No matter how deeply rooted you are in hip-hop culture, Chattanooga, Tennessee is probably one of the last places you’d expect the next big thing in rap to come from. Past that, Brittnee Moore — aka Bbymutha — isn’t exactly the person you would expect to embody that lofty concept.
But maybe all that shows is how badly hip-hop needs an expectations update. The genre, long known for being hypermasculine and deeply urban, with its roots dug 10 feet into the concrete of inner city hotbeds like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, could use an injection of what Bbymutha brings to her slowed-down, country-seasoned music: Honest emotion and unapologetic, womanly energy delivered in her trademark, southern midwestern drawl. The mother of four (two sets of twins, each with different fathers) refuses to shy away from her past or her present, fully embracing her status as both single mom and delightfully assertive rapper, whose tales of often revenge-driven, late-night sexcapades and gritty, hustler mentality combine with more tender addresses to her young children over simmering, gooey, Three 6 Mafia-inspired beats.
This past September, the burgeoning talent staged her Red Bull Music-sponsored Mutha Land event in Nashville, just two and a half hours northeast of her hometown, to put her female-focused, sex-positive, no-nonsense rap sensibility on full display alongside fellow unfettered Philadelphia-bred newcomer Chynna Rogers and Tennessee rap veteran La Chat. The freewheeling, carnival-esque rap showcase was designed to take Bbymutha’s playful aesthetic and psychedelic tastes and expand them to a full-size “playroom” where fans and friends could run rampant, soaking up the self-assured, sexualized freedom that she uses both her music and her onstage persona to propagate in the world.
Bbymutha was gracious enough to grant an interview by phone to explain how her experiences have shaped her bold artistic persona, which shines through on her candid EPs Free Brittnee, Muthaz Day 2, and BbyShoe, all released independently this year, how her Mutha Land concert came together, and her plans for the future — and how those plans affect the four little people depending on her making a living from rap.
Throughout our chat, she carried herself with a worldly self-possession that never prevents her from being vulnerable, bitingly witty, insightful, and always, thoroughly honest. She’s the same person in her interviews that she is on her records, and that person is someone unlike any other in the rap game — for now. It’s apparent that even without meaning to, she’s leading a movement and opening doors for a new wave of rappers in hip-hop, upending every expectation of the game for the better.
How was your Mutha Land show? From what I hear, it was a wild experience.
Yeah, it was really great. They executed the f*ck out of that space. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that. [Chynna] did a pretty dope set and then La Chat’s set was dope. I brought my friend Tee up from Texas and let him come out and perform a couple songs. And then I brought my friend Swerzie from Chattanooga and I brought him out and let him perform a couple songs and they was very cute.
What was the best part about working with Red Bull on this concert?
This was my first time working with them on anything like this. The best thing about it was actually seeing the idea come to life, basically. It was hectic, it was a very stressful two months trying to plan it and thinking everything wasn’t gonna go right and being scared it wasn’t gonna turn out the way I wanted it to turn out, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. So, Red Bull is genius.
You started really pursuing rap later in life than the usual story we hear from rappers, after becoming a mother, yet you’ve attained a lot of success and attention in such a short time.
I have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes I get really really excited about it and I’m just like, ‘Yay, it’s finally what I expected to be doing.’ I get all these cool opportunities to be in all these cool publications and blogs. Sometimes it just like makes me nervous because it makes me feel like, ‘What I put out was good, but I have to put out something better next time.’ It’s very nerve-wracking. Especially because, like you said, I started so late and this generation just kind of gets bored really quick. Even if it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, we like BbyMutha today,’ two months from now everybody be like, ‘Yeah, I remember BbyMutha, what happened to her, she was great.’ So, it’s nerve wracking, but it’s also very cool.
The reason that I think kids get bored these days is because there’s not that relatable content that grows with you. You’re rapping about so much of your life experience and how your kids have affected you and how your kids have affected your career, I think that that music is the type of music that grows with you. Your kids even appear on the intros and skits of your album. Why is it so important to you to include them in your music?
[My kids] are something that I created and my music is something that I created so I always try to like involve them like they’re pieces of my art. I started doing this cause I was driving myself nuts sitting in my room as a stay at home mom with two three-year-olds having to listen to the same programs over and over again. Chloe and Tyler, my youngest two, they say a lot of funny sh*t during the day, so I would turn my voice recorder on my other phone during the day and record everything. Just record stupid ass conversations that I have with them. At the end of the day, I would listen back to it to remind myself it only feels insane on the inside. When you listen to it on the outside, it’s funny and it’s entertaining and it’s kind of cool, but on the inside it’s stressful. So I keep those recordings to keep from losing my f*cking mind.
How much do they get what you do? Do they get that mommy is “famous?”
I think they all get it and they all understand, especially the younger two, because since they’ve been born this is what I’ve been doing. The older two kind of got to see me working regular jobs before I got into this, but the younger two, ever since they’ve been alive this is what I’ve been doing. I don’t think anybody cares for real, except for my oldest daughter and I think she only cares when she can brag about it to her friends or something.
She brags about it?
Yeah, she’s like, ‘My mama got a song with Rico Nasty.’ (“Lately” from BbyShoe)
She knows who Rico Nasty is?
Yeah, she’s the one that put me on to Rico. I wouldn’t even know who Rico Nasty was if it wasn’t for her.
How hard is it to balance tours and shows and just being a mom?
I always say, ‘I don’t feel like I balance it, they just like intertwine with each other.’ My dad keeps my older twins so it’s easier, but the younger twins they have two different babysitters that they go to. I trust them, but sometimes when sh*t will happen like all of my babysitters will cancel at one time, I’ll be freaking out and trying to figure out what to do. I’m just glad that hopefully soon I’ll be able to get to a point where I can either have like a travel nanny.
I’ve seen rappers bring their babies onstage. It’s always guys, though.
I’ve brought my kids on stage with me plenty of times. One time, I had a show in Atlanta and the older twins stayed back with my dad, but the little twins came with me. After my show we were sitting outside of the club waiting on the Uber and this man walked up to me and he was like, ‘Is them ya’ll kids there?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah,’ and he was like, ‘Honey, it’s three o’clock in the morning,’ and my friends just started cussing him the f*ck out cause we was like, ‘You need to mind your mother f*cking business, you don’t know what I’m out here doing.’
When I get a chance to bring them to my shows I definitely bring them and I have fun and they like to come on stage. I have fun, they like to come on stage with me and everything, but, it’s like damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If I leave them with somebody, they say I’m a bad parent, if I bring them on stage, they say I ain’t got no business having my kids in the club, so it’s whatever.
Now we got Cardi B, [so maybe] people will be able to feel more comfortable embracing motherhood. I don’t understand why people think when you bring another human into this world that stops you from doing anything else. If anything that should be the reason you should want to try to do anything for them. My children inspire me. I don’t know what everybody else children do.
Right now, it feels like you’re a part of this crazy movement where women are starting to become the face and the heart and soul of hip-hop. How do you feel about that?
It’s funny because I feel like it’s always been our time. We just got to a point where we were just sick of the bullsh*t. Girls have always been told that we can’t do sh*t like this. This is not for us. This is not a girl’s game. But when you see most of your favorite rappers, you think them n—as just woke up and was famous one day? No, that’s not what happened. They probably had some B behind them, helping them, encouraging them everyday telling them, ‘Go rap. Don’t quit baby. You should keep going.’
A lot of these n—as that’s ya’ll’s favorite rappers who wouldn’t even be rappers if it wasn’t for people feeding them when they couldn’t afford to eat or buy. So it’s about time they let us take up the space we need to take up because we been here any f*cking way.
Next year, where do you see yourself?
I’m trying to move. I hate living in Tennessee. Hopefully, I would get to move by the end of the year. I’m going to put out my first album before this year is over with and then, hopefully, next year I’ll be putting out my first real studio album. Maybe tour and then starting to work some of the personal businesses that I want to start for myself. I want to do that Mutha Land sh*t again. I would like to turn that shit into an entire festival every year if I could.