An artist’s name is their first introduction to the world. That’s no secret. It’s what they will be called by fans, the media and everyone in between. And it’s no secret that a name could put some people off. And rapper names like Light Skin Keisha and Mulatto have been seen as particularly problematic.
Glorifying light skin as a Black woman is particularly problematic, given the Black community’s history with colorism. And the origins of mulatto are equally troubling. For those who don’t know mulatto initially referred to the offspring of a horse and donkey—a mule. But eventually, the term was used to describe mixed race people.
As you can imagine, likening people of color to animals is not ideal.
And for as talented as Mulatto, it’s a conversation that’s dominated her rise in the industry. Some listeners got it and were willing to rock with her. And others just couldn’t get on board.
In response to a tweet from writer Wanna Thompson saying that name has kept her from supporting Mulatto, she wrote: “What’s wrong w reclaiming a slur & being a voice for a whole culture of people [shrug emoji] little mixed girls come up to me all the time & tell me they relate to my story and I’m VERY proud of that! Plus the same ppl who got a problem w my name use N*GGA in their vocab so [skeptical face emoji.]
But apparently, since the time of that tweet, just under a year ago, Mulatto may have had a change of heart.
During an interview with Hip Hop DX, she shared that perhaps there are plans to change her polarizing stage name from Mulatto to Big Latto, her nickname.
She said, “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,” Mulatto told DX. “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. But I can’t say too much because right now, because it’s going to be a part of something bigger.”
We’ll see what happens.