Sexyy Red has spoken to NME about motherhood, working with legendary trap producer Tay Keith and why she started rapping.
The St. Louis rapper’s salacious lyrics have seen her go viral on several occasions – with the Tay Keith-produced trap hit ‘Pound Town’ recently giving her much notoriety. The song gained popularity after the comical and vulgar opening lines of the track (I’m out of town, thuggin’ wid my rounds / my pussy pink, my bootyhole brown”) were spread across TikTok. Back in May, Nicki Minaj hopped on the song’s remix ‘Pound Town 2’.
Reflecting on the success of her breakthrough song, Red – real name Janae Nierah Wherry – told NME: “I knew it was a good song because I felt like it was something so relatable and funny, But once I saw it going viral… I’m still in shock at how crazy it went because I still didn’t expect it.”
With the beat coming from the Grammy Award-winning producer Tay Keith, Sexyy Red didn’t want to put any “bullshit” on it. However, it was only her and Keith that seemed to be sure that ‘Pound Town’ would become a smash it
“My team, they didn’t like it,” she said. “They didn’t think it was it. They thought I was playing on a beat too. ‘You got to really say something on his beat,’ they said. ‘This is Tay Keith’s beat. You can’t be playing on his beats and stuff.’ But I sent it to him and he said he liked it, but we ain’t know [it was] going to get this big, though.”
There were other raunchy rappers before her – such as Lil’ Kim, Khia and Trina – but Sexyy Red denied any influence other than her “baby daddy” as her initial inspiration. After discovering that he was “messing around” with another girl, Red wrote a diss track about him and his “lame” mistress.
“I was feeling on some simp, crybaby shit, so I did a song about it,” she said. “Then he heard it. He’s like, ‘Dang, you straight know how to rap.’ And then he started showing his friends. He’s like, ‘Listen to her rap, let her rap.’ And then I was rapping it for them, and they were like, ‘You actually hard?’”
This encouraged her to head into the studio to make a “real song.” In 2018, Wherry went viral for the first time with her gun-toting rendition of Vanessa Carlton‘s ‘A Thousand Miles’ called ‘Ah Thousand Jugs’.
Last November, she and Summer Walker went viral for the fun and sassy track, ‘Sense Dat God Gave You’. The song was Walker’s rapping debut and became controversial due to its music video – featuring both mothers showing off their respected baby and baby bump (Walker was heavily pregnant) whilst twerking around a gas station.
Many criticised the two for posing as inappropriate and negative representations of motherhood. In a ShadeRoom Instagram post, Red and Walker were subjected to such scrutiny. One wrote, “this is trashy; a single black pregnant mom of [two] with her ass out making ratchet music.”
However, Red said that she and Walker wanted to show that “mothers can be sexy.”
“We was like, ‘Mamas be outside still!’ It was like a baby mama video,” said the 25-year-old. “That was the whole idea. Nowadays, girls can get pregnant and still be reckless.”
She continued: “Remember, back in the day, people would be like, ‘No, I can’t have kids right now because I’m rapping. I’m on the road, I’m doing this shit’. But now they make it acceptable for girls to have babies. For real. All the female rappers are pregnant and got kids now if you ask me. They still make money. They still doing they thing.”
Sexyy Red’s explicit content has also sparked conversations on whether this is the music children should be listening to. Last week, Sexyy Red went to a high school to donate hair bundles and haircuts to students getting ready for their prom. She threw up her middle fingers upon her entrance, after many arguing that songs like ‘Pound Town’ shouldn’t be glorified around underage children.
In response, she mentioned her charitable intentions to give back to the young people: “Y’all do know I went there to give the boys money for they haircuts and girls bundles for prom week ’cause I remember when I needed help with my prom stuff.”
Y’all do know I went there to give the boys money for they haircuts and girls bundles for prom week cause I remember when I needed help with my prom stuff https://t.co/YeTXPgNtHB
— Sexyy Red (@SexyyRed314_) July 16, 2023
Fans have been calling Red the ‘Female Gucci Mane‘, and the Missouri rapper referred to herself as such on her debut mixtape ‘Hood’s Hottest Princess’. However, she disagrees with the comparison. “I don’t even call myself that,” she told NME. “I just made a song because that’s what they’d be saying in my comments. I don’t know. I let the fans decide who the real Female Gucci Mane is.”
Earlier this month, the rapper was in London to surprise festival-goers at this year’s Wireless Festival. The 25-year-old made a guest appearance at Lancey Foux‘s Friday set and Travis Scott‘s headlining Saturday set on the main stage of the prestigious festival.
Talking about her and Lancey Foux’s performance, Red said she found it “fun” and that “the crowd was hype,” however, her mood was “off because [she] didn’t get to perform ‘Pound Town’ and [she] didn’t get to perform the whole of ‘SkeeYee’.”
She added that it was “crazy” to see one of the biggest rappers in the world, Travis Scott, jump around her whilst she performed his self-proclaimed “favourite song”, ‘SkeeYee’.
She and Foux unveiled their highly-anticipated ‘MMM HMM’ record on stage. Despite confessing that she “didn’t know” the Plaistow rapper, the track came about because the two’s “teams know each other well”.
This snippet of Lancey Fouxx and Sexyy Red’s upcoming single sounding like a HIT 😮💨🔥
— Hip Hop All Day (@HipHopAllDayy) July 13, 2023
“My team just was like, ‘It’s somebody I think you want to do a song with.’ I’m like, ‘Who is it?’ They like, ‘It’s a UK artist.’ And then I’m like, ‘Let me see him.’ I started listening to his songs and he seemed cool,” said Red.
This week, the pair released ‘MMM HMM’. Their collaboration is one of many upcoming projects from Sexyy Red: “I got videos dropping, new music. I’m just going to get all way outside and pop out. Just do shit, I don’t give fuck, just be outside.”
When asked if she has any particular goals in mind, she replied: “I want to last in this shit. When I’m in something, I’m in it to win it.
“This was a gamble. That’s what it felt like, a lucky gamble or something. I’m doing my best to be the best that I can be so I can go all the way up in this shit.”
‘MMM HMM’ by Lancey Foux and Sexyy Redd is out now.