By Graeme Wiggins
VANCOUVER – It’d be easy to underestimate Lil Debbie. Coming up as a white, female rapper as part of the White Girl Mob during a brief spurt of renewed interest in Bay Area rap music, it’s fair to say that she didn’t exactly align with what the mainstream rap world thought a rapper should be. But five years later, fresh off her new full length, OG in My System, she’s still kicking, and hustling harder than ever.
Getting into music was a natural progression for her. Living in the Bay Area, and working on rap videos with fellow rapper Kreayshawn, it just seemed organic.
As she details, “I linked up with a group of girls that were very much into music and partying, and when you live in the Bay, the music, Keak Tha Sneak, Tha Jacka, all of that is very influential. And you’d see these people every day because it’s not some Hollywood shit… It’s just always been a part of my life, so when I linked up with these girls and they started doing music, I started to as well.”
Since that early fame, she’s kept very busy. She’s released numerous EPs, two full lengths, and a baked goods line, as well as modelling, clothing collaborations, you name it. Not bad for a self-professed stoner (the cover of OG in My System features her smoking a phatty with her name in gothic font reminiscent of Cypress Hill).
As she puts it, “People underestimate. They think I’m a lazy stoner, and on top of that I’m a girl. And a girl that’s outside the norms of what people think a female rapper should be or look like or even talk about, so I’m completely out the box… From there I feel that I have a lot to prove, so that’s why I pump out so many projects.”
Her latest album, OG in My System is a move in a new direction for Lil Debbie, with some new sounds and concepts added to the mix, notably on “All We Need Is Love,” an almost reggae-paced song that focused on the idea of loving people for who they are. For her, change is natural.
“In 2017, people are doing all kinds of crazy melodies, so I thought it was only right to switch it up,” she mused. “People love ‘Two Cups’ and ‘Gotta Ball’ but it’s like I’m not going to be the same person forever. Who is? Who would want to be? This is life. You can be whoever you want to be, however many times, over and over.”
Lil Debbie hits Wild Buffalo (Bellingham) on November 19.Hyphy, Rap, Weed