Danielle ‘Bhad Bhabie’ Bregoli Is Done With Haters, Kylie Jenner and ‘Dr. Phil’
In a single moment, and with six words (give or take one or two invented compounds), 14-year-old Danielle Bregoli, then 13, bore into the zeitgeist during a January 2017 Dr. Phil appearance with a simple challenge: "Cash me outside, how bout dah?"
A year and change later, the sound bite—a threat Bregoli had issued to Dr. Phil audience members who'd been jeering at her—boasts 35 million views on YouTube. Some still watch out of fascination, others see the teenager's behavior during the interview as revolting. But Bregoli—now a rapper signed to Atlantic under the moniker Bhad Bhabie (pronounced "Bad Baby")—has one particularly powerful tool at her disposal to stave off the hate.
She doesn't care.
"I just kinda like worry about my own shit," Bregoli tells PopCrush.
Having already released tracks like "These Heaux" and "Hi Bich," which features Rich the Kid and Asian Doll (both songs have already charted on Billboard's Hot 100), Bhad Bhabie is proof positive that a social media standout with a short fuse might amount to more than a flash in the pan, and her shelf life's still widening.
Bregoli explains why she can't stand Kylie Jenner, who inspires her most as an artist and how "no one cares" what musicians have to say about politics or social justice issues below.
Who is Bhad Babie and has she evolved from that girl we first met on Dr. Phil?
Oh, I am a completely different person from then. I've definitely evolved since then, yes.
I know you said during a Fader interview that your career obviously didn't start the way that you thought it would, but when it comes to your skill and connection to hip-hop, where did those come from?
I've always liked music since I was younger. So I think that it just, it was always hiding in me, someone just needed to bring it out.
Do you have any regrets about the show or the meme or the catchphrase—or are you just like: Okay, I'm glad that helped me get my material off the ground?
I'm glad that it happened. I mean, it did something for me but I think it's something that does need to be kinda thought about. Like yes, I'm grateful for it, but I think it's something that like people are holding a little too tight to.
As someone who's involved in the YouTube community, what would you say makes a good, worthwhile social media star and what makes someone, on the other hand, not worth watching?
Okay, so most of the people are just like each other, right? Me, on the other hand, I am not like none of these people who are doing that. Some people will like... Okay, they see one person doing something then they will start doing it too and it might get them somewhere, it might make them like a star a little bit. But it's just gonna end up stopping because they are going in the same direction over and over again and just copying some other people.
If you had to explain your social media identity to a new person, how would you describe what you do?
Get on people's nerves.
How do you do that?
You've mentioned a song called "Fake Ass Bitch" that you're recording, and one of the reasons that you came out against Kylie Jenner was that you said she was fake and desperate for attention. How do you define someone who is fake?
So someone who's fake is someone who acts one way around their family and their close friends, but once they get out in the public they're this whole different person. But then like, it's switched up on them sometimes, because they'll end up being that shitty person that they are in public. It's hard to explain.
Is that the reason you stayed off Twitter for a while?
Yes, because everyone is always tweeting someone some negative ass shit. It's like, I want clout, so here you go. I'm going to start a beef with Danielle because I know that she'll say something back. That's really all it is.
Are there any artists right now that are actively inspiring what you're doing?
There used to be, but not anymore. I'm really just doing my own thing right now.
Who used to inspire you?
It's like, Trina really inspired me because she didn't give a fuck. She would just talk and talk and she didn't care.
What's the last album that you loved?
17 by XXX
We saw you recently singing along to a James Blunt song—is there any other music you like that people might not expect from you?
I really like, I don't know if I'm pronouncing her name right, but I think her name is Leona Lewis? She has "Bleeding Love" and, what is the other song called?
"Better in Time"?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Her. I don't know. I like old Ashanti and stuff like that. I like a lot of old R&B music.
So you must be cool with this sort of '90s R&B trend coming back.
I wasn't born in the '90s, but I am obsessed with stuff, like, on the back of my phone I have a Playboy Bunny sticker. I'm obsessed with like Victoria [sic] Secret and just shit like that. I feel like I was supposed to be born in the '90s. Everything from that era needs to come back.
So much of contemporary music—especially hip-hop—is digging into politics and social justice. Is addressing politics of interest to you, and do you think artists have a responsibility to do that?
Not really. Music is supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to be all that. Some people think we're supposed to be talking about politics and shit, but no one cares.
Are there any particular social issues you fight for? Any that interest you?
No. I really stay out of other people's drama. For real. I don't care anymore.
When you look back at yourself on Dr. Phil, is there something you would say to that girl at that time? I know it wasn't too too long ago, but—
I'd tell her to shut up.
Why do you say that?
As you get older you kind of look back, it could be a week ago or whatever, but when you're younger and as you get older you'll look back at things and be like, You slimy fuck, you shut up. Be quiet.
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