Flau’jae Johnson, simply referred to as Flau’jae, is the hottest commodity in entertainment right now. As Flau’jae Johnson, she’s one of the star student-athletes on the historic championship-winning Louisiana State University Tigers women’s basketball team. Other the other hand, as Flau’jae she is a Roc Nation signee with a budding rap career. While fans of each respective industry would prefer the entertainer to choose one over the other, on her latest single, “Big 4,” Flau’jae silences the naysayers as she raps, “Are you gonna rap or be an athlete? / If I’m still doing both why you asking me?”

Even before taking home the NCAA tournament trophy, the musician was no stranger to the spotlight. After getting her start on music reality television shows such as The Rap Game hosted by Jermaine Dupri and America’s Got Talent, Flau’jae has used her competitive edge to score big both on and off of the court. 

Sneaking away from the set of an undisclosed project, I had the chance to speak with Flau’jae about her upcoming collaboration Lil Wayne, the status of her current relationship with Jermaine Dupri, her ranking of other athletes that have pursued a music career, who her dream musical collaborators are, her forthcoming project, and more.

Flau’jae Johnson #4 of the LSU Lady Tigers reacts during the fourth quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game at American Airlines Center on April 02, 2023 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The following interview has been edited for clarity and length

HNHH: First and foremost, congratulations on your championship win. Following your team’s victory, you could hear your song “Big 4” playing in the stadium. What was the feeling like holding that trophy and hearing your music play at the same time?

FJ: Oh, it was, it was an unbelievable feeling. It was a wow moment, like, ‘wow, everything is finally paying off.’ You know? The music is working. Basketball is working. Everything’s just going into well.

So, that’s not the only major moment you’ve had in the past couple of weeks. Recently, you were on stage with Kevin Gates at a show where he later was presented with the key to his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. How did that moment happen?

[Kevin gates] wanted to congratulate us on winning a national championship. He bought us out. Bought us flowers. Me and some of my teammates. I talked to him. He was just really proud of us and what everything we’re doing and how he was putting on for Baton Rouge.

Is there a possibility of you two working together in the near future?

Yeah, it definitely is a possibility. If the situation is right, we definitely can make that happen. But that was my first time meeting him and he just welcomed me with open arms.

Kevin Gates isn’t the only Louisiana native that you’ve kind of been getting kudos and praise and flowers from recently. During an appearance on ESPN, Lil Wayne showed you some love. He also shared that you two are in talks to do a collaboration together. Is it one off song? Is it a full project? What can we expect?

It’s a song right now, but I expect some heat. I mean, I’m very excited to be cooking up him. When you’re with a legend like Lil Wayne you have to make sure that you are doing your thang on the track. But I’m very excited. I want to say thank you to Lil Wayne. I want to say thank you to Coach Mulkey for throwing the alley-oop to Lil Wayne. And also Sue Bird for asking about me on ESPN and putting that together. I appreciate y’all for that.

How was your relationship with Lil Wayne developed? He has shared a story that your LSU coach, Kim Mulkey throw you that alley-oop. So how did that relationship come about?

Well, we have met yet in real life. But he knew my dad growing up in a time where they were both making music and coming up. My father was murdered but but he was popular [as a rapper] so he knew of my father. Coach Mulkey just told him like, ‘I got a rapper on my team.’ So, Coach is a real one for that. All right, love. Thank you.

That’s amazing. You’ve come a long way in your musical career not just sports. You made your musical debut on reality tv competitions shows like The Rap Game and America’s Got Talent. Could you tell me what were the best things that you took away from those two experiences?

The biggest thing that I took away from those experiences was just learning how to execute under pressure. I feel like though in those moments is a lot of pressure on you to perform right there on the spot and to get it together. So to execute under pressure. That’s a big one for sure.”

If you had to compare your experiences on both. Which of the shows did you learn the most from? 

I would say when I was on The Rap Game that gave me the biggest lessons because I was young. So I was able to be open and accept whatever I was taught and I was just give you so much knowledge on how to become a superstar in a way. How to carry myself, how to record, how to talk to the media, everything that I learned to be a professional in the field is what I learned on The Rap Game. So I think that was the most important.

With America’s Got Talent, that was more of a confidence builder. Hearing Simon Cowell tell me ‘you can be a superstar’ and stuff like that really built up my confidence. So there’s like two different aspects, but I will say I learned more when I was on The Rap Game.

Have you stayed in contact with anyone from the shows? I know Jermaine Dupri is really big on trying to help a talent flourish and mentoring. What is your relationship like with him now?

Actually, I just hit him. I was like, ‘We gotta mess the internet up.’ People would love to see me and him have something [in the works]. He produced a hit for me and make it all come back [full circle]. I told him, ‘That would be dope.’ I just talked to him on Easter. So we’re trying to figure that out.

Going back to where it started!

And I think that’s why it’s gonna be so cool. I feel like it’s gonna be a big moment for the culture. I think that for everything that I’m doing, it’s gonna put the pieces together. It’s gonna be a great reunion for all The Rap Game fans to remember. Because, I mean, we had the show had the world on lock, you know, I’m saying when that show was on the air. So I think it’d be great for the community.

Speaking of community, we’ve build one of your own. Releasing several projects over the last few years. Tell me about your growth in music. Where are you at right now? What are you being inspired by?

I make another hit every day. And the songs are so different. I don’t know what time I want to put these songs out because they get so much better and they just so good. It take a lot of hard work right now. It’s probably the hardest time because I have so much going on. I’m in school, I got the NIL deals every week. I still gotta be in the studio. I got to work with this producer. So it’s a lot right now. You know what I’m saying? But I just have to get back disciplined in my schedule.So I can make sure that everything is going according to plan. So that when it’s time for the summer, I’m able to turn up.

And what do those summer plans consist of? Are we getting another single? A visual? Are we getting a tour because you light up those stages?

I do light up the stage. I have a lot of new fans that want to meet me. So I’m not going on tour per se, on my own tour this summer but I will be doing like a lot of shows. I want to start doing meet and greets so I can meet my fans at those shows and things like that in those cities. So that by the time its ready for the tour, they can say,  ‘I met her. I love her music.’ So I think I think that this summer is gonna be full of bookings.

You said that you’re working in the studio. Do you have a tentative rollout for maybe what’s next like an EP or are you going full length this time?

Usually, I do a four-song EP, but I’m like ‘man four songs enough to tell the story that I want to tell,’ you know what I mean? So I think I’m gonna do like a six or seven-song EP, this summer. It’s coming real soon we’re getting the rollout ready to visual was ready and man, it’s gonna be one to remember I could promise you that.

Flau’jae Johnson #4 of the LSU Lady Tigers drives the ball against Kate Martin #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half during the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game at American Airlines Center on April 02, 2023 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Will we see any guest verses from anybody?

There is actually gonna be some features. I don’t typically do features, I take pride in myself not collaborate with anybody because I want people to know I can stand on my own, I want people to know, ‘This girl can really rap.’ But some of my friends are on there. We’re trying to get a big feature on there as well. So hopefully we’ll make it happen.

Outside of your upcoming collaboration with Lil Wayne, who are your other dream collaborations?

Probably Adele. I love Adele. That would be different, but I love it. I really do love Rod Wave. Those are my top two. I really love them. J. Cole as well. He’s the greatest of all time to me.

It’s ironic that you mentioned J. Cole because he is both and athlete and a musician. So it only makes sense.

It makes sense.

That’s the center of your partnership with JBL.

I think that is really important you don’t put athletes in a box. They can do music too. You know what I mean? Like I’m getting to do both of the things I love. I have a NIL deal with JBL. I’m a JBL artists in basketball and music. They go hand in hand. So I’m going to court I got my JBLs on my hand you feel me. So I think that being multiversed. Doing different things is very important as an artist and as a basketball player.

If you had to play a game of one-on-one against J. Cole, Love & Basketball style, for a guest verse, who’s winning?

That’s gonna be me. I gotta do what I gotta do.

During your time on the All-Star Season of America’s Got Talent, you said when you initially stepped into rap music you were looking to continue the legacy of your late father. Now, you want to build on your own legacy. So my question to you is, what does your legacy look like? What do you want your legacy to be remembered as?

Doing something that nobody’s ever done before. And I feel like I’m on that path to greatness. My legacy is going to consist of me being the first being a pioneer in the space that nobody has touched on. Just being an athlete. Being a basketball player. Being an entrepreneur all at one time at the highest level. I think me exemplifying that is a form of true greatness. And so that’s what that’s what I want my legacy to consist of. And that’s the light that I want to step into, regarding what I’m doing.