Venita McCollum on Raising A Rapper

Lil' Yachty A.K.A. Miles McCollum, His Mom the Author and Their SoFu Roots

Article by Erikka Searles Mitchell

Photography by Photos courtesy of FreddyO.com

Originally published in South Fulton Lifestyle

Venita McCollum is just like you or me. She raised her kids right and hoped they would go off to college and become successful citizens. She managed to co-parent well with Miles’ dad, ex-husband, friend of SFL, celebrity photographer Shannon McCollum. But what do you do when your child’s dream doesn’t match your own? His grandparents attend Cascade United Methodist right here in SoFu, but they probably couldn’t picture the kind of success that Miles just knew was his destiny.

Do you let your son leave Alabama A&M, where the other students don’t seem to “get” him so that he can pursue HIS dream? Venita was thinking that he would go to class, maybe pledge a Divine 9 fraternity, graduate and get a good job. Well, when I saw him rock a crowded Piedmont Park audience at Music Midtown, the hometown boy was nearly doing everything but what his mother had envisioned.

Like Venita, I am a mom. My son is 8. He’s a very artistic, musical person with a flair for the dramatic. Will I have the courage to let him fly and to release my ideas of what his future should look like? In her book, Raising a Rapper, Venita McCollum shows the reader how not to make the mistakes that she made. She gives practical tips on what to do when your creative child thinks differently and is dead set on becoming a world-famous rapper and star. Though, here in the A, in this room, Grammy nominated Lil Yachty is a son, big brother, former classmate and church member. He is just Miles. --ESM

More than 200 VIP guests, music industry executives, Atlanta influencers and media celebrated the book launch of Raising a Rapper, authored by Venita McCollum, mother of Grammy-nominated artist Lil Yachty.

In her debut book, McCollum shares an inside look into her son’s journey from the college dorm room to the Forbes list in just two years, while providing readers an exclusive how-to guide to rearing kids with dreams in the complex entertainment industry — from avoiding pitfalls to the importance of parental support, a strong team, legal decisions, finances and more.

“I was intentional about adding touches of inspiration throughout Raising a Rapper because there are so many things that instill a sense of fear in parents whose kids want to enter into creative industries,” McCollum shared with launch party attendees, who gathered at the Agency Socialthèque. “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.”

“I’m just happy that she’s doing something that she’s happy doing,” said Lil Yachty as he applauded his mom for evolving her career as an author and manager of several businesses. “I remember so many times when my mom would come home at 6:30 at night, and she’d be so tired. Now, seeing that she gets to fulfill all of her dreams and write books is cool.”  

Both McCollum and Lil Yachty shared heartfelt thanks with celebration attendees before signing personalized copies of Raising a Rapper.

“I appreciate every single one of you for coming out here, and to everyone who knew me before the fame, thank you for supporting me and my mother,” Lil Yachty said. 

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;”  collaborations with Cardi B., The Migos, Calvin Harris and a feature on D.R.A.M’s Platinum single “Broccoli.”

Venita is now the CFO of Lil Boat Sailing Team, Yachty Touring and Boat Boy Publishing. She also manages In the Closet with V, Raising A Rapper, and her podcast, “Tha Wrap-Up with Venita.”

Raising A Rapper is now available for purchase on Amazon and RaisingARapper.com in paperback, ebook and audiobook versions.

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