How Latto Became A Leading Femcee In Hip Hop

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Latto performs during day one of Wireless Festival 2023 at Finsbury Park on July 07, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Latto's origin story is as fascinating as her acclaimed body of music, establishing her origins within hip hop from childhood.

Unfortunately, it's still something of a rare occurrence for women to break into the hip-hop world and find massive mainstream success. Acts like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion may be inspiring tales, but they are the exception, not the rule. Luckily, several young and talented femcees have been making their way in the industry in recent years, including acts like Latto. The 25-year-old Atlanta, Georgia songwriter has made massive waves in recent weeks, including the release of her latest track "Sunday Service," which seems to be fanning the flames of an impending beef with Ice Spice. Here's a brief look into how the esteemed recording artist managed to shatter the glass ceiling with her penchant for penning jaw-dropping bars.

Latto Got Her Start On The Rap Game

Latto reportedly began rapping in her childhood and even performed live music at block parties before reaching her teenage years. Back in 2016, Latto appeared on the very first season of the hit reality television series The Rap Game. The series, which aired on the Lifetime network, was headed by hit record producer Jermaine Dupri, who offered winning contestants a full record deal to bring them to the next level of superstardom. Dupri previously changed the landscape of music by managing and producing for acts including Kris Kross, Bow Wow, and Mariah Carey.

Latto filmed her appearance on the show when she was just 16 years old, under her previous moniker Miss Mulatto. Much to the shock of many viewers, the young femcee won the first season, though she ultimately rejected Jermaine Dupri's offer of a record deal in favor of pursuing an independent solo career. In the years since, Latto has put out platinum certified records, collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, and was even listed alongside NLE Choppa, Polo G, and Jack Harlow in the XXL Freshman Class of 2020. Her 2021 single "Big Energy" received triple platinum certification from the RIAA, and closed out the year at number 7 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 list.

The Femcee's Momentum Continued To Pick Up

Not long after the release of her second studio album 777 in 2022, Latto found herself at the center of a media frenzy. The up-and-coming artist received multiple Grammy nominations for her prolific growing catalog, including a nod for Best New Artist and Best Melodic Rap Performance for "Big Energy" in 2023. She also received nominations for Best New Hip Hop Artist at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards and Top Rap Female Artist at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. With all these outlets recognizing her talent, it seems clear that Latto is here to stay, with a wide array of projects expected to push her sound to the next level in the coming years.

Most recently, however, Latto seems to have fallen into a conflict with fellow femcee Ice Spice. Some fans have called the legitimacy of the Latto and Ice Spice feud into question, raising concerns that the move may just be a marketing strategy. Regardless, it would certainly be nice if the acclaimed female rappers could put their differences aside, as the landscape for women in rap is already so restrictive. No matter what, hip-hop heads are sure to be hearing more and more from the Atlanta-based artist in the coming years.

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About The Author
TeeJay Small is a professional humorist, pop culture columnist, and an avid enjoyer of all things hip hop. When he's not compiling dozens of monologue-style jokes about the most absurd news headlines, or furiously scribbling rewrites for his television pilot, you can find him carefully analyzing the lyrics to the latest Griselda or Dreamville releases, or digging in the crates to find the hottest up-and-coming rappers. After receiving his bachelor's degree in English/Communications from UMASS Boston, TeeJay set out on a journey to travel the world and develop a culturally diverse media career. He has been personally assured by both members of EARTHGANG that he is, in fact, part of the culture.