All the features written about her back in 2007 spoke of her maturity and confidence. She knew what she wanted. Lil Mama wanted to get her music to a NYC DJ and have them play it and, from that, she would go on to release an independent album.
Turns out, that song, “Lip Gloss,” was far larger than Lil Mama had anticipated and it was one of the “it” songs that Spring. If you lived in or around the Tri-State area you’ll remember that year as one of the first of teens clapping and dancing on corners and the trains. The movement would be later known as lite feet or gettin’ lite.
So “Lip Gloss” not only tapped into that moment, she also spoke the language of young girls all over who didn’t have anyone speak to them.
Lil Mama took it as her responsibility to be a role model for them. But that had been her life anyways, especially for the past few years when it was learned that her Mother had cancer. Being the oldest, she became the de facto care giver.
Now toss in fame and the heavy scrutiny of the industry, fans, and sceptics. That’s what lead her to writing a song titled “One Hit Wonder” with a hook:
One hit wonder or one hit please
Once I hit ’em with one they gonna need
A flight to catch up with me
I’m going straight to the top, whoa
She seemed to be taking it all in stride. But trauma don’t work like that. It’s been well documented about her rough upbringing, bouncing from parent to parent, homeless to sheltered not to mention the affect of losing your mom at such a young age — the responsibility, the pressure, etc.
And she was a teenager.
Two things stand out: a horrible review I read about her song “L.I.F.E.” where an unnamed MTV writer stated “…it’s all strife, teen pregnancy, crackheads and Heroes-style black eyeballs. Not exactly the soundtrack to a Sketchers commercial…” and that Breakfast Club incident where she broke into tears.
My only thought was, “it’s sad she had to be grown so soon.”