777

Latto

777

Latto (Alyssa Michelle Stephens) started rapping at 10, won Jermaine Dupri’s The Rap Game at 17, and released her debut album, Queen of Da Souf, at 21. Now 23, with a new rap moniker (dropping the controversial Mu- at the front of her title), she’s back with her sophomore LP, recorded across two years in Miami, LA, and Atlanta. “I’m reintroducing myself to the world on a clean slate,” she tells Apple Music. “I was adamant about its versatility, standing out as an artist—not just a female, but an artist in general.” And she’s accomplished that, with A-list collaborators (Lil Wayne and Childish Gambino on “Sunshine,” the Pharrell Williams-produced “Real One”), hard-as-hell empowerment bangers (“It’s Givin,” “Trust No Bitch”), and surprising sonic detours (Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” sample on her biggest track to date, “Big Energy”). “I hope people hear the passion,” she says of 777, which she named as a reference to God and the lottery —“hitting the jackpot” in two different ways. “I’m serious about what I do. My heart is really in the music.” Below, she walks Apple Music through the album, track-by-track. “777 Pt. 1” and “777 Pt. 2” “I wanted to set the tone of the album. I knew the intro was going to be something very unique, heavy punch lines, very aggressive—real rapper aesthetic. I actually recorded ‘Pt. 2’ first, and as soon as I did that one, I knew that was the intro. Then, months after, I ended up doing a special [song] with Sonny Digital, what is now ‘777 Pt. 1.’ It gave me intro vibes, but I didn’t want to scrap the other intro that I already had.” “Wheelie” (feat. 21 Savage) “[21 Savage and I] already had a relationship because of my previous album. We had a song called ‘Pull Up.’ When I heard ‘Wheelie,’ after I did the first verse, I’m like, ‘I don’t even want to do the second verse,’ so I’m thinking of people that would be perfect for that sound. It reminded me of ‘Pull Up,’ as far as that sticky, choppy, catchy flow. He put the second verse on there, sent it right back. That’s Atlanta culture, strip-club culture—that’s the ratchet song, the turn-up song on the album.“ “Big Energy” “I did this one in LA. When I walked in the session, my A&R were talking about this beat that they wanted to play for me. It felt nostalgic, it felt big and super mainstream, commercial for me. I wanted to really just challenge myself. I was trying to catch the flow and figure out my tone on the beat for a week straight until I got it. And by the time I got it, I was like, ‘I think this is special.’” “Sunshine” (feat. Lil Wayne and Childish Gambino) “I still can’t even believe that I got them both on the song. I had originally recorded it as a solo song, but I felt like it was bigger than me. I wanted a feature on it. So, I’m thinking out loud. I’m thinking of very ‘artistic’ artists. I want somebody who has a universal sound and someone who can go more in-depth and play on the word ‘sunshine.’ Who is the clever rapper? I’m thinking of these names and I’m shooting for the stars. And to my surprise, both of them did the song request, which is like huge, huge, huge. I’m still a new artist. I’m from Atlanta, so Childish is extra special, and I just grew up on Wayne.” “Like a Thug” (feat. Lil Durk) “‘Like a Thug’ was one of the ones that I had been sleeping on it. I have had it in the vault since 2020. I just never gave up on the song. That’s a different sound for me, but I knew it had some special components to it, too. Come around to this year, and I rerecord it, fix it up, change a bar here and there. It’s so pretty, super radio, and I wanted it to still have edginess—that raw, uncut feel. Lil Durk, in my opinion, kills all the slow songs; he features on these slow R&B songs, girl songs. He eats them up. To my surprise, he did it, no questions asked." “It’s Givin” “In my opinion, it’s the sassy, girl-power song on the album. It’s so fun. That’s a girl anthem. When you making your videos on Instagram, walking in your heels, and you ready to go to the club—makeup done, hair done, nails done—this is the song. This is the song you going to be playing, adding behind your videos and stuff. It’s just boss bitch, bad bitch energy.” “Stepper” (feat. Nardo Wick) “‘Stepper’ was another one of those that I had originally in mind as a solo song. I actually freestyled this song—I was in the booth, just going part to part, punching in; it was just getting more aggressive. I was like, ‘You know what? I feel like I need a male to offset my energy. I feel like I hear Nardo Wick on this.’ I’m a fan of his music. Then I found out we was labelmates, so I’m like, ‘Oh, y’all got to make this happen.’ Nardo jumped on there and when I heard his verse, I fell in love. This song, from jump, I never second-guessed it.” “Trust No Bitch” “‘Trust No Bitch’ is my personal favorite. Sitting in the studio one day, it’s close to album wrap-up time. I’m just seeing what else I have left in me. It’s just me and the engineer. I’m going through beats and I’m not finding anything that’s jumping out at me. Soon as I played this beat, I sent it to the engineer, like, ‘Pull it up right now. I’m going in the booth.’ The aggression literally was just flowing out of my mouth. And it’s a buildup of all my experiences—I’m growing up as a woman and an artist at the same time. So, I think it’s just a buildup of all the relationships and friendships that I’ve been through that make people skate on thin ice around me. Everybody can’t be trusted.“ “Bussdown” (feat. Kodak Black) “I recorded that song in Miami. One of my A&Rs, they had a relationship with [Kodak’s] engineer. I wasn’t mad at the idea at all. So, I gave them the green light to send it over to him, and he sent the verse back the next day. He was super excited to do it. I fell in love with the verse." “Soufside” “‘Soufside’ came about because I never wanted to go too mainstream or commercial with my music. I never wanted to get away from my roots and the sound that made me who I am. So, after I dropped ‘Big Energy,’ I was very adamant about dropping another song that offset it a little bit, just so people know that I’m not forgetting where I came from. ‘Soufside’ is like, ‘OK, I got all these new eyes on me. “Big Energy” is bubbling and it’s reeling in a new fanbase, so let me tell these people who I am, where I’m from, and how I get down.’” “Sleep Sleep” “On the verse, I did a flow that I had never done before. For that one, I just set the lights in the studio to a moody light. There wasn’t any yellow or white lights in the studio or the booth. I’m literally just feeling things about what goes down in the bedroom.” “Real One” “Pharrell produced ‘Real One.’ I could not believe that he even wanted to work with me. I pulled up on him for a week straight and we cut five, six songs. This was my favorite out of the songs that we did. I definitely couldn’t not put a Pharrell-produced song on my album. I think it’s just one of those songs that girls can relate to. Men make mistakes, and sometimes they don’t really realize what they lost or realize what they had.”

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