Meet the Women Shaping Southern Hip-Hop | Momentum

Written by on March 28, 2019

(dramatic music) (hip hop music) I feel like southern rap got a whole lot to do with the music today. Right now the spotlight is on the girls in the South. Being in a male dominated scene is one of those things where if you don’t have tough skin, and if you don’t mind being left out, you know, it would get to you. Because I identify as a woman, there’s so much stuff that I get told that I’m not supposed to be doing. I’m gonna do it ten times harder, just to spite you. When a strong woman is in the building, the presence is felt. (moody music) (background rapping) (piano music) I write my own raps and they be real. If it ain’t what I’m going through, it’s what someone close to me going through, and it’s pretty much, why people can feel you know, my lyrics and understand.

You know, everybody can’t live the perfect life, because life’s not perfect. My name is La Chat and I’m a female rapper from Memphis, Tennessee and I been rappin’ forever. (rap music playing) I used to do a lot of talent shows and a lot of people love me doing talent shows and Juicy and them end up sayin’ Hey, Chat, we want to sign you. I say, y’all want to sign me? He say yeah, so I came along we did the Hypnotinize Mind. “Chickenhead” was the first platinum song that came out of Hypnotize Mind, period. The first video that was playing in LA.

The first song on the radio that was played in LA. Chickenhead, and it went platinum. And that was really my breakthrough, my debut. I was one of the rappers that I never feel like I had to show my body to make it, you know. Like I said, my name is La Chat, you all can Google me. I always wore the big, baggy clothes, always wore the T-shirts, always wore the hats everywhere, because I wasn’t selling my body.

I’m selling music, I’m not selling body. I’m not looking for no dudes, I’m not looking for no girls. Nobody can never say, ooh, look at that, they always say have you heard La Chat? Ooh, she’s bumpin. You ever see they tell DJ Paul, where did you get this girl from? You know my lyrics is like, you can’t be writing lyrics, and I’m like yes, I am. You know, I’m from Memphis, so to me, I’m like the lyrics weren’t very impossible. But you know, people that don’t know me, the streets, and Memphis life is like where this girl et this stuff from? The hardest thing I had to do in life was walk away from Three 6 Mafia Hypnotize Camp.

The money wasn’t adding up, you know, to what I thought it was supposed to be. I decided I wanted to do my own thing. You know, well, I said it’s time for me to be Chat. Yeah, people, just up north and they ain’t even from the South, they sound like Southern rappers. In our way, we love it. It don’t get no more rhymin’ no more guttery, no more Southern than this. Like I say, you hear it in my voice, we are Southern. (laughing) We got golds, we got tattoos, it’s the real Southern truth. (hip hop music) I was a mystique, I wore a mask. Nobody knew who I was. They couldn’t touch me. I was surrounded by dudes that called themselves 666. I’m Gangata Boo, southern female hip hop pioneer. My first song with the group was a solo song, that’s how dope I am.

Memphis artists can rap if I gotta beat and I studied that, I practiced that all the time. I practiced making my voice clearer. I practiced being very detailed in what I say. I practiced how I deliver the word. Being a fuckin rapper, from Tennessee, without no fuckin platform is not the easiest thing. So the resilience, you know, the discipline, the moving with finesse, the swag, and the not giving a fuck, being original.

I think that is what has helped me. No one even sounds like their own borough, their own city state, whatever you call it because they adore and admire our town. Instead of me being bitter about it, like a weirdo, I embrace that shit, because I’ve never changed my shit. I don’t compromise who I am at all. And people will try to make you do that in order for you to get ahead a little bit faster. But I’m not willing to do that at all. I’m bbymutha and I’m a female rap artist from Chatanooga, Tennessee. I had my second set of twins, I moved into my grandmother’s house and my grandmother had like, dementia.

So I was having to help take care of her and I was at home all the time, by myself, with my grandmother and two newborns and my older two kids. So I started writing and seeing what I could come up with, and it was like the only thing keeping me from going crazy, a little bit. I can be who I am and I can be proud of being where I’m from and everybody wants to sound like they’re from the south, anyway.

Chat would get on, you sent her a track and she would eat it up and I respect that. I respect people that can really do what they do. My rap style, I think I’m very graphic and I’m really into like painting a story, and like using different metaphors to kind of like explain simple situations. To make them more colorful. I’m inspired by of course, La Chat and life in general, inspires my music style, my rap style, my creative style. I just think a lot, so my music is a product of all of my thoughts. (hip hop music) Yo, you can’t give your pussy to a nigga who not used to gettin pussy, because that pussy gonna be everybody’s business.

You can’t sell dope to these niggas, because they broke and they snitchin’, got some niggas with some straps up in your business. You can give your pussy to a nigga who not used to getting pussy When I was put in Muthaland, I originally wanted Rico Nasty on it, but she was touring. Me, Rico, and Chat are mothers. Music is supposed to heal people and make people feel good. When I go in a group and I’m having a bad day, I want to make myself feel good. I want something where when I listen to in the studio, I can listen on the way home and say, wow. (chill music) My name is Rico Nasty. I am 21 years old. I am a rapper. I am a mother and a director and a producer. I would go to school, typical, I’m around guys, they’re freestylin’, we freestylin’ together.

I jump in it. Boom! I’m freestylin with the guys. I knew about bbymutha when I was a regular person. I listened to bbymutha, I still listen to bbymutha. Like, I knew about bbymutha when I was in the tenth grade. She is dope and she’s a mother, so that’s inspiration in itself. My mom listens to La Chat, a lot of fire producers come from the south.

They always do. When I was in Memphis, it was very eerie, but it was fire. I come from a very dark area, too. But all in all, when you go to places like that, where it’s really rough, and it’s dark, it be some of the brightest, happiest muthafuckas there. They just like positive vibes because they be around so much negativity. A lot of girls out here who are really fire and that’s really what win my heart over. It’s the originality and the sound, you know. You being yourself. I meet you in real life, and it’s not an aesthetic on Instagram. It’s like that’s really how you talk, that’s really how you dress, that’s really how you call some bullshit out. Women have children and rock the shit out they lives and not care about what people have to say about them.

About them raising their kids, like the confidence that it takes to be a mother, that shit is very inspiring. (rapping) Yeah. There are a lot of southern females that don’t get the props like they deserve. You know, Gangata Boo before me, and then I came along and this my sister, I love her. I told y’all we argue, we love one another. But we never got to fight, we never get in each other’s face. I feel like female rappers absolutely support each other. There is a group of us. If you don’t play, you gotta play with the boys. You gotta be rappin harder than the boys.

We the type of mothafuckas where we don’t like anybody to step on our toes. We don’t like anybody to get in our way of what we want in life. I think what’s helping change is that we’re finally starting to see, like hey, look at these guys. Like they’re blowing up fast as shit, we should do the same. If we put each other on, instead of being so damn intimidated. .

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