Big Latto releases sophomore project, “777”


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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 01: Latto attends the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on October 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

Kiani Blackman, Contributor

Self-proclaimed “Queen of the South” Big Latto or Latto, debuted her sophomore album entitled “777” on Friday, March 25.

With many appearances including Lil Wayne, Childish Gambino, 21 Savage and Lil Durk, the 13-song compilation is Latto’s reintroduction of herself to the world, with her new name and fresh sound since her first studio album, “Queen of Da Souf,” released in August of 2020.

Born Alyssa Michelle Stephens, the Clayco Southside Atlanta rapper has displayed her rapping abilities since the young age of eight. Originally known as “Mulatto,” the 23-year-old rapper started releasing music in 2016 soon after winning season one of “The Rap Game” and hasn’t put her pen down since. 

Latto signed to RCA Records in 2020 and received features from artists such as Trina and Saweetie while she was still considered an independent artist. 

Due to controversies around her given childhood nickname, Latto decided to revamp her image. After constant negative remarks surrounding “Mulatto” due to the moniker’s unfavorable roots as a derogatory term for persons of mixed race, the artist says she never intended to offend anyone and she did not give herself the name, bringing forth her new stage name, Big Latto.

Latto had an interview on “Ebro In The Morning ” where she revealed the name of her highly anticipated LP for the first time. In the interview, the artist expressed that 777 has always meant something to her and she’s had the angel number tattooed on her hand for years. 

“It’s God’s number…Its balance, its completion, its evolution, its growth. Everything aligned,” Latto said. “When I changed my name to Latto in reference to the lottery and good fortune hitting the jackpot, not just like financially, but spiritually, abundant..overly blessed.” 

Now, two years since her first album, Latto is back and pushing her way through the crowd of female rappers in the industry. 

A few days before the debut, Latto visited Funk Flex at radio station Hot. 97 to deliver a “hot seat” freestyle that many artists partake in. On the iconic “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” beat, Latto seemed to float effortlessly as she claimed her spot as a “G.O.A.T in the making” and caught the attention of many who believe she did the classic beat justice.

Leading up to the release of “777” Latto also appeared on “Big Boy TV” for an interview regarding her upcoming project. Latto opened up about the struggles of being a female rapper and the challenges she has faced personally to clear a feature on the album. 

Many speculated that Kodak Black was the artist who gave her a hard time clearing a feature, but, Kodak Black and his team spoke out, unprovoked, to defend his name and let the world know it was not him.

Latto has caught the attention of many since her single “Big Energy” which has been on Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart for 22 weeks and counting. 

Just a few days after “777” debuted, the artist announced a remix to the popular track with the legendary singer-songwriter Mariah Carry ft. DJ Khaled. “Big Energy” uses the same sample “Genius Of Love,” a 1981 record by Tom Tom Club, that Carry also sampled in 1995 for her single “Fantasy.”

Many listeners feel that Latto has created her own sound on “777,” showing the world that she has multiple layers to her sound and despite differing opinions, some Aggie students could not agree more. 

“‘777’ is easily her best album. It was very versatile for her and I loved all the features she got. She ate…and I mean ATE on that album,” senior information technology student Imani Collins said. “I am surprised she didn’t have any female features, but other than that…loved the album.” 

Latto unveils unique sounds throughout the tape. Listeners were still able to enjoy raw bars from the lyricist on many tracks like “777” parts one and two.  

“I feel like with this project she was beginning to venture into other sounds and show her versatility,” senior psychology student Gianna Harriott said. “She did some singing and more melodic tones on ‘Sleep Sleep,’ ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Like A Thug.’ Overall, I feel that the album had a great mix of both rap and pop sounds, and great songs to vibe to this summer.”