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Everyone loves Mama Boat as an author, traveler, marathon runner, fashionista, and mother of two the best word to describe Venita McCollum is by using the word : go-getter! We wanted to get to know just who Mama Boat really is and get all the details on her book, Raising a Rapper and we did just that in this exclusive interview with Venita McCollum.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am the mother of Miles McCollum aka Lil Yatchy. I also have a 16-year-old! I come from corporate America, I was a pharmaceutical rep. I did that for about 17 years. I am from Gary, Indiana. I went to undergraduate school in Raleigh, North Carolina at St. Augustine College where I obtained my BA degree in communications. I left there and went to Minnesota for graduate school. I did not like Minnesota (laughs) and that pushed me to Atlanta. I’ve been here ever since and it’s been 20-something years so I am an official Georgia Peach (laughs).

Give us all the details on your book, Raising a Rapper.

Let me start by saying my whole reason for putting the book out was because I wanted to dismiss some of the stereotypes on artists and rappers. A lot of times, people think all rappers come from poverty, they’re uneducated, or they come from uneducated parents. We were sort of the opposite and in a way we had a Cinderella story. I sent my son to Alabama State to become a college student and it didn’t work for him. I wanted to share my story. In sharing my story, it was important for me to be informative, inspirational, and motivating. I wanted to give those parents out there some information. When I got the announcement from my son that he didn’t want to go to college, I didn’t have a blueprint. I wanted to make a small blueprint for those parents who were going to come up that road behind me.

photo courtesy of Venita McCollum

You are a true fashionista, when did your love for fashion begin?

Oh my gosh! Probably back in middle school. Being from Gary, we’re right next to Chicago, so we were able to get on the train and go shopping at Water Towers. I remember getting my first Gucci in like 8th grade. Ever since then, I’ve always known and loved designers. I’ve always had access to them but I think now with my son’s fame, it’s kind of tripled a little bit. He is so very generous and buys me lots of gifts so that kind of just pushed up my love for fashion (laughs). I just love it. I love everything about it.

SHEEN Magazine is the Ultimate Beauty Guide for the Modern Day Woman, can you please share with us a fall fashion tip?

I would have to say accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! I say that because that’s something you can do on any level. Whether it’s a scarf, a hat, gloves, a shaw, or wrap, all those things can be inexpensive or expensive. You can find accessories to fit everyone’s budget. I think for fall, accessorizing is what we’re going to be doing to take the trend forward. Obviously we accessorize all year-round but in the fall, it’s a lot of fun!

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Lots of platforms, I will be mentoring, be doing some motivational speaking, perhaps a reality show, and definitely more books! I’ve got some children’s books that are in the works and they’re going to be lessons learned for parents to purchase for their kids, for those who may be going through a divorce. Of course, Lil Yatchy will be the main character in each of the children’s books.

For more on Venita McCollum, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter.

For more on Raising a Rapper, click here!

Featured Image by Christopher Jamar Payne