Photo: Getty
  /  09.15.2022

This week on the “Big Facts” podcast, co-hosts Big Bank, DJ Scream and Baby Jade sat down with Young Stoner Life Records signee Karlae. The North Carolina-born, Atlanta-raised star spoke on several topics, including her new music, thoughts on being a female artist, Young Thug and much more.

Although Karlae is relatively new to the music scene as a rapper, she’s familiar with the industry by way of relatives who’ve been in the business and ex-fiancé and labelmate Young Thug. The “Did That” musician opened up about some of the obstacles she’s had to face as a female artist breaking into entertainment, noting that “finding an angle to come in the game” has been one of her greatest difficulties thus far. She added, “Some people like the super sexual side of [women]. Some people like, more so, you speaking about real s**t. I think it’s just about finding your angle and staying true to yourself — it’s so hard.”

Karlae also spoke on the lack of support amongst female artists. “I feel like male artists stick together more so than female artists,” she said. “I feel like they genuinely stick together. They go in the studio, they like, ‘Oh, let’s link up, bro. You hop on this song.’ You never really get to see a bunch of hard, female artists in the studio and they’re like, ‘Oh, b**ch, let me hop on that.’ I wish there could be more support like it is with male artists.”

The YSL emcee also gave an update on Thug, who is currently behind bars awaiting trial after being arrested in May on gang-related charges, including possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute. Young Thug, born Jeffery Lamar Williams, and fellow rapper Gunna are among 28 individuals named in a 56-count Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act indictment. Those facing charges remain behind bars.

Still, despite the severity of Thug’s situation, Karlae revealed she has spoken to the Atlanta rapper and reported that, “He’s in good spirits.” She continued, “He amazes me with his strength and stuff. And like I said before, he’s always giving me advice to keep going. So, it’s definitely inspiring to see how positive he is.”

Later in the interview, the “Everything” singer opened up about having to police herself more on social media, including being cautious of what she says online even when she’s met with negative comments.

“You know they say, ‘Heavy is the head’ … It’s like I chose this walk of life, and you know I’m still trying to grow, but I wish I could be able to sometimes make people feel like a f**king ant. It’s a lot of people that need that. It’s a lot of harsh people and hateful people in this world, deada**, that really need to be told off,” she insisted, adding, “I wish I could still just say whatever.”

Karlae is celebrating the release of her debut project ENTER, which features a slew of musical guest appearances, including the late Lil Keed, Dess Dior, Coi Leray, Bhad Bhabie and, of course, fellow Atlanta natives Thug and Gunna. The “I Like” musician spoke on obtaining her notable collaborations, sharing that many of them came by way of artists just hearing her music in the studio and reaching out, wanting to hop on a record, and her “really proving” herself.

She continued, “A lot of people kind of feel like, ‘D**n, I’m sure she got this because, you know, her affiliation with Thug,’ but they don’t even know.” The burgeoning star denounced the claims, stating, “Really, like I said, [I’ll] be in the studio playing music and I see [their] eyes like, ‘Oh s**t, she really is hard,’ or ‘Let me get on that,’ or ‘I want to f**k with you,’” she said, debunking her critics.

Karlae still acknowledges the relationships she established through her connection to her ex, noting that she loves the fact that, “People respect the label.” The North Carolina native clarified, “And I say that as [in] music and creatively … ‘Thug f**cking with her music. She gotta be hard.’ It’s solidified,” she said of her supporters. But that affiliation doesn’t come without its disadvantages. “I think everybody thinks a lot of s**t was handed to me. So sometimes they don’t even want to listen,” she admitted. “I feel like my walk is a little bit harder because I really gotta put it in their face like, ‘Hey! Listen to this. Check me out,’” she admitted.

The “My Type” artist recalled being reduced to: “Young Thug’s ex-girlfriend dropped something” or “Karlae dropped something … OK, whatever, she’s just doing music.” Karlae continued, “And then when they really listen, it’s, ‘Oh s**t, she’s really an artist. This ain’t no bulls**t.’ I think that’s a disadvantage.” The rising star feels her critics believe she “got a feature with Gunna just because they’re all under the same label” but noted, “They don’t know l really jumped through hoops.” She added, “I had to prove myself before I went and got certain features.”

Karlae admitted that being referred to as “Thug’s ex-girlfriend” bothered her because she often felt that people would do it to taunt her. However, she shared that over time, she’s been able to embrace the title, citing her former partner’s status. “He is a huge artist — one of the top artists in the game,” the emcee noted. “It costs to play this game; that’s how some people know me. So, it is what it is, and I rather them know me from something than to not know me — especially with what I’m trying to do.”

Like always, if you liked what you heard, be sure to stay tuned every week for new episodes of “Big Facts.” Also, don’t forget to watch the latest show here.

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