Bhad Bhabie is not bad after all
Her debut mixtape is titled 15, but teen rapper Bhad Bhabie is done with talking about her age and her gender.
‘‘I have both negatives, I’m young and I’m a girl. If I was a boy and I was young, whatever. If I was a girl and I was old, whatever, but I’m a girl and I’m young. That’s just crazy to some people,’’ she says quickly, speaking down a rattly phone line.
Thirteen-year old Danielle Bregoli became a superstar overnight when a September
2016 appearance on Dr Phil went viral.
Snapping at the talk show host to, ‘‘Cash me outside howbow dah?’’ her memorable line bred remixes and within days had found its way into mainstream discourse.
In the two short years since, Bregoli has gone from a viral meme girl to one of hip-hop’s most promising artists.
Music executive Adam Kluger knew he wanted to manufacture a star and, after hearing her potential, that’s exactly what he did.
Now, Bhad Bhabie is to Gen Z what late-90s Britney Spears is to slightly older millennials.
The video for her single Gucci Flip Flops (featuring Lil Yachty) has been viewed
91 million times on YouTube, and just three weeks after release, her critically acclaimed mixtape boasts 15 million followers on Instagram.
A rapper whose potential is evident in her flow and her stage presence, Bregoli says music wasn’t ever a career she imagined for herself.
‘‘As a white female I never really thought, yeah, I’m gonna be an artist, I’m gonna pursue that. I wanted to do something medical, like be a nurse, or a pharmacist or some s... like that.
‘‘That’s what I really wanted to do. I’ve always loved music. I grew up listening to music. I really, really love music. Being able to be an artist, it’s like sure, why not? Let’s do it.’’
Headstrong by nature, her attitude is part of the appeal. When asked whether she’s always been this way, Bregoli’s answer makes clear how she found herself on Dr Phil’s couch in the first place.
‘‘I could be holding a red cup, and I will fight you to the end that the cup is blue. If I feel a certain way about something, I’m going to make you feel the same way, whether it’s right or wrong.
‘‘People want to call me a feminist because I stand up for being a girl, and it’s just like, it’s just about what’s right. It’s not really about being a certain way.’’
No stranger to proving herself, Bergoli, who spent time in a troubled-teen rehabilitation programme before launching her music career, has no time for people seeking to bring her down.
‘‘Certain people didn’t like me because I was white or because I was younger. I’m not letting no one treat me like that no more.’’
‘‘I told myself I wouldn’t be in this situation again. You just have to fight and fight and fight and fight.’’
Having felt the force of global ridicule, Bregoli says she still struggles with the overwhelmingly positive reaction she’s had to her music,
I could be holding a red cup, and I will fight you to the end that the cup is blue.
from critics and fans alike.
‘‘I didn’t really believe the things people were saying about the mixtape. I thought that people were saying that just to say it.
‘‘I thought it was just going to be all negative, because that’s what it’s all about. People who are different, whether it be young or whatever the case is, other people just want to s... on them completely.’’
Told not to raise the Dr Phil video before the interview, it’s hard to discuss Bregoli’s still fresh career without it coming up. Unprompted, it arises when discussing the demands of being such a recognisable face.
‘‘Hearing ‘Cash me outside’ every day is never going to go away, so I’m like, whatever.
‘‘I pay no attention, but when people are nice, I embrace them. I’ll stick my head out the sunroof when they notice me.
‘‘When people start doing the bulls... and try to show out, that’s when I back up. I don’t run away from it, but I ignore it.’’
Does the rapper have any advice for other artists on the rise? ‘‘Keep doing everything how you’re doing it. Some people will go higher than others.’’
Bhad Bhabie plays Auckland venue The Studio on December 15.
Danielle Bregoli, aka Bhad Bhabie has gone from a viral meme girl to one of hip-hop’s most promising artists.