Gig Seeker Pro


Flint, Michigan, United States

Flint, Michigan, United States
Band Hip Hop Soul




"Flint emcee Mama Sol preps first book, new mixtape"

FLINT, MI—With a life that includes battling breast cancer; being raised by a father who was a pimp and drug dealer, and a mother who was a schoolteacher; and traveling around the world, Melinda "Mama Sol" Wilson has always had a story to tell.

After years of telling that story through music—including in a show on Friday at Flint Local 432—she's taking her narrative to the written page with her first book.

Wilson got her start in her hometown of Flint, where she was a member of a group called Melanite Children, which included members who were back-up dancers for Detroit-born R&B superstar Aaliyah. She later moved to Columbus, Ohio to spend time with her father who had been recently released from prison. While there, she helped ghostwrite songs for Ohio rapper Lil Bow Wow and penned commercials for successful clothing company FUBU. The latter job prompted a move to New York City, where Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Bothered by what she felt was a lack of concern from her workplace, she left her gig and moved back home to undergo three months of radiation treatment and five surgeries to fight the disease. As her health rehabilitated, she moved to Detroit, where she developed a special education program at Timbuktu Academy and used hip-hop music to teach reading skills.

"I let the children look up lyrics of their favorite songs, then we would correct all of the lyrics from ebonics to English, and they would see how much their favorite rappers didn't make sense," she laughs. "Then I would play them a song like Common's 'Song For Assata,' and they would see that there were other rappers who were actually saying something."

Later, Wilson would leave the school after a new administrator offered a new contract that decreased her pay—conditions that wouldn't work for her and her newborn son. Despite her love for her job and her involvement with children, she knew it was time to revisit her first love: music.

"I knew [from my battle with cancer], when God sends you in dire stages, accept the challenge and grow from it," she said. "...I knew God didn't intend for me to teach for the rest of my life. I thought, what did I ever do that made me the happiest, and made me the most money? That was writing."

Wilson moved back to Flint, where she formed The N.U.T.S.—a band that now consists of a drummer, a bass guitarist, and a DJ—that performs with her, and other instrumentalists that help with larger shows. The group will perform on Friday at Flint Local 432, with a cover charge of $8, in a concert that begins at 8 p.m..

With several projects under her belt—the most recent being 2011's "Dream Girl: The Fix Tape"—she's now working on her first book, a memoir of her upbringing. Her father was a no-nonsense drug dealer and pimp, while her mother taught music and religion in Flint. Wilson aims for the book to serve as a companion to her music, and to also help improve her new goal of speaking at schools and colleges.

"If kids read this for a book report, they'll be able to meet the author and put a face with the book. That's almost unheard of nowadays. Most of the time, we have children read the autobiography of Malcolm X, books by people they'll never meet" Wilson explained. "This gives children someone to grow with, and to put a face with the book. ... Now, I can reach even more kids, and I'm not just in one school."

Kellen Brandon, co-writer of the book and owner of its Brandon Publishing home, first heard of Wilson when he saw a video of her rapping with hip-hop icon Yasiin Bey, then known as Mos Def (link may include adult language). The book will show two firsts for the company: the first book to include color photos, and the first that Brandon is helping co-write.

"She started telling me about her life, and I'm like, 'Wow, this is amazing to do it from that angle [of me co-writing]. It excited me to do something different," he said. "She's so poetic, even when she talks. A lot of the lines, I don't even have to add anything in."

The book's final manuscript is due in December. In the meantime, Wilson is working on a new EPK video and a mixtape that will feature guest appearances by Kanye West collaborator The World Famous Tony Williams, Mickey Factz, Jon Connor, and more. She plans to finish those two projects by the end of September.

"We'll get to know each other a little better," she said. - William E. Ketchum III |

"Flint spoken word artist spreads her powerful message around the globe"

FLINT -- Mindy “SOL” Wilson is a woman of many talents, feats and endeavors.

She’s a songwriter, poet and emcee ... an artist, hair-stylist and founder of a non-profit ... a mother, humanitarian and breast cancer survivor.

And the legacy this Flint native wants to leave behind is to inspire others -- from right here in Flint, all the way to Africa.

“I motivate those around me to become the best person, parent, friend or neighbor they can possibly become in this physical life,” said the “30-something” musician who goes by the nickname “Mama SOL.”

Along with her three-piece band “The N.U.T.S.,” she uses spoken word infused with hip-hop to spread the words closest to her heart.

“Music, I feel, is a voice for the voiceless and a universal language we can all relate to. It is a vehicle that can drive a message into the souls of my listeners, which in return, can assist in their reason for being, their thinking in terms of unity, freedom and peace amongst one another as brothers and sisters -- breaking both racial and gender barriers.”

She also has many lyrics that were inspired by Flint. This message, she says, is a perfect example of her embedded messages in her work:

" ‘I’m immune to my community’s burdens, beauties and brutally broken hearts in result to a poor portrait of unity.’ These are lyrics easily lost in the music until you really pay close attention.”

Mama SOL’s poetic activism doesn’t stop at Flint -- or even Detroit. She says it’s her work abroad that has truly touched her.

Mama SOL has performed in Dubai, Qatar and Kenya. Most recently, she revisited a refugee camp in Nairobi, Kenya, and says it was the most devastating experience she’s ever had.

“There I met mothers (who) had traveled on foot for 18 to 30 days with children. One woman traveled a month with her six kids and four had died on the way of starvation. She had to leave her babies in the woods alone,” she recalls.

Mama SOL says she used her voice there as much as possible, interviewing with BBC WorldNews, meeting with the Prime Minister of Somalia and was even offered a position as a United Nations ambassador.

She also did a lot of learning there. That’s where she was educated by elders in Africa and inspired to create her Bring L.I.F.E. Foundation, which stands for love, inspiration, food and education. She says it’s her way of sharing her vision with friends and family, anywhere in the world.

In the end, Mama SOL says her pride isn’t just within her personal journey, but the way her audience can be touched by it.

“My greatest accomplishments lie in the response of positive behavior and positive, progressive communication of my peers, fans and family,” she said, “In result of my actions.”
- Jessica Strachan | The Flint Journal


Still working on that hot first release.



Mama Sol & Tha N.U.T.S. is an American Hip Hop/Neo Soul band hailing from Michigan. They are know for fusing lyricism with live instrumentation together to bring a undeniable eclectic energy to hip hop while preserving the culture. With a solid female lyricist at the forefront, the band has form their own distinct sound that amazes live audiences and captures the attention of any listener within reach.

The Band has opened for and collaborated with many different artist from various genres including Rakim, Diggy Simmons and Kindred Family Soul just to name a few.