I got a chance to hang out with Monica during Ben Hill Day 2008. For those of you who don’t know, Ben Hill Day is a day set aside in Atlanta to celebrate the Southside and each year it gets bigger and bigger. During the event, Monica mixed and mingled with her fans and it was obvious that she is a true ATLien. Check out part one of my exclusive interview with her:
“Rodney and I met 8 1/2 years ago in Ben Hill. At the Cascade skating rink (where the movie ATL was shot). Ben Hill is where Rodney’s from and as the event has grown we try to be a part of it every year. Ben Hill Day is a good opportunity for those who have left to come back home.”
Ben Hill Day was full of bar-b-que pits, Pit Bulls and heavy Chevy’s and I noticed that Monica knew just about everyone there, including the vendors and the kids. It seemed like they either were family, knew family or felt like family. As I stood to the side to allow yet another fan snap her picture with a camera phone, it was obvious to all that Monica was at home.
“It’s funny…you may know because you’re from here too, but most people don’t realize how many people actually come from the Ben Hill/College Park area. Organized Noize, Outkast, The Dungeon Family, Polow…I could go on and on. I’m so fond of it because not only did I meet Rodney, he was raised here and this is a part of him.”
And yes…she really is that down to earth and she really is that in love! As I congratulated her on her engagement to Rodney Ramone Hill (aka Rocko Da Don), I just had to know how it went down, so I asked, “How did Rocko propose?”
“It was Christmas Eve at midnight, we were home alone in the bedroom and he said ‘close your eyes and listen.’ He put the ring on first. I knew what was coming next so I did what I was asked. He proceeded to talk about our history together, the kids. He and he very directly just poped the question. I automatically said ‘yes!’
Naturally my next question was when and where…but Mo was clear that she was letting her man take the lead. She has always believed that you don’t have to pressure a man.
“So many people believe that once you’re engaged you have to be married by a certain time or when you date someone you should be engaged by a certain time…but I was 19 when we started dated and there has never been a moment where I felt put on hold. Everything happened the way it was supposed to.”
Monica and I talked about blogs and bloggers who are quick to jump on the bandwagon when things are presented to them. She was shocked that a voicemail left for fellow blogger BlogXilla was quickly turned into a YouTube video. I asked her about it because I had just gotten the email that day.
“Wow…a video? I had no idea it was THAT serious!”
VIDEO: Monica Addresses Beyonce Beef Rumors (2008)
We talked about how a simple thing, like a voicemail can turn into a viral video sensation. I originally refused to post it because I felt it was adding fuel to a non-existant flame, but since leaving the message the video has made the rounds to several other sites and has over 25,000 views. So yes…it is that serious!
“It’s not that I even care that it was posted on all those sites cause I don’t. I said what I said because I felt that the truth had to be told. No matter how small the lie. I reached out because I wanted to clear up any misconceptions about my relationship with Beyonce. Any time you can stop a lie you do yourself a favor by speaking the truth.”
Monica stated that she personally did not even see the original post that implied she was beefing with Beyonce…but her family and friends notified her about it. For the record, she didn’t even mention Beyonce’s name but a few bloggers simply speculated that she was speaking of her.
“Who I used to be..I am not anymore. It’s easy to judge me when you are on the outside looking in.”
Monica, always the proud Mommy, was quick to show me her new family photos taken by celebrity photographer Derek Blanks. “Awww Monica, these pics are beautiful. Is Lil Rocko ever jealous of his little brother?”
Never…and it’s only because I included him in EVERYTHING during the pregnancy…except naming the baby of course. I let Rodney choose the first name and his middle name is my brother’s.
In case you don’t know, Lil Rocko (3) is named after Mo’s fiance, Rodney Ramone Hill and her newest little one is named Romelo Montez Hill (19 wks). I even spoke with Lil Rocko as Monica was preparing to go to the movies. He was excited about seeing “Space Chimps” and had apparently been saying it all day. When she tried to get him to say it for me he was too busy eating chips to pay me any attention. LOL!
Monica is a very dedicated mom and takes the kids everywhere with her. On spending time with her family, she is quick to say that she “takes as many days off as on…”
Speaking of family and friends she has a ton of em in the “A”. When I asked if she would ever leave her response was “Hell No!”…Well actually that was my response..LOL! her response was:
“Absolutely not! I would never separate my children from my family. Also, my entire crew is from Atlanta and I couldn’t imagine separating them from their families. Rodney and I have looked into vacation homes but my main home will always be Atlanta. If you are from the A, [then] you know that Atlanta artists are extremely supportive of one another.”
Monica’s crew consists of her makeup artist, Christian Mugler; her stylist Beshundra Nelson and her manager Melinda Dancil. All are Atlanta natives and Melida is Monica’s 1st cousin. She keeps her staff small & doesn’t do entourages (However I felt like I was in one as we strolled around during Ben Hill day). On the real…if you see her out, she says that those are the people with whom she’s hanging.
Monica and I spoke for hours. We spoke about her reality show, which is airing August 5th on Peachtree TV, the new single and her relationship to Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges. I saved all that good information for ya’ll and will post Part II of our interview soon. In the meantime, make sure you check out Monica tonight (July 30, 2008) at Luckie Food Lounge.