For the past three years, women have ruled the rap scene. In 2017, Cardi B broke out with record-breaking success of her sleeper hit, “Bodak Yellow.” One year later, the City Girls catapulted into the mainstream’s consciousness with their smash hit “Act Up,” which became the defining anthem of the 2018 summer season. Following that, Houston rap sensation Megan Thee Stallion ushered in a movement unto itself with her “Hot Girl Summer” anthem in 2019.
Now enter Flo Milli.
Born Tamia Carter in Mobile, Alabama, Flo Milli has been spitting rhymes since she was a tween. In 2019, she rose from obscurity to one of new anticipated artists of the moment after the viral TikTok success of “Beef FloMix” in 2019, which led to a record deal with RCA Records. This summer, on July 24, the 20-year-old rapper dropped her highly-anticipated debut mixtape, Ho Why Is You Here?, to much acclaim. In what has been a stellar year, Flo Milli is nominated for Best New Hip Hop Artist at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards along with Jack Harlow, NLE Choppa, Mulatto, Rod Wave and the late Pop Smoke.
Here are 5 fast facts you should know about Flo Milli ahead of the award show on Tuesday (October 27):
From a young age, Flo Milli knew that she was destined for something greater than her small town roots.
Flo Milli doesn’t come from the usual cultural hotbed that’s known for birthing hip hop acts. Despite that, she always knew it was a matter of time until her name was up there with the stars. Speaking to Billboard in July, the 20-year-old shared that she fell in love with music growing up watching her family sing in the church choir. It was through watching BET’s 106 & Park where she saw Nicki Minaj that inspired her to pick up a pen and paper and began writing rhymes as a tween. Before long, Flo Milli formed a duo with a high school friend when she was 14.
Prior to fame, Flo Milli attended Clark Atlanta University.
With the wheels of her rap career in motion, Flo Milli enrolled in community college before transferring to Clark Atlanta where she pursued a B.A. in Business Administration. The experience was short-lived as her rap career soon took off. “I was praying to God, like, ‘God, please don’t make me a doctor or anything. I want to be a rapper!’” she told Vulture.
Rapping started out as an outlet for Flo Milli to express herself.
Growing up, Flo Milli told Vogue UK that she didn’t always feel confident in herself. It wasn’t until high school when she owned who she was in the most authentic sense, telling the publication, “in high school you definitely find yourself; you deal with a lot of criticism, or even a lot of love. I dealt with everything, so it just taught me that the only thing that matters is my opinion of myself.
Even Flo Milli was surprised by the breakout success of “Beef FloMix.”
Flo Milli started rapping when she was 11 years old. Her breakout moment came in 2019 when she dropped “Beef FloMix,” a freestyle over Playboi Carti’s “Beef,” which he originally released four years prior. “It’s crazy because at first I didn’t even think nothing of it. Honestly, I feel like that’s light work. That’s not the best I can do,” she told XXL. “So, the fact that so many people were amazed by it, I was like, 'Whoa!' I was just speaking my truth and then I realized a lot of people could relate to it. It’s blowing up because that’s the most relatable one that they can vibe with.”
Flo Milli predicted she would be famous by the time she was 18.
She was nearly right on the money as the Alabama-born rapper blew up at the age of 19. The breakout success put Flo Milli on RCA Records, whom she signed a deal with in early 2020. “I knew I was going to be great, and my mom knew I was going to be great, so I just always went after my heart and my passion,” she explained to Billboard. “I think that's why a lot of people feel me because I'm not afraid of anything.”