The state of hip hop is ever-evolving and the future seems bright with talents like Rico Nasty, Flo Milli, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Dreezy, Chika, City Girls, and many more. Every year rappers emerge and amaze us with their talents having us all wondering who is going to be the next person to blow? If you are looking for the answer look no further than Lex Bratcher. Remember you heard it here first this time next year when she’s performing at the Grammys and blasting on your Spotify playlist. I remember coming across Lex Bratcher during the pandemic with her “What’s Poppin FreeVerse on Instagram! If you haven’t checked it out do yourself a favor and do it now!
As we wrap up women’s history month and this series highlighting women in the DMV I was very excited to be able to sit down with Lex Bratcher to talk about her journey, her new projects, and more.
Q: First off Happy belated birthday! How did you celebrate your Jordan year?
Lex Bratcher: Even though it was a pandemic, I just want to say that with last year being so crazy my thoughts and prayers are with everybody. As far as my birthday it was probably one of my best birthdays because my little brother just turned 11 and he’s at that age where he’ll stay up all night and so the night of my birthday we just stayed up and watched and played Spiderman on the PS5 together. So that was the best birthday gift having my little brother hang out with me.
Q: I see you just released “What It Do” which is fire! And you also just released your new track “Wheres The Roof” as well. You been killing it lately! What was the inspiration behind the both tracks and what can we expect?
Lex Bratcher: I have been doing this for too long and it’s just time for me to just put out music so that people can hear me. So that’s really my inspiration. Just getting out different kinds of music that I make and showing people I can be eclectic and that I have variety and can switch it up but making sure the fans are still getting stuff every other week. So the inspiration for sure was just getting it out because you can be super talented but if you’re not going to let people hear that talent then you’re letting it go to waste and I don’t want it to go to waste.
Q: I loved the visuals for “Crash”. Can we expect a video as well for “What It Do” I know you always have the visuals coming?
Lex Bratcher: I definitely will get some type of visuals behind it. It may not be like a crazy high production or anything like that. None of my visuals are. A lot of my videos are people who mess with me who say “Yo I really want to do a video for you so that cuts down my costs so that’s cool haha. I also really enjoy working with people who are just talented especially doing camera work but don’t really get too many opportunities because they might not have worked with too many big names. If I can do my part to put them on as much as I can and have people go and look at their stuff then I’m happy because that’s also something I really enjoy. The new track “Wheres The Roof” will definitely have a visual. I have some really good ideas for that one so be on the lookout for that.
Q: As 2020 brought about so many challenges for us all, how did you manage to take care of your mental health?
Lex Bratcher: I’ll definitely be honest and say that last year was pretty rough for me. I’m the type of person who has been moving around since I was 18 and when I turned 18 I went to college in Ohio, then I came back and went to Towson. Then I moved to northern Virginia, then I moved to LA, and now I’m in Phoenix. So when the pandemic hit I was probably like 5 months into moving to LA. I knew people from where I was working but I didn’t really know anybody so I was completely alone. No family, no anything. It was really difficult for me because I realized something about myself and that is that I need outside validation.
Where I was working I would get that daily but once I’m in the house and I’m closed in by myself and not receiving that I noticed myself starting to really doubt my abilities and doubt everything I had going for myself. I definitely did online therapy and wrote a lot about it which I definitely hope to allow people to hear. Those subject matters are a little bit deeper so I’m kind of waiting and postponing when I’ll start putting out deeper stuff until I can really grow a fan base. As of now, I’ve definitely gotten better. I have been working more on just me and keeping a positive attitude, and knowing that being positive doesn’t always mean I’m happy, it just means that I know that I’ll get out of the negativity.
Q: How was your creative process during the pandemic? Were you able to zone out and write a little more or did you just let the process come to you?
Lex Bratcher: You know last year I had a really hard time. Obviously, this is first world problems but I just got on a song with Tech N9ne, and with that even though people were saying “oh that’s great you have a song with Tech N9ne”. I got a lot of Tech N9ne fans and people who are strange music fans and not necessarily fans of me but they heard me on the track and they liked the track so they became a fan and expect me to do a lot of what I was doing on the song. And that’s not who I am and so I feel like last year I spent a lot of my creative process trying to just figure out what branding I want to have.
Do I want to go the strange music route or do I just want to be me? I would write a couple of songs and heavy bars and I was like I don’t really love those songs. Those songs are not what makes me feel better about myself or make me feel like oooh I want to listen to this in the car. So throughout this time I just decided to make the type of music that I like to hear and then if people like it then cool and if they don’t then sorry maybe they’ll still like me from my free verses that I put out, but my music itself will be something that I wanna hear in the club or car. That was my creative process. Just trying to figure out who I am musically and sonically.
Q: What inspired you to start rapping and at what age did you know this is what I wanna do for a long time?
Lex Bratcher: I started rapping when I was nine years old. That was the first time I ever wrote a rap. I still actually have all of the notebooks that I have written over the years. I also have a folder for when I didn’t have a notebook and I would just write on paper. Since 2014 I have just been using my notes on my phone so I probably have over 1500 notes on my phone. So what made me start was when I was younger my mom was with this guy at the time and he had just started his own label and had a couple of artists. So because my mom had to work late sometimes he would come home and be like okay well “I’m going to take you to the studio and we’re going to see my artists”. So I got to be in that space and I was like woah I wanna do that too! So then I talked to him and was like can you help me write a song and he helped me write one bar. The only bar anyone has ever written for me ever haha! It was the beginning of my first song and then I finished it and it was really good so we went to the studio that next week and I recorded it.
From that song, I ended up recording a five-song EP and then I burned it onto CDs and was out there passing out CDs at nine. Later on, when my mom broke up with him I didn’t have access to the studio anymore so I took a rock-band microphone and I plugged it into the computer and I got this super cheap digital audio workstation and it was called Mixcraft. I would put a bunch of loops in and make my own beats then rap over it. By the time I hit high school though it had died out so I was focusing on other things. I was really good at basketball so that was the focus but it always felt like something was missing. No matter what I did I ended up coming right back to music. Then as I went to college I was studying political science my freshman year and when my second year finally rolled around I was just like I can’t do this so I dropped out my second year and I said I’m going to take rap seriously and it’s done pretty well and that was two years ago.
Q: Earlier in the year you dropped “Hall of Fame” and performed at AMPD. How was that experience?
Lex Bratcher: You know what’s hilarious is I had always wanted to get on AMPD! The first time I had ever seen them was seeing DEETRANADA do it and I was like yeah I wanna do that but I never hit them up because I always had this thing of like “Every time I hit up somebody to do like a freestyle I would get shut down. So I was like I’m not gonna hit them up and then in late 2020 I get an inbox from AMPD official and when they reached out I was excited like this is so crazy, but I told them I actually wrote this song to be performed on AMPD. So that Hall Of Fame exclusive was because I was like I need a dope-ass song that will showcase my lyricism but also be catchy enough where people will want to listen to it over and over. So after I wrote it I flew back out because I live in Phoenix a week before my birthday and when I walked in I don’t think anybody knew what to expect when I walked in because people might think she’s either going to be really cocky or she’s going to be cool, but the environment from the moment I walked into their studios was really cool and welcoming for sure.
So when the performance was done they all loved it saying “Yo that was crazy”! Then Zeplyn and I talked for another 30 to 45 minutes about the industry, our goals, and other things as well. The experience was super cool and I really appreciate him and what you guys do for trying to build us together because I feel like the DMV unfortunately were not at that Atlanta status where we all work together. With Atlanta, it seems they stick together putting everyone on but with us were still so individual-based and I don’t like that so I think it’s so important for us to stick together and work together. I love what you guys are doing in trying to showcase the DMV because I feel as though our culture has the ability to take over but we have to be willing to work with each other.
Believing in yourself is a lot easier said than done, but if you can give power to the positive thoughts and take away the power from the negative thoughts you’ll be unstoppable in doing whatever it is you wanna do.
Q: Speaking of artist from the DMV and in general who would be your dream collaboration today?
Lex Bratcher: Right at this second is Rico Nasty! I don’t think I’m cool enough yet to be on a track with her yet but we’ll get there! When I first saw her pass my radar she was doing iCarly and I know Q Da Fool was also in the video who was popping as well. Then I heard her do “Smack A B*tch” and I was like woah! She went a totally different route than what I thought she was going to go and that was really inspiring and I thought like wow if people really take to her then they may be able to take to me as well! So Rico is definitely in my top collaborations and I want to try to get a hold of her but I will definitely wait my turn and wait until she feels like I’m ready or I’m cool.
Q: As you provide the music industry with much needed bars, killing it track after track, what do you hope the industry provides you back?
Lex Bratcher: I can’t lie and say that I don’t want to get paid haha! That’s definitely number one! Unfortunately in the society, we live in we have to pay bills and stuff like that so that’s number one. What I will appreciate is if the industry allows me to have that platform so that we can bring more issues to the table as far as the black community and the DMV as well. To be able to bring a lot of those things to the table that usually gets swept under the table to the table. So making sure I use that platform to use my voice and not even necessarily me talking but amplifying the voices around me especially for topics that I can’t speak on myself like colorism. Colorism is an important topic to me but I don’t want to speak on it as someone who is light-skin as I would much rather use my platform to amplify to a brown skin or dark skin woman to talk about those kinds of things.
Q: Speaking of getting paid what is your stance on being independent vs signing to a major label? As an unsigned artist now do you see yourself down the line signing to a major or staying independent?
Lex Bratcher: I just really feel like it really depends. If I get an artist like Eminem or someone trying to sign me and they are giving me a good deal and it makes sense for me then I’m not going to say no to a major because of the stigma of going to a major, but if someone is offering me money upfront but offering me a bad deal I’m not going to take it for the sake of having the money upfront. As someone who’s been broke, I know what that feels like so I’m not going to take money just to have money. I’m going to take money if it makes sense, and I know that I can make sure that I’m giving it back to them and not trapped in any type of deal that is going to make me sell my hand.
Q: As we focus on women’s history month who are some women that inspired you in your journey and what does women’s history month mean to you?
Lex Bratcher: I think definitely talking about the hip-hop space MC Lyte had a huge inspiration on me as well as Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, and Foxy Brown. I’m not huge on black history month and women’s history month because it shouldn’t just be celebrated one month out of the year because that is my whole life. I understand the premise but I would like women’s history month to be every month. I would like women recognized for their talents every month and not just one month and then we have to wait until next year so that these corporations can be performative. Every month is women’s history month for me!
Q: For the women and girls out there who look up to you and want to follow in your footsteps, what is some advice you could offer them?
Lex Bratcher: I would definitely say that don’t allow your negativity to overwhelm you. All of us as human beings have thoughts and sometimes those thoughts are negative and positive but making sure to not give power to the negative thoughts because if you can, you can do anything you want to do. Believing in yourself is a lot easier said than done, but if you can give power to the positive thoughts and take away the power from the negative thoughts you’ll be unstoppable in doing whatever it is you wanna do.
Q: Thank you so much Lex for taking the time to be here with us today!
Lex Bratcher: Absolutely! Thank you for having me!
To follow all things Lex Bratcher has coming up in the future please follow her on all social media platforms below.