Mulatto’s name looks to be missing a few letters as it appears on streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify. Though the rapper hasn’t made an official statement regarding a name change, it seems she is now known as Latto and is following through with a decision years in the making. Throughout her career, the rapper faced mounting backlash and accusations of promoting colorism.
Since as early as 2016, the female emcee — who identifies as biracial — has garnered severe criticism from people on social media who deemed her former moniker as insensitive to people of mixed race. During an appearance on the “Big Facts” podcast in February, Latto, whose real name is Alyssa Michelle Stephens, claimed she was not aware of the term’s racist roots.
She also felt as though her intentions behind her stage name were misinterpreted, stating, “They take ‘Mulatto’ as me thinking that’s like a personality trait. I wake up and be like, ‘I’m mixed. Before I even brush my teeth, I be like, ‘B-tch, I’m mixed.’ And they take [it] as that, and that’s not what that means.’”
However, despite revealing that she wasn’t affected by the critiques she received, Latto noted that she’d be “careless” not to consider sound advice. Simultaneously, the “B-tch from Da Souf” rapper seemingly already had her backup name ready, telling blog site Female Rap Room that there would be a name change but it wouldn’t come without a proper rollout. “It’s something that needs to be a bigger production,” she explained. “I need to be able to speak on it, and people hear me out. I wanted to do it deeper than a tweet like, ‘Oh. I’m changing my name,’ end of story. I feel like that’s not sensitive enough to the subject matter.”
On Instagram, where she also teased a new single titled “Latto,” her handle now reads @latto777. Folks on social media have already started weighing in on the news. A large group of people didn’t appear to have an issue with the rapper’s name initally, including one Twitter user who wrote, “I just think if we see no problem with saying n-gga then mulatto should be fine but that’s just my opinion lol. However I think it can limit her in some situations.”
Meanwhile, others felt changing her name to just “Latto” didn’t suffice, including one social media user who wrote, “Y’all bullied Mulatto into changing her name to Big Latto But the ‘Latto’ in ‘Big Latto’ still stands for ‘Mulatto’… but y’all happy as hell bc the “Mu” is gone…” They added, “Y’all MFs love performative ass progress, especially when it comes with a side of humbling a Black women.”
Another person wrote, “If she was gone change it she should’ve chose something completely different. that’s like changing your name to igger.”
“Sis went from Miss Mulatto to Mulatto to Latto and the problem still isn’t fixed 😂,” wrote a third.
There’s no word on when the emcee will officially announce the name change, but perhaps it’ll happen sometime when her new single is released on May 21.