Throwback to September 2016, when the internet met the 13–year–old who challenged an entire audience—or hoes, as she referred to them—to a fight on Dr. Phil. We simultaneously were appalled and amused by this tough–faced, Floridian white–girl who stole cars and claimed her “Brooklyn” accent was "from the streets."
Since then, Danielle Bregoli has attended a mental health facility for troubled adolescents, become a meme icon that even inspired a Bitmoji, returned to Dr. Phil, and transformed into the rapper “Bhad Bhabie.” A few weeks ago, her music video for “Juice” dropped and prompted me to explore her shift in career path and whether her music is worth a listen.
I began with “Juice” featuring YG from her Album 15. The song opens with a series of six notes repeated throughout the 2.5 minute track. The repetition creates a pretty catchy beat that continues with the lyrics. In fact, what makes this song—and other songs—on her album so catchy is the lyrical repetitiveness. In less than three minutes, Bhad Bhabie and YG repeat the word “bitch” 36 times.
Beyond that, the song is pretty much Bhad Bhabie saying she’s rich and telling an unnamed "bitch" that she plans to beat the braids and Js off of her. In the opening verse, Bhad Bhabie may be alluding to the "American Dream' with her lines “rags to fucking riches bitch (bitch)” and “fuck you and your picket fence (bitch),” creating some depth to the lyricism; however, since most impactful references to the American Dream highlight its illusory, I may be giving her too much credit.
I then began to explore other tracks on her debut mixtape released in mid–September. Pretty much every single one of them referenced her newfound wealth and readiness to beat up a bitch, hoe, or some other derogatory term used toward women over a catchy, but uncreative beat.
One of her tracks, “Gucci Flip Flops” featuring Lil Yachty, was rather enjoyable to listen to because of the calming mood it evokes and the ease in which one can mindlessly hum along to the title phrase, repeated three times in the chorus. But the tune seems best suited to background noise. Bregoli even admits that the song was inspired by “Gucci Gang,” a track that epitomizes mumble rap with its repetition.
Another title essential to point out is “Hi Bich,” her second song ever to be released (her first was “These Heaux” which is, yes, you guessed it, derogatory and repetitive, but catchy). Its music video, which also features her song “Whachu Know,” has received over 127 million views in a little over a year. Whether or not you like Bregoli’s personality or music, you can’t disagree that she’s been successful at reinventing herself in order to extend her fame. Most meme subjects can’t say the same.
In fact, “Hi Bich” was certified gold in 2017 by the Recording Industry Association of America, as was “Gucci Flip Flops” in 2018. Bregoli even became the youngest female rapper to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 with “These Heaux” peaking at number 77.
Between April and June of this year, Bhad Bhabie headlined her North American tour “Bhanned in the USA.” Bregoli knows that her fanbase's parents see her as a bad role model. But by branding herself in this fashion, she draws on her “cash me ousside” past while captivating an audience to see how she will behave next.
After all, how can this young girl still call her mom a bitch on TV or get into fights on airplanes? She’s giving in to how society wants to perceive her, while also challenging the general public’s expectations by showing how successful she’s become through their general fascination with her.
With the album’s outro, we finally get to see behind “Bhad Bhabie’s” tough facade and understand the vulnerability of 15–year–old Danielle Bregoli. She’s a girl who was raised by a single mom who battled breast cancer multiple times. A girl whose father left Bregoli for a different family, only returning to her life when she rose to fame. None of this should ever befall on someone, especially not a girl who hasn’t even reached her sweet 16.
I feel like I should support Bregoli because as she admits, at least her music is distracting her from selling drugs and stealing cars. But at the end of the day, while her songs are catchy and deemed “bops” in the YouTube comments, they lack creativity and just encourage women to call other women bitches.