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gal-dem

AN ONLINE AND PRINT PUBLICATION COMMITTED TO SHARING PERSPECTIVES FROM WOMEN AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE OF COLOUR

Parties. A faint whisper from bygone years. A mirage dancing fancifully on the edges of the pandemic. Memories that seem so long ago. Don’t we all miss them? Making us miss social events even more is 20-year-old rapper Flo Milli whose energetic, playful new mixtape, Ho, Why Is You Talking, is released today. 

After blowing up on Spotify, her song ‘Beef FloMix’ quickly became a TikTok dance trend and cemented Flo’s status as one of the most exciting rap newcomers. Adding to that success, she then released ‘In The Party’, which currently holds over 14 million views online. Stemming from that, Flo Milli has curated a ‘Going To The Party’ playlist especially for gal-dem, to evoke that unbeatable feeling of getting ready with all your friends to go out. Jam-packed with Flo’s favourite tunes from artists who inspire her, such as Roddy Rich and Kassh Paige, this is one that will take you right to the club. 

While her music is known for its fun, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and sense of attitude, talking to Flo reveals a deeply thoughtful and introspective young woman whose ambition drives her. We caught up to discuss her playlist, as well as cancel culture, fame and what it’s like growing up in a rural town in the US.

You found fame very quickly. How have you found it adapting to that?

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Ever since I was 11 I’ve been wanting to rap, so for me, it was like 10 years. Finally it’s kicking off. It really kicked off maybe two years after I really started going to the studio. I was excited to get out of my city and see stuff that I’d never seen before because, coming from where I’m from, this type of stuff does not happen. You don’t get these  opportunities. It was exciting.

Yes, and you grew up in Alabama. What was it like there?

I come from Mobile, a very small city. There’s literally nothing to do down there. I can name about three things on my one hand that people my age do. Literally all we had was the movie theatre, the skating rink and we had one small, tiny mall. Coming from there, there’s no music scene. Like if you make it out, you’re praying, because nobody makes it out. I’m so glad I had a strong mindset at a young age because I always knew that I was going to be something. You have to just kind of manoeuvre through it and keep your eye on the prize of what you want. 

You stated that you wanted your playlist to evoke the sense of getting ready to go to the party with friends. How have you found it socialising with friends recently, especially in lockdown?

Honestly, I don’t really have too many friends. I have at least one good friend, my best friend. And we do everything together. So like we’ve been literally on some quarantine time. I think we went out the other day on the scooters to have fun but we’ve been kind of staying away from the parties and crowds and all that stuff because of what’s going on right now. So literally I’m a grandma when it comes to having fun. All I need is the people that I love and care about around me and we can have fun inside.

“Literally I’m a grandma when it comes to having fun”

That’s interesting. I wouldn’t have thought that about you, based on your music and the playlist

Yeah, yeah. A lot of people think I’m ghetto, wild and crazy – which I am sometimes like, I’m not gonna lie. I do have my moods. What’s more important to me is like people that are close to me because you know, those are the people I trust and I really don’t trust too many people.

Also, on your playlist, you selected Doja Cat, ‘Say So’. You picked that before the recent controversy but what’s your opinion of cancel culture? It’s something that’s cropped up a lot recently.

I will be completely honest with you. I think a lot of people don’t give celebrities leeway because they feel like we’re not humans and we don’t have emotions. And not to defend you know what anybody has done because, yes, some stuff that people have done is unexplainable and unacceptable, but I feel like we already deal with a lot as it is. You have celebrities that deal with anxiety, they deal with real life issues and then on top of that they have to deal with the world watching their every move. I feel like it’s not fair to judge somebody off of a mistake that they’ve made. The people who are creating cancel culture, are making mistakes daily, the only difference: it’s not being publicised. People can change and people can learn. I feel like they should cancel the cancel culture! 

“I think a lot of people don’t give celebrities leeway because they feel like we’re not humans and we don’t have emotions”

One thing I’ve noticed about your lyrics is that you’re sexually liberated and confident. Do you think it’s important for women to show that side of themselves?

Definitely. It’s such a double standard with guys and I really don’t give a shit what they think. There’s so many girls that told me, “I used to get called a hoe and now I’m so powerful and confident because I was seeing your music”. It’s not the 1960s anymore, we can be confident in our sexuality and it should not bother you. And if it does, then you have insecurities. I really want women to feel very powerful within their sexuality. Don’t feel like you have to hold back because you’re female. If you want it, go get it. 

Are there any genres of music that you enjoy that would surprise readers?

I grew up listening to Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamilton. And my mum put these songs in my head. My mum would drive me to school every day and I would have to listen to soul music so it kind of stuck with me. When she plays the songs I know every word to them. It’s a part of me now. I come off as very extroverted and wild and stuff, so it could be surprising that I listen to soul music.

Your new mixtape ‘Ho, Why Is You Talking’ is out today. How would you describe it in three words?

Sassy, confident and bold.

You can find the playlist Flo Milli made on gal-dem’s Spotify:

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