Forget about the slugfest with Foxy Brown, the feud with her former record label and whatever other gossip items you've read about Jacki-O, because she has. "I've grown past that," the MC says of her turbulent history, "so I don't speak much on it on the album.â€ So what does the Miami native address on the upcoming Little Red Riding Hood? Monkeys, of course. Allow her to explain.
Your second album, Little Red Riding Hood, is a bit of a departure for you. Is this your 808s & Heartbreak?
People say if it ain't broke don't fix it, but as an artist you can't help but want to try different things. I chose different tracks this time, you know guitars and the drumline was different. But you don't take it way left field so [the fans] won't understand what you do.
Did you take a different lyrical approach?
I kept it hood. I talk about relationships, my expectations when I'm dealing with a man. I'm talking about places I've gone, the things I've seen, trouble with the law.
You kept things sexy though, right?
Of course I did. My single is called "Baby Mamaâ€ and I'm talking about this guy that I think is hot and I want to have kids with him. And then I have a song called "Monkey.â€
All right, I'll play Curious George. What does "Monkeyâ€ mean?
It means nookie.
It does? When I think of monkeys I think smelly and hairyâ€¦
[Laughs] I call it a monkey and I'm talking about how this guy wants to keep my monkey locked in a cage, but I have to let it out every now and again.
I'm guessing there are plenty of banana references to go around.
Of course there is. Monkeys, bananas, King Kong.
It's a jungle out there. Do you feel forced to sell sex on your albums?
I don't feel forced to do it. It's me and I'm unapologetic for it. If I never did a sexy record again I'd feel like I wasn't expressing myself.
How do you feel when a model like Angel Lola Luv goes the opposite route and tries to turn sexiness into a rap career?
If it was wack I'd be like come on just stick to your day job, but I've heard her music and it sounds good so why not?
Nothing wrong with competition.
Well I don't look at it as competition. I'm in a league of my own. But I think there should be more female artists expressing the way they feel. I can only reach the people that I can reach. [Angel] may have had other experiences and would like to speak for those people. I just see it as do your thing because I'm definitely going to do my thing.â€”Ryan Murphy