Kingface Mixtape: Preach


if you’ve ever watched a Black preacher turn a pulpit neon with colorful speech, you know just how powerfully rhythm, metaphor, and repetition can flutter your aorta. whether or not the message you hear is true or useful, there can be few things as momentarily beautiful. Chattanooga rapper Bbymutha, a.k.a. Britnee Moore, might know this better than most if she wasn’t busy eating pussy in the motherfucking pew (“Heaven’s Little Bastard”).

indeed, Bbymutha’s sermons are much more like cunnilingus than church activity: enjoyable, relational, and full of erotic knowledge. her practical and musical wisdom create lyrics as poetic as they are direct, and as worldly as they are spiritual. let her lessons replace all of the bad information and advice you’ve gotten through the years:

what do gangstas do?

Britnee poses this question to two of her four children in the opening to “The Mutha of Tears”, the fourth track on December’s The Bastard Tape, Vol. 1 . they respond with wild and truly hilarious takes (anywhere from they cheat! to they pee on you!) that display just how silly it is to stereotype ways of getting money. when one of her kids claims that gangstas leave things on the floor, Mutha laughs and says, you a gangsta then !

“TMOT” is a shit-talking song and Bbymutha can do it with the best of them. riding a classically Tennessesee beat from fellow Chattanoogan Rock Floyd, Bbymutha puts haters on notice in her heavy Southern drawl: niggas like to bother bbymutha / in ya mouth like braces, let this pistol pop the rubber.

Britnee’s gun-toting femme flows ( need my choppa fully loaded / i go mermaid with the shells ) conjure the spirit of Gangsta Boo, the hip-hop legend of Memphis’ Three 6 Mafia crew. like Boo, and like many gangsta rappers since the genre’s origin, Bbymutha retools the language of oppressive violence into her own flexes and threats. layering the metaphors on thick, Britnee promises to be as ruthless as sexual predators and the 5-0:

think you fuckin with me grab a trojan / imma pop that bitch quicker than the police show up / if you a white man

in addition to her searing use of rhetorical violence, Britnee always opposes shaming anyone’s hustle. on “Lately” she spits,

you was suckin dick for clout / and i was simply suckin dick for paper, play, or pleasure / and you wonder why you looking like a lesser, do the work bitch

in Mutha’s lyrics, trapping, sex work, and all forms of hustling are equivalent. she even said to FADER in March 2018 that Joel Osteen was the “ultimate trap nigga” because the success of his empty messages prove he can sell anything. Bbymutha should really teach an economics course but we don’t deserve it.

Bbymutha, look at me and they see opportunity /tryna come up off my struggle / but they don't consider me / tell me how to tell my story / they ain't live it

in the music industry, and in the political / economic / social systems of the world at large, Black queer bodies are treated as resources. it’s not hard to see this kind of thinking operative in Bbymutha’s career: even when folks are praising her, they are often only interested in exploiting her.

this fact has made Bbymutha outspoken about destructive industry/society norms like colorism: bitches don’t be cute they just be light­skinned . though Britnee’s viral advice from 2016 was specific to sexual relationships— you can't give yo' pussy to a nigga who' not used to getting pussy / cause that pussy gon' be errybody busines s—her music is almost always telling Black femmes to value themselves in various arenas of life.

in fact, she chose her artist name in response to someone stereotyping her a ‘baby mama’. the evils that plague Bbymutha and her femme, trans, and queer friends never drop from the listener’s mind, but her music rapaciously tears away at even the most insidious parts of life, re-forging them into lyrical webs of metaphor and taunt.

i know the reaper waiting on me / let me grab my adidas
-“The Mutha of Tears”

when Black folks are used like resources, we are continously being rendered dead. death, often portrayed in literary contexts as a universal human fear, is structurally intertwined with Black life. few artists represent this better than Bbymutha’s recurring motif of trying to out-run the inevitable and horrible haint of death: the reaper.

though Bbymutha acknowledges death’s terror, her response remains swagged out and nonchalant; she still has time to slip on her kicks. it’s a trend with Britnee’s music; life always wins. each skit and verse come around to celebrating the fullness of the smallest and largest pleasures with a spiritual focus:

one day when you call me i'll be dead / i ain't missing out on living loving you / i'm loving me instead. (“RIP”)

enjoyment is something often lost in the shuffle of our world’s absurdities, but Bbymutha shows just why Black queer folk have so much fun. in a life of self-love, healthy relationship, and collective focus, enjoyment is spiritual. especially when it happens in connection.

no more runnin from the reaper / cuz of you i'll live forever

Bbymutha speaks of a love deep enough to make life everlasting and radical enough to shift life itself: no more rules so no more rebel .

it is no surprise that Bbymutha is concerned with the spiritual aspects of life alone and in relationship: to be constantly creating in the face of death is to affirm everything that lives most deeply in us. this belief in the sacredness of the self is a key principle to many womanists (Bbymutha’s preferred identifier, a Black-created alternative to feminist or Black feminist ). Alice Walker, one of the founders of the name, especially stresses the collective, spiritual, and personal aspects of a womanist, and, though womanism has been especially taken up by some scholars and leaders in the Black church, Walker’s original definition makes no direct allusion to religion or respectability.

respectability politics are similarly nowhere to be found in Bbymutha’s spirituality. instead, you’ll find appeals to divinity scattered among breakup stories and smoke sessions:

don't waste your passion on a girl like me / i won't return it / i prolly use that shit to light my fucking blunt / and use the ashes in a ritual / now you can't get over me / it's spiritual

as long as Bbymutha is making music, i’ll imagine her rapping from the pulpit. and i’ll listen more closely than i ever listened to sermons growing up.

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Calen Firedancing