/  06.23.2022
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Pandora presents “Dancing Through the Decades” 2

00:00:30

Bold with a genuine smile backed by plenty of laughs, a familial feel, some sass coupled with humility, and a dash of real, direct, and assertive conversation — that’s what you get when you sit down with Big Boss Vette. 

A St. Louis native, Big Boss Vette knows she has big shoes to fill when it comes to securing her spot in the rap game, especially with only a handful of big names coming out of her hometown. A woman with a plan to put her city back in its rightful place in hip hop, Vette is unafraid to discuss her affinity for the spotlight and her plan to be successful in an industry that can be difficult to navigate for those who aren’t prepared for the bright lights.

With a large following on Instagram and an even bigger following on her TikTok, Big Boss Vette uses her social channels to interact with fans and celebs (like Halle Bailey, who reacted to her hit “Snatched”).

During Black Music Month, REVOLT sat down with Big Boss Vette to discuss her music, influences, how dance inspires her artistry, and the future of Black dance. We also talked about her creative use of social media. Big Boss Vette crowdsources fans’ feelings on new music and often reposts dancers’ original choreography to her music in a symbiotic social relationship that few artists recognize or take advantage of. In other words, Vette isn’t afraid to shine and let others shine alongside her. 

So many of the most iconic dance moves come from Black culture. From The Charleston to the Swag Surf, Pandora is highlighting those moves in honor of Black Music Month. Explore the evolution through the decades on Black Music Forever Radio, only on Pandora.  

How did your name Big Boss Vette come about?

I got Big Boss Vette after I got my first rap name. I got signed and we came to the realization that there was a clothing company with the same name. We knew we couldn’t keep the same name so when we were trying to find names, we said, ‘How ‘bout Big Boss Vette?’ When we ran it through the system we found out nobody owned it!

At first, I was nervous because everyone said, ‘She was Yvette’ when they found out I was Big Boss Vette. My first rap name was Yvette … I got that name back in middle school. That’s when Baby Boy came out and they said I looked like Tarji P. Henson and her name was Yvette… then teachers and everyone started calling me that, so I was like, ‘OK.’

When I got signed and it was time to trademark my name and all that … I couldn’t do it so I had to (go with Big Boss Vette), but I was already putting out music as ‘Yvette.’

Being from St. Louis, how do you feel the city, the vibe, even the midwest as a whole is represented in your music? 

I feel it’s our slang, we have some strong slang there. It’s our accent, it’s our delivery. it’s our sound effects, honestly. It’s a lot of things. So, from where I come from, we just like know we are destined for greatness, so it shows in our music. We have a lot of talent where I am from, but we live in a small city. Ever since I moved, I realized I was living in a small city and when I moved, I realized, ‘Dang, this is what I missed!’

You dabble in bounce music. Where and how did you get introduced to the genre?

In some of my music, the bounce sound is in it because I love NOLA music and I was just showing love. But St. Louis’ music, the women, the way that they rap — it is just unapologetic. We talk that talk whether its raunchy or whether its hood, we just talk that talk. I fell in love with old school music. So, with ‘Back That Azz Up,’ that song is a fucking hit still.  So, I hopped on that beat in 2019. That was before I knew NOLA music. I loved the sounds, the beat and how you can move … I just like it. That’s how I first started moving, and that’s how I incorporated it in my songs.

St. Louis is home, but where do you go to get away, find solitude to write and create, and vibe?

It just depends on how I feel honestly. I like to create in a space where I feel comfortable. I don’t like to be in a room with a lot of strangers. I like a lot of snacks, Patron, Red Bull, because I know we are about to lock in for a long time. Honestly, I just like to go to a place with good vibes, snacks and be able to vibe with my producer — because I kind of, like, co-produce my beats. I say, ‘Hey, put this drop here, put this bass here, put this snare here.’ I really build my own beats. Sometimes, I use my voice.

NYC is considered the birthplace of hip hop. When you think of St Louis and the stamp that it’s made, how do you feel your music adds to hip hop’s legacy?

Basically, I feel like I am the piece that has been missing from putting St. Louis on the map. Yeah, it was on the map once upon a time and we had such great artists come from our city. It has been a while since someone came and said, ‘St. Louis, St. Louis, St. Louis.’ Now it’s me! I have the look, I can sing, I can rap, I give a little razzle dazzle. I’ve been through a lot of things. So, my personality is amazing. I’m just this ball of energy! You can just meet me and be having a bad day, and we can be having random talk and I just lift up spirits, honestly speaking, I feel like I am the piece that has been missing. I am going to make it so big that I can just shine a spotlight on my city because we are talented and we deserve a seat where people can scout (our talent).

You’ve really used social media at an elite level to kick-start your career. How do you feel your music is helping launch the careers of dancers who use your songs to showcase their craft?

All of them have smoked that [‘Snatched’] beat. Honestly speaking, I feel that my beats are so crazy that if the dancers can hit every little knock, every little boom on the song, it just looks amazing! It just brings out energy, honestly speaking. My favorite dancer (@iagoferreirasulin), who wore an orange shirt, was dancing by himself.  Do you see him hitting every boom with every beat? I’m like, ‘Oh my god!’ He literally killed it! My music was speaking to him to go, go, go harder! Just nonstop hype like hit it, ahh, ahh, just doing it!

Where does Big Boss Vette look to find out what’s hot in dance? Social media? The clubs?

I want to say that if I was looking at anything it would be social media because that keeps us up to date on everything. I’d say the clubs … some of them do and some of them don’t. Some clubs play the same thing over and over again, and some play music you never heard of. I would say social media, especially TikTok. If you get signed, nine times out of 10, you’re getting signed from TikTok because your numbers are going crazy.

I don’t really know how to dance! I just see TikTok dances and be like, ‘I know I can’t do that!’ I have two left feet and that’s not a secret! When I was learning the ‘Snatched’ dance, my friends were like, ‘B*tch, you ain’t doing it’ and I got a lot of backlash. But, the dance is what the streets are doing, and people liked the dance because it was just easy, easy, easy.

Your song “Snatched” has gotten a lot of attention from celebs on social media. When you recorded the song, did you have a feeling that it could be big?

(Screams) YES! It was a sample first and I told my producer I want my own beat and put a sample in there. He did it. The label had me pick out a couple of songs and I said, ‘Add this to the list. It kind of sounds like your old music.’ I told them, ‘This song is going to be a hit.’ I was like, ‘How do I show them that this is going to go?’ So, every day I woke up and worked, and I put the best parts on TikTok and after a while it took off. I promoted it back in November, just doing it constantly over and over and over again. I saw people doing it but it wasn’t taking off fast enough, so after that, I kept using that sound over again. I got skeptical at first from the comments of people saying I didn’t have songs, but I kept working that record. 

In February, that’s when it starts to pick up and I told the label. I was like, ‘I know you see this! I know you see it!’ I started getting 1000 replays a day. I knew it was going to be an upcoming feature. After TikTok blew it up, I added a third verse and added the feature. I am my biggest critic! We were scheduling the song to come out but running into red tape when clearing the sample. When the price came back, we went back in the studio to make our own sample, but I knew the song was still a hit. I know the ‘what if’ thing can kill you so after so many ‘what ifs,’ I went with the sound!

My cousins (as stated on her IG bio) are my fans, my supporters. All my cousins! So, I had started to tease it, and the one without the sample actually surpassed the one with the sample! And now I didn’t have to get anything cleared. After that, it just started to go crazy and go up. So, every chance I get, I tell my team, ‘When I know something, I know it.  I know it.’ It’s just organically getting views from everyone and it’s just like, Jesus, I’m just appreciative of it.

Have you been surprised by the response to “Snatched” in the dance community among trained dancers and dance classes on TikTok and IG? And do you consider yourself a new artist?

So, honestly speaking at first I didn’t, but when I got signed and I’m starting all the way over on a really big playing field … I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m new.’ I am a new, up-and-coming artist.

[When it comes to dancers], I feel ecstatic, like, OMG. I’m a little jealous ’cause I can’t dance like that! But, I be like, ‘Ahhhhhhh, y’all doing it’ because it takes a lot to let dance talk and move your body. Being that it’s my song touching people, I like to make them move. I love it. Thank you!

You say you can’t dance, but you obviously love dancing! What’s your favorite music to dance to besides your own?

It just depends on how I’m feeling. Say I’m in my feelings, I turn on some Summer Walker, some Beyoncé. If I’m turning up and we’re pregaming, I’ma do some Saucy, City Girls, Megan Thee Stallion, Latto. I just feel like it be times to where I’m just sitting and thinking of where I came from to now. I just be playing gospel like ‘Never Would Have Made It.’ It just be like … you don’t wanna do too much to church music, but you know … (reflecting).

Where do you see the future of Black dance going? Do you feel that TikTok and other forms of social media can replace the feel of going to a club?

I think it’s going to be both. I think certain people will still go to the club. Content creators will still be out and doing their content. They’ll be out to get a check. You wanna be a rapper, right …yeah, you can be in clubs from time to time on this mic but you also wanna be paid for your craft. You don’t always want to do it for free. Every club I went to I was like — yeah, I was doing it for free. Then it was like, don’t have too many free mics … chill because once I hit that stage, they see my worth and they see my energy! I think social media will start taking over because people want to be that person that will start getting booked.

Now when you write and record new music, do you think, “I want people to be able to dance to this record”? Or do you just say, “This is the music I want to put out” and if it’s danceable, then so be it?

Depends on how I’m feeling. If I’m in a twerk mode … If I’m sad, I might do like a record talking about something I went through in my past. It could be cheating, losing everything, sometimes I just let the music be fun. Other times, I just make a club hit.

Who are you listening to right now?

I’m listening to Saucy, City Girls, Monaleo, Summer Walker, KenTheMan, Chloe Bailey, Beyoncé… ‘Girls love Beyoncé’ (laughs), Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj.

In celebration of Black Music Month, which artists do you feel are the most natural dancers? Past or present? Doesn’t matter!

The most natural dancer, if we talking about f*ck it up … Caresha, Saucy, Ciara is a natural dancer! Teyana Taylor … I gotta think, I gotta think back, give me a second, gotta clear my mind. Michael Jackson, he did that! Chris Brown … yeah! I’m trying to think if I’m missing anybody?

In celebration of Black Music Month, other than your own music, what is the one song that you would put on at a summer, outdoor family event that would get everyone up to dance regardless of age?

So my family is a little raunchy! It’s ‘Back That Azz Up’ … They gonna turn up (laughs).

Can you tell us of any new releases, projects or collaborations that you have coming up?

I want to work with everybody but if I had to honestly pick… I don’t wanna pick! I wanna work with everyone! ‘Pretty Girl Walk’ drops on July 18th. ‘Fly Shhhhh’ drops soon. ‘Bad B****’ drops again, that’s a Juvenile beat that my cousins want on every platform.

Before we go, are we getting any remixes?

I can’t tell … nawww! Just know we gon’ put somebody on that’s gon’ walk that beat down with me. We may or may not have said the name during the interview (smiles)! Always expect the unexpected. If I release the song now, the song will surpass me, so we gon’ hold off until I get big enough. 

A lot of visuals coming and a lot of content. You know we started the ‘Big Boss Vette’ show on YouTube. I cannot wait to blow up and be big and be like, “Hey girl, remember me?” I think I will be the ball of life that is so natural and organically just loved. I’m gonna be big. I know it and I feel it!

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