SXSW 2018: bbymutha Can And Will Win You Over, No Problem
Midway through bbymutha’s set at Fader Fort yesterday, the rapper looked out at the crowd and said: “There’s this thing my daughter does before my songs where she says ‘momma you so cute.'” She calls that her “gas,” motivation to keep moving through a set, and asked that the audience shout those words of encouragement back at her. Within seconds we’re all screaming, “MOMMA YOU SO CUTE!!!” as loudly as possible, and she’s into it.
bbymutha is the moniker of Brittnee Moore, a 28-year-old mother of four based in Chattanooga, TN who’s gearing up to release a new album in the spring. It’s called Prosperity Gospel, cheekily named for televangelist Joel Osteen, who Moore loves to hate. In an excellent FADER profile, she describes him as “like the ultimate trap nigga, bruh. He can sell any fucking thing and y’all will just spend your money.” Moore hasn’t actualized that gospel quite yet, but if there is any justice she’ll be richer than Osteen one of these days.
Like Osteen, Moore has the stage presence of someone who is supremely confident in what they’re selling you and she knows how to work an audience that might not be familiar with her quite yet. Her music is sex-positive and pro-woman, tied to her experience as a black single mother, a demographic so often derided and misrepresented in the mainstream. The projections behind her continuously flipped from the cover image of her BbyShoe EP to the words “THE FUTURE IS NON-BINARY.” When bbymutha performed “Rules,” a song off of her GlowKit EP that jump-started a lot of newfound fandom online, her attitude and ethos kicked into high gear. It’s the song that goes like this: “You can’t give your pussy to a nigga who not used to getting pussy cause that pussy gon’ be everybody business / You can’t break bread with these niggas / Give head to these niggas / They ungrateful, lil’ mama, that’s bad for business.”
By the time bbymutha performed that song, she was already running over her allotted time slot. Her hype-femmes tossed T-shirts out into the crowd, and she had just broken out her freestyle to Grimes’ “Genesis,” which had everyone dancing from the minute those familiar opening instrumentals hit their ear drums. She looked out at us and asked if we wanted to hear one more song, to which everyone in my vicinity screamed “YES!” to her total delight. New converts are easy to recruit when you’re bbymutha.