CULVER CITY, California — She may be dubbed the Princess of the Roc, but don’t let that sweet moniker fool you. Teairra Marí is not that innocent.
Marí, who, at 16, was one of the first artists signed by new Roc-A-Fella head Jay-Z, may have an affinity for dismissing authority. With street savvy honed on the outskirts of Detroit, the sassy young R&B crooner has no qualms about speaking her mind to authority figures — even her own mother. In fact, she’s already done it twice.
Marí first battled with her mom in the clip for her second single, “No Daddy,” which touched upon the singer’s lack of a father figure during her tumultuous upbringing — and the fact that she isn’t looking for a man to fill that position now. Although the song features smoking beats, the subject matter is quite a serious turn from her lighter, funkier first single, “Make Her Feel Good” (see “Jadakiss, Bleek, Budden’s Street Remixes Make Teairra Mari Feel Good” ).
And now Marí is butting heads with her mama on “Phone Booth,” the third single from her debut album, Roc-A-Fella Records Presents Teairra Marí. This time, she’s defending her man.
“Basically [my mother] doesn’t like my boyfriend, so she tells me to leave the house, and I tell her no,” the singer explained. “So I leave the house to go to the phone booth to call my boyfriend to come pick me up.”
No word yet on who will helm the third clip, but Teairra says you can expect a video that doesn’t stray too far from the heart of the song.
“My life ain’t been through nothing but the drama/ Just had the worst fight ever with my mama/ She believes that you’ve got two or three on the come up/ Telling me you’re loving me, but you’re going home to them,” a lovelorn Marí sings on the track.
Perhaps the singer can channel some of that heartache and anger into some juicy acting roles. Marí is poised to follow in the footsteps of Def Jam labelmate Rihanna, who just scored her first film role (see “Rihanna Brings On Acting Career With New ’Bring It On’ Flick” ). There have been a few scripts coming her way, and the singer admits that at this stage of the game, she’s not worried about being picky.
“I haven’t quite found the script of my dreams yet, but I’m going to try out for movies even if I don’t like them,” Marí said.
You can also look for the princess, who turns 18 on December 2, to explore some deeper issues on her sophomore LP, which she began working on recently. Marí believes in keeping the hotness under wraps so she’s staying mum on the details, but she did admit that she would love to score producers Kanye West, Jermaine Dupri and Pharrell Williams to oversee her follow-up. And think ballads — lots and lots of ballads — to show off her vocal chops.
“I just want to be myself, and I want to grow up,” she said of the direction of her next album. “You know, everyone matures and I just want to show that on this album.”