Lopes was born in 1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Wanda Denise (née Andino), a seamstress, and Ronald Lopes Sr. , a US Army staff sergeant, who was of African-American and Cape Verdean descent. His paternal grandfather Emanuel Lopes had emigrated from Saint Vincent, Cape Verde and eventually settled in Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina, where Ronald's father Charles Lopes was born. Lisa had a younger brother, Ronald Jr. , and a younger sister, Raina Anitra (who professionally goes by Reigndrop). Lopes said her father was "very strict, very domineering" and that he treated the family like they were in "boot camp". He was also a "talented musician" who played the harmonica, clarinet, piano, and saxophone.