Lil Debbie: I would never let someone put my name on bad weed
|Courtesy of the artist|
Lil Debbie is an enigma. Bullied into a solo rap career by RiFF RaFF after leaving White Girl Mob, she blazed her own fierce trail with no help from a label and no vision but her own. Her music videos for songs like "Ratchet" and "Bake a Cake" have garnered millions of YouTube views, and she is gearing up to release her album California's Sweetheart next month.
All this love means that there's plenty of room for haters. Gimme Noise had the opportunity to get real with Lil Debbie before her show this Saturday at the Fine Line so she could set the record straight.
Gimme Noise: Tell us about California's Sweetheart.
Its not like anything that I've done before. Its not "Squirt," its not "Michelle Obama"...its still ratchet, its still party music, its fun, but its less of the White Girl Mob and less of the RiFF RaFF, and its more of Lil Debbie, you know what I'm sayin'? Its more me. Young California girl. I feel like people get this perception of me on the internet that I'm a bitch, or I'm crazy, or I have an outlandish attitude. All of that shit is me just protecting myself from the people on the internet that are always poking me or saying negative shit.
I have other artists that are on the internet that harass me daily. People meet me and they're like, oh, you're really fucking nice. I'm really nice and the internet is just a blurred perception of who I am, and that's part of California's Sweetheart. I really am a sweet girl, its just like, of course I have to be a bitch and I have to stand up for myself, and I am gonna stand up for myself because that's how I got in the position I am today -- by taking a stand for who I am and what I believe in and what I think is right and wrong.
You make music and tour independently, without label backing. What are the ups and downs of being an independent artist?
I feel like because I'm not signed when I do go to perform, fans expect a lot more out of me. They want to have 30-minute conversations, they want to kiss and hug, take 20 pictures, take selfies... they want to go to dinner, you know what I'm sayin'? Just because I'm not signed doesn't mean that I can do all that! I can only do so much for so many people. I would love to sit down with every fan and have a long conversation about how I got to where I am, but its not going to happen.
There's people that get mad about it, and I feel bad but its just like, I literally can't spend two hours after running and jumping on the stage alone trying to entertain you. The upside is that I feel accomplished. I can do some of this by myself. I think its amazing that I'm not signed to a label, and I'm picking up shows and I'm putting out my music and I'm working with people within the industry without me being signed.
Do you not want to be signed?
For a long time I didn't want to be signed. I was against being with a label, because I've seen what labels can do to people. It can be really beneficial to you if you play it right, or they can play you. It really depends on your manager and how well you manager works for you. I really believe that. Some people in Russia wanted to have me come out and perform. I was like, that's kind of sketchy. If I was with a label, they could come get me from Russia. I felt like as an independent artist it would be more sketchy for me to just go out to Russia.
|Courtesy of the Artist|
La Brea Collective named a strand of marijuana after you. What's that about?
I have an issue with them. They kind of named the weed after me without asking me about it. The first collective to have done that is in Woodland Hills, and its called the Loft Co-op. So, it was like, this huge issue because for a long time I was trying to get a weed named after me, I was trying to hit up different growers, blase-blah, and one of my best friends from the fourth grade that lived in L.A. was working at this collective, and they knew about me. They were like, this is great, we love her, we love her music, let's do a weed after her. Bam! So they did the O.G. As soon as I posted the O.G. Kush on my Instagram, two or three other collectives used my name without asking me. I actually went into La Brea Collective and they didn't even know who the fuck I was, which really irritated me. Then they were like, oh, we can give you half off on your eighth. No.
No, you should give me that eighth for free.
Exactly, or you're gonna take half of my name off of that jar. You know what I'm saying? I own my name. It just goes to show how people are. One person did it, and as soon as one person did it, three other people followed, but it took that one person to reach their hand out to help me to get other people to follow suit. Its crazy. Its really how the world works. The weed is good. Its good weed. I would never let someone put my name on bad weed.