuff like that may get you kicked out. I actually did get kicked out of honor society within the twelfth grade for moving into fights, but, I mean, it needed to occur. I needed to defend myself.

That’s interesting because your music definitely appears like something you’d hear during a fight. It’s very menacing.

On the time, it was just unnecessary issues with girls. I remember going right into a stall and fixing my hair. There was this one girl. I still don’t know her name to today, and he or she would say little slick stuff about me. My goddad used to spoil me, and he used to purchase me 30 inches of bundles, like the very best hair, so I got here to highschool looking very nice. I assume it was all of that put together, and I had a pleasant body. It was just rather a lot. I used to be just giving that girl, and so they didn’t like that.

What’s the origin of the name Flo Milli?

I was in a lady group once I was in middle school up until highschool, and my name was at all times Rose Milli. After we had broken up, I began doing Instagram videos and I’d put them out. I remember [Ethereal’s 2015 single] “Beef.” I did a freestyle to that and everybody was like, you need to make this a song. At first, my name was Clap for Mia, after which after that I believed that if I’m going to make this a song, I would like a rap name, so I actually got here up with Flo Milli quick as fuck. I at all times had Milli in my name, and I got here up with Flo because everyone would say my flow is so hard.

You grew up in Mobile, Alabama. What was your experience like growing up in town and the way does it influence your music?

It was very difficult since it’s not much there for a music scene and doing what I desired to do. I can only remember there being one studio that was like an actual skilled studio in my city. All the things else was sort of within the hood or in anyone’s house. I used to be at all times attempting to take my profession seriously even before I used to be signed. I made sure to go to the very best studio. I used to be working three jobs on the time, and I used to be saving my check to go to the studio each time I had the cash to.

The way in which I promoted myself was I’d make a video, like a 30-second video on Instagram, after which I’d go and record a song. Then I’d put it up for sale and get an IG influencer to repost my video. I’d pay them like $50 out of my check, and I’d take the remainder of my money to go to the studio and put the song out after it got just a little exposure. That’s sort of how I built my fanbase.

Your lines are very clever. Are you able to explain your writing process?

At school, I remember being in history class and we didn’t really have windows in our faculty, so we had partitions filled with posters and only a bunch of inspirational things, and I’d sort of use what I had. I used to be at all times taught, “Use what God gave you.” I took that advice to the max, what my grandma told me. It might be times once I’d be within the classroom and I’d see numbers and words that will poke out to me. Sometimes, it’s the very best. Sometimes, it’s just how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling a certain style of way about something, I’ll make a song about it.

What was going through your mind when desirous about your next project, which could be You Still Here, Ho? Was there pressure to copy the identical success you had with the debut mixtape?

No, because my whole intention behind it was to do something different than Ho, Why Is You Here? My fans don’t realize I concentrate to the feedback, what’s being said, what they need. After all, if I’m hearing, “Oh, she’s not versatile,” for me, it was like proving that [wrong] but not simply to them but to myself. I made it my mission to make it a special project because I desired to sort of take my fans on a rollercoaster and show them different sides of my personality. I feel like with Ho, Why Is You Here?, they only got one side, and that is just one other side.

The rollout is inspired by Black reality television. What made you ought to try this?

My manager and I were considering and brainstorming things that will amplify who I already was. We desired to stay true to who I used to be. We considered what’s something about me that’s raw and real that we are able to implement into this album. She noticed that I liked reality TV, and once I was doing TikToks, I’d remake reality TV moments, so we took that concept from that. I picked all of the shows I grew up watching. Most of those moments, I sort of knew off the back of my head, so it was easy creating them.

Even the truth TV back within the day—like Flavor of Love—that style of reality TV is golden. We’re never going to get that again. It’s sort of like music in a way. There’s certain music that got here out within the ‘90s that individuals say we’ll never get again. That’s how I feel about that. The more time goes by, things change. Reality TV isn’t similar to it was before. That’s why I sort of honed in on older shows.

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Flo Milli – No Face (Official Skit)

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Tiffany “Latest York” Pollard is featured on the album. What was that like after already making a parody of her iconic scenes?

It was a full-circle moment for me. I can remember almost getting my ass beat by my dad because I used to be watching Flavor of Love at five and 6 years old. My dad had told my mom to stop letting me watch it, but after all she let me do it anyway. I remember running down the hallway to inform my mom that Flavor of Love is about to come back on, and when my dad would come back home, he was like, “I believed I just said stop letting her watch that.” I used to be telling Tiffany that “I had got whoopings for watching you.”

It was really dope getting her on every part though. She was so supportive and really involved. It was great working together with her.

“Tilted Halo” is one other highlight on the album due to how vulnerable you’re throughout it. Are you able to tell me in regards to the creative process in writing and recording that song?

I used to be really emotional that day. I wanted to indicate a vulnerable side because I believe relatability is powerful. People don’t need to feel like they’re supporting a robot. I believe people really gravitated toward me because they found my music relatable, and I desired to keep that going. That was something that individuals could sort of relate to and resonate with. I’m not scared to tap into that despite the fact that individuals are so used to me being hostile or vulgar. I just wanted to indicate that it’s not at all times one-sided with me.

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What do you do while you’re not feeling as confident?

I even have a wall of postcards of affirmations. It’s the identical thing I’ve been doing as a child. Just speaking things into existence. Words are spells and that’s why it’s called spelling since you speak things over your life. To choose myself back up, I’d just speak things I’d wanna feel—I’m beautiful, I’m completely happy, I’m joyful. After all, I can’t leave God out because I’m a really God-fearing person, and I pray before anything, but after that, I’d say I do affirmations, I meditate, and check out to get my energy back into an excellent place.

How do you think that you slot in or stand out in today’s landscape of female rappers and the way does it feel to be included in a renaissance of female rappers?

I feel like I stand out because my voice may be very distinct and noticeable. I believe I’m very unique in my style in only the way in which that I dress and all that style of stuff. I feel like every female MC is bringing something different to the sport without delay, so I feel like what I’m bringing is after all confident energy, owning who you’re, being unapologetically you and having fun while doing that.

It feels very liberating to be an element of something like this. It’s fun. I saw it coming. I’ve at all times wanted to do that since I used to be a child. I saw the entire transition. I used to be very involved when it got here to knowing who’s next and on the scene, so it’s so great to know that I’m an element of it. I remember just considering how we’re dominating at the identical time, and it’s an excellent thing because I believe it’s making other women who could have thought that they couldn’t do it’s more confident.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

DeAsia Paige is freelance music and culture author whose work has been featured in Pitchfork, NPR Music, Teen Vogue, and more. Her writing primarily focuses on the intersection of race, culture and music. She’s a firm believer that there’s a Real Housewives of Atlanta moment for every part. DeAsia is predicated in St. Louis, MO.

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