Flo Milli Steps In The Party And Makes Us 'Weak'
Tamia Carter, aka ‘Flo Milli’, is one of 2020’s hottest new acts and reigns as the only female rapper to have come from the state of Alabama.
Having begun rapping at the age of just eleven, Flo Milli has always had a flair for music. But it wasn’t until the release of her breakout single ‘Beef FloMix’ in 2018, a remix of the Playboi Carti and Ethereal's track "Beef", that the rapper's success took to new heights. The hit went viral across social media, reaching number two on Spotify's Viral 50 in April 2019. Shortly after, her follow-up single "In the Party," amassed over 24 million Spotify plays and over 11 million streams on YouTube within its first five months.
And since the release of her debut tape ‘Ho, Why is you here?’ back in July, the young MC has proved herself as more than just a small town girl with big dreams, but a multifaceted MC with a flow so infectious and lyrics so catchy it’s gained cosigns from the likes of Cardi B, MIssy Elliot, Kehlani, the City Girls and more.
NW: You’re from Mobile in Alabama, the third most populous city in Alabama but you’re also the only female rapper to come from there. The support must be overwhelming, what was it like growing up there?
FM: Growing up there, it was kind of hard to find resources to do music and stuff, we don’t really have that much of a music background there but you know, that didn't stop me. I got to grip onto one studio that I’ve always been to, ever since I started. But I would say it was pretty hard because not many people believe that I would make it out because not many do make it out of the city so, it’s hard getting support from there. But I would say got through it so...
NW: Your full name is Tamia Monique Carter, but you go by the stage name, Flo Milli. Where did this name come from?
FM: It came really naturally, there wasn't much thought put into it. I’ve always been rapping, ever since I was a little girl, I was always passionate about it. But Flo came from everybody saying that my flow was dope when I would post rap videos on Instagram. They would say that the one thing about me was my flow so I just put [‘Flo] in my name. Milly was always a part of my name when I was in girl groups and stuff growing up so I just kept it at the end of my name.
NW: Speaking of girl groups, what was the transition like between rapping for fun with friends to taking it more seriously as a career?
FM: I started rapping when I was eleven, but I never really stepped foot into a studio until I was sixteen or seventeen, so I would say around 2017 was when I started to take it seriously. The [girl] group kind of ended in 2014 and I took a year off after that. In 2015 I didn't know what to do because I was so used to being in a group, so around that age, I started to write more and just experiment more and that's when I started to go to the studio with it.
Stand by what you believe in, never take any bulls**t from anybody, always respect yourself, walk with confidence, know you’re the s**t
NW: You’re a very confident person and you demonstrate this throughout your music with a bold and zero-tolerance approach to drama, men and haters in your lyrics. Where does your confidence come from? How can I be as confident as you?
FM: Stay true to yourself. Always have self-respect, self-care and self-love and that's really where my attitude comes from. Because anybody that doesn't love themselves is not going to be stern with other people so it really starts with you. There’s no formula that I can give, I’m just being myself. So I would say to any girl that wants to embody that: Stand by what you believe in, never take any bullshit from anybody, always respect yourself, walk with confidence, know you’re the s**t, affirm that s**t every single day and you’ll be just like that.
Flo Milli's career really started to take off last year after the release of ‘Beef FloMix’ and ‘In the party’, which went viral on social media platforms such as TikTok. She now has a debut EP, and has gained co-signs from the likes of Cardi B, SZA, and Missy Elliot.
NW: One of your most infamous lines is ‘I like cash from my hair to my a**’ from your song Beef FloMix. You talk about your hair in your music a lot and you’ve expressed your love for long hair, what's the most amount of money you’ve spent on your hair?
FM: The one from my mixtape cover, because I’d never tried blonde until that time and I was really pleased with how [it] came out. I didn't expect it to look that good so I would say the blonde flipped hairstyle. That was my favourite.
NW: Your fans call themselves the Flo Militants. What was it like hearing that for the first time?
FM: It was the fanbase, I didn't start seeing that until just now on twitter. I was just like ‘I don't know what that means but I’m with it if you’re with it so I’m just going with the flow!
NW: As well as Nicki Minaj, you’ve previously quoted the likes of Jill Scott and Erykah Badu as people you listened to growing up. Which artists do you listen to now?
FM: Right now I'm a huge fan of Gunna, I listen to his music all the time. I like Duwap Kaine. As far as female rappers, I love Cardi B, Doja Cat and the City Girls. It’s pretty much a mixture of what you see on [my] social media.
NW: You dropped your music video to ‘Weak’ just two days ago. Both the song and video are so creative and money seems to be the focus of the visuals. What was the creative idea behind that?
FM: Pretty much everything I was saying in the song, ‘run that cash up’. it was really like a model for females to focus on money, focus on getting that bag, and don’t be focused on these n*ggas and them having you in your feelings. Keep your main focus on what you want in life and that's gonna bring you up. So that's really where it came from.
I’m a strong believer in following what you’re passionate about. Ever since I was little I've been passionate about rapping so I don't think I would have ever given up on it.
NW: You finished high school just a couple of years ago and you’ve spoken briefly before about experiences with some of your peers. What was education like for you?
FM: My experience with education had ups and downs. I was in honors society in elementary school and then I skipped it in middle school. And then in high school, I was in honours society all the way up until twelfth grade, then i got into a fight and got kicked out of it. But, if I didn't get in that fight I would still be in there. But I was making pretty decent grades, I would say straight A’s and B’s and I was pretty focused for the most part.
NW: If rapping had not worked out, what would Flo Milli be? Which other talents would you have pursued?
FM: I can't even say I wouldn't take the path of rap and I say that because I’m a strong believer in following what you’re passionate about. Ever since I was little I've been passionate about rapping so I don't think I would have ever given up on it. It probably would have happened later but I think I would have always done [it] at some point in my life. I also wanted to be an actress as well so that would be added to it.
NW: Any particular films?
FM: I like Tyler Perry movies from back in the day, like drama movies. Stuff that Taraji P Henderson does, I feel like I would be in stuff like that.
NW: Cars come up a lot in your music, you rap about having a coupe at the age of 19 and in your song ‘Eat it up’, you make reference to your chevy impala. What would be your dream car?
FM: I don't really have a dream car honestly. I’m from Alabama so I don’t be seeing all these exoctic cars so my dream car to me would probably be basic to yall, but I'd get a Bugatti.
I definitely want to go out of the country. That’s one of my main goals, to perform somewhere else because I've never been out of the country
NW: You touch on your family a lot in your music, specifically your parents. How important is family to you?
FM: Family is very important to me now more than ever. Of course, I've had my ups and downs with family in the past but I think right now is the time we should come together more than anything. When you don't have anybody else you have family to lean on so I think it's important to keep your relationship good with at least some of your family members.
NW: Can you remember the first bar that you wrote? And if you can remember it would you be down to give us an exclusive performance?
FM: As far as the first bar, I don't think I want to rap that because I was 12. But I can rap you my first song that I wrote. My first song was called no hook.
NW: If Corona permits, when can we expect a U.K. visit from you? Is that something that's on your radar?
FM: I definitely want to go out of the country. That’s one of my main goals, to perform somewhere else because I've never been out of the country. So as soon as Corona is over, and as soon as they book me I’m ready, I’m out of here. Just let me know!
NW: What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?
FM: The rest of the year has a lot in store. A lot of opportunities but I’m not going to disclose them because it's confidential until it happens. But I would tell you to expect a lot of things, collabs, more music videos and definitely more music, it's gonna be a good year regardless of corona.