Your low-rise jeans are sitting on your hips and your Juicy Couture bag has all the bells and whistles. What sounded like a young woman scorned by a relationship was actually a teenage girl from Foxborough, Massachusetts. But JoJo was just 13 years old at the time. In fact, she was the youngest solo artist to ever do so. Now, more than 15 years after her debut, and fresh off her first Grammy win with PJ Morton for his song "Say So," JoJo is telling her story on her own terms.
After going from relationship to relationship, she found herself needing to deal with some uncomfortable truths about her life. I really want to face life head-on. She spent time abstaining from sex and fostering her female friendships. Some of her friends star alongside her in the music video, such as singers Ari Lennox and Tinashe. She feels they were able to tell their own stories and create their own narrative. She ended up signing a deal with Barry Hankerson at Blackground Records at the age of Hankerson is the uncle of singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in , and was the first to sign with Blackground Records when she was a teenager.
They wanted Usher. And like, that's not something that I consciously think of ever. But of course, it must do something to you as a young girl," she recalls. Nonetheless, "JoJo" was a platinum-selling success. But behind the scenes of her success, there were troubles at her label. In a video interview she did with Uproxx this February, she explained how even though she was making and turning in music consistently, folks at her label had burned a lot of bridges with distribution companies. The record contract she signed when she was 12 was ironclad, so her legal team started filing lawsuits against Blackground Records until they released her from the contract in During that time, she said she made no money from her music because the record label owned "everything JoJo.
Why would you want us to not have your music? We want to listen to them. And you're such a big part of my childhood. I want to have those albums. She took matters into her own hands and legally recreated new masters of her first two albums, releasing the recordings in It was a way for her to finally move forward while taking care of those who helped create those songs.
And the Grammy award in January was just more reward for sticking it out. Like, I felt very desperate in that moment, I felt a lot of guilt and shame surrounding the person that I was with and that I cheated on," she says. And I was just kind of like confessing a lot of stuff in this song. And the rest of the album has these same types of honest, raw offerings she hopes resonate with people. JoJo was set to perform at the Royale in Boston on May I love the food. I love the people. I love the pride in our sports teams.
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