Ladies First: Monie Love Discusses Being A Mother In Hip-Hop (Audio)
Happy Mothers Day. Approaching this holiday, the hosts of Father Hoods Podcast KGB, DJ EFN and Manny Digital decided that they would change up their regular programming, which focuses on interviewing men in the Hip-Hop industry about raising children. This time around, the cast put the ladies first. The Father Hoods welcome veteran MC, Native Tongues member, and media personality, Monie Love to their podcast.
At the 26:00 mark, Monie shares with the hosts that she has four children. Her oldest daughter Charlena is 28, followed by college student, Caleigh, who is 22. She also has a 16-year-old son named Nekhi that is in high school and lastly, 11-year-old Laci that an aspiring MC following in her mother’s footsteps. Monie also revealed that she now has a 17-month-old grandson.
While recalling life on the road during the release of her first album, 1990’s Down To Earth, Monie reveals that she was pregnant while she was on tour with Bell Biv Devoe, Keith Sweat, and Johnny Gill. Notably, the London, England-born Monie says that she was unaffected by the challenges as an expectant mother. She just gave birth, but she was still touring, amidst receiving two Grammy nominations, and the early stages of a sophomore album. While speaking on 1993’s In A Word Or 2, Monie Love says that she had the opportunity to work with Prince.
At the 32:18 mark Monie recalls, “The second album was when I actually got to work with Prince. I was on Warner Bros. [Records], and so was he at the time. The exchange was he wanted me to write raps for Carmen Electra, who was his protégé. I would write her album, and he would produce about three or four songs for my album. An even exchange, [plus I would] get a little dough for it.” Monie says she set up shop at Prince’s Paisley Park compound for three months, and brought along her daughter and husband at the time. Reportedly, Prince even pitched a hand in to help with the MC’s daughter.
At 35:00, Monie shares, “We were in Wembley [in] England. It was during the time I was writing for Carmen Electra, and he had a string of shows in Wembley, in London. So I thought we were just going to break, and he’ll come from London, and we would resume. Oh No. Everybody has to pack up and fly to London with him to continue working. Like that man is a beast,” she recalls.
Monie continues, “One of the nights at the shows at the Wembley, he said ‘I want you to come up on stage and kick 16 bars.’ I think it was ‘Diamonds And Pearls’ or something. He was like, ‘Alright, when the breakdown comes in, come on stage and kick 16 bars. I don’t care what you say.’ I [agreed]. Well, while I was walking on the stage, he took my baby from me. It was crazy. As I was walking on the stage, he’s like, ‘Here… give her to me,’ and he stood at the side of the stage with her on his hip watching me kick 16 bars.”
Monie notes that while the ages of her children are spread out, it was not strategically planned. Her first two daughters are from her first marriage. Her son is from her second marriage, and her youngest daughter is from her last relationship. It seemed to go according to the temperature of her life at that time. So to say, she wanted to enjoy her life in between. The MC/singer notes that she seemingly had to start over every time she gave birth.
At the 38:30 mark Monie describes the household dynamic as a blended family. “What really comes into play first and foremost is the unit that I set up for them under my roof. It’s a very tight unit under mama, first of all. So, therefore, they all know themselves, and they all know each other as family. There’s none of this ‘half-brother, half-sister’ bullsh*t. Because they all come from me. The older girls maintained a very good relationship with their dad. They’re very close. They have a functioning and fluent relationship. They have three siblings from their father’s second marriage, and they are all very close.”
Monie is incredibly open about her the relationship with her children’s fathers, and how families work together to raise a child. Monie tells the Father Hoods that providing time to children is perhaps the most valuable asset a dad can offer. She also describes keeping her younger ones away from social media as long as possible, and turning off sexually-explicit music for innocent ears.
Happy Mothers Day from Ambrosia For Heads. DJ EFN’s Coming Home documentary videos are available at AFH TV.
#BonusBeat: Monie Love’s “Born 2 B.R.E.E.D.” which featured writing and production from Prince: