Harlem-based rapper/singer/songwriter Melii made her first visit to Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” show on Wednesday (January 29, 2019) and chopped it up about issues with management and the challenges women in the industry face. The 21-year-old Melii is best known for “Icey,” a single that received a major co-sign by Rihanna who played the song on an Instagram Stories makeup tutorial. Now signed to Meek Mill’s Dream Chasers imprint, Melii built on the success of the single with a feature on Mill’s “Wit The Shits (W.T.S.)” single.
During the exchange with Ebro Darden, Laura Stylez and Peter Rosenberg, Melii broke down in tears as she described her tumultuous history with managers. Wearing sunglasses throughout the exchange, Melii explained, “I had three managers. My first manager is in the feds right now. I parted ways with him because he was a cool dude, cool older man, however it became a thing where I would have to go to DC to record and I was still young.”
She added, “It came to a point where he was too controlling, and I wanted to part ways. So because of that when I finally stood up for myself, and my mom knew exactly what was going on, ’cause my mom, I don’t really tell herself stuff unless it’s getting serious so she when she finally knew, she just told me anything that you have that he ever gave to you, return. After that, he started sending people to threaten me. This was how many years ago and to this day I’m still receiving threats.”
About her second manager, Melii explained, “He was younger. He was a cool dude. We ended up in Boston and I was there by myself with him and his producer friend. He fell asleep and his producer friend basically got a little bit aggressive with me. Nothing happened, grace of god, but that pushed me away and it made me scared to even, you know, like I was just like whatever. That’s when I started going harder, just doing stuff in my room by myself. And after that, that’s when I met my other manager, which I have now. He’s no longer my manager, but he’s like a part of the team. I’m trying to find a way to still evolve him. Now I’m with my management team, which is Dream Chasers.”
Host Rosenberg conceded the music industry needs more female managers because Melii’s story of being taken advantage of is a common one for young, female artists.
Providing her thoughts on her breakout single, “Icey,” Melii surprisingly isn’t a fan. She explained, “I still don’t like ‘Icey’ to this day. That record was made joking around. It wasn’t suppose to come out, but for some reason, the team heard it and was like, ‘We’re going to put it out.’ I don’t want that to define me as an artist.”
Addressing her relationship with other female rappers, Melii admitted she hasn’t made much headway. “I have a relationship with Coi Leray. I love Coi. I reached out to other females, I don’t feel no type of way or nothing,” she explained.
On the challenges of finding female rappers to bond with, Melii explained, “I feel like the hard thing about it is not knowing who you are. I fell like it comes from within. Forget the music. If you’re a person who’s sure of yourself, it could be a beautiful girl standing next to me and I would not feel a way. If anything i’m bigging her up. A lot of females just have that thing where it’s like I have to be the prettiest one. I have to have the biggest thing. It’s only one and it gets corny. It’s really corny. That’s why I be with guys or Coi.”
Melii also spoke on her upcoming album, which she says is coming “soon” and will include English and Spanish language r&b and rap songs.
Check out the interview below: