Lil Moe

She's Back! Lil' Mo Returns With "I Love Me," Explains Near-Death Experience

It wasn’t until this past summer at my girlfriends wedding that I was able to witness Ms. Cynthia Loving soulfully pour her heart out into a microphone. I was instantly a believer and knew that I wanted to musically collaborate with her. She rocked the crowd and made us all feel like it was time to fall in love and settle down.

Growing up military style, Lil' Mo bounced from state to state and was forced to change friends and schools often. Even though this wasn’t something that she enjoyed, Mo admits that this unique upbringing enabled her to “just know how to flow with it." Today, the songstress, songwriter, and radio personality understands how her foundation was designed to help her achieve the heights that she’s been able to reach. Managing her independent label Honey Child Entertainment Inc. for the past 10 years, she’s kept her business in-house for the latter benefit. If you thought that she left, then guess again, because she’s not going anywhere! Get to know the voice behind some of hip-hop's classic records.

VIBE Vixen: How did you come up with Lil Mo?
Lil Moe: Me and my mom have the same name so I wanted to get away from being the part two. I came up with it 12 years ago. It’s easy to remember because you use it everyday no matter what you say. 'Let me get a lil' mo' sugar. Let me get a lil' mo' nail polish.' [laughs]

VV: How is it juggling three kids, a husband and a music career?
LM: I have two girls and a 2-year-old son. My son knows he drives me crazy. He busts in the bathroom and everything. I tell him, 'You can’t come in I have to wipe,' and he says, 'No, mommy you don’t have to wipe.' Ugh! Are you kidding me right now?

VV: How long were you signed to Cash Money?
LM: I signed to Cash Money in ‘04, like a month after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, and I left in ‘05. They’re a family-owned business, Bryan and Ronald run everything. At the end of the day, they kept it all in-house. It was a good experience.

VV: P.S. I Love Me the name of your new album. Where does that come from?
LM: I took a hiatus from the industry. I realized that you can lose yourself if you don’t love yourself enough or if you get too engulfed in the industry or just caught up in what people say about you. What really matters is the love for yourself, and you really have to go back to what you got into the industry for. My foundation and the only product that I’ve been wanting to push is the love for self. I came out talking I was a superwoman, I came out talking about you trying to love forever, everything I did was built off of that foundation, but one thing I never wanted to compromise was the love for myself. I never compromise my integrity, my dignity, my self-respect or my work. With that being said, my reputation has always been like that’s the girl from around the way, and since I have a lot of around the way girls and and guys that listen to me, I felt like I needed to approach the issues that we’re dealing with in the community and the biggest one is low self-esteem.

VV: Do your daughters sing?
LM: They actually do. Right now they’re at that stage when they’ll sing all loud in the house and be hyped, and when they get around people they are shy. My son, he’s actually the loud one.

VV: I was watching a YouTube video recently, and I saw you talking about a near death experience. What happened and how did it affect your life?
LM: Well that was earlier this year. I had a show at the radio station, and I was traveling back and forth everyday. Sleep deprivation and improper dieting really can take a toll on your body. Me not knowing, I was like, I’ma take these diet pills and I’m just gonna get up. I was drinking energy drinks: one in the morning, the afternoon and the night and I was taking sleeping pills. It was really jacking me up. My body just shut down while I was driving home one day. I had enough strength to pull to the side of the road on the highway and rush out of traffic with my elbows. Thank God that all you have to do is push a button, and it will make an emergency call. They found me and took me to the hospital. All of my levels, my blood, sugar, potassium, oxygen, everything was like... I’m lucky that I didn’t have a seizure or didn’t go to an anxiety coma. I felt myself getting weak. I just went on the side of the road and said, 'Lord, please don’t let me die on this highway.'

VV: What can we expect with this new record? What’s some of the touring and projects that you’ve been working on?
VV: Well I’m resurfacing not as an artist but as an entertainer/entrepreneur. I’ve reached out to a lot of the relationships that I’ve made in the industry. For my first street single “On The Floor.” I called Fat Man Scoop; we have a party record. I shot a video for “I Love Me” which is title of the album. We got Tweet, and she’s coming off of retirement. I got Dawn Richard from Dirty Money; we did a song together. The mission that I want to accomplish with this album and in the industry is just to put out good music. A lot of people say the industry is dead. Well the only people that can revive it are the people who can really write, who have a track record, who are connected and respect it. Not just let me put out this song for the radio. No it doesn’t work that way anymore. That’s why I admire Mary J. Blige because she’s been consistent since day one.

VV: How will you be spending Christmas?
LM: My family and I will be spending Christmas in church and with each other. It's rare that I am without them on the holidays. I don't just mean my husband and three children, I'm talking about all of us. Momma, Daddy, my sister and her hubby and their four kids and my crazy brothers. And we are gonna eat and open presents and act a mess as usual. Never a dull moment at the "LOVING" household [laughs]!

Check out a snippet of our record “Mystery” below:

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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