Both Latto and Big Latto are stage names of Alyssa Michelle Stephens. She is an American rapper and hip hop artist of some note, as shown by a couple of things that happened in 2020. One would be her nomination for Best New Hip Hop Artist at the BET Hip Hop Awards. The other would be her inclusion in XXL’s Freshman Class. Very recently, Stephens released a new single called “Big Energy,” which seems to have kicked up something of a furor.
1. Born in Columbus, OH
Stephens was born in the city of Columbus in the state of Ohio. Said city is home to more than 900,000 people, which is enough to make it the second most populous of the cities that can be found in the Midwest. On top of that, Columbus is the center of the Columbus, Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area that encompasses a total of ten counties, with the result that said region is home to a combined population of more than 2 million people.
2. Raised in Clayton County, GA
Having said that, Stephens didn’t spent much time in Columbus, OH. This is because her family moved to the state of Georgia when she was still at the age of two. As a result, Stephens was raised in Clayton County. On its own, the county isn’t particularly populous. However, it is important to note that it is considered to be a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is why Stephens is sometimes said to have come from said city.
3. Identifies as Biracial
Stephens identifies as a biracial individual. This is because her father is black and her mother is white. It is interesting to note that the number of people in the United States who consider themselves to be multiracial has seen a significant increase in recent decades. In part, this is because the one-time stigma of being multiracial has faded, with the result that more and more people are choosing to embrace that status. Just a few decades before that, it wasn’t uncommon for people with multiracial heritage in the United States to hide it.
4. Got Bullied for Being Light-Skinned
In school, Stephens got bullied for being “light-skinned.” Often-times, this is connected to colorism, which would be discrimination based upon either hair color or skin color. For those who are unfamiliar, colorism can be directed at both lighter-skinned individuals and darker-skinned individuals with black heritage. To name some examples, darker-skinned individuals are sometimes seen as being uglier, dumber, and more brutish. Conversely, lighter-skinned individuals are sometimes seen as not being “real” black people. She is a rapper who has persevered through discrimination.
5. Started Out with Miss Mulatto As Her Stage Name
Different people react to discrimination in different ways. In Stephens’ case, she seems to have leaned into her multiracial heritage. This can be seen in how her first stage name was Miss Mulatto, a term for someone of mixed black and white heritage that is now often considered to be outdated as well as more than a bit offensive. It is known that the English term came from its Spanish and Portuguese predecessors. Beyond that, there are a number of theories regarding their roots extending even further back. One theory would be the Latin mulus for mule. Another theory would be the Arabic muwallad for someone born of non-Muslim parents who adopted the Islamic religion as well as manners in Al-Andalus.
6. Used to Drag Race
In the past, Stephens was known for drag racing. This might be unexpected to some interested individuals. However, it becomes much more unsurprising once one learns that drag racing was apparently something of a common passion in her family, so much so that every single male member got into it. Eventually, Stephens became more focused on rapping, with the result that said activity overtook her involvement in drag racing.
7. The 2020 Presidential Election Was Her First Election
Stephens’ birthday is in December. As a result, she was still at the age of 17 when the 2016 presidential election happened. Thanks to this, the first presidential election in which Stephens was eligible to vote was the 2020 presidential election. It is interesting to note that she actually made an extra effort to educate herself about the process before casting her vote. Something that was necessary because Stephens apparently came from a non-political background, meaning that she wouldn’t have just absorbed such knowledge from her surroundings as part of growing up.
8. Wants to Live Her Life Before Starting a Family
Moving on, Stephens has stated that she doesn’t have much interest in starting a family at this point in time. This doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to start a family at some point in the future, just that she wants to spend some time living her life before doing so. In this, Stephens has been much-influenced by the stories of the women in her family, many of whom had kids at a young age. Her mother made an especial effort to tell her and her sister to live their life before starting a family.
9. Changed Her Stage Name Because She Listened to People
Stephens has stated that she didn’t mean anything bad when she chose her first stage name of Miss Mulatto. For instance, she wasn’t either boasting about being biracial or trying to deny the black side of her heritage. Stephens spoke about this because a wide range of people reacted to her stage name in a wide range of ways, which included some who were quite negative. Rather than react in a hostile way to that negativity, Stephens made a conscious decision to listen to their concerns. Something that can be quite important when it comes to discussions of discrimination because everyone experiences things from their own perspective, meaning that they are by no means guaranteed to have a good idea of what everyone else thinks about the relevant issues. Eventually, Stephens did change her stage name and now the rap music artist is known by her new name.
10. Takes Proper COVID-19 Precautions
On a semi-related note, Stephens has also come under criticism for doing shows with COVID-19 going on. She justified her decision-making in this regard by simply saying that she needed to work because there are a lot of people relying on her. Having said that, Stephens does take the proper COVID-19 precautions such as wearing her mask, watching out for her health, and taking COVID-19 tests on a regular basis.