GloRilla: November’s R&B/Hip-Hop Rookie of the Month

Seven months ago, the 23-year-old Tennessee native Gloria “GloRilla” Woods exploded onto the hip-hop scene with “FNF (Let’s Go),” a bass-pounding track that became a summer anthem as well as a Grammy nominee (the breakout hit is nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 2023 Grammy Awards).

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She was discovered by producer Hitkidd a few years ago at a local show. After contributing to Megan Thee Stallions Something for the hot, he continued to work with the Houston rapper on a new project. Around April, Hitkidd found himself with a hit on his hands but felt it was “too hard” to wait for Megan – so he passed it on to GloRilla.

GloRilla admitted Billboard that she “was in the bathroom getting my lashes done” when he called. “I told her, ‘We need a summer anthem, something the girls can sing,'” Hitkidd said. The couple then met in the studio. GloRilla stepped out for a moment to smoke some Backwoods cigars and then she came up with “I’m FREE, f–kn–-free.” Within 30 minutes, GloRilla and Hitkidd had a soon-to-be hit on their hands.

The song finds GloRilla no longer worrying about her man issues, but instead enjoying a good time with her “rachet a friends”. On April 29, 2022, GloRilla dropped a music video to go along with the song, which has so far amassed over 46 million views on YouTube. The song became the rising star’s first None. 1 on Mainstream R&B/Hip Hop AirPlay and is still in the top 10 on the chart.

In June, she and Hitkidd earned their first Hot 100 hit as “FNF (Let’s Go)” logged in at No. 91 and then peaked at No. 75. The track went on to earn 43.2 million official on-demand US streams through July 7, according to Luminate. GloRilla rode the momentum from “FNF” to a deal with Yo Gotti’s CMG imprint.

And she didn’t stop there.

After her hit made waves in the hip-hop scene, GloRilla went on to release “Blessed” with her mentor, Yo Gotti. She followed up with “Tomorrow”, which was remixed as “Tomorrow 2” with cardi b The remix added another achievement to GloRilla’s belt, logging in at No. 3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and No. 9 on the Hot 100 back in early October; “Tomorrow 2” also earned GloRilla a performance slot at the 2022 American Music Awards, where Cardi B made a surprise appearance.

Billboard spoke with November’s R&B/Hip-Hop Rookie of the Month GloRilla about making a record with Cardi B, maintaining friendships in the music industry and more.

How did you and Cardi B hook up for “Tomorrow 2”? I heard she showed you a lot of love in DM when “FNF” came out!

Actually, my team, Gotti and them. They had already reached out to her. I did not know it. It was a surprise for me to find out that she was in the song. They already had it going and everything, but I didn’t know about it. They were supposed to surprise me. So I wrote to her one day. I was just in the studio. I had done another song. I had sent her a DM, like, “I have another song for you.” She said, “Oh, girl, I already recorded my verse for ‘Tomorrow.’ I thought, “No way.”

In September, you and Cardi B hit #1 for “Tomorrow 2” on Apple Music, and you also landed at #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. How does it feel?

It is nothing but being blessed and hardworking.

You always have your friends with you from Gloss Up, Slimeroni, Aleza, Nicki Pooh, Teezy and the list goes on. How do you keep such a close bond with your friends – specifically with Gloss Up – without letting envy, jealousy and ego get in the way?

It’s really just keeping it real, you know what I’m saying? I always say what’s on your mind. Don’t keep anything a secret. Really, keeping the same attitude, the same view of loyalty that I had before everything.

Let’s talk about the mentorship you received from Gotti. What is the best advice he has given you?

Don’t get too comfortable.

Where do you see yourself in the female rap landscape, knowing that there is so much beef and competition between each other?

I see myself at the top and getting bigger.

You talked about almost shooting your ex under one interview to Bootleg Kev back in August. Is that who you made “FNF” for?

I really just made the song out of being high and it came with the pain and all that.

How do you feel about people talking about you getting plastic surgery?

What people say doesn’t affect me. It’s about what I want to do. Right now I’m comfortable in the skin I’m in… and I’m already fat. I’m fat as f–k. It’s all about self-love. You can’t let others decide how you feel about yourself.

Describe your sound.

I would say crunk and dominant. I have a dominant voice.

How have things changed for you since becoming a star? Are you finding it harder to keep up with the demands of the music industry?

I see a lot of things differently than just trying to make it. Today I have finally entered the industry and many things are different. But I still feel that at the end of the day, you came to work, you had to put in and work, no matter what. You can’t be fake. Everyone came to work. Nothing comes to you for free, really.

Do you feel like you’ve gotten away with that one hit wonder tag, or do you believe you have more to prove?

You know, I never felt like I was a prodigy, but I know a lot of people said that. But everything I’ve dropped is messing with people. They say, “Oh, okay,” so I feel like I’ve done that, but I still feel like I’ve gotten a lot more. I would like 100 plaques, 100 pcs. 1 p.

What are you most proud of to date?

Do it, really. To be able to… Do you know what I’m saying? Put other people on. Put my people on, take care of my family. I really feel like I helped break down a door for my people.

Who do you listen to most for inspiration?

Chief Keef.

Who would you like to work with or collaborate with next?

Oh, I’d say, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, what else? Who else? And Durk!

Finally, what do you want fans to know about GloRilla in terms of your music?

That I’m really versatile. They will be seeing a lot of that as time goes on!

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