Review: Lil Mo – Based On A True Story

Review: Lil Mo – Based On A True Story

Lil Mo’s debut album Based On A True Story had hip hop soul heads, fans, and stans playing this album on repeat back in the early 2000s. Lil Mo debuted on this album with her breathtaking hip hop soul singing and soulful vibe. Her hit songs Superwoman, Ta Da, and Gangsta had garnered her a fanbase across the United States and Canada back in 2001. Superwoman and Gangsta were hits for her.

Think R&B/Soul ballads meet hardcore street raps on hip-hop beats. Her sounds and musical were very reminiscent of Mary J. Blige. Around 35% of the album is mellow R&B/soul grooves. Most of her debut album was produced by Flavahood, DJ Clue, Suga Mike, DURO, and Missy Elliott.

A lot of songs that are/were supposed to be on Based On A True Story were real life events and experiences that were based on Lil Mo’s life. Every song on this album was based on a true story hence the title.

This album was released on Elektra Records in 2001. Elektra Records released this album on the formats of CD, cassette and vinyl. However this album was mostly sold on CD and cassette. The album eventually later became available for digital download and streaming in other countries as well.

Now I will about what songs should and should not have been on Based On A True Story.That’s how my album review of Based On A True Story by Lil Mo will be different. So just listen to me. Some of these songs did not make the final cut of Based On A True Story.

5 Minutes and If You Wanna Dance should have been kept on the album as originally planned from 1998. Think of Me with Lady Luck because it is very street and gangsta. Club 2G, Starstruck, Why, More Than You Know, What About The Children, Right or Wrong, Finally Ova You, Hello It’s Me, and Nothing But Good Times. Nobody Somebody was a sad song which sounded like a DJ Screw song that should have been left off the album and saved for another album. Who You Foolin’ with Mocha wasn’t that good either.

However most Lil Mo fans were upset when Starstruck and a handful of other songs did not make it onto Based On A True Story. This had left many Lil Mo fans disappointed in Elektra for screwing them over and for failing to promote Lil Mo properly. Disputes between Lil Mo and Elektra executives is what led these songs to be cut from the final tracklist.

Intro was recorded in 1983 when Lil Mo was just 5 years old. She was signing about worshipping Jesus and praising the lord. You can tell by listening to her vocals that she was raised by the church and sung in the gospel choir. Her Christianity roots show here.

Some fans and stans might agree that this song wasn’t exactly her best song. The audio quality along with her vocals is subpar only because she was a child.

My Story is an autobiographical song about Lil Mo. This song is her life story basically. She sings her ass off in the chorus and as a solo artist on this song of hers. She makes it be known to the world that she wants to be known as a singer and as a superstar. It is a positive and uplifting song about what she goes through because she’s just like you. The electronics used are great!

Lil Mo takes us back to where it all started at the very beginning of My Story. She was a little girl from Long Island, New York. Thinking back when it all started, she always had big dreams. Lil Mo wanted to be a superstar. She said she was touched by God. Now she can tell the world all about it.

Her life, heart, and story are everything to her that she wants to share with you. It’s the answer to the calling and now the whole world can see Lil Mo as a superstar. In each and everybody there is a Lil Mo.

They gotta know about her and feel the love. She has to show them all. From the biggest to the small, the bottom of her heart. To the depths of her soul. About she made it through the fire and came out pure as gold.

Supa Star was featured on the television show Dark Angel in 2001. Many Dark Angel fans will recognize this song due to its soulful nature. Supa Star is about who is the hottest, who has the most material things in their possession, and who’s car is the flyest. Who shows the most shit? Who talks the most shit? Everybody wants to be a supa star.

Supa Star is about why Lil Mo wants to break the cycle of poverty and make it out of the ghetto. She is caught up in a ghetto state of mind and wants to get out of here.

It’s everyday talk in the ghetto. Ghetto is a state of mind. Do we ever think about will we really make it? It comes from the pressure in these videos and radio. Lil Mo is caught up in a ghetto state of mind and just trying to get the hell outta here.

Everybody wants to shine every and to live the life. Everybody wants to go where every body knows their name and to see their name in bright lights. It’s a misconception that material things can make someone a star.

Superwoman (Superwoman, Pt. II) was a hit for Lil’ Mo that launched her into stardom in 2001. The song peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart. The single went gold in less than a year. The loopy electronic bass notes are what made this song stand out.

DJ Clue produced the song while Fabulous rapped on it. DJ Clue played it constantly on New York City radio show Hot 97. Lil Mo recorded the vocals for the song in 2001 after Superwoman (Superwoman, Pt. I) failed to chart on the BillBoard.

You don’t have to look up in the sky because the girl you need is there right before your eyes. Lil Mo can save you with her superpowers, but she’s only human. Still, she will be your superwoman. They don’t make no girls like Lil Mo. She has a lot to offer. So all you other broads need to step off!

Player Not The Game with Carl Thomas is a love song. It’s the player and not the game. Its mood and theme is romantic. Player Not The Game is duo song featuring Carl Thomas.

We’re gonna talk about these players. We’re gonna also talk about this game.This game is something everybody wants to know about. But who’s the victim? Is it the player? The one being played? Or simply this game?

Early in the morning, he waits by her door. But she’s not there, because she don’t care as there is someone else she adores. And it’s a quarter after midnight when the girl is by her phone. But he won’t call and the tears fall. So she sleeps all alone. They’re in a world full of confusion. The feeling is gone, yet they keep holding on. Love is just an illusion. Get to the back of the line as love will call you in time.

People go ’round and ’round in circles on the kaleidoscope of love. Falling in love and feeling pain. But it’s the player, not the game. See the parade of smiling faces covering up the fakeness along with disappointment. No masquerade can fade the shame. Too many tracks to hide the traces. It’s not the game.

Lil Mo keeps all her feelings in a dark and deep place. Carl Thomas tells her to never go there because it’s so rare true love shows its face and fate. She stares out her window when she can’t sleep at night. Many voices, many choices, but he knows when it’s right.

They’re in a world full of confusion where love is just an illusion. The feeling is gone, still they keep holding on. On the kaleidoscope of love. People go ’round and ’round in circles. Falling in love and feeling pain. But it’s the player, not the game.

The song How Many Times is a Lil Mo solo of heartbreak and disappointment hence its mood of sadness. On the song How Many Times, Lil Mo is trying to get a man to notice her and goes through many attempts at trying to get him to notice her. The man ends up breaking her heart by not noticing her or giving her desired attention. Lil Mo lets her emotions speak on this song. LiL mo lets her emotions control her on this song of hers.

In Verse 1, she asks, Why you got to make this hard? All the time. It’s so difficult. When Lil Mo is just trying to get him to notice her Since Lil Mo can’t hold him accountable for the feelings that she feels. She’ll hold you responsible because she I knows that he can see.

How many times? How many times do we have to go through this? How many times does Lil Mo have to say it? How many letters would it take to make you understand? How many times does she have to reason with him? Lil Mo needs him. How can she make him realize?

Verse 2 is where Lil Mo requested songs on the love line over the phone to the DJ at the radio station. She dedicated them all to him. She knows that he is just tired of her by now. And so is the DJ.

2moro is about Lil Mo escaping from an abusive relationship. In the song Lil Mo explains that she has had enough of the physical abuse, emotional abuse, and mental abuse. She has had it with the overall abuse. Tomorrow she will be gone. The song sounds very much similar to 60s soul song or a 70s soul song.

Her partner complains all day long with answers or solutions to any of their problems. It’s a wonder that Lil Mo is still sane. He has her on a ball and chain. He basically has her in a controlling relationship. She can’t escape anyway. It’s the same old thang every day even if it is on a different day.

He accuses her of everything that goes wrong even if it’s not her fault. He is driving her away due to his attitude towards her among everything else. She’ll be gone tomorrow.

He fusses and fights with her every night. And it just ain’t right. When she does the best she can loving him. Because of what his crew has been telling things about Lil Mo to him behind her back, there is no convincing him. Her partner stays complaining everyday. Lil Mo is tired of his verbal abuse and emotional abuse.

Friends (Those Girls) was a song written by Nicole Wray for Lil Mo in 2001. Lil Mo used this song on her debut album. The song is about how friends aren’t really friends when they say things about you partner behind your back. Girls tend to gossip behind people’s backs.

At the very beginning, Lil Mo questions, “Friends. How many of us really have them?”

Lil Mo never thought she would be saying this, but she will never bring her man around her friends again. Her friends that be hating on him will be the same ones trying to get a piece of him. They tell her this and that. She believes what they say and then she questions him. Lil Mo then later figures out what they said behind his back. (And Lil Mo’s too.) It was an excuse just trying to get next to him.

Those were the same girls that said she should leave him and who also said that she don’t need him. Those were the same girls that sat around and dissed him. Those were the same girls that said he was scheming to do nefarious things without her knowledge. Those were the same girls that said they caught him slippin.

Lil Mo really thought they where close to her. Lil Mo told them everything about their relationship. From the sex to the nights he wouldn’t come home. To the fights they had in their relationship. These are the same girls that dog him out. They were using it for their game. Because they dog him out and Lil Mo would do the same. Lil Mo keeps her friends close and her enemies far away.

At the end of the song is where Lil Mo figures out and realizes that she don’t need them. Now she don’t love them or trust them. She let go of all her so called friends.

Gangsta is Lil Mo’s own cover for Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice. The notable sample of Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice is what made the song a moderate success on the radio and TV in 2001. Gangsta was a song dedicated to gangsta rap and all out gangsterism.

The song was produced by Flavahood, Darryl “Big Baby” McClary, and Michael “Suga Mike” Allen. Darryl “Big Baby” McClary, and Michael “Suga Mike” Allen co-wrote the song.

Lil Mo keeps it gangsta for the streets as she has love for the streets. With so much drama in the NYC, Lil Mo is just trying to make money. She is from where grass don’t grow and the birds don’t sing. Where police be wildin’, but her crew is “’bout it, ‘bout it”.

Lil Mo got love for the streets and the streets got love for her. So they can take her out the streets, but can’t take the streets out of her.

Saturday is a song explains how a man who loved Lil Mo was dating someone else behind her back and ignoring her. He was dating someone else behind her back without her knowing. The song has an upbeat vibe to it hence its upbeat nature. The song itself is quite fast paced.

Lil Mo calls the man she is dating over the telephone at the very beginning of the song only to find out his number has been disconnected as the operator states. She sighs inn disbelief. This is the point where she starts singing.

He said he had to leave. He promised Lil Mo he would be with her on Saturday. But he said he had things he had to do. He had errands he had to make. His priorities were in other places. Now it’s Monday. Lil Mo has not seen or heard from him. How much more time does he need? She let it marinate but now she’s getting worried as it’s Wednesday.

She believed him when he said he would love Lil Mo for always. But always ended Saturday. How could he look Lil Mo in her face knowing he was with someone else in the first place?

She even drove by his apartment. She saw a For Sale sign. He up and moved away. He could’ve at least called her. According to him, it was over. But now they are closer than they ever were. Now they are closer than they ever were. He swore to Lil Mo.

He took a piece of her when he walked away last Saturday. She would’ve thought he’d be the one good in her mind. Lil Mo finds out toward the end of the song that he did not love her. He loved someone else instead. Her man was cheating Lil Mo.

She Cood Neva B Me is a slow tempo slow jam. At first the vibe starts off in a sad manner and at the end of the song where the mood transcends into a happy ending. Lil Mo explains how things would be different if she was your girl in this song. She is much different from that other girl you are dating or with. The song is about unconditional love.

Think about how you could be if Lil Mo was your girl. The things she could do for you. She could love you in a way she never knew how. If only you can imagine. Lil Mo can make you believe. She is for real.

The girl you’re with can never really take care of you as she is too emotionally immature to be there for you like a real girl should be. That’s why you call on Lil Mo to be loving you unconditionally.

Because anything she can do Lil Mo can do better. Lil Mo is so much better than that other girl mentioned in the song whether it is the girl you are dating or not. What kind of girl is she to leave her family? She could never be Lil Mo because that is what she would do.

Remember the time that she left you all alone with your son and Lil Mo came to your rescue? Because only she can treat you like a man. And she knows that you would rather share your life with her. Lil Mo can love you unconditionally. Lil Mo can do everything better than she can. She could never be Lil Mo. She will be there for you through thick and thin.

Lil Mo takes it to church with the St. Lil Mo Mass Choir on Time After Time. Lil Mo’s cover of Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper is the gospel version of that song. This is one of those rare cases where the cover song is better than the original song.

No matter what she will be there waiting on you. No matter what, if you fall then Lil Mo will catch you. If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me. Time after time.

Outro uses the exact same music from the song at the beginning of the album called My Story. The beats, harmonics, and instruments used are exactly the same. Flavahood produced this song among several others included on this album. It is a positive and uplifting song about what she goes through because she’s just like you. This is the song where she goes out with a bang!

Just cause this is the end don’t mean it gotta be over. She hopes you feel what she goes through because she’s just like you. She gave you the story of her life from the beginning to the end.

I Ain’t Gotta is a hard edgy, guitar driven soul song where Lil Mo takes charge. I Ain’t Gotta is dedicated to all the ladies and fellas. It’s about having sex on the first night with no strings attached.

At the beginning of the where Lil Mo got off stage from performing a set. Lil Mo met a man in the crowd. His name was Rick. Lil Mo was sizing hm up from head to toe. She told him to meet her in the VIP section. He was thinking the same thing. Lil Mo is feeling real freaky tonight. What ended up happening is that they liked each other and ended up having sex on the first night.

Lil Mo explains that she doesn’t have to be anywhere until morning. She is out with her friends. She known he really wants her.

Ta Da is a lovely magical song dedicated and aimed to all the ladies out there to whose men that are unfaithful and are cheating on other women. The song was is in reference to specific men who often rely on women then turn around to then cheat on them. There is a point in females lives where they want to claim their independence.

Ta Da was chosen by Elektra Records due to the lack of success from Lil Mo’s previous singles 5 Minutes and If You Wanna Dance because those songs when they were released as singles did not chart. Elektra’s decision that Ta Da was a good choice for the lead single of the debut Based On A True Story album. Many were in favor of that particular decision back then in 2000 as well!

However the music video wasn’t promoted as well as it should have been. Critics did think of the song Ta Da as male–bashing content. Ta Da was a good lead single that had a lot of potential for some radioplay. On a plus note, Pam Olivia of Vybe, D’Andrea Foster, and Shae Jones contributed in the role of background vocals.

If You Wanna Dance was a funky upbeat dance song written by Lil Mo in 1999. The rhythm alone will make you get up to dance. The song was released as a single in 1999 to radio stations across the US.

Unfortunately this single was removed from the final tracklist for Based On A True Story due to a lack of charting performance. The song only hit #99 on the BillBoard and quickly fell off. Thus being removed from the final draft for this album.

5 Minutes was produced by Timbaland and featured Missy Elliott. The song follows an upbeat funky bass line to Missy’s ad-lib raps and Lil Mo’s hip hop soul singing. It’s thick phat beats really stand out. 5 Minutes was released as a single to promote Lil Mo’s debut album and was used on the soundtrack for the 1998 film Why Do Fools Fall In Love. The music video for 5 Minutes was played heavily on BET and MTV during the late 90s.

Unfortunately this single was removed from the final tracklist for Based On A True Story due to a lack of charting performance. The song only hit #98 on the BillBoard and quickly fell off. Thus being removed from the final draft for this album.

Hello It’s Me is a cover of Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me. It’s also a Gerald Levert/Lil Mo duet. Gerald Levert takes charge of the lead vocals. Their cover of Hello It’s Me was used on the soundtrack for The Mod Squad film in 1999. This version of Hello It’s Me is a soul version and a soulful equivalent to the original song from 1972. In fact, this is one of those rare cases where the cover song is better than the original song.

The song sounds as if it recorded in the 1960s or 1970s due to its funky sounds and funk guitar used. However that is not the case as this cover was recorded in 1998. The guitars and percussion used help give this song a funky vibe while their singing gives the song a soulful vibe.

Now the original version of Superwoman (Superwoman Pt. I) was recorded in 1999 for the original tracklisting. (Superwoman, Pt. I) failed to chart on the BillBoard. That is the reason why it was scrapped from the original tracklist.

You don’t have to look up in the sky because the girl you need is there right before your eyes. Lil Mo can save you with her superpowers, but she’s only human. Still, she will be your superwoman. They don’t make no girls like Lil Mo. She has a lot to offer. So all you other broads need to step off! Lil Mo is the kind of girl that you can lay down and everything will be okay.

Club 2G was produced by Missy Elliott and re-recorded in 2000. Nicole Wray, Missy Elliott, and Naam are featured this song. Nicole Wray is featured in the chorus with Pam Olivia. Club 2G is similar to Supa Star in terms of mood and theme. Club 2G was featured on the television show Dark Angel in 2000. Many Dark Angel fans will recognize this song due to its dark but soulful nature.

Dance music meets soul and hip hop/rap. Missy Elliott and Lil Mo do the rapping portion of the song. Missy Elliott is all over this track as she was with 5 Minutes and Starstruck. Missy adlibs on it.

Starstruck was a song produced by Missy Elliott for Lil Mo’s Based On A True Story album in 2000. This song was based on a true story. Missy Elliott does a superb herb job of doing her rap ad-libs as she always does! To most Lil Mo fans, Starstruck should have been a lead single. Starstruck had a lot of potential for some radioplay but Elektra disagreed with that option. Starstruck should’ve had a music video done as well.

The song is about boy who used to tease her constantly which is who the entire song is aimed at. Now he wants to be around Lil Mo due to her fame and social status in the music industry. She kindly tells him to back off. The boy is starstruck by Lil Mo.

This song goes out to that boy who used to laugh at her and tease her. It was a boy in Lil Mo’s class when she was in high school. That boy played her out like a high top fade. He used to laugh at Lil Mo’s little shape. He didn’t listen to what she had to say. Now years laters, he says she’s off the chain and blows him away.

Because back in the day he wasn’t trying to see her. Now he’s got so much to say. Could it be the money, videos, and the fly cars? Could it be he wants Lil Mo because he’s just starstruck?

Now he is trying to get backstage to see Lil Mo during her concerts and tours. My, my look at how things have changed. Look how the tables turned. What can I say? She grew up and filled out in every place. Now he wants to be in her face and to get up in her DNA because she is getting paid large amounts of money.

Too bad he can’t be down with Lil Mo. If only he had been much more good to her when she was nothing.
Don’t sweat the technique. But laugh now baby, laugh now!

Now he’s got so much to say about Lil Mo’s fame and stardom. The boy wants Lil Mo because he’s starstruck! If that boy had been much more good to Lil Mo then things would be different.

Enter stage Missy Elliott. She is the bitch like she told him. Why is that boy all up in Missy’s grill like he knows her? She had all these clothing styles and personalities WAY before this boy did. That boy needs to stop talking all that junk and slow down. Missy Elliott used to be a nobody until 1996 when she blew up big on Gina Thompson’s song The Things You Do. Every show Missy Elliott performs at, she earns $1 million for every appearance at every show in other words. Missy Elliott did make it hot like Nicole Wray did in 1998! She knows how to break it down to the floor.

More Than You Know is a sweet celestial song straight from heaven written by Lil Mo. The beats are super thick and sultry.

This is how it happened. Lil Mo saw the man of her dreams. Her dream then became reality. One minute she was by herself. Then he became a part of her. Easy come easy go was what she was thinking in her mind. Lil Mo was holding on to the past. Then she realized the man was hers. She knows they were a good match as a couple.

Lil Mo won’t stop anyone from letting her love him. She is more than satisfied. Nobody else is gonna do
She won’t let nobody in her business. It’s all about him. She is here for him more than he knows.

Lil Mo expresses her desire of not wanting him to leave her in the chorus. Lil Mo also expresses desire to stay with him. Read the lyrics to the chorus down below.

[chorus]
Stay with me
Don’t you go
I love you tonight more than you know
Stay with me
Don’t you go
I love you tonight more than you know

She wonders how it would have been if she had never met him for a moment. Then she lets it go because she has him. Her heart’s so full of love. She cannot even breathe. He is the air to her body. He is all that she needs. She is more than satisfied. Nobody else is gonna do for her.

He is the pieces to her puzzle. Without him she is incomplete. Sweeter than honey. The song to her melody. If you add all the days of her life and multiply by the reasons she loves him, it couldn’t measure up to how much she really needs him.

The song What About The Children? is a song dedicated to the children. Some might consider the song to be a family values portion of this album depending on point of view. This one is for the children. Cause Lil’ Mo love the kids.

It’s funny how we forgot all about the simple things that matter to us. Looking back on yesterday. Funny how things have changed. Instead of getting kids off the streets, Lil Mo and her partner go buy a diamond ring. Lil Mo and her partner pleasure right before priority. They are too busy thinking about themselves. This one is for the children. They need our love if we are willing. So Lil Mo asks, “What about the children?”.

She even cries herself to sleep when she sees kids without food to eat. Who are we to say that we don’t see these things? It’s in our face every day. But we often turn the cheek and ignore issues such as this one. Open up your heart and spread some love today. We need to see what our love can bring.

The song Why sounds very much similar the Deborah Cox song Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here and Gina Thompson – It Hurts. It’s no coincidence that Why sounds very much similar to It Hurts because Anthony Shep Crawford produced both songs. Anthony Shep Crawford wrote this song for her and Ta Da. This song should have been released and not left on the promo. Elektra dropped the ball by not releasing this song.

The song Think of Me features former Def Jam artist Lady Luck. Lady Luck does all the rapping and Lil Mo does all of the singing. The song was taken off the final tracklist because Elektra thought the song had too much of an urban sound to be on a soul album. So Elektra shelved the song. That left fans disappointed at Elektra. The song later appeared on Lady Luck – The Lost Unreleased Tapes digital album/mixtape in 2012.

Nobody Somebody was a sad song which sounded like a DJ Screw song that should have been left off the album and saved for another album. The mood is quite sad and negative. The beat is definitely slower than 80 BPM.

Who You Foolin’ is a 4 minute song that featured Gold Mind artist Mocha. The song was subpar and mediocre compared to all of the other songs recorded for Based On A True Story. Honestly it wasn’t that good either.

Nothing But Good Times is very similar to a Deborah Cox song. The song of course is obvious. Anthony Shep Crawford produced and wrote the song.

I rate this album 5/5*****!

mixerrreviewsatxn

Content curator, narrator, and writer for Bout Dat Online. Mixerr Reviews is a news blog from Austin, Texas, US which examines news, business, history, and music. #MixerrReviews #MixerrReviewsBlogspotATXN

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