She discussed the issue with the name “Mulatto” — a term that means a person of mixed white and Black ancestry — in the larger context of colorism being perpetuated by other female hip-hop stars in the music industry. DaniLeigh recently came under fire for teasing her controversial new song called “Yellow Bone” that praised light-skinned women and later apologized for it on Instagram by arguing that she was just speaking about her boyfriend DaBaby’s interests.
“You know you might know your intentions, but these are strangers who don’t know you, never even met you in person,” Mulatto said in the new interview. “So you gotta hear each other out, and if you know those aren’t your intentions and that’s how it’s being perceived, it’s like why not make a change or alter it? For me, it was the name. So now I’m like, ‘OK, my intentions was to never glorify being mulatto.’ So if that’s how it’s being perceived and people think I’m saying, ‘Oh, I’m better because I’m mulatto’ or ‘My personality trait is mulatto’ … then I need to change the matter at hand.”
The ATL rapper said she wouldn’t make the name change discreetly by just changing her social media handles because “that’s not sensitive enough to the subject matter,” she said, adding, “I need to be able to speak on it and people hear me out.”
Mulatto said her revised moniker won’t just be a version of her real name, Alyssa Michelle Stephens, for security reasons. But she revealed no other clues — besides the fact that some of her fans have “definitely” figured it out already.
“I want them to also understand that the name change at this level in your career is a big decision,” the 22-year-old rapper noted. “Freaking investors, labels, everything has been riding on this name, so it is a big decision.”
On the country side of the music industry, Lady A and The Chicks rebranded themselves last summer in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement that shined a light on the racist histories linked to their previous stage names Lady Antebellum and The Dixie Chicks.
The “Muwop” artist confirmed her name change will happen in 2021 and will be tied to the next musical project she drops.
See Mulatto talk about changing her name at the 13-minute mark below.