By Jack M. Angelo, Senior Content Producer
White female rappers have a tough go of it. Their most famous representative is, unfortunately, Iggy Azalea. According to Ranker.com’s best female rapper list (voted by readers), the next best after Iggy is Ke$ha, whose last project was nominated for best pop album. Then there’s . . . Fergie? Maybe?
YouTube personalities have bigger rap songs than legitimate white girls grinding it out in the studio and on the road. Then there are the acts that toe the line between YouTube personality and rapper, such as the 15-year-old Bhad Bhabie, who, despite clear talent and work ethic, constantly struggles to be taken seriously.
Earlier this decade, however, there was a brief glimmer of hope. Those not in the know to the movement will probably only remember the piece that bubbled to the mainstream, “Gucci Gucci” by Kreayshawn in 2011. However, there was much more going on for those who chose to explore, both before and after this single took off. Sometime before “Gucci Gucci” released, three women, Kreayshawn, Lil Debbie, and V-Nasty formed the “White Girl Mob,” a group of rapping white women from Oakland. They did not make many songs together, and never released a group project. However, all three of the women used Kreayshawn’s breakthrough song and music video to launch their solo careers.
Through about early 2013, each member of the White Girl Mob enjoyed some moderate success. V-Nasty’s habit of spewing the n-word at every opportunity seemed to hold her back from her full potential, pinning her into a corner that most of the Hip-Hop community did not care to acknowledge. She has not released music for several years, and has seemed to all but disappear. Even Kreayshawn seemingly stopped making music before V-Nasty, the occasional guest appearance excepted. Lil Debbie, however, saw much success after “Gucci, Gucci.” Collaborating frequently with another early-10s up and comer Riff Raff to spectacular results in 2012. Lil Debbie has steadily been releasing projects ever since, averaging almost two per year.
In 2013, everything changed for the girls. Lil Debbie revealed in an interview with VLADTV that Kreayshawn had kicked her out of the White Girl Mob, and that they do not speak anymore. This explained Lil Debbie’s absence from Kreayshawn’s breakout, and only, album. The exact circumstances were unclear, but Lil Debbie, whose real name is Jordan Capozzi, remarked that the story of the White Girl Mob, “could have played out differently. I think we could have all been bigger together.” She added, “It is what it is, I’m not mad at her.”
Those savvy to the situation at hand may have noticed a glaring omission in famous white girl rappers earlier. Rewind back to 2013, and there was really only one white girl “rapper” anyone was talking about, and it is perhaps the most unfortunate of them all. 2013 was the year Miley Cyrus began her Bangerz phase. Lil Debbie claims that she inspired this shift, pointing specifically to her own early 2013 video, “Ratchets.”
Whether Lil Debbie is the sole inspiration for this phase in Miley’s career is hard to say, but denying there was any link would be ignorant. “That bitch ruins everything for me, fucking everything,” Lil Debbie said in the same VLADTV interview. Capozzi is likely, and justifiably alluding to the belief that Miley Cyrus’ run as a pop rap star and ratchet white girl sucked the demand for this type of artistic statement out the country in record time. The accusations of appropriation and fakeness mounted with frequency. However, as Lil Debbie states, “I’m from Oakland,” and this is who she is. She doesn’t have a choice.
Regardless of one’s take on the situation, the fact of the matter is that after 2013, the White Girl Mob was a distant memory, and Lil Debbie seemed to have been kicked out before the plane crashed. But Lil Debbie is now a prolific artist, currently on tour with another white rapper, Whitney Peyton, supporting her newest project I’m in My Own Lane. The DC night of her tour took place more specifically in College Park, Md. at MilkBoy ArtHouse, just off the campus of the University of Maryland. In the afternoon before the show, Lil Debbie tweeted, “College Park is lit as fuck wtf.”
The show, originally scheduled in MilkBoy’s upstairs, larger room, was moved to the smaller downstairs part of the venue. According to an employee at the door, they moved it because of the amount of tickets sold; they wanted the room to look fuller. The few dozen people that arrived were treated to a handful of opening acts for the first two hours of the show, before the first touring performer came out, Whitney Peyton.
The pink-haired Philadelphia native certainly has plenty of skills on the mic. One of her first big tours was with R.A. the Rugged Man, which should give some insight into the types of flows on display. Her performance was energetic, despite the small size of the crowd. She worked tirelessly to keep their attention, and succeeded. Despite her clear talent, Whitney may have a hard time finding a niche audience she would thrive with.
When Lil Debbie took the stage, she commanded attention despite her petite stature. Much of the crowd seemed to be true Lil Debbie fans, singing along to the majority of her set. The California artist is clearly a performance veteran at this point, likely having seen stages and crowds of all sizes over the past seven years. She played to the small crowd with her large personality, taking time to talk shit on Miley, her own impressive work ethic, and even apologize to one of the opening acts for missing their set but remarking that the Snapchat Whitney Peyton had sent looked great.
After her set of songs, which ranged through her entire career, Lil Debbie said that she would be at her merch table in the back after the show. This is likely a testament to how dedicated Lil Debbie is to her fans, and perhaps how much demand for her music has dropped off. The story of the White Girl Mob is a fascinating and short one. Through the wreckage, not much has survived, but Lil Debbie is still out there performing her heart out.
These incredible photos from Lil Debbie’s performance at MilkBoy Arthouse, in College Park, MD, on September 1, 2018, were taken by StayUp.News senior content producer and photographer Jack M. Angelo: