Although the nucleus of Love & Hip Hop is supposed to be the dramas involved with the music industry and those who date within in it, each franchise largely shifts its focus toward the latter. Still, in the midst of all the madness that’s happening, there is music made that eventually floats into space. When most acknowledge this, they typically defer to K. Michelle, the only singer who has truly used the platform bestowed upon her to launch a legitimate and successful music career. That’s understandable, though there have been other cast members who have released a pretty good song or two.
As a lover of songs best categorized as “thot bops,” I’ve monetarily supported or at least given a Spotify spin to the following: Atlanta’s Thi Thi and Karlie Redd; New York’s Mariahlynn and Cardi B (the closet one in reaching K. Michelle’s feat); and Hollywood’s Masika. No one, however, has given me greater joy with her musical pursuits than former nurse and pimp-turned-singer and now rapper Momma Dee. The same goes for her music, which is comical to the point of parody but nonetheless enjoyable.
In 2014 Momma Dee released her first single, “I Deserve.” When it comes to Momma Dee’s singing voice, I would describe it as Anita Baker with a severe case of laryngitis and one hell of a head cold. The video for the single managed to amass more than half a million hits—impressive for a woman who will likely never be asked to perform at the Soul Train Awards.
That hasn’t stopped Momma Dee from performing, though. For “I Deserve,” Momma Dee launched a full-scale single-release party that offered audiences a genuine concert. As in, one with a full band and set list that included covers of songs like Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go” and Anita Baker’s “I Apologize.” It was not horrible. That said, most folks only remember the concert happening because while Momma Dee was performing, her tooth fell out.
That is the gift of Momma Dee: She’s being completely serious about her singing dreams but cannot help making you laugh your ass off at her. Another example of this would be the holiday concert that followed her single-release party. Momma Dee sort of sings like someone who makes noises that sound like singing more than she actually sings. In her defense, if you turn on the radio or your Discover Weekly playlist, you’ll hear the same thing from many contemporary acts.
Whatever one makes of her talent doesn’t negate its entertainment value. For that reason alone, I want this woman to continue trying to make “fetch” happen with her pursuit of music stardom for as long as humanly possible. So much so that I’ve actually purchased her new single, “In That Order.”
As I’ve written before, the latest season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta has been less than stellar. One of the very few bright spots has been watching Momma Dee now try to release a rap song. Momma Dee is the mother of Lil Scrappy, whose criticism of her chasing hip-hop stardom was dismissed when she noted that it had been a long time since Scrappy’s last hit, “Money in the Bank,” was heard. If you can spot the lie, I’ll buy you a copy of The Last Dragon. I only mention the film because Momma Dee reminds me of Sho’nuff.
In any event, the “In That Order” music video is one of the absolute best things I’ve ever seen. That is not hyperbole. This video is hysterical. It reminds me of one of those local rap videos that used to run late at night on public access television. I mean that as a compliment.
I also love the way Momma Dee dances like MC Hammer if MC Hammer were in physical therapy. Hell, I love the song itself. Seriously. When Momma Dee raps “Order me some wings and some fries, and bitch, don’t forget my bottle,” I feel like she’s singing my life story.
Most of all, I admire a 50-something woman who's in possession of what looks like a loose grip on reality releasing a rap video.
Perhaps being a former pimp has instilled in her a high degree of self-importance that very few people get to possess, but I find her heroic. She’s a reminder to never give up on your dreams, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to anyone. Momma Dee is letting me know that it’s never too late for me to fulfill my dream of being the gay Future.
The “In That Order” video has gotten more than 400,000 views—more than Cardi B’s very good “Washpoppin’.”
Momma Dee, please do your fans a favor and keep making music and shooting music videos and letting your teeth fall out onstage for as long as you remain on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. If Momma Dee drops an EP, consider one copy sold to me. Because she is a joy.
Ya heard me?
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.