Latto brought his famous “Big Energy” to “The Future of Hip-Hop” panel during BillboardInaugural MusicCon Friday, May 13 at Area 15 in Las Vegas.
The 23-year-old rapper – whose Mariah Carey hit “Big Energy” has stayed in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the past six weeks, thanks in part to a remix with Mimi herself and DJ Khaled – the cut with Billboard R&B/hip-hop writer Neena Rouhani explains how she’s taking the rap game while keeping it for the South.
Here are the five takeaways from Latto’s “Future of Hip-Hop” panel:
She is living out her 8-year-old’s biggest dreams
The ATL MC told Rouhani that she has been rapping since she was just 8 years old. “That’s all I prayed for, that I worked for,” she said. “It’s been a long process, and I’m grateful for the coming and everything that’s happening right now. It’s my 8-year dream. It was all a dream, and it’s real life now.
Latto works to music by Flo Milli and enjoys portraying female Southern rappers
“I also work for myself – is that arrogant?” she jokingly asked the crowd after telling those in Area 15 that the fellow Southern rapper was on his workout playlist. And Latto is still handing out flowers to his fellow rappers who have always shown his support for him. She argues that they “remove that stigma from blogs and fanbases of ‘hating each other and showing love to each other by'”[following] each other on Instagram, commenting under each other’s photos… collaborating with each other, shouting at each other [during interviews]. During the interview, Latto yelled at Cardi B for when she sent him a voice note telling him to “carry on” and “F [the haters], take your money, right. Bia DMed it when she released her second studio album 777 in March. And Latto had to give props to Trina, which she said was “my first big feature” on her top 40 R&B/Hip-Hop songs “Bi—From Da Souf.” “And I was independent when I did that,” she noted.
“I hope to see representation from a plethora of women,” she added of what she hopes the future holds for female rappers like her. “I feel like right now you have so many women representing different areas on a map. You got me, City Girls, Megan [Thee Stallion] representing the South against Gangsta Boo, Trina, they pretty much kept it going. Now you have the West Coast, you have the Midwest…. We all represent our own city.
Her favorite songs on Nicki Minaj pink friday album are “Roman’s Revenge”, “Blazin” and “Dear Old Nicki”
Even though Latto laughed at the way she talks about how she stood in line to buy the pink friday CD too much in interviews, it just goes to show how much influence Minaj and this project had on her. She listed “Roman’s Revenge”, “Blazin” and “Dear Old Nicki” as her three favorites from Minaj’s debut album. “Her as an artist, her as a woman, she was so intriguing,” Latto explained. “It’s deeper than the music when you see his influence to this day.” And his eyes are definitely set on a collaboration with Nicki.
Latto compared the pros and cons of social media
On the bright side, she noted, the internet has allowed her to expand her reach around the world, like going platinum in a country she’s never traveled to before like New Zealand, and allowed her to to make themselves known and to “connect the face to the music”. “My caption will be my own lyrics and make videos of my songs,” Latto explained. The inconvenients ? His clapbacks. “Sometimes I don’t know how to shut up,” she admitted. So when asked what bad habit she would try to kill over the next two years, “responding negatively on social media” immediately came to mind.
His fantastic vacation spot is Jamaica – and making Caribbean music might be involved
When asked where she plans to travel in the next five years, Latto replied, “I want to go to Jamaica. I am obsessed with Caribbean culture. Does this mean that the Souf artist will serve the gyal energy of the big island in the next releases? “Maybe,” she said, “and some genuine chicken and plantains.”