Stunna Girl began recording rhymes in her father’s closet when she was only 8. Her passion for music continued to grow as she entered adolescence and before long, her freestyles started gaining attention online. Stunna had her eye on the prize and didn’t let anything keep her from her dream, even time behind bars. “I was incarcerated when I was 14 until I was 17, basically three years,” Stunna says. “During that time, I was in lockdown and I would freestyle to myself to make the time go by. I already had a viral video of me rapping in my city, so I knew I could do it and when I got out. I started taking it seriously.”
Spending time behind bars not only motivated Stunna to dive headfirst into the music industry, it gave her a sense of purpose. Incarceration allowed her to be the voice of an entire demographic of kids who’d experienced the same struggles while growing up in the ’hood. Upon her release, Stunna made a beeline to the studio. “When I got out of jail, I didn’t even know how to book a studio session or how to find a beat,” Stunna explains. “But someone from a studio had seen one of my videos on Facebook and hit me up to come record. The first thing I did was record a song and put it out, and it started doing numbers. Then I found a videographer, did my first [official] video, and after that, I pretty much got the hang of it.”
Once she found her groove and got acclimated to the industry, Stunna was quick to release her first mixtape, “You Know What the Fuck Goin’ On,” in March 2019. From that tape came her biggest hit to date, “Runway,” a high-energy and punchy tune that speaks of her freestyle roots. “I made ‘Runway’ while I was learning about the music business,” Stunna says. “I was traveling everywhere and over a period of time, I had a bunch of songs. I eventually made a tape and I freestyled ‘Runway.’ Nobody liked the song, but I liked it so I put it on my tape. I knew it was going to be dope.”
Stunna’s intuition was spot-on, as the single soon took off on TikTok. It became an anthem for TikTokers strutting their stuff, and through her younger sister, Stunna learned it was being enjoyed by people all around the world. “[Fans] started sending me a lot of videos of them dressing up and doing runway stuff,” Stunna shares. “That’s how I knew my song was big.”
Stunna may be new to the industry, but she knows one thing: Now that she’s got some momentum, she must build on it. So she’s launching her most ambitious project to date. “The process was very different because I’m actually working with producers,” Stunna says. “They’ve been bringing out different sounds for me that I’m not normally used to, so that’s been great. Also, once they hear my music, a lot of artists want to be on it.”
Stunna has taken her time to make this project the best it can be and to give her fans a peek at every side of her. There’s more to her than just “Runway,” and this project will provide something for every type of fan. “I’m already, like, five different people in one,” Stunna says. “There’s the R&B Stunna, there’s freestyle Stunna, there’s ratched Stunna. You’ve got all of that on the project and all of the songs are different. My first project was pretty much all over the place because I was experimenting. This project is where I found my sound, and it’s more straight to the point.”
Stunna has come a long way, and her tattoos show her evolution. Stunna got her first tattoo at the age of 12 in somebody’s garage. Today, she’s using her work to reflect on where she’s come from and what she aspires to become. “I got a rose and a clock on my neck to cover up a name,” Stunna explains. “I was done with the past and I’ve served my time already. I’m a rose that grew up from the concrete.”
Just like the verse from Tupac suggests, Stunna has defied nature’s laws by overcoming adversity. We’re ready to watch her bloom.