Our D.C. artist of the week is rapper LoLa Monroe! LoLa Monroe has been making waves in the D.C. music scene since she first rose to popularity in 2005. Fifteen years later, LoLa Monroe is now continuing her legacy of success in music, as well as in film and fashion.

LoLa Monroe was born in Addis Ababa, the capital of and largest city in Ethiopia. Her artistic pursuits began at a young age when LoLa Monroe started expressing herself through poems and songs at just 12 years old. After moving to Washington D.C., she continued to hone her passions for music, fashion and even acting. In 2007, she made her acting debut during the Wendy Williams biopic “Queen of Media.” Later, Monroe acted in “Crazy like a Fox,” and also began appearing in popular music videos for various artists, like Kanye West and Trey Songz.

By 2009, LoLa Monroe was well known throughout pop culture circles. In June 2009, she released her first mixtape, “Boss Bitch’s World.” Just four months later, she released her second mixtape, “The Lola Monroe Chronicles: The Art of Motivation.” That same year, she unveiled her collaboration mixtape “Untouchables,” and, with three solid projects under her belt, she was on her way to establishing herself as a uniquely talented and prolific rapper in the District’s music scene. She has worked alongside many iconic rappers, including Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and King Los.

LoLa Monroe’s women empowerment-centered lyrics especially garnered her respect within the Black community, and among Black women. In 2011, LoLa Monroe was nominated for Best Female Hip Hop Artist at the Black Entertainment Television Awards. In October 2011, Monroe was announced as the first woman rapper to sign for Taylor Gang — rapper Wiz Khalifa’s record label. Her first mixtape released under the label was “Lipstick & Pistols,” an explosive and energetic project about family, love and power.

Recently, LoLa Monroe appeared in PUMP Magazine wearing selected pieces from fashion designer Andree Mery, owner of the Black clothing company Andree Mery. As a Black woman and immigrant, it has always been important for LoLa Monroe to support other people of color in the arts. She has worked with groundbreaking artists like fashion designer Ray Ortiz, and director and photographer Sequoia Emmanuelle.

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You can stay up to date on LoLa Monroe by following her on Instagram. Her music is available on all streaming platforms by searching LoLa Monroe.

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