Exclusive: JoJo Talks ‘Mad Love,’ Kehlani, & Chance the Rapper

Just days away from her first album in a decade, JoJo is swimming in a whirlpool of emotions.

Stopping by Rap-Up’s headquarters in Los Angeles, the powerful songstress revealed exactly how she’s feeling as Mad Love.’s long-awaited release date approaches.

“It feels really weird because I haven’t put out an album in 10 years,” she explains. “I feel anxious, I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m thankful. A lot of people who have been through similar things that I have don’t get this chance to have this support system I have, to have these opportunities. I feel a lot…There’s pressure I put on myself. I’m trying to keep my head down and stay focused.”

Mad Love. is JoJo’s first release since 2006’s The High Road, a hiatus plagued by frustrating label drama. But her triumphant return comes thanks to the power of music. Much of that is shown on the album’s latest single and video, aptly-titled “Music.”

“It’s about where I come from, how music has made me who I am, and also a little bit about growing up and how music has been the thing that’s been the most consistent with my life,” she says. “Talking about humble beginnings with my mom and losing my father and what that felt like, and how both my mom and dad and music have made me who I am. I feel like music has been my third parent.”

Kicking it with our girl @iamjojo at #RapUpHQ. Nine days until #MadLove!

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Her comeback isn’t a solo mission. Wiz Khalifa is featured on “Fuck Apologies.” and Alessia Cara on “I Can Only.” Remy Ma also lends her spitfire bars to “FAB.”

“I love Remy,” she says. “When she went to jail, I was like, ‘No! We need you! You’re so good for hip-hop. You’re so dope.’ So I’m so glad that she’s out. I love watching her and Papoose’s relationship on [‘Love & Hip Hop’]. They make me smile.”

One artist who isn’t on the album is Kehlani, but JoJo is open to a collaboration. “I’ve met her a few times and I love her music,” she says. “I think she’s so beautiful and she’s really a star…We’ve talked about it. I want to do something original. I want to get in the studio and create something from scratch and write something together. I would love that.”

The same goes for Chance the Rapper, who she’s been a fan of for years. “I want to work with him so bad,” she adds. “I absolutely love his last project Coloring Book. I just love what he’s doing. He’s obviously next. Everyone’s stamping him and co-signing him. I’ve loved him since he had that song [‘Juice’ off 2013’s Acid Rap]. I think he’s so dope.”

JoJo and Chance the Rapper #VMAs

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Plus, she’s got a vision for her next album that a few talented folks might be able to help with, including Skateboard P.

“I had a couple of sessions with Pharrell and I absolutely love what we did together, but I already had the album mostly done,” she says. “So I would really like to start from scratch with him next time. I really want to work with Anderson .Paak…I’d love to work with Frank Ocean, and I really want to start it with live instruments, so bringing some of these really dope musicians here in L.A. like Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, and Terrace Martin, and see what we can do.”

The future is in her sights as Mad Love. drops Friday (Oct. 14), and JoJo is looking forward with newfound unstoppable strength.

“Now that I’m back,” she says, “I’m just never gonna stop. You can’t get rid of me. There’s just nothing that’s gonna deter me from doing this the rest of my life. I’m really excited to get this album out, tour, and keep putting out content. I just want to keep growing.”