BbyMutha released her debut – perhaps her last project – and we’re lucky to have been along for the ride.
Every time a woman drops a song or video that’s even slightly NSFW you can be sure the internet will be debating it in the following days. As the internet is wont to do, the debate will be quickly divided into two sides – generally speaking, the misogynist initiator and the responsive progressive (typically and swiftly dubbed a “feminist,” as if that’s something to be ashamed of) – with the parameters being set by the initiator. The argument will be quickly established with the initiator choosing to be morally outraged that a woman would even consider herself as a sexual being, and the other side who simply point out that men have been doing this for decades (see: the debate around Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video). Not only is the argument unwinnable, the initiators having chosen to make the argument one of morality, it also quickly sets the parameters, making it profoundly impossible to extend the argument. We can’t argue for an even more radical understanding of gender dynamics when we’re so busy arguing for women’s rights to say what men are already saying and have been saying. Enter BbyMutha. She’s not demanding the right to say what men have been saying for decades – in the way that Meg just wants to be able to say what her idols UGK were saying two and a half decades ago – she’s demanding the right to say what the fuck she wants. BbyMutha doesn’t want to sign titties like the rockstars of old, she wants to “give that dick an autograph.”
All of that intellectualization might do Muthaland a disservice, this record goes. The album is perfect for any kind of fan: there’s heavy 808s for people who just want to turn up, wobbly water sounds and tinny drums for those looking to vibe, catchy hooks for those who want to boss up and shout bars they can remember – “Fuck you bitch, this my house/ You don’t pay no bills out here, don’t make me knock your lights out” or “Baby, I’m a rockstar/ Money make my cock hard” – and well-thought-out lyrics for those who want to follow with a pen and a pad. The album opener, “Roaches Don’t Die,” deals with both the politics of unapologetic selfhood, consent and statutory rape. This isn’t the kind of “love yourself” mantra you’d be fed at a SoulCycle; it’s the kind where a single mother of two sets of twins knows that every obstacle she’s overcome is a testament to her strength and nothing else. “You don’t fuck with hoes who get government stamps and WIC, huh?” she raps, flipping the Juvenile flow, before eventually launching into an ethering of her baby daddy that brings up the issue of consent and the rape of a minor. “Got two babies strapped to either breast/ know my baby daddy so depressed/ it’s been way over a decade and he still a mess/ still a nasty n***a, he like girls who got a curfew,” she spits before rapping about teaching her son to be nothing like him and respect consent.
BbyMutha has said this, her debut, will be her final project. As disappointing as that is for her fans, it’s safe to say she’s left everything on the table. She leaves the game having given us her most personal album without having sacrificed her craft or independence.