by Nadirah Simmons
When I hopped on the phone with BbyMutha, she was in Chicago getting ready to hop in an Uber and head to lunch with a friend. The Chattanooga-bred rapper had just gotten her nails done and bought a few wigs, and was looking forward to “Renaissance One” later that night, a show put together by PartyNoire and “Red Bull Presents” to celebrate the city’s LGBTQ+ pioneers.
I spoke with BbyMutha about the pressure to constantly put out music, the importance of protecting the Black LGBTQIA+ community and her newfound method of selfcare.
NS: You’re on the lineup for the “Renaissance One” show that “seeks to elevate these progressive artists and pay tribute to Chicago’s LGBTQ+ pioneers” during Pride. How important is this month to you?
BM: I appreciate Pride Month for what it is and not what it’s being turned into. I feel like it’s a lot of commercial profit. These are people that you wouldn’t have thought twice about [at any other time].
I saw a lot of ads this past month with transgender women that I follow as the faces, and I’m happy for them. But at the same time nobody does anything for them when they need help. That’s my only problem with it. Now that I’m grown I can just be gay, and I appreciate being able to play at shows like this because I can really really just be me! With other people that are like me!
Right! And it’s important what you said about visibility, because for Black queer bodies with that comes a need for protection.
Yes, you’ll see people get so mad and say “I’m not supporting this brand anymore because they had this person on there.” And then people attack that community. That’s the stuff that has me worried, because outside of the promotion there is no protection.
That was a bar! And people are out here getting hurt and killed.
And none of these brands ever stand in solidarity with them when it’s not Pride Month.
Yup! I put a rainbow on these shorts and…
[Laughs] Right, so you better buy it!
Crazy. So I have to ask you this. Someone the other day tweeted you and recommended you make a personal Twitter account to tweet “crazy” stuff in a separate place.
Yeah somebody tweeted that to me and they got me fucked up. I’m going to do what I want to do, I paid my phone bill. Especially not on for something as silly as social media. If you don’t want to see something I post cool, but that’s why you have an option. You’re not being forced to follow me.
Within music, especially with the people who look like us, there is this intense pressure to act a certain way or maintain a certain image. Is there pressure for you to conform to an industry standard?
I don’t care about an industry standard, because it’s very untrue and I’m a bad liar. So I feel like even if I did conform to that people wouldn’t receive me well. It would come off as fake and not genuine. It would do me a disservice.
I also spent a lot of my life being told who I needed to be. And I still ended up getting rejected. You turn into these people the world tells you to be, and it’s still not good enough because now there’s something else you have to do.
That’s such an important value to have, and certainly something I see whenever you share your kids on social media. They look so free and happy, which is a testament to your parenting. Is it difficult to balance motherhood and your music?
They’re hand in hand. People who say what you should or shouldn’t do probably don’t have kids, and they don’t have people around them that actually care about them. And for a long time I didn’t either and it was the hardest.
People just don’t know what they’re talking about. Yes I’ve had to take some L’s when it comes to my children, but from each L I grew and I learned.
Everyone’s been asking so I have to ask, when can we expect the album?
I can’t even give no updates! I had a listening party and everybody thought that was the final [album], but I’ve added so much since then! It’s going to be crazy, it’s going to be worth it, and everybody is going to be like “damn okay this is why it took so long!”
In music people stay dropping stuff left and right, every month.
That was literally me last year, and I’m not finna stress myself out this year! You do that and then people are like okay, throw that in the trash, where is the next one. Like nah, I’m gonna make y’all wait for this, it’s going to be good, and then you gonna sit with it for a while.
Do you feel like that saturates the market? An artist will drop a new thing every single week and I’ll be like damn are you doing this for some streams?
I feel like it’s for the streams, and also nobody has the balls to say “y’all gon’ wait.” Everything is some supply and demand type shit, and that’s not what I’m on. Last year I put out five EP’s, I was doing that because I felt like if I wasn’t working on something I was a a failure. But it’s okay to work and keep it for a minute and sit with it.
What do you to take time for yourself?
I just now got to a point where I’ve been trying to do that. And honestly what I learned this week is to wake up early. Waking up early, I have time to do stuff. When I get back home waking up early is going to do me some good. I can wake up before the kids, smoke and get my hair done before they get up, because that’s a lot of different personalities coming at me at one time.
And being on tour. I just spent four days in Amsterdam by myself and at first I ain’t know what to do. After a while you realize that’s a form of self care too, spending time with yourself. And doing stuff that you like to do and not feeling bad about it.
Who are you listening to right now? What’s in your playlist?
Future never leaves my playlist, he’s my problematic fave. Asian Doll is really in my playlist right now, I like her. All the usuals, Young Thug, Gunna, Lil Uzi. He in my top ten! Earl, a lot of Earl lately because I miss being on tour with him. I really like Schoolboy Q’s new project. Key!
People forget about him sometimes!
Forreal and I don’t know why, he’s a legend. And Nudy, I always listen to Nudy. And Hov, Nirvana, Bad Brains.
That’s a good playlist. Before we go I know you’re in Chicago getting ready for the show and I want to know, what do you like about the city?
This is only my second time being here. It’s very Black and I love it. Black people everywhere.