Although the self-proclaimed ‘Unlady Like Diva‘ briefly returned in 2006 with “Verbal Assault,” a track produced by Donald XL Robertson that appeared on the popular Southern Smoke mix-tape series, and a pair of songs on C-Murder‘s Screamin’ 4 Vengeance in ’08, no project ever materialized. Now, that is all about to change!
Mia X’ highly anticipated, fourth studio LP, Betty Rocka Locksmith, which she is currently finishing up work on, is being introduced by its first two offerings; the radio ready, “1 Life 1 Love,” which she’ll be shooting a video for soon, and “Get Da Paper,” an ode to eighties Hip-Hop.
In this exclusive interview with UrbanBridgez.com, as apart of our anniversary interview series! Mia X talked to Aries about her upcoming release, being apart of the No Limit empire, the female rapper jinx, her amazing friendship with Monica and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: What have you been up to since we last heard from you?
Mia X: Well you know my parents were killed 5 months within each other, shortly after I dropped “Mama Drama.” And I lost 14 members within 18 months after that. It was like a domino effect, it was really, really terrible. My Mom was a very close support system when I started making records in 1992. My children were very small, I have a son and a daughter. She was my babysitter and confidant and being from the south we really wasn’t into the Nanny thing or the formal babysitter thing. Then my immediate family began to pass away, so I had to take some time off to be a mom. And to do the things my mom was doing with the kids, when I would be on the road. I went to school for a little while, I helped my sister get through college. She’s a doctor now. I got into real estate, I was just doing alot of things, but mainly being a mom. Ghost writing to maintain financially, I also had a couple of rental properties to maintain financially. Well, now the children are grownups (laughs). They have their own homes and their own lives. With that being said, I started to miss my first love music. I started rapping in 1984, so I just went back into the studio and started making music. With some of my favorite producers and some new producers. So I’m just going to see what it do!
UrbanBridgez.com: I love “Ode to The 80’s/Get Da Paper” is hot! It takes me back to the 80’s.
Mia X: I love it too! The guys who produced it are from Italy, my first love for Hip-Hop is so strong. Mannie Fresh and I were in a group together in 1984. We rocked mics with some of the greats today and we were just little kids back then. So I had to do “Get Da Paper,” it reminded me so much of that time, you know when we were rapping. I thought about the cars and the clothes and just the love, so I had to do that song.
UrbanBridgez.com: “Betty Rocka Locksmith,” well the title definitely has me intrigued, what can fans expect from the new album when they pop it in?
Mia X: You can expect “Unlady Like” and “Mama Drama,” all grown up and about her business. But most definitely in the middle of the street, that’s the only way I can do it. I’m going to start releasing singles on In Grooves and iTunes starting December 1st! And I’m getting my Master P and Gucci Mane on, I’m gonna be droppin singles every Tuesday (laughs). I have so many records, I went into the lab like a mad scientice. Just because I was off the scene as far as hearing me, I was still writing for myself and other people. So I just decided I needed to unload some of those notebooks as well as make some fresh stuff. I met alot of brand new producers who are so hot, they had stuff that was just so new and cold like that 2010. Ain’t nothing changed, I’m just ready to flood the market with Mia X. The people have supported me for so long and patiently waiting so I have to show up and show out!
UrbanBridgez.com: “To Be Real” with Mary J. is such a hot track, how did that collaboration come about?
Mia X: Actually it was suppose to be for a soundtrack. Then the whole soundtrack deal didn’t go through. So we were just left with a hot record, we’re birthday buddy’s. I was just happy to be apart of it when the engineer reached out and was like you need to do this record. I could of passed out, you don’t understand (laughs). I was working at a record store when Mary dropped “What’s The 411” and “My Life,” but “My Life” had such an impact on me and what I was going through. I played it so much that my co workers hid the CD from me (laughs). So to get that reach out, I could of passed out. It was fabulous, shout out to Donald Robinson and Dave Lopez for that. They were definitely the ones who spearheaded that for me.
UrbanBridgez.com: Take us back to the early No Limit days, what are some of your fondest memories from back then?
Mia X: Like every memory is really like a fond memory but the days when we were struggling. When I met P, he hadn’t lived in New Orleans for quit sometime. I dropped a record in 92′ and got alot of regional success from that record independently. It sold almost 80,000 units. This was a record on cassette tape, that I really worked and grinded. I mean I really had to put some leg work in. So when P was putting together the label to take it to the next level, he wanted a female artist. So he started calling home and everybody was telling him about me. So he came at me and was like I’m putting together this label, it’s going to be like the first independent/major label ever and I really want you on my team. I could see the sincerity in his eyes, about what he was going to do with the label. So I jumped on board and from there I was like if we’re going to make this pop, you have to let me put together this squad. We need a squad from home, you know. So I started to ensemble the squad and from there we became a family. We really grinded together, all of us. Sometimes only having enough money to get a hotel suite and piling up in it. Making meals for like 27 men with hardly no food, red beans go a long way (laughs). Also something people don’t realize about the guys from No Limit is they are real comedians. So they kept me laughing and I kept them fed, we were a strong family unit. That’s why after I left and a couple of other artists left, it was hard for us to like rejoin the ranks of another unit. What we had was a real, real family situation. No disrespect to anyone, but I couldn’t see myself riding around with another labels chain logo around my neck. What we had at No Limit was real and said if I ever was to do it again, I’m going to have to do it myself. Because those were my brothers and they are my brothers forever! We had some really, really, really good memories. The thing is some of them are so funny and off the chain, it’s kind of hard to get into them (laughs). But everytime I think about all of the brothers and everytime I talk to them, we laugh about different things. I just want everybody to know, everybody at No Limit had a sense of humor. We are a real family and still love each other to this day. We’re each others God parents to the children, you know. It really was a strong unit, it was a small unit. You could call No Limit and I would answer “No Limit Records” (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: Well it definitely came across as you guys were family, so I’m happy to know that was all genuine.
Mia X: Oh yeah it was definitely genuine. The breakdown actually came when Master P decided to pursue his dream to play Basketball. At that point he had to rely on the staff, that was something we wasn’t use to. We were use to that one on one, you know. I think that kind of contributed to the breakdown, because we were so use to being with each other. Like aside from touring, we actually hung with each other but fortunately I can say that we have no axes to grind. There are no debt appeals with us, the family at No Limit. We love Percy, and we support him in whatever it is that he has to do. We wish him the best, everybody is grown we have families. And we just gotta get it how we live.
UrbanBridgez.com: With so many successful female rappers now behind bars or recently getting released from jail, do you worry about a female rapper jinx as you get ready to drop a new album?
Mia X: You know this is the funny thing, I lost 14 members within 18 months, so I don’t know if anybody could ever compare to that particular jinx. You know I think I walked my walk, I’ve been through the fire. I have nothing but love and support for all of the female rappers. Most definitely I love Remy, she is one of my absolutely favorites! You know with me, I’ve just always stayed under the radar, I do this music and what I can to keep my fans happy. But I’m pretty much a chill person. Outside of the music, I’m just really doing my life. I’m in the community, helping the community, I’m in the hood. Sitting on the porch drinking beer, playing cards with my cousins. Still going I don’t aspire to have paparazzi following me all over, I don’t aspire to get all of that attention. I’ve never been a red carpet hog at the hype of my career. I’m pretty much just an artist for the people, so I don’t really worry about a jinx. I think whatever is going to happen to us, is already written. But if there are some things that I can avoid, I do my best to avoid them. Other than that, we have to just take things as they come. None of us know the hour, we know not the situation. Everybody on a daily basis has to be worried about one jinx or the other.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s something about the rap game you would like to see change, if you had a magic wand?
Mia X: If I had a magic wand, I would like the artists to be in more control of the money. The contribution that artists make to this artform, is absolutely incredible and it’s a shame that for the most part, many artists never get their just due financially. So I would like to see the money aspect change, I would also like to see the tension span of the artists change. Alot of artists don’t like to read and to take care of their business. That’s one of the main reasons why we end up getting stuck! I’d like to make every artists more business savvy. So they could get straight to the money, I’d like every artists to be on some whatever it takes to work, I’m ready to read it. We’re usually artsy and want to be involved in the creative process. So if I had a magic wand I would have every artists mentality set like, nah ah! What’s the paper saying first.
UrbanBridgez.com: You and Monica seem to have one of the realist and most genuine friendships in the industry. Monica is a huge favorite of mine & someone who I’ve had the pleasure to meet so I can understand the love you would have for her. What is it about Monica that makes her so special to Mia?
Mia X: You know, I met Monica when she was 16, she’s 29 now. Monica is a very sweet person. She loves hard and her love is genuine. You know, you have to count your blessings and you have to count your friends. She’s definitely a friend of mine. She had gotten sick and I was on the road. I called my mom because she was in that region at the time and I told her you have to go down there and see what’s going on with little Monica. She just got out the hospital, so my mom went and she called me, she said her mom is here and I’m just going to stay. From there our bond was good, it was good between our mothers and we were able to lean on each other. And to call on each other, in so many different situations. We don’t have a red carpet friendship, we don’t have a BFF friendship. I know people hear we’re friends but don’t see us together at a lot of events. That’s because I’m laid back and alot of times, is what people don’t know. If Monica’s mom is not on the road and Monica has to work and she wants the babies on the road, I’m at the hotel with the babies (laughs). Because that’s my friend for real, those are my little nephews. I’m just gonna support her forever. As long as I have breath in my body, she incredibly talented. Monica sounds exactly like the record honey, when it’s time to go live. Monica don’t need no track, she don’t need the band, she is truly gifted! On top of being gifted, she’s a very genuine person. I want people to support her show, it’s not drama TV and I’m sure everybody loves the drama. But sometimes it’s just nice to sit back and to see what a family is going through, from day to day and what an artist is going through. This is not add drama for TV, this is actually what’s going on. For regular people, we don’t have all of that foolishness going on all the time. There is some foolishness, but not all the time. So I want people to support “Still Standing” and her album is going to be so, so amazing! She is a singing ray of sunshine, I just can’t wait for y’all to hear it. But yeah, she’s my friend, she’s my sister, sometimes she’s my daughter. I love her, with all my heart!
UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for your fans?
Mia X: I want them to know, I’m working really, really hard. So that they are impressed and so they are forever locked in with me. I’ve thought about them, all of these years I’ve been gone. And I wondered if they would still care about what I would have to say. I wanna thank so many of them for reaching back and for supporting me and telling me that they love what I have done. I’m just trying not to let y’all down. I’m in the studio, every single night. I’m just trying to make the perfect pot of gumbo for y’all. I’m going to keep it all the way real and 100% in the middle of the street. I love y’all and I thank y’all because I do realize that they have a choice, they don’t have to fool with Mia X! There are other female artists out there, they can latch on to and just side with them. So I am humble and honored that so many of them are still checking for me. And I’m going to do everything in my power not to let y’all down. And thank you for taking the time out to interview me, because you have a choice to and you don’t have to be checking for me either. So thank you so much, I am honored.