We’d be willing to bet that Flo Milli a.k.a. Tamia Carter has never missed a beat with her comebacks, it’s hard to picture her sulking in bed hours later thinking “Argh, I should have said that.” Instead, the cool-and-collected, self-proclaimed “petty-queen” hits the mark every time, with her signature rap-style—her ability to snap quick-witted shade off the tip of her tongue like a stinging whip. It seems to be a trait that comes naturally to the young artist, yet also one that comes with years of preparation.
Set on a direct path from a young age, at 9 Flo knew that she wanted to make music. From momentary girl groups to social media strategies, eventually one of her tracks ‘Beef FloMix’ went viral with the help of TikTok. From there, while releasing a string of popular songs including ‘In the Party’ and ‘My Attitude’, she’s gained quick-traction in just a couple of years, her fan base growing exponentially.
Her latest release Ho, Why Is You Here? is a mixtape that displays the many facets to Flo’s ego. It’s sassy, mean girl, sweetheart, yet most importantly, unashamed. She seems to say what she wants when she wants. An attitude attracting fans like Cardi B, Missy Elliot and City Girls.
When I get on the phone with Flo, it sounds like she’s standing on a busy street. She apologises for the noise, ‘I’m just in the -’. At first, I don’t hear her, ‘Wait, where are you?’ — ‘A nail salon!’ — ‘Ohhhh, a nail salon.’ I ask her what colour she’s getting and she tells me army green, ‘it’ll look cute though!’
Despite the hustle and bustle of the salon behind her, Flo remains unphased, and through the dull hum of background chatter, we talk witty lyrics, youtube comments and the future of Flo Milli.
So you grew up in Alabama, and as a kid you wanted to become a rapper, where did the want to be a rapper or kind of the mindset to be a famous rapper come from?
Honestly, just having a passion for it and being around music a lot, it just kind of pushed me towards that industry and that profession. So, I really just fell in love with it by being around it growing up.
You had a game-plan from a young age, can you talk us through that a bit?
When I was around 9 I kind of started writing music, but I didn’t start rapping until like 11. I was in a little group and then that was over with. When I got older and I started rapping by myself and that’s how I got Flo Milli started.
I heard you also had a bit of a social media strategy with your instagram?
Yeah, so I would write songs and I would post little snippets of them on instagram, and that’s kind of how I grew my fanbase. It was a pretty small fanbase, like 20,000 followers, nothing more than that, and I would kinda just feed them videos here and there, and then I would record them with songs and stuff like that.
What do you think it was about you that won your fans over in those early days?
The fact that I have relatable music to that age group, I think they just really related to the stuff I was saying. I think that’s what won them over to me.
Yeah, your first track ‘Beef FloMix’ got really popular on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. How have those platforms played into your popularity do you think?
I think it boosted it alot, you know, especially TikTok. I think that fanbase kind of created a lot of traction toward the song. A lot of people were on that app at the time, so it drew a lot of traffic, so yeah, it had a big impact.
Has it been pretty surreal seeing people make dances out of your music?
Yeah, I enjoy watching it! It’s dope to hear my voice everywhere, all over everyone’s screens. It’s dope.
So, you’re from Alabama, what’s the music scene like out there?
It’s honestly not a certain type of style but we’re starting to grow a lot of talent down here. I’m the first female but we have a lot of male rappers on the rise right now like NoCap, Yung Bleu, OMB Peezy, Ralo. We have a lot of guys coming up out of Alabama.
Are there any female rappers apart from you from Alabama on your radar?
[Laughs] Just you?
The alter ego that exudes confidence ‘Flo Milli’, who is she, what’s she about?
She’s a young woman, who’s about her money, about getting to the bag, doesn’t give a fuck about what other people think about her, or shittin’ on her, that’s what she’s about.
Would you say that Flo Milli and Tamia Carter are similar people?
Yeah, cause without me Flo Milli would never have existed, so I would definitely say they’re similar. The only thing is Tamia would probably be walking around in sweatpants and shit, and Flo would be in tight shit.
So your mixtape, Ho, Why is you Here? came out a couple of months ago, could you tell us a bit about it?
Ho, why is you here? was a mixtape put together to really show everybody the different sides to my ego and create a vibe for people to listen to for whatever they want to do. On their way to school, getting ready for work, whatever. It’s just to create a vibe.
And why “Ho, why is you here”?
Cause I feel like every young woman on the rise—young women period. They deal with a lot, like people just hatin’ on them. I know a lot of people that deal with hate on social media, or they deal with guys just coming up to them, you can use that phrase to your advantage, whatever works for it.
You’re getting a lot of attention from some big female artists. Cardi B uploaded a video of her rapping to the lyrics “Bitch, built like a wine glass”. My favourite is probably, “All they do is talk shit like a toilet with some lips”. How do you come up with your lyrics?
I just tap in to however I’m feeling. Normally when I write shit down like that I’m probably irritated at something that happened. So I just write down what I’m feeling, and I can get a lot of lyrics out when I’m like that for some reason. When I’m mad, I get the best shit out.
Let’s talk about your music videos. I love the video for ‘In The Party’. Is that what you were like in high school?
[Laughs] No. I mean, a lot of people said I was diva-ish in high school, that’s what I heard. But I seriously just look at it like I was feeling myself. But they would probably say that. They probably thought I was a little violent, I got in a fight in high school. Other than that, there was nothing bad, there’s nothing embarrassing.
Have you read the comments on that video? Can I read you some?
So one is, ‘This song makes me wanna tell my dad he’s a virgin’, another is “This song makes me wanna tell corona to stay inside”, and then, “This song makes me wanna pull over the cops, and ask for their drivers license”.
[Laughs] They’re funny. I never saw that!
There’s a heap of them. Do you think there’s something about your lyrics that make people feel like that or a certain way?
Yeah, I feel like I give people ‘Big Dick Energy’ and I think that’s why they’re making those comments. I would do the opposite of what everyone’s doing though. I’d say they probably feel empowered.
Yeah, that definitely seems like a big theme throughout your music.
Yeah, cause you want to make your fans feel powerful and shit, because they be going through a lot, people want music that they can relate to, for real.
You talked about extending your brand, pushing it past music, I’ve heard you talk about becoming an actress. What are some of your other plans in the future?
Definitely movies, maybe tv shows, maybe modelling in fashion week or performing at fashion week. And later on I want to get into the business aspect of the industry.
Are there any brands you want to model for, or any directors you want to act for?
I want to model for Fenty and Victoria Secret, well maybe not Victoria Secret, actually yeah, it would be good, or Tyra Banks. It would be lit. And then Tyler Perry, for sure. And then the guy that made ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’, Jordan Peele.
Yeah, he makes some great movies
Yeah, he’s lit.
Last question, I know you didn’t have any collaborations on Ho, Why is you here? because you wanted to be like, This is Flo Milli, but are you looking at collaborating in the future?
I have a lot of collaborations coming, so I’m definitely wanting to collaborate with other artists!
Follow Flo Milli here for more and check out her latest video for ‘Send The Addy / May I’ below.