Lil Debbie: I would never let someone put my name on bad weed
Courtesy of the artist
Lil Debbie is an enigma. Bullied into a solo rap career by RiFF RaFF after leaving White Girl Mob, she blazed her own fierce trail with no help from a label and no vision but her own. Her music videos for songs like "Ratchet" and "Bake a Cake" have garnered millions of YouTube views, and she is gearing up to release her album California's Sweetheart next month.
All this love means that there's plenty of room for haters. Gimme Noise had the opportunity to get real with Lil Debbie before her show this Saturday at the Fine Line so she could set the record straight.
Gimme Noise: Tell us about California's Sweetheart.
Its not like anything that I've done before. Its not "Squirt," its not "Michelle Obama"...its still ratchet, its still party music, its fun, but its less of the White Girl Mob and less of the RiFF RaFF, and its more of Lil Debbie, you know what I'm sayin'? Its more me. Young California girl. I feel like people get this perception of me on the internet that I'm a bitch, or I'm crazy, or I have an outlandish attitude. All of that shit is me just protecting myself from the people on the internet that are always poking me or saying negative shit.
I have other artists that are on the internet that harass me daily. People meet me and they're like, oh, you're really fucking nice. I'm really nice and the internet is just a blurred perception of who I am, and that's part of California's Sweetheart. I really am a sweet girl, its just like, of course I have to be a bitch and I have to stand up for myself, and I am gonna stand up for myself because that's how I got in the position I am today -- by taking a stand for who I am and what I believe in and what I think is right and wrong.
You make music and tour independently, without label backing. What are the ups and downs of being an independent artist?
I feel like because I'm not signed when I do go to perform, fans expect a lot more out of me. They want to have 30-minute conversations, they want to kiss and hug, take 20 pictures, take selfies... they want to go to dinner, you know what I'm sayin'? Just because I'm not signed doesn't mean that I can do all that! I can only do so much for so many people. I would love to sit down with every fan and have a long conversation about how I got to where I am, but its not going to happen.
There's people that get mad about it, and I feel bad but its just like, I literally can't spend two hours after running and jumping on the stage alone trying to entertain you. The upside is that I feel accomplished. I can do some of this by myself. I think its amazing that I'm not signed to a label, and I'm picking up shows and I'm putting out my music and I'm working with people within the industry without me being signed.
Do you not want to be signed?
For a long time I didn't want to be signed. I was against being with a label, because I've seen what labels can do to people. It can be really beneficial to you if you play it right, or they can play you. It really depends on your manager and how well you manager works for you. I really believe that. Some people in Russia wanted to have me come out and perform. I was like, that's kind of sketchy. If I was with a label, they could come get me from Russia. I felt like as an independent artist it would be more sketchy for me to just go out to Russia.
Courtesy of the Artist
La Brea Collective named a strand of marijuana after you. What's that about?
I have an issue with them. They kind of named the weed after me without asking me about it. The first collective to have done that is in Woodland Hills, and its called the Loft Co-op. So, it was like, this huge issue because for a long time I was trying to get a weed named after me, I was trying to hit up different growers, blase-blah, and one of my best friends from the fourth grade that lived in L.A. was working at this collective, and they knew about me. They were like, this is great, we love her, we love her music, let's do a weed after her. Bam! So they did the O.G. As soon as I posted the O.G. Kush on my Instagram, two or three other collectives used my name without asking me. I actually went into La Brea Collective and they didn't even know who the fuck I was, which really irritated me. Then they were like, oh, we can give you half off on your eighth. No.
No, you should give me that eighth for free.
Exactly, or you're gonna take half of my name off of that jar. You know what I'm saying? I own my name. It just goes to show how people are. One person did it, and as soon as one person did it, three other people followed, but it took that one person to reach their hand out to help me to get other people to follow suit. Its crazy. Its really how the world works. The weed is good. Its good weed. I would never let someone put my name on bad weed.
If you could just take a day off and kick back from this tour, what would you do?
I'm a very introverted person. I'd probably kick it with like two or three people back in L.A. I would get really high and I would probably go to Disneyland and do all that shit, and then go to sleep. I enjoy literally doing nothing because I have to move around so much, its just nice to sit down and be alone for like 30 minutes.
Can you share your cake recipe?
No, I can't. I don't even have a cake recipe. You know what I really do wanna do is make edibles. I think that would be amazing. Don't you think that would be amazing?
What flavor would you be into?
You know what? I had these cupcakes the other day, peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, that I fucking die for. I'd probably do some peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, or strawberry cupcakes. I would do something colorful and fun, nothing like... everyone does brownies and cookies, and like, rice krispy treats.
How do you stay ahead of the game?
This is how I really feel about it: I feel like me and the people I used to work with came in the game at a time where nobody else was doing what we were doing. It gave me a head start. I personally truly believe that I paved the way and I've shown people that you can dress however the fuck you want to dress, and still be cool. Its still cool as long as you like it, it fits on you, and you want to wear it. That works. I've come to a point where I've kind of been stressing about like, yo, I don't know what else is left to do. I feel like I've done it all, and people just keep ripping me off. I have to take it as a blessing. I'll always have it, its never gonna go away, because we were the first to do it, and people know that. People hit me up and they're like yo, I see you doing your thing, like, I see Miley taking your shit, like, we see it. Everybody sees it.
The whole twerk thing. You did that first, in your "Ratchets" video, before Miley.
I mean, at first I was mad. Now its just kind of like, I can't do shit about it. Miley's richer than Justin Bieber, the bitch can do anything the fuck she wants to do. No one's gonna deny her fame, and no one's gonna deny her shine, and she's a fucking cute girl with like, huge energy. You know? I felt like I was getting ripped off, but honestly its not even her fault, its probably her stylist's fault.
So, what will Saturday's show be like?
A lot of energy. I love energy. Sometimes I will get frustrated with the crowd and I'll be like, turn up, turn the fuck up, or I'm gonna go back to where I was! I love feeling people's energy. I like having girls on stage with me. I'd rather have girls on stage with me than boys, because sometimes boys like to do a lot of things, like touch, and they just get too crazy. I give all the energy I can give as a hundred pound little person. I just wanna have fun.
Lil Debbie performs this Saturday, March 1 at the Fine Line with Dirt Nasty and Turquoise Jeep. 8:30 PM, $20-25, 18+
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.