Mulatto talks the future of women in rap, industry double standards, Nicki Minaj, “Thot Box (Remix)” and more
In light of Women’s History Month, REVOLT caught up with the rapper in the studio to discuss the future of female rap, jumping on the “Thot Box (Remix)” her love for Nicki Minaj, and much more. Read here!
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Big Latto! If you’ve heard the female remix to Hitmaka’s “Thot Box,” you’re probably familiar with the artist behind that mean ass hook. Mulatto drives the point home with her relentless flow: “I ain’t fuckin’ with no thot box, make him eat it in the drop-top (Skrrt) / Think she ill, but she not hot, racks comin’ in nonstop.”
Hailing from the south side of Atlanta — Clayton County to be exact — Mulatto is a mainstay when it comes to female MCs. The 21-year-old’s popularity exploded after winning the Lifetime reality series “The Rap Game,” and she has not let up since. The star has been rapping since the young age of 10. So, she put in the work and locked herself in the studio.
One of her biggest songs to date, the official music video for “Bitch From Da Souf” hails over 10.5 million views and counting — even before her fire ass remix with Saweetie and Trina. With over 3.3 million followers on Instagram alone, Mulatto sets an example to young girls all across the world to work hard.
Plus, her bars are raw, fearless, and demand attention. In light of Women’s History Month, REVOLT caught up with the rapper in the studio to discuss the future of female rap, jumping on the “Thot Box (Remix),” her love for Nicki Minaj, and much more. Read below!
What does it mean to be a “real ass, rich ass bitch from the Souf”?
It’s being authentic to who you are. Standing out is me. It is what it is. It’s self-explanatory. It’s me describing me and only me being me to the fullest potential of me.
How does being from Atlanta play into your life and career?
I take where I’m from. A lot of my songs say, “Bitch from the south” and “ATL.” I have a lot of songs saying where I’m from. They call me Southside Princess, Queen ClayCo. That had a big influence on me not even music-wise, just as a person period. My headstrong personality and [I’m] independent as fuck. Laidback southern vibe and hospitality. motherfucker cool as hell. It has a lot to do with where I’m from.
When did making music became real for you?
I’ve been rapping since I was 10. It became real for me before this whole trend. The young rap wave where everybody wants to be a rapper, it was before that. It was always real to me. I’ve been in the studio, been doing interviews, doing shows. Soon as I told my dad I wanted to rap, he put me in the studio — had me doing open mics, all that. I always knew.
Who made you want to rap?
Who made me take it seriously like “Okay, I want to be more than just going to the studio. I really want to do this” — I had a big Nicki Minaj influence. I give all credit to Nicki. I heard Lil Kim, but it’s different when you experience it and you live through that generation. I grew up with my parents playing it, but it wasn’t impactful on me.
What do you like about Nicki Minaj?
First of all, she’s the first female from my generation at least. Before Nicki, there was no major mainstream female rapper to look up to. Really, that was it. Nicki came out swinging, she was so different.
What does it mean to be a female artist and entrepreneur?
Being a female artist and entrepreneur is going against the grain. Having to stand out, having to go 10 times harder to be seen and respected. Especially doing what I do as a female entrepreneur in the music industry, you have to go 10 times harder. You have to stand out. You have to make people respect you. You have to hold yourself to a certain level. In a way, it could be cockiness or arrogance because you have to be headstrong like a motherfucker. The smallest sign of weakness, they’re going to trample your ass. (Chuckles) So, you really have to be a bitch. I don’t play no fucking games. The smallest sign of disrespect, I’ll get the fuck out ASAP.
You see things happen to women all the time in the music industry.
Yeah, even personal experience. People are like, “Oh, I got this record for you. Pull up, I got a studio at my house.” Why we can’t book a damn session? Or “Why you have to send me through management?” N*gga, I thought you wanted to make a song. That’s how it’s gon happen, what you mean? All types of shit, I can go on for days. The DMs. N*ggas wanna do a song. N*ggas want to do a show. N*ggas want to add you to their tour.
How did you get to 3.3 million followers on Instagram? Was it from the show?
Yeah, I did “The Rap Game.” I won the whole series. That got me my first million definitely for sure.
How was that whole experience?
I would never do reality TV again (laughs). It’s not so much them trying to portray you as something, they give it to them raw as fuck. It’s actually shit I’d say, nothing was scripted. But, it’s kind of finessed. They’re telling half the story or showing half the conversation. Aside from that, I don’t want to be a reality star. It was just another level, opening up another door for me. It was never, “This is what I want to do again.” I’d never do it again, it was a stepping stone.
How can you be a strong female role model to your audience?
I don’t purposely think “Okay, let me not do this” or “Let me do this” because I know people are looking up to me because I’m only 21. I don’t have kids. I don’t want to be nobody’s role model, but I know I do have that platform. I know I am a role model to some people. Regardless of whatever. You like how I dress, you like how I talk, the explicit lyrics — the one thing you can’t take from me as a role model is she gon’ get that bag. She gon’ be independent. She got confidence through the roof — headstrong. Mature, being young, being taken serious and not playing about your respect, you can definitely take that from me regardless of whether or not you like anything else. In that aspect, I’ll firmly say that I’m a role model.
What makes women so powerful?
We have to go 10 times harder for our respect. I keep saying that, but that shit’s true. It doesn’t have anything to do with music. It’s life period. Women got to go 10 times harder for our respect. Shit, we’re the reason these n*ggas are on earth. Okay?! We have to go 10 times harder in everything. We’re powerful for that alone. The stuff we have to endure and fight for emotionally, physically, everything. Just strong as hell.
Where do you see the future of women in rap?
Shit, I love it right now at least. We’re finally having the breakthrough wave. This last year was that breakthrough wave for female rap. When I was growing up and Nicki Minaj came out, that was a huge impact because she’s the only female rapper mainstream-wise. I’m only 10 years old, I didn’t know about any underground whatever. I knew Nicki. This generation, these 10-year-olds got a million girls to choose from. A couple mainstream who have accomplishments. Our underground female rappers, we’re still big. That wave is taking over. If it’s finally that breakthrough right now, the future is ain’t no telling. That shit could be a takeover.
Who are your top female rappers you listen to?
I love Nicki Minaj’s “Yikes” right now. That shit hard as fuck, it gives me old Nicki vibes. I fucking love Dreezy, Dreezy’s hard as fuck. Duh, Meg. Oh I fucking love Meg. LightSkinKeisha, she’s from Atlanta too. That’s my bitch, I fuck with her the long way. Bars out the ass. Kash Doll, I fuck with Kash Doll’s bars. I listen to all the girls because I support the whole movement. Whether or not I like their music, I want to see them win because it’s that wave right now. We’re all opening doors for each other.
I saw you post LightSkinKeisha’s new single on IG, what does it mean to support other women?
It’s so meaningful, so impactful to the next generation because they see us fight and beef with each other so much over the stupidest shit. When I do things like post LightSkinKeisha’s cover, people comment, “Omg it’s so good or refreshing to see female rappers supporting each other,” which is crazy because if we all did it, there wouldn’t be those comments. It’s a mentality thing. The industry bred us to fight and battle against each other, fight for the “spot.” But, it doesn’t have to be like that. That’s why it means so much when we do come together.
The “Thot Box” remix is everything! How’d you get to be on the hook?
Hitmaka hit me like, “I’m doing a ‘Thot Box’ remix, I want you on it.” He pulled up to the studio and we did the hook. I heard everybody’s verses. I gave my input as far as where the hook should be at, and whose verse should be where. It was cool because it was a little deeper than “I’ll cut the hook for you, and that’s that.” He actually included me in the process. That experience was super dope for me. I was actually a part of the song.
People were waiting for a verse from you!
I do wish I did a verse. I was just grateful, I wasn’t even tripping. I didn’t even think to ask about that because I’m like, “Oh shit, you want me…?” The song was basically done, he hit me last minute like, “Hey, I want you on it.” The verses were already done, I wasn’t even thinking about a verse at the time. People don’t understand too, I was 10 years old wanting to do this shit that I’m doing right now. I’m just grateful for the opportunity, I wasn’t thinking that deep. I’m just like, “Hell yeah, run it! Let’s do it.”
Hell yeah, the video shoot was lit. That’s my bitch. She was late. I FaceTimed her like, “Bitch, where you at?! Come on!” She’s cool as hell. All the girls cool. We’re all cool. Hitmaka, he’s dope as fuck. I had this problem with my outfit. I didn’t end up liking my outfit, he’s like, ”Here, go get something. Send your assistant, go get something.” Gave me a couple hundred and said, “Go find something, I want you to be happy.” He’s cool as fuck.
That song is so hard. You girls annihilated the guys.
That’s what I’m saying! Seeing us link up instead of beefing, look at the impact of that song. It’s at 11 million views, that shit’s crazy. No radio, no major promotion. Just our Instagrams and Youtube, that’s it. Women, we’re strong by ourselves. You put all of us together, shit. Wassup?
Speaking of, how was getting Saweetie and Trina on the “Bitch from da Souf (Remix)”?
That shit was really crazy to me. I didn’t even expect that shit. We’re like, “We should do a remix” because the song was bubbling. It’s going on a year since it had been out, so I’m thinking of all the girls from the south. Trina’s name came up, but I didn’t think that was actually obtainable. I thought, “Yeah, Trina would be nice.” I was taking a label meeting with my manager at the time. He’s like, “She don’t know this, but Trina just agreed to get on the remix.” I’m like, “Whaaat! What the fuck, omg.”
When Saweetie jumped on it too, I was taking another label meeting and she had sent the verse. I’m walking in the meeting with my phone to my ear trying to listen to it. Both were hard. Like I said, this shit was a dream to me as a kid so to be doing it now. I’m just grateful.
What can we expect music-wise?
I’m in project mode right now, so I’m cutting. Expect a lot of fucking singles and just takeover. I’m in work mode. It’s same sweats, three days straight mode (laughs). Uber Eats to the studio mode, working my ass off mode. When you’re on that type of time, there’s no telling. God knows wassup.
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