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City Girls Are Rap’s New Defiant Duo

City Girls' schemin' anthems are pushing them beyond Miami's borders with their new mixtape, 'Period.'

by Kristin Corry
May 22 2018, 4:30pm

Taji Ameen

The last time we saw a woman take Miami by storm was two decades ago when Trina introduced herself on Trick Daddy’s “Nann Nigga.” Now, the City Girls are a fixture of South Florida’s music scene, with a buzz brewing as fast as their Quality Control labelmates. The group's JT and Yung Miami already told us they weren’t checking for broke boys in their debut single “Fuck Dat Nigga,” released last December as part of QC’s Control The Streets compilation. In less than six months, they’ve managed to generate a following for their ability to be completely unfiltered in their penchant for men “who gon’ swipe them Visas.” Delivering schemer anthems like “Where Da Bag At?” and “Run Dem Bands Up,” the City Girls are clearing out bank accounts and couldn’t care less.

In person, JT and Yung Miami feel like sisters instead of best friends. They bicker playfully when they disagree, but a sense of respect for the other remains constant. Their partnership feels like yin and yang, and they complement each other in ways that are only possible thanks to a nearly decade long friendship. Yung Miami is reserved in person, though her demeanor shouldn’t distract you from the straight up nasty things she can say on a record. JT’s aura commands your attention, as does her delivery. The two have enough personality to fill the 16 tracks of their debut mixtape, Period, and the heist-level bars feel like something rap has been missing for the better part of a decade.

Period, released on May 11, is fun as hell. They’re not here to be politically correct, or to serve as activists. They want what they want, exactly when they want it. Whether that’s your credit card number or your man, City Girls aren’t stopping until they get what’s theirs—even if that means it’s yours.

Noisey: The last time I checked in with you guys, you only had “Fuck Dat Nigga.” Now you guys have “Where Da Bag At?,” a collaboration with Trina, and your first mixtape Period is here. Can you give us the backstory on “Fuck Dat Nigga.” You mentioned briefly that it was a diss record of some sort.
JT: With that, we were just playing around. I called her like, “Let’s make a song,” and it went from there.

So when she called you, what were your thoughts?
Yung Miami: I thought she was playing. I was like, “Girl, leave me alone.” I didn’t think she was dead serious. I was like, “We don’t even got no studio to go to,” and she was like, “Well we finna go find one.” I was thinking, “Girl, stop playing on my phone.” But she was like, “For real, I got two beats,” and I was like, “Alright, let’s do it.” We went to a studio and we were in the studio like all night, but it was just like a game. We were just playing.

So do you guys feed off each other when you're in the studio? Was it more difficult or did it just come naturally?
YM: I think we play off of each other. Sometimes I’ll say something and she’ll be like, “Get they ass, Miami.” It’s like a back and forth thing.

I saw your tweet saying that sometimes you feel like you’re not supported in Miami?
JT: Miami’s a big city. What I meant by that is, the majority of the people that I've known all my life, they act like they don’t see what’s going on. They’ll ignore the fact that we’re growing and they won’t say shit about it. It’ll be people I really grew up with who probably didn’t even post our shit to this day. If they aren’t benefitting from it, they don’t want to see anybody grow. I still feel like that after our project. This shit ain’t that local anymore. We in New York talking to you. It’s a difference between playing and growing. If I see someone I grew up with, it doesn’t have to be someone I talk to every day, I’m going to want to see them win so I’m going to post their shit. They don’t do that there. It’s crabs in a bucket. I’m pretty sure every city got that.

All in all, Miami does support. When I said that I was really talking about my peers. People I know, who I probably done went out with before, those type of people.

Speaking to that, this is your first major press run. You tweeted, “New York FUCKS w/ the City Girls, PERIOD.” Seeing everyone respond with their respective states is probably something you couldn’t imagine in December. Does it surprise you when you leave Florida and see an outpouring of support from other regions?
JT: When I put that, people were saying, “No, you meant Atlanta… You meant here, you meant there.” That’s true. I had an argument with somebody, and they told us, “Bitch, don’t nobody know y’all out of Florida.” I was like, “Boy, is you fucking stupid?” It’s stuff like that, people be jealous and wanting stuff to stay small because they’re not used to seeing stuff Miami blow up. We got talented people there but that shit don’t make it past Florida, honestly. So, they don’t understand this shit is going to go because it’s God’s plan. It’s not nobody else’s plan. This shit bigger than y’all. This shit bigger than us. It’s going to happen regardless.

Before Period, I was like, “Damn, are people really going to support our project?” Nobody was really talking about it, but when it came out it was charting. It was trending on Apple Music, Twitter. It just did more than what I expected.

How did “Period.” become your tagline?
JT: Her.
YM: When we first started rapping we were just joking around after we made our first song, and I said, “We gonna drop a mixtape and we gon’ name it, ‘Period’” She was like, “Hell nah, we not going to name our mixtape ‘Period.’ Nobody’s going to take it serious.” Then, as we started recording, we needed a title for our mixtape. We were going to call it “Girl Code,” but it just ain’t match.
JT: Period for me came along from when she did her adlib and it was like, “I need them digits off his plastic, period!” Then everybody started saying it.

You guys remade Salt-N-Pepa’s “I’ll Take Your Man.” It felt like a clear homage to the last relevant girl rap group. How does being in a group change how you approach things in this industry?
JT: Being in a group to me is bigger than being one person. It’s two people, so it’s two different ways it can go. You can like her personality, you can like my personality and it’s all going to come as one. When you’re one person it’s hard to grab people. Us being two girls, the way we talk, the way we act, we’re just us. You and your best friend can be like we’re the City Girls.

How would describe what you each bring to a track?
YM: I’m just Young Miami. My voice is just squeaky and a little raspy. In my verses, I’m always a little more nasty, saying off the wall shit.

“30-inch lace, so I sat on his face” was pretty iconic.
YM: I just say off the wall shit. Like I said, “I probably sucked Pee dick, or let Coach hit.”
JT: I’m just hood. I’m more serious when I rap. When I’m thinking of a rap I always think of a bar. I always overthink it. I don’t want to sound crazy.

You two are really good at putting your own spin on iconic songs. We’ve seen you flip “My Neck, My Back,” and “Crush On You .” What are you thinking of when it’s time to record your own version?
JT: With “Fuck Dat Nigga” it was a beat from my friend, Major Nine already. That’s something I want to address too... When people were like, “Y’all stole Khia song. I’m like, “Hold the fuck up. The beat came like that.” We just was having fun. We didn’t necessarily say, we want Khia sample. I like "My Neck, My Back." But if it was my option, I would’ve picked something with Trina, but it just went. I was upset about that when a lot of people said we weren’t being original. That’s not true. The Salt-N-Pepa song, that was Coach idea.

But I mean, that’s also a cop out. Because how many times are we going to allow Drake to remake songs?
JT: I love Drake. I’m not going to say anything about Drake.
YM: When you remake a song it’s fun because you already know what direction to go in.

Yung Miami, let’s revisit something you said on “I’ll Take Your Man.” You address negative criticism from people who insinuate that because you haven’t been rapping long, you must have been sexually involved with Pee or Coach K. Is that criticism you get a lot?
YM: Hater people, hater talk. They have said it before. They say that I probably fucked Pee, but that’s not the case. They’re just going to say that regardless, even if they sign another female artist just because we’re girls.

What’s it like being on Quality Control? I see you guys promoting Lil Baby. Lil Baby’s in videos saying “Period!” What’s the relationship like with that whole roster?
JT: Lil Baby brought us out at Rolling Loud too. I don’t think we could’ve went with no other record label. You can actually call Lil Yachty and ask for help, and he’ll help us. It’s really a family. Nobody thinks they’re bigger than the other person and they welcome us with open arms. When we first came out, people judged us and said we were trash. Migos, they’re big. Lil Yachty, big. Lil Baby, big. I’m not going to lie, at first I was like, "When we meet them, they’re not going to like us." But when we met them it was a totally different thing. It’s a family, for real.

So what was it like being at Rolling Loud? I would imagine that was the biggest crowd you’ve performed for now.
JT: It was an experience. I was nervous because I was looking at the crowd like, "Oh my God, it’s only this color people out here." But when we went out there, it just all went along. Then he came out to help us hype the crowd.

I read the interview you did with Miami New Times and it said that Trina is your godmother?
YM: You could say she’s my godmother. I grew up with Trina, her mom, her sister... They’re like family to me.

What kind of advice does she have for you two?
YM: She tells us to just stay motivated, not to get pressured to do nothing we don’t want to do. To have fun with what we’re doing and not get distracted with boys from the music.

Movie,” is a good example of you two taking Miami’s legacy a step further. Everyone knows Miami’s sexed-up culture through 2 Live Crew, Pretty Ricky, and Trina. Is it difficult to get sexual on record?
YM: It’s easy for me because that’s the type of music I like to listen to.
JT: I don’t like to rap nasty. That’s one thing where it’s like, if you got to sell this music, just go ahead. What happened was, with “Movie” I was writing and overthinking as usual. I was like, I’m not saying that shit in there. There was one line in there, the guy who sung on the hook, he was like say this. I’m like, “I’m not saying that!” I ended up saying it anyway.

What was the line?
JT: I’m not even finna say it. *laughs* It’s just like stuff that I won’t say in real life. I’ll cuss somebody out but… “Movie” is our only nasty some though.

People will want more, for sure. We get plenty of gangsta rap and anti-broke boy anthems. Speaking of which, it’s dope that you’re giving women the commandments on “How to Pimp a Nigga.”
YM: Don’t fall in love with a nigga in the club.

So many people are going to be triggered by that line. But there’s been criticism saying that you’re making “ gold-digger music .”
JT: Well, what’s wrong with that? That’s okay. Every female does gold-digger music. They just say it in a more coded way. We don’t say it to them coded, we give it to them raw. So you can listen to Cardi, Nicki, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown. Trust and believe they’re telling you don’t talk to no broke nigga or they’re about their money. Or he bought me this, or he copped me this, or I fucked her man. Every female rapper rap about that, but we’re just more straightforward and don’t beat around the bush when we say it. You hear it straight up. “Don’t fuck with no broke nigga. This is how you pimp a nigga.”

What do you want people to take away from City Girls and Period?
JT: Confidence. Sometimes a nigga will do you wrong and you’ll start thinking less. But if you listen to City Girls, it’ll put you back on your boss shit. Sometimes I gotta listen to my own music. That’s when I see straight power. You feel like you that bitch when you listen to the City Girls.
YM: I just want people to feel like "I’m that bitch." That’s how I feel when I listen to us. I want them to just be like, "I’m that bitch, period."

What do you have to say for the broke boys who feel a way when they hear your music?
JT: Get your money up. Ain’t no dick like millionaire dick.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer at Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.