Recording for the album began in 1998 when Mo was signed to Elektra; two singles ("If You Wanna Dance" & "5 Minutes") were released as potential lead singles. However, the lack of proper charting performance from both singles resulted in a postponement for Based on a True Story; both singles would also be subsequently deleted from the album.
By 2001, Mo later convince Elektra to release "Superwoman" under the "Part II" version featuring Fabolous. Elektra agreed and released the remixed single; the song would go on to peak at number 11 on Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, making it Mo's successful single to date. Mo went on to release another single titled, "Gangsta", which failed to match the success of her preceding single.
"Ta Da" was released on April 10, 2000 as the lead single from the album. The song was written by fellow R&B singer Montell Jordan and featured production by Anthony "Shep" Crawford. Background vocals were contributed by Shae Jones, D'Andrea Foster, Shonte Taylor and Pam Olivia.
"Superwoman Pt. II" was released on March 6, 2001 as the second single from the album. The song features the debut appearance by then-unknown Fabolous and remixed production by hip-hop producers DJ Clue and Ken "Duro" Ifill. To date, "Superwoman Pt. II" remains as Lil' Mo's most successful single to date as a leading artist.
"Gangsta (Love 4 the Streets)," simply known as, "Gangsta," was released on August 2001 as the third single from the album. The song was produced and co-written by Darryl "Big Baby" McClary and Michael "Suga Mike" Allen from Mo's production team Flavahood, and features a notable sample of Snoop Dogg's 1994 single, "Gin and Juice."
The album was released on June 26, 2001 to generally favorable reviews. Dan LeRoy of AllMusic gave the album 3/5 stars. He described Mo's voice and musical style in comparison towards Mary J. Blige. Months afterward, the album would go on to attain a Gold certification from the RIAA.