RAPPER BIG MOMMA TALKS ABOUT NEW MUSIC AND SCARING BITCHES
Written by Devyn Springer
There are many queer men rapping, but not many who are rapping. In other words; there are many queer men rapping, but not many who spit. This is why when I came across Big Momma a few years ago on the internet, I was overjoyed to hear his thick and powerful voice come crashing onto the scene.
Big Momma’s voice reminds me of Biggie’s; when you hear it, it commands attention. Before even considering the masterful crafting of lyrics Big Momma puts into every song, you are introduced to a voice that is powerful and sharp. So when he raps “let’s put the girls in misery/ once Big Momma come through on the track, these bitches history,” it almost sounds like God himself is reading you for filth.
“I grew up in a very Christian home where we went to church every Sunday, and I would ride the church van to church every week,” says Big Momma, when asked when his interest in creating hip-hop began. “I remember having my MP3 player secretly full of rap music and that’s all I would listen to on that bus ride.”
He then describes how much this influenced him to start making hip-hop, saying that after growing up listening to people like Lil Kim, Biggie, and Busta Rhymes, he wanted to begin to rap like them. “I wanted to sound like them. I wanted to be able to say all the shit they were able to say on a song, and be admired for it.” And the influence from these rappers, especially Lil Kim and Biggie, does not go unnoticed.
Not only does Big Momma’s flow sound like a uniquely interesting mix of 90s female hip-hop artists: he is also very big on paying homage to them as well. Big Momma has a tendency to re-appropriate and queer hip-hop lyrics, like on the track “Down On Ya” where he spit-fire raps “dress to impress, spark these niggas interest/ sex is all I expect.” This line is a clear bite from Biggie’s 1997 track “Nasty Boy,” in which Biggie raps “spark these bitches interests/ sex is all I expect.”
“I pay homage to a lot of the best and I pay homage in different ways,” Big Momma told me. “Sometimes I’ll reference a lyric, or on some songs I’ll mimic their flow. Like on my song Keysha, I mimic the flow of Biggie’s ‘Hypnotize’ as a way of paying homage to him.”
And it is in this same framework that Big Momma’s homage paying and lyric references can be seen as not mere appreciation for the art and history of hip-hop, but as a political act of queering hip-hop. To take lines and flows, many of which are very famous hip-hop references, and put them into a queer context is an extraordinary feat that should not go unrecognized. As a Black queer man myself, this is part of the passion and allure of Big Momma’s music that makes me appreciate his talent even more.
In a turn of conversation, Big Momma states “I don’t have lavish shit so why rap about it?” Admittedly I was a bit taken aback by that statement, but in an appreciative way. This statement breaks from the typical formula for up-and-coming rappers, one that makes young artists often feel they need to lie about their bank accounts and luxuries in order to be successful. “That’s what makes me different from these other rappers. The shit that I rap about; it’s actually happened. Why would I rap about shit I don’t have?”
This is another point f allurement that has drawn in somewhat of a cult following on the internet surrounding Big Momma; his rap persona is not built on false luxuries or capitalist delectables, rather an interesting image that conjures up the darkness of horror films. With tracks names like “Charles Manson,” “The Sacrifice,” and “Jeffrey Dahmer,” and a visual style that situates itself somewhere between Marilyn Manson and your favorite Black drag queen, Big Momma has branded himself a something completely unique to the rap world.
I asked him why he gravitates towards the darker side of sounds and visuals for his persona, to which he had a lot to say. “It’s one of those weird confessions, but I feel like I kind of identify with Jason Vorhees, whose last name I have tatted on my knuckles by the way.” He then dove into the Friday the Thirteenth series, detailing to me the many ways he relates to and identifies his persona with Jason Vorhees. “In the origins of the series his mom basically got to a point where she had to start killing bitches for fucking with her son, because Jason was picked on for being different.”
“And I remember growing up Black and overweight, my mom always had to defend me the same way. I remember having to have thick skin at like age 7, and it’s wild thinking about having to have thick skin as young as age 7, but both children and adults are mean.” After being a fan of his music and the dark and dreamy persona, this history fit perfectly into the lyrics and visuals I’ve begun to expect from him.
“Long story short, I just felt like being this figure like Jason Voorhees or Mike Meyers who came back for revenge. Most people come back after high school and call ‘coming back for revenge’ losing weight and shit, but I’m coming back for revenge in another way. I’m coming back for revenge in by music. By killing bitches in my songs as if I would in a movie, and it’s kind of like a therapy to me.”
And come back for revenge he does. On the song “Creepin” from his first EP the Plague, Big Momma raps as if he is two different characters: the side-chick who’s “creepin’ wit ya nigga,” and the one being cheated on who raps “oh you thought I didn’t know you a dog in the streets?/ That’s why a bitch never cared to put you back on the leash.” This song is just one of many that showcases Big Momma’s raw talent, incredible lyrical acrobatics, and vocal delivery that will leave you gasping.
We talked about future projects, including an upcoming album and a surprise collaboration, and Big Momma sounded beyond excited for the world to hear what he had in store. “The album is no longer called Mild,” he explained. “It’s going to be self-titled, and I’m going to explore a lot of content, so I decided to make it self-titled to not limit what I wanted to do on the album.”
“When the album art drops, it’s going to scare bitches.” We both laughed, but he wasn’t kidding. “The album cover scared me, so bitches are going to have to sleep with their lights on. The album will tell a sick love story, but it will have its highlights to it. It will be moody, clubby, and dark, and it will all be centered around a certain situationship. Everyone who’s heard it, the only thing they can say is: damn.”
Ending on such a strong note, there is much more I wanted to discuss but we didn’t have time for because he had to run to the studio to record. I guess we’ll have to hear from him again after the album, Big Momma, drops and we can dive in even deeper.
I know that we can expect more than fire from Big Momma, because the passion is unavoidable in everything he does. “I will be leaking some noise soon, and the album is some of my best work ever,” Big Momma told me, and I agree in certainty that we’ll be hearing some delectables from the grave pretty soon.
And hear his music here.