Latto has quickly carved a name for herself in Hip-Hop’s competitive landscape. In 2019, the Georgia-bred femcee lit up the industry with her popular single “B*tch From da Souf,” a song that appeared on her breakout EP, Big Latto. The meteoric tune instantly became a fan favorite and dominated the billboard Hot 100 chart. But the 23-year-old star didn’t let her foot off the gas.
In 2022, the self-proclaimed “Clayco Queen” dropped her viral hit “Big Energy,” the lead single from her second studio album, 777 (2022). The tune, the star’s highest-charting single to date, peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 after its debut.
Latto’s bold bars and infectious flow have earned her several nominations in just a short time, including one for Best New Hip Hop Artist at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards and the Top Rap Female Artist at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. This week, the rapper, whose real name is Alyssa Michelle Stephens, received a Grammy nod. It may feel as though Latto has hit the jackpot over the last year, but her career certainly didn’t blossom by luck.
Latto burst onto the Hip-Hop scene at 16 years old after she won The Rap Game, a reality TV show where aspiring rappers compete for a chance to sign a record deal with Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def. The reality TV series helped to shine a light on her significant stage presence and punchy lyrics.
“To this day, people still remember me from the show,” the star told Who What Wear during an interview in May. “It was an early introduction to the world, and [it] prepped me for what was to come.” Before appearing on the show, Latto was already cutting her teeth in the industry. She started rapping at just eight years old, and by 10, she was already laying down tracks in the studio.
Last year, “The Biggest” rapper changed her name from Mulatto to Latto after being criticized for using the offensive term as her moniker. The name change was a revelation of sorts for the young Hip-Hop titan.
“The new name Latto, in reference to the lottery and the jackpot aesthetic, it’s been manifesting positive energy for me versus the Mulatto name,” Latto said. “I feel like I didn’t even know it, but I [was] harboring this negative energy. I [was] bringing this negative energy with me, and it was holding me back from a lot of opportunities.”
Since then, opportunities have been flooding in like crazy for the star, and she’s crushing every single last one of them with “BIG ENERGY,” might we add. Latto isn’t letting anything get her way on her road to Hip-hop domination. Let’s take a look back at five times the star left a massive mark on the industry with her incredible talent and bold persona.
1. Latto stands up to Nicki Minaj in Twitter feudSource:Getty
Sometimes even your idols can become your worst enemy. This week, Latto went toe to toe with Nicki Minaj, who threw shade when she discovered that the star’s single “Big Energy” was up for consideration in the Grammys’ rap category, but her single “Super Freaky Girl” wouldn’t be included.
“I have no prob being moved out the RAP category as long as we r ALL being treated FAIRLY. If SFG has 2B moved out RAP then so does Big Energy! ANY1 who says diff is simply a Nicki hater or a troll,” Minaj tweeted before trading a few words with Latto offline.
Unfortunately, the rap stars’ feud quickly spilled over to Twitter, where Minaj called the Atlanta native a “Karen” and a “scratch-off” for staying silent about her Grammy snub.
Latto, who has been a long-time fan of Minaj, didn’t back down from the 40-year-old star.
“1st of all I texted u cause I didn’t wanna do the internet sht w sum1 I looked up to,” she tweeted in self-defense.” Just like the 1st time I DMed u asking about ur ongoing subtweets. I wanted to speak up cuz like I said I do agree but the way u going about it seems malicious esp. after how we left off.”
In a separate post, Latto shared a few screenshots from the past where the rapper allegedly talked trash about her online. “40yearoldbully” the hitmaker tweeted.
2. Latto wins Best New ArtistSource:Getty
Latto certainly isn’t letting any petty Hip-Hop drama stop her from getting the bag. Back in February 2021, the rap sensation earned a spot in the XXL Freshman Class of 2020. Earlier this year, Latto won the BET Award for Best New Artist.
3. The rapper stormed New York Fashion WeekSource:Getty
Last month, Latto attended several showcases during NY Fashion Week. The star commanded the crowd with her bold style and vibrant energy.
During the Harper’s BAZAAR Icons party, the rapper showed up in an elegant satin gown by MÔNOT. Later in the week, the 23-year-old celeb schmoozed with Tommy Hilfiger at his fashion show in a preppy schoolgirl outfit that the seminal designer handpicked. She even got a chance to perform at the official dinner following Sergio Hudson’s SS23 presentation.
“[Fashion week] wasn’t what I expected it to be, in a good way. I’m very shy and my social anxiety tends to creep up on me,” the “Muwop” rapper told Harper’s Bazaar of her fashion week experience. “I went into this thinking, ‘I’m going to be so out of my element.’ I’m panicking, right? But after the first day, it became fun. It felt like playing dress-up for work. I wasn’t even in my social anxiety bag. I was just flourishing.”
4. She’s made history, Too!Source:Getty
Latto carved her name in the history books back in April, after she became the first female rapper to have a number-one record grace pop, urban, and radio stations with her smash hit “Big Energy.”
According to her label’s website, Latto is the first female artist in 12 years to accomplish the big feat.
5. Latto launches PrettyLittleThing collaborationSource:Photos received from firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year, Latto made her foray into the fashion world with the release of her PrettyLittleThing collection. The sexy line showcased the rapper’s infectious swagger and “in your face” persona.
Latto sent fans swooning with the collection’s curve-hugging body con dresses and smoldering silhouette dresses, the perfect attire for any boss babe who dares to live their unapologetic life just like the gigantic hip-hop star.
Latto is quickly building an empire for herself, and fashion will certainly be a part of that legacy.