Flo Milli divulges details behind her experiences of creating ‘You Still Here, Ho?’ her latest album, growing up, building her confidence, and more.
Flo Milli is beaming. Wearing a sporty purple and black Telfar two-piece set and her makeup still intact, you wouldn’t know that she just wrapped a performance in Manhattan’s Irving Plaza on the third stop of her Girls Just Wanna Have Fun tour. The show was jam-packed with fans who, even on a rainy night, turned up to see the 22-year-old Mobile, Alabama rapper perform. In Marine Serre, Telfar, and stylish Y2K garb often associated with Gen Z — vintage denim skirts, crop tops, and oversized leather jackets — the crowd of young Black and white fans relished in her boastful raps.
“Every time I come to New York, I always feel at home for some odd reason,” she said.
From opener “Come Outside” to closer “In The Party,” Flo kept the crowd engaged, spitting her distinct venomous rhymes that have made her one of rap’s most promising rising stars. There were also standout renditions of some of her more popular songs. When she performed “Beef Flomix,” the excitement of the crowd was undeniable, a testament to how the rapper transformed Ethereal’s “Beef” into her own breakout hit. The crowd was just as excited when she performed “Weak,” the SWV-sampling track that served as the last single from her debut mixtape, Ho, Why Is You Here?
She explained that this show felt like a full circle moment since skyrocketing to stardom on the tail end of her teen years during the pandemic. Now, as she’s stepping into being a young woman, Flo said she’s adjusting to what comes with adulthood, particularly balancing her work in Los Angeles while being separated from her family. Here, she mentioned she’s a workaholic who used to dream of being famous back when she was much younger in high school.
Back then, Flo didn’t always have the confidence she has now. She was picked on and hated on for her style, which included an expensive weave purchased by her godfather. But instead of sitting in a funk, she flipped the hate into rapping, carrying around a notebook full of rhymes and affirmations (one of which was, “I am rich”) at school. Toward the end of high school, she picked up a job so she could pay for her studio time and begin taking rapping seriously.
Now, she’s trying to take in the acclaim and notoriety she’s received in the last few years. Her current headlining tour is proof of that, with the artist sharing how a fan at her New York City show came up to her and opened up about how her music has gotten them through tough times. It was a moving moment for her because, like that fan, Flo’s own music motivates her, too.
“That never happens,” she said, adding that the fan’s story made her cry. It’s moments like these that are helping her sit with what she’s accomplished in the present, rather than yearning for new things, experiences, and new goals.
“I blew up in the pandemic. So, I guess after those two years I kind of got to process like, ‘Wow, I’m really young doing this,’” she said. “I’m soaking it in.”
Currently, Flo is touring to support her latest release, You Still Here, Ho?, which was released in July. A fun and rambunctious rollercoaster ride of an album, You Still Here, Ho? shows not only how undeniable Flo’s talent is, but how she continues to grow as a rapper, too. To land creatively where she wanted to be for the 17-track project, she said she wrote most of her lyrics in the studio in Los Angeles (and, occasionally, during car rides). I ask for more details on the writing process, but she doesn’t want to give more insight behind it, preferring to keep it a secret.
“I made sure I tapped into my versatility and not allowing people to box me into one particular style,” she said. “That was my goal for this album. I wanted them to get a little bit of R&B. I wanted them to get a little pop, a little bit of rap.”
Ultimately, Flo wants to continue exploring her versatility as an artist, and be able to reinvent herself as she sees fit.
“You should never stay the same, and you should always try to come up with a new version of yourself no matter what you’re doing,” she said. “I think that’s the smartest way to really have longevity.”