Given her past success as a songwriter and radio host, Lil' Mo has a couple of career options once she retires from singing, and listening to cuts off of her upcoming Meet the Girl Next Door, you might think Mo could be a relationship counselor.
" '10 Commandments' was something for the streets to let them know what's real over here," the Washington, D.C., transplant said of her white label single featuring Lil' Kim. "I think that was a good lead record to let [ladies] know how to keep your man. Stop telling all your homegirls all your business and problems. The ones that be like, 'Girl, he ain't no good' are the main ones trying to holla [at your man], 'So, you gonna call me?' Sometimes you have to think for yourself."
"4 Ever," the first official single from Meet the Girl Next Door (April 29), has even more advice for the ladies. "I know a lot of chicks are like, 'How should I tell my man I'm tired of being his girl and I want to take it to the next step?' There are people out here that will just be somebody's girlfriend and have their baby, but all chicks would like to be wifed," Mo said. "Not wifey, but wifed! That’s every girl's dream from when we're little, being a wife. '4 Ever' was about how to lock him down."
"Can you live with it, loving me for life, to have and hold forever?" she sings on the chorus before telling her man to "ride or die." Mo wrote the song after she tied the knot in the summer of 2001.
"I was giving ladies rules and regulations on life," she said of both songs.
And Mo is no hypocrite; she lives by her own set of rules. Two years ago she met her husband at a D.C. gas station, initiated a conversation and asked for his number.
"I met him March 28," she remembered. "In May he proposed to me, by August 29 we were married. When you find your soul mate it doesn’t take forever to find out you're gonna be together forever. We both were like, 'I done been hurt, I been through the run of the mill.'
"I'm the wife," she continued, starting to laugh. "It's on paper: if you leave me today, I'm getting a check! Nah, I'm just playing. Ride or die, till death do us part."
Not too long after the singer engaged in nuptials, she was with child. Her daughter, Heaven, is 8 months old.
"That’s the little version of me," Lil' Mo said of her littler Mo. "She's already more gangsta than me. It feels great. If you're emotionally, physically and financially ready, I'd advise everybody to find a soul mate and have a child.
"I did my whole album in my eighth month of pregnancy," she added. "Every day for three weeks I was singing and writing. She loves music now. If I could, I would have every baby while I'm doing an album. She's so calm, she came out sleeping through the night. She's just the perfect baby."
Mo, who called on the likes of Chucky Thompson, Precision and the Megahertz to produce on her LP, said that having a family helped her see that she doesn't want any part of a beef with Ja Rule. A few weeks ago Mo went public, voicing disdain for what she called Murder Inc.'s ungratefulness for her performances on Rule 3:36's "I Cry" and "Put It on Me." Rule came back on his recent freestyle tirade, levying barbs at her.
"Two hit record smashes," she lamented of her collaborations with the Incster. "Those two records ruled 2001. The whole world knows that. After those records, Jay-Z started calling, I did a Tupac record. If I speak the truth, I can't apologize. I helped that brother sell 3 million records, and I don’t have a plaque [for Rule 3:36]. I did 'Parking Lot Pimpin'' and Jay-Z sent me a plaque for every song he's done, a thank you card and a bottle of Cris."
But even though she was called out on wax, you won't see Mo retaliate.
"I'll let them do them, and all I can say is God bless, 'cause I know that [Ja Rule] has a family," she rationalized. "Timeout from being a thug. Let's just all be about family. I don’t want to be so deep in this 'keeping it gangsta' that my daughter grows up without a parent. It's getting out of hand. I can't be around bad company. I have a daughter, I have a husband, I have better things to do."