It’s not often that the people related to rap stars have a chance to break away and become public figures in their own right. That’s just what Venita McCollum is attempting to do, though. She’s Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty’s mother and she has written a book about rearing aspiring entertainers titled Raising A Rapper. It’s billed as a “step-by-step guide for parents rearing kids with dreams in the entertainment industry,” has a foreword written by Yachty himself, and aims at other hip-hop parents advice, both practical and legal, on helping their kids follow their dreams.
Over the years, rappers have highlighted their moms in their music, often realizing their mothers’ struggles after the fact. Tupac wrote “Dear Mama,” Kanye wrote “Hey Mama,” and Jay-Z spoke about his mom coming out on “Smile” from 4:44, while 2 Chainz, Offset, and YG put their moms in their “Proud” video. However, rarely have rap moms been given the mic to tell the story from their own perspective. McCollum looks to change that with Raising A Rapper, which seeks to dispel some of the long-running myths of hip-hop.
In a press release for the book, McCollum writes: “There is this belief that all rappers come from poverty, and this simply is not the case. There are so many things that instill a sense of fear in parents whose kids want to enter into creative industries. I’ve learned so much along this journey and hope I can calm these parents’ fears based on my real-life experiences through my son’s rise to stardom.”
Yachty also wrote about his life’s goals diverging from his mom’s in the press release, saying: You can’t convince anyone else that it’ll work for you until you convince yourself. When I walked across the stage to graduate, I had a plan, and my mom had another plan. But there’s no way I could have really gotten started without her on board—I wasn’t even old enough to sign deals by myself at the time.”
McCollum now serves as the CFO of Lil Boat Sailing Team, Yachty Touring and Boat Boy Publishing and has a blog and a podcast, in addition to now being an author.
Raising a Rapper is out now on Amazon and RaisingARapper.com in paperback, ebook and audiobook