LoLa Monroe is Reclaiming Her Crown
The Original Video Vixen Returns for a Celebratory Photoshoot, Exclusively for V
Reincarnations are hard for most people, but for the imminent diva LoLa Monroe — a master of the art of rebirth — it ain’t nothin’ but a thing.
Born Fershgenet Melaku in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, Africa, Monroe is literally royalty: her grandfather was a top general for the last Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, before the abdication of 1974. When Monroe was still a toddler, her family moved from Ethiopia to Washington, D.C. seeking greener pastures. But by 15, Monroe’s relationship with her parents had disintegrated, and she found herself living on the streets of D.C. In 2006, after spending years fending for herself as a teen on the streets, the beguiling young beauty was scouted by a photographer and, after a successful photoshoot, quickly drew the attention of music industry giants like 50 Cent (still a close friend), Kanye West, Trey Songz, T-Pain, and many more.
Monroe then renamed herself Angel LoLa Luv, and became known as the highest-paid video vixen of the early aughts, a time when hip hop, rap, and r&b tracks and music videos were utterly dominating the music and fashion markets. Monroe’s trendsetting looks — an angelically beautiful face and extreme curves — were considered unique when she came onto the scene, and have undoubtedly inspired the aesthetics of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, and even Monroe’s close friend Blac Chyna.
In 2009, riding high on her newfound successes, the Ethiopian queen dropped the Angel and Luv from her name and adopted Monroe as her surname, evoking the voluptuousness and attitude of the “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” icon. She launched her own record label, Blue Rose Dynasty, and released her debut mixtape, Boss Bitch’s World. After issuing multiple EPs and collaborative singles, Monroe was nominated for Best Female Hip Hop Artist at the 2011 BET Awards. That caught the attention of the legendary Wiz Khalifa, whose Taylor Gang record label subsequently signed Monroe as their first female artist.
After going on a national tour with Khalifa and appearing on various Taylor Gang releases, Monroe decided to part ways with the label in 2013. With six mixtapes to her name and collaborations with the likes of Juicy J, Cassie, Christina Millian, and of course Wiz Khalifa, Monroe took a step back to realign and refocus. The same year she left Taylor Gang, she and King Los — a Baltimore-born rapper of some distinction whom Monroe had been in a relationship with for years — had a baby together, named Brixton Royal. Mounting responsibilities lead the new mother to hone in on her parenting skills, as well as her blossoming entrepreneurial side; she has founded two of her own companies, Purrsuazions and Vegan Godd3ss, a fashion accessories brand and a vegan skincare line, respectively.
In 2017, Monroe was asked to come on board as a cast member of E!’s popular reality show “The Platinum Life.” The program documented Monroe’s day-to-day activities as an artist, mother, and partner to King Los, following the badass babe from studio sessions to radio interviews, photoshoots, and performance rehearsals. The success of “The Platinum Life” garnered Monroe even more love from the public, and Monroe has been planning her return to music since the series’ conclusion.
Now ready to take on 2021, the original video vixen is back and working on singles and a fresh EP (still unnamed) for later in the new year. Seen here in an intriguing photoshoot exclusively for V, the images show off Monroe’s newly discovered alter-ego, a Bast-like figure, and reincarnation of her inner goddess, an entity known as “Mutha Meow.” Captured by LA-based photographer Sequoia Emmanuelle and styled by the Paris Hilton-favorite Melvin Sanders, with hair by Kat Colosino and beauty by Justin St. Clair, Monroe is seen dripping in latex pieces by Venus Prototype, fabulous jackets by Matt Sarafa, crystal headpieces by Object & Dawn, custom shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti, and so much more. The stunning shots demonstrate not only Monroe’s royal lineage, but also her renewed dedication to bringing her unmistakably chic, ladyboss energy to her loving fans — and V can’t wait to see what comes next from Mutha Meow!