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Mutha-of-All-Trades: BbyMutha Is Outfitting Her Inner Child

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BbyMutha isn’t worried about a sophomore slump. “That only happens to people who give a f*ck about what people think,” she laughs, looking up from the crochet project (a pink and purple outfit for her imminent tour) she’s working on while reflecting on her newly released album sleep paralysis.

“The album is good and I know the album is good. If you think my first one is better, that’s fine. I don’t give a f*ck about a sophomore slump.”

Drawing heavy influence from UK garage and dance music (inspired greatly by a post-COVID trip to London), sleep paralysis sees BbyMutha, born Brittnee Moore, enlist nine producers from across the pond – including Foisey, Bon Music Vision and Kilder – for the 808-infused LP. “I grew up thinking electronic music was video game music,” she says, listing SSX Tricky and Sonic the Hedgehog as her immediate associations with the genre. The 10-track offering is the Chattanooga native and Planet Seven queen’s second studio album – and her first project ever without any features – following up her hard-hitting Muthaland debut in 2020.

Now 35 – and her two sets of twins 11 and 16 – BbyMutha is back again to assert herself with her smart rhymes and witty wordplay, but in a different way than she did on Muthaland. “I feel like I went through another puberty during the pandemic,” she recalls of the period between her two studio albums.

“I was trying to find myself and it’s really hard to do that when you can’t go outside – and then two years later, when you can outside, all of the female rappers can now rap, sing, dance and do eight-counts.”

Though the industry vet might feel she can’t hang with the influx of rappers on the scene, the multifaceted mother is carving out a unique (and carefully crocheted) space of her own. Having studied fashion design back in college, BbyMutha made all of her outfits for sleep paralysis’ music videos and global tour, electing to crochet each piece by hand; she loves crocheting so much in fact, that she even did it when fighting a kidney stone before filming the visual for “go!,” one of sleep paralysis’ standout tracks.

“I was literally in the hospital bed crocheting. They loved me.”

While the album marks a stark sonic shift from the artist’s extensive discography, she wants her listeners to know that she’s still the same – Southern drawl and all – at her Chattanooga-crafted core. “You can’t take this Southern sh*t outta me,” she explains. “I’ve always been a writer and I’ve always been into fashion, that’s some other sh*t that’s never gonna change.”

Could you introduce yourself?

I’m BbyMutha. Grrrr.

Could you introduce the album?

sleep paralysis is an album I spent about a month of my life making. I tried to make an album of sh*t that I don’t usually do, sprinkled in with some sh*t that I do all the time. I’m tired of being boxed into any genre. I want to make everything, so this was my first attempt at doing some extra sh*t. ​​We have moved past “Heavy Metal.” We are moving on; we are moving up and we are moving forward. I want all of my fans to not necessarily let the past go, but to celebrate this new chapter.

“[My kids] force me to connect with my inner child.”

Why did you name the album sleep paralysis?

I struggle with sleep paralysis – it’s one of the first things I remember from being a kid. The project is really about trying to reconnect with who I am as a person. No matter how much I preach “Stay in touch with yourself even when you’re a mother” and “You can still do what you wanna do even when you have kids” – you do still lose yourself in motherhood. You don’t really have a choice. I don’t typically put my inner child or childhood references in my music; instead, I put my own kids. They’re always putting me on and they really force me to connect with my inner child.

What is your connection to UK garage and dance music?

If you go to the clubs where I’m from in Chattanooga, you’re not gonna hear any of that kind of music. You’re gonna hear f*cking Fantasia and sh*t. I was introduced to house and jungle music through SSX Tricky and Sonic the Hedgehog. I grew up thinking it was video game music. Once I got older and started making music myself, I found a connection to dance music and I started rapping over more electronic-type beats. A few years ago, I went to London for the first time and spent more time in cities overseas and learned about so many different types of music outside of hip-hop.

Why haven’t you made any electronic music until now?

Producers wouldn’t send me beats. Once upon a time, people weren’t really excited about working with female rappers. When I first started, it was so hard to get any producers to send me anything. I’d message producers to buy their beats off Soundcloud and they’d ignore me or laugh at me so I was just stealing beats off of YouTube.

When did your connection with fashion start?

I’ve always loved fashion. I’d steal my stepmom’s clothes and shoes and change into them at school. My dad is Muslim so he’s traditional so I’d wait until I got to school and change right away and doll that sh*t up. I wanted to be fly all the time.

“Inflation is crazy so I just decided to start making my sh*t myself. $200 for plastic boots? Don’t play with me.”

How would you describe sleep paralysis‘ fashion?

The only way to describe it is homemade. I don’t really have the space to sew right now as you can tell – you see my room [gestures at a pile of clothing behind her bed] – it’d be even worse if I had a f*cking sewing machine in here. So I decided to crochet. I learned to crochet when the Barbie movie came out because I wanted to make something to wear to see the movie. No one talks about how expensive it is to buy clothes for a tour. I don’t have a stylist. I don’t have people who send me free clothes all the time. Inflation is crazy so I just decided to start making my sh*t myself. $200 USD for plastic boots? Don’t play with me.

How long did it take to make all of the tour outfits?

About a month and a half. I’m not finished yet – this piece here is the last one I’m making to match the tour colors.

How does watching your children grow up impact your artistry?

When I first started making music, they were more heavily involved. I’d always just turn my voice notes on and record moments between us. But now they’re growing up and becoming their own people – and I can’t keep using them for intros anymore.


Stream ‘sleep paralysis’ everywhere now.

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