Venita McCollum, mother of Grammy-nominated artist Lil Yachty, offers a step-by-step guide for parents rearing kids with dreams in the entertainment industry, while also dispelling myths in her new book, “Raising a Rapper.”
“There is this belief that rappers all come from poverty and this simply is not the case,” said McCollum. “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.”
“Raising A Rapper” outlines the real risk, myths and rewards of navigating the complexities of the music industry and the importance of parental support, a strong team, legal decisions, finances and more.
Nearly four years ago, Lil Yachty (Miles McCollum), kept telling his mom that his dream was bigger than what she could see. After his high school graduation, he shared with his mom “I’m going to be famous and I’m going to be rich—just watch.”
At the time McCollum, who many fans call “Mama Boat,” had no idea that her son’s joint venture record deal with Quality Control, Capitol Records and Motown Records would lead to a debut mixtape “Lil Boat;” endorsements with Sprite, Nautica, and Target; a Grammy nomination; collabs with Cardi B, The Migos, Calvin Harris and a feature on D.R.A.M’s Platinum single “Broccoli.”
“I always knew this would be my story, even when I was working at McDonald’s by-day and networking with artists by-night. You can’t convince anyone else that it’ll work for you until you convince yourself,” said Yachty. “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.”
Venita is now the CFO of Lil Boat Sailing Team, Yachty Touring and Boat Boy Publishing. She also along manages In the Closet with V, Raising A Rapper, and her podcast, “Tha Wrap-Up with Venita.”
“I don’t want parents to feel like they have to pass their child off to someone else to manage, they can learn the industry,” explains McCollum. “I want to empower all parents of creatives and to inspire young people to dream big.”