Niatia Jessica Kirkland (born October 4, 1989), better known by her stage name Lil Mama, is an American rapper, singer, actress, motivational speaker, and television personality from Brooklyn, New York and Harlem, New York. She experienced top 10 Billboard placements at seventeen with her debut album VYP (Voice of the Young People) which sold 19,000 copies in its first week. The album spawned her four major singles including her staple song and dance anthem “Lip Gloss”, earning her two Teen Choice Awards and Monster Single of the Year nominations at the MTV VMA’s. Lil Mama has sold over 1 million records worldwide. Lil Mama gained further attention in Pop music after a collaboration with Avril Lavigne, for the song “Girlfriend”.
Lil Mama took a hiatus from music after success of her hit single “Hustler Girl” to stay focused on serving as a judge for total of seven seasons on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew at the age of nineteen from 2008-2012, which made her one of the youngest judges on any competitive television show in history. Working with producer and fellow judge Randy Jackson, she served alongside JC Chasez, Shane Sparks, Mario Lopez, and Layla Kayleigh.
She was cast in her breakout role of the late Hip-Hop artist Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, in the VH1 biographical film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which aired in October 2013 and garnered 4.5 million views in the first night. From the success of the film, Lil Mama joined TLC (group) on their tour for their last album. She got the opportunity to perform a tribute to the late rapper at the 2013 American Music Awards performing the Grammy Award winning song “Waterfalls”.
Lil Mama continued to remain in the public eye, returning to music, making new tracks with fellow rapper MC Lyte on her single “Ball”. She made Billboard history again with her song “Sausage” at the BET Awards. She appeared on multiple magazine covers and was back in television with Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.
On June 13, 2019, she starred in the movie All In, alongside Traci Braxton.
2018- Shoe Game, Growing Up Hip Hop, and present
On April 17, 2018, Lil Mama became competitor on MTV’s The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars (season 2) a competitive television mini-series in which celebrities would team up with pro-athlete champions against each other. There she met Drake Bell, and the two would later go on to collaborate on his track “Call Me When You’re Lonely”.
On May 3, 2018, Lil Mama released a Single titled “Shoe Game”. The Single was available everywhere online for Sale, Streaming, and digital Download. The Single was later followed by a music video directed by Walu, on the 25th of May 2018. It Became a YouTube Exclusive, following a million and twenty thousand views within five months. Lil Mama went on to promote the single on TRL A.M. morning show in late September informing that this will lead to a future album. She was then followed up by Brynn Elliott after discussion of her old album and viewing of her greatest music videos which included “Lip Gloss”, “Shawty Get Loose”, and “G-Slide (Tour Bus)” .
On September 9, 2018, Lil Mama was Presenter for the 2018 BET Special Black Girls Rock! she had the privilege to work with artists such as Queen Latifah, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, etc. She presented the award to Shanay Thompson for her M.A.D. GIRLS Celebrated by Coca-Cola. On September 25, 2018 Entertainment Tonight announced that Lil Mama would join the cast of The CW All American (TV series) as a supporting Character Chynna Q. this will be her first acting role since the Falicia Blakely Story.
On October 4, 2018, Lil Mama appeared on T.V. One’s morning talk show Sister Circle to discuss her latest single Shoe Game, and her being cast on Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta. There she stated that she will be joining the cast as a regular due to her move to Atlanta to work on her upcoming album that Bow Wow (rapper) will be assisting to co-produce and allow the show to document her journey as well as her experiences. On the Show she also got to discuss her acting career, as well as her taking vocal lessons from R&B Singer Kelly Price, her singing will debut on the intended album.
On October 18, 2018, Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta premiered for the continuation of its second season. Lil Mama made her debut on the first episode alongside Kiyomi Leslie and Masika Kalysha as replacement for cast members who quit. Lil Mama stars alongside with her mentor and new manager MC Lyte. On November 14, 2018, Lil Mama made her debut appearance on the CW’s All American (TV series) in its fifth episode. She introduced her character: An upcoming Hip Hop artist Chynna Q. The girlfriend of one the protagonists of father; a wealthy and successful Mogul who is promoting her career.
On June 13, 2019, she was starred in the movie All In, alongside Traci Braxton.