Behind every rapper, there's an incredible storyline of how (s)he got to be a nationally-known MC. If you're a female rapper, chances are your story is especially outstanding (Eve and Trina going from strip club headliners to 10+-year veterans, Nicki Minaj going from being a broken family's child to reaching new heights for femcees). However, if you're already a household name in another field, most times people will have a hard time taking you seriously as a rapper (Shaq, Ron Artest, Kevin Federline).
One aspiring femcee has all three of these put together, and comes from an "up-and-coming" city to boot (the nation's capital of Washington, D.C.). I am of course speaking about video/print model-turned-rapper Angel Lola Luv (now using the alias Lola Monroe). In addition, she has co-signs from the likes of Rick Ross, 50 Cent, Soulja Boy, Lil' Boosie, Trina, Pleasure P, and Haitian Fresh. With all this behind her, she should be destined for the big-time!
So why has she not "gotten on" on the mic like the co-signers I mentioned above? The answer is simple, my friends (aspiring models going into music, take note) - it's all in the business plan.
The Ethiopian femcee, born Fershgenet Melaku, has built up quite a discography in the video circuit (Trey Songz' "Wonder Woman," Twista's "Give It Up") and appeared on the cover of just about every men's PG-13 magazine on the newsstand. Along with the stunning backshots came interviews about her eventual business plan, where she acknowledged Jay-Z as her inspiration and how she would soon start up a rap career. Certainly if you're the biggest model in the game, transitioning to another career can't be all that hard, can it?
The problem here is once she started rapping, she quit all her other jobs. While that transition mission is certainly accurate, her approach was like (to quote NBA Hall-of-Famer, former senator, and 2000 presidential candidate Bill Bradley) "buying a single lottery ticket and then quitting (her) job in anticipation of (her) winnings." In addition, all the photos she's taken since crossing over have only shown frontshots of her in typical outfits (meaning those who still want their backside fix have to rely on the 2 candid shots a year), yet relishing in mainstream hip-hop's other cliches (money, cars, & jewelry). While I see nothing wrong with a woman maturing from her past occupations, I can't help but propose a simple three-step plan:
1. As much as I wish it wasn't the case, sex sells and gets attention. The chances of a rapper breaking into the majors are about one in 100 (and even that's being quite generous). So when you're starting out, it's best to get attention (keep giving the fans what they want).
2. As you spend more time in the game, gradually transition away from the racy stuff and expand your horizons. Even if you've been rapping four years and still haven't put out an album yet, it's still likely to work out.
3. Realize your time in the rap game can be short-lived. Keep up your label ventures, magazine shoots, fragrance/clothing lines, book deals, TV and movie roles. That way, your name stays relevant even if your music career ever fades away.
The above plan is no secret. It has worked for a great many female rappers, such as Lil' Kim, Trina, Eve, Jacki-O, Nicki Minaj, and others-if you look far back enough, you'll realize that's even the plan which worked for the likes of Yo-Yo and Roxanne Shante!
Another ideal (and simpler) plan would be to
1. Bypass the whole money, cars, bling, & looks strategy entirely.
2. Listen and take notes on classic femcee lyricism (may I suggest Lady of Rage, Rah Digga, Da Brat, and Missy Elliott?) She might even want to stop by this very site or the DJBooth to check out some Dominique LaRue, Nikki Lynette, and fellow DMV native RAtheMC.
3. Realize that you're likely never going to make it on a Top 10 mainstream level, but still gain more respect among the community than most mainstream acts.
Either of the plans I listed can work out equally known. It all depends on which lane the femcee wants to pursue.
So, After Further Review, it would help Lola Monroe to rethink her strategy and decide which route she wants to go for her rap career, then heed the gameplans I listed above. Whether she heeds my advice has yet to be known, but even if she turns it down, at least I tried (and know that many other aspiring femcees will save these plans and build a career off them).
Come back next week when I investigate arguably the most frequently-quoted line from "Blueprint 3", which comes from its fourth single (but arguably worst track). Which one am I talking about? You'll just have to click back next week to find out! 'Till then, as Nathan ended his only 1-spin Booth review (Shop Boyz' Rockstar Mentality), "like, totally rock on, bro."