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: