Her first single, “These Heaux,” entered the Hot 100 at No. 77 last September, making Bregoli the youngest woman to debut that high in Billboard history. Shortly after, Bregoli signed a major label record deal with Atlantic and since, she’s scored over 70 million plays on YouTube and has over 40 million streams on Spotify. She was even nominated at this year’s American Music Awards for Top Female Rap artist.
Apart from her commercial success, rappers are flooding to her side, too. Her debut mixtape, 15, which dropped September 18th, has features from Lil Yatchy, Lil Baby, and even heavyweights like Ty Dolla $ign. She’s been seen with everyone from Kodak Black to NBA Youngboy.
My only question is: when did hip-hop decide to embrace Danielle Bregoli aka Bhad Bhabie?
For a genre that is on record saying Slim Jesus can’t do drill, questions Iggy Azalea’s accent and deems Post Malone an industry plant, when did rap become accepting for a one Bhad Bhabie, who clearly has been determined stretch her fifteen minutes of fame out as long as she can? If you remember, when Danielle Bregoli first entered national spotlight in the fall of 2016 it wasn’t in the best of light.
In fact, the name of the Dr. Phil episode which features her is titled: “I Want to Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried to Frame Me for a Crime!”
In the episode, the foul-mouthed teenager from Boynton Beach, Florida, talked back to her mom, bad-mouthed Dr. Phil and challenged the laughing audience to a duel in what is now internet history with the phrase: “CASH ME OUTSIDE HOW BOUT DAH!”
In what can be described as a cross between a thick Flordia twang and what best a 13-year-old southern white girl could gather of Brooklyn N.Y., Bregoli’s persona peaked the interest of the internet in an obsessive way.
Walmart had T-shirts, there’s puzzles, tote bags, blankets, and plates — you name it, she capitalized. Even today, if you go to her Shopify all of her merchandise remains sold out.
As viral and popular as Bregoli was (and still is), however, many people, especially people of color, wasn’t exactly amused at celebrating her blatant disrespect towards her mother as well as what appears to be misconceived Black vernacular.
Quite naturally, accusations of appropriating black culture arose during that time and justifiably so. Here was another disposable internet phenomenon, except this time, a white girl getting famous off Black culture.
I can't EVER be ok with this shit cause Im barely accepting of ignorant ghetto shit… I know most poor Black folks are NOT "ghetto fools"… they are loving, hard working, emotionally damaged humans wanting to be accepted by society
— The Old Man (@oldmanebro) April 21, 2018
The accusations have been so heavy in fact, that she’s addressed it several times. She told The Fader that she was just being herself and has no time for those who accuse her of cultural appropriation. Bregoli said in the interview,
“I look at that cultural appropriation shit and I just ignore it because it’s ridiculous, it really is. You cannot act a color. Do not tell me I’m acting black because I’m not.
She continued on saying,
“I’m acting—whatever you want to call it—urban.I don’t even have a name for it. I just call it ‘me.’ How I act is me. I get braids all the time; you can’t tell me I’m acting black because I braid my hair. That makes no sense whatsoever. One race does something more than another race.”
Her comments can be found around the 3:33 mark:
But somewhere there was a turning of the tide and it could be that maybe she isn’t as deplorable as she leads?
In April, during a teenage showdown between her and another spawn of the internet who goes by Whoa Vicky, Bhabie is seen throwing punches and defending her best friend after she was allegedly called the N-word; then, before Logan Paul was banned from YouTube for his suicide forest prank, she was vocal about its insensitivity and how inappropriate it was; not to mention her support of the LGBT community.
just an fyi – i don't be running around picking fights w irrelevant biches. That girl n da other 9 year old called my best friend a "dumb n*****". i don't stand for racial bullshit like that… shit it's 2018 n they're some ignorant biches out here that need to learn
— #15MIXTAPE (@BhadBhabie) April 16, 2018
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oh waw can you believe Danielle Bregoli ended that Paul guy’s career at only 14 pic.twitter.com/zlwiH7fcEp
— フライ少年 (@JohnnyHomie) January 4, 2018
BHABIE LOVES THE GAYS 🌈
— #SPAZ #LottaDem (@BhadBhabie) May 11, 2018
With a popping rap career and a rumored reality show in the works, it’s clear Danielle Bregoli has successfully spun her fifteen minutes into more, but more importantly, I think her journey speaks on hip-hop’s standards of what’s authentic to the genre and what it takes to earn that respect.
Unfortunately, viral acts and internet rappers are what labels look for — you can look at Atlantic’s roster and see that much. And it’s not a matter of being of the culture per say, either — Eminem remains one of the greatest of all-time.
What it takes to be fully accepted without any qualm or questions is an authenticity that can’t be sniffed out. It’s the difference between a Riff Raff and an Ice J.J. Fish, a Cardi B and the ‘run and tell that’ dude or Danielle Bregoli and Rebecca Black.
It doesn’t matter so much if you’re from the streets or even that good at music, what matters is that you’re coming with no gimmicks; and that’s why Bhad Bhabie gets a pass.
People may have started off hating her, but the more they understand and get to know Bregoli — and the more she understands and gets to know herself — what they see is someone who they don’t mind getting a little shine, no matter how out of place she may appear.
As we continue to socially advance at a rapid pace, it’s good that we speak up about the engagements we feel our respective cultures, races, and sex are under. It’s good to question who comes in and what their intention is.
As it closes in on three years since Danielle’s Bregoli’s viral stint on Dr.Phil, it appears hip-hop has made their decision on Bhad Bhabie — she’s good to stay.