Lola “Gangsta Boo” Mitchell, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Memphis,” was one of the first Southern female lyricists to achieve national acclaim in the hip-hop realm. Now the queen is taking her talents to the fashion world.
Primarily known for her role as a member of the platinum-selling and award-winning Memphis-bred group Three 6 Mafia, Mitchell recently launched her clothing line, GB Apparel.
“Everybody was always asking me, ‘Do you have any shirts?’ or ‘Where can we buy your merchandise?'” she said. “I’m trying to feed my fans. They want to buy something from me while I’m working on my music. I’m giving them something that they can be proud of and they can wear.”
Available exclusively on her website lolamitchell.com, the line includes short- and long-sleeved T-shirts, hoodies, hats, and beanies. The pieces are emblazoned with such things as Gangsta Boo’s catchphrase “Yea Hoe” or song titles “Forever Gangsta” and “Every Gangsta Needs a Gangsta Boo.”
Mitchell provided input and approval for all merchandise released for the line. She said inspiration for the items comes from her own closet, her music, and a little hipster culture.
“If it’s something that I would wear, I feel like somebody else would wear it too,” she said. “I’ll wear some Chucks [shoes] and a Walmart shirt that says ‘Have a Coke and a Smile.’ I’m not a label whore. I do like Chanel, Céline, Christian Louboutin shoes, Ruthie Davis shoes, and all that stuff, but I’m a T-shirt and jeans chick too, because I’m pretty much a hipster.”
Mitchell’s clothing line caters to men and women and is reasonably priced. Every item on her website is currently 15 percent off. Since all merchandise is printed on demand, shipping can take anywhere from seven to 14 business days.
For the clothing line’s spring and summer catalog, tank tops are being designed, as well as mini-shorts with “Where Dem Dollas At” (named after Gangsta Boo’s 1998 club anthem) emblazoned on the back of them. Ladies underwear, earrings, lighters, ashtrays, and jogging suits will be available for purchase soon.
Mitchell admits to being somewhat intimidated about stepping into the fashion world, but she says she’s excited to try something new.
“I’m not trying to come in as this big fashion designer,” she said. “I’m just trying to get my feet wet and see where it takes me. [Fans] can wear a Gangsta Boo ‘Yea Hoe’ shirt with my signature on it and feel like they’re connected with me, because they might go to my Instagram and see me with the same shirt that they just ordered.
“I want to be epic. I want to be original and have another notch under my belt to add to my legacy. If I have products for people to buy, I’ll be around forever, because I’ll always have something to sell them, even if it’s [just] a Gangsta Boo keychain for somebody to walk into their house or crank their car up with every day.”
Gangsta Boo fans shouldn’t worry that she’s trading in music for fashion. She’s currently prepping the release of her latest mixtape, It’s Game Involved.