Mulatto is reportedly considering changing her stage name after facing backlash over the controversial moniker.
In a recent interview at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards, the 21-year-old rapper born Alyssa Michelle Stephens revealed that she might go by Big Latto in the future. “I can’t say too much because we’re working on something right now, but I would be lying to say it hasn’t crossed my mind before,” she told HipHopDX.
Since her debut in 2018, critics have accused the rapper of promoting anti-Blackness with her stage name, which is an archaic and offensive term used for a person with mixed white and Black ancestry. But over the years, Stephens has doubled down on her moniker, saying that the title is a reference to her being biracial and her way of reclaiming the racial slur.
“It’s definitely a historic term and it’s not even something that people would want to call themselves. But you know for me, it’s deeper than just saying, ‘I’m mixed, that’s why my name is Mulatto.’ […] I took that negative energy and made something positive out of it,” she said in a 2018 interview with VladTV.
“It’s definitely a similar term to the N-word. It’s a racial slur to mixed people. […] But for me it’s not that deep. It’s me embracing who I am. It’s hard to express to someone that wouldn’t know the struggles that mixed people do experience.”
However, it seems like Stephens has reconsidered her earlier stance. “It is a controversy that I hear and see every day as far as my name goes, so I would be lying to say no, I never thought of that,” she revealed to HipHopDX. “But I can’t say too much because right now, because it’s going to be a part of something bigger.”
Mulatto made her major label debut in August with her album Queen of da Souf. It included collabs with 21 Savage, City Girls and Gucci Mane. Earlier that month, she made a cameo in Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s smash hit video for “WAP.” More recently, the rapper performed cuts off her album for her first-ever NPR Tiny Desk performance.