Bobby Lytes, star of Love & Hip Hop: Miami, is taking the world by storm — and he’s not stopping anytime soon. The 27-year-old artist, singer, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur says he’s “here to change the world.”
How did you get connected to Love & Hip Hop: Miami?
Well, one thing about Love & Hip Hop: Miami, you can’t audition for the show. Felisha Monet from 99 JAMZ in Miami (wedr.com) actually reached out to me. From there, it just turned into an awesome opportunity for me to interview with the casting directors, and they fell in love. And they gave me an opportunity as a cast member of the show. And it’s been an amazing opportunity so far.
What inspires you?
My creativity inspires me. My drive for life and my want to be bigger than I am — to leave a legacy. That idea inspires me to go as hard as I do. And of course, my fans. People who find out about me and view me as an inspiration, that inspires me. It’s mind-blowing. My fans give me a surge to keep going. Shout out to the Lytes Mafia [Bobby’s fans]!
You make the point that you’re not a gay rapper, but a rapper who just happens to be gay. Why is that important to you?
That’s part of the process to help people take [LGBTQ artists] more seriously and realize that everyone is human first. We’re all the same, no matter what. “Female rapper, gay rapper.” We don’t need labels. We should be a rapper first. It’s important to focus on the music, not who’s behind the music. The music is supposed to touch you. It’s a deep thing. As long as the music is good and has a message, things like race, gender, and sexuality shouldn’t matter.
Your own music is really starting to make movement, including your track, “I Need Your Love.” How does that feel?
Everyone thought I should put this song out to just make money, but I wanted to give the fans another free project — another good quality record that the fans would like. And I did it on my own. And I wanted to see what the record would do on its own.
You’re doing a lot to continue to break barriers for LGBTQ artists, particularly rappers.
It feels awesome. I have thought about this for a long time. I’m not the first gay rapper or first openly gay person to pursue music, but I feel I am the first to succeed in how I’m doing it. I just want to use this momentum and ride the wave and see how things go. And I’m just getting started.
What would you say to other aspiring artists who are learning to navigate being a talent first and whatever else second?
I would just say focus on the craft first. Create music, create content, be able to give the fans something more than just pictures on Instagram. Give things that can last a lifetime. Whatever your lane is, focus on that — perfect that craft. And once you’ve done that, then you can focus on the fun stuff, like image and interviews. And of course, never give up. If you want it, you gotta keep going.
Prince Michael, your Love & Hip Hop: Miami costar, talked about your friendship as a barrier breaker, because he’s straight and you’re gay. What are your thoughts as it relates to building bonds with other men?
You gotta be yourself first, honestly. Truly. Prince and I became friends pretty naturally and mostly because of our natural bond. And in order for that to take place, I was just being myself and he said he respected my confidence. He says I’m like a gay version of him. At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with embracing yourself. If you’re over-the-top, if you’re effeminate, whatever — people are going to love you for you, people are going to hate you for you. Even the people you wish you could be like, people hate them. It’s up to you to be you, and up to the other person to take you for you. In order for relationships to happen, people have to embrace each other and break down those barriers, and people need to learn to accept people for who they are. People need to be confident within themselves and love themselves first, because ain’t nobody gonna love you if you don’t love yourself first. And that is true tea, in the words of RuPaul.
Message! How do you plan to continue to use your platform as it grows?
I want to continue to create good music. And in between my music, I see myself being a stronger LGBTQ advocate: taking a political stance, putting out statements, giving speeches. That’s something I’ve been considering.
Tell us about your track, “Way Up.”
It’s the single that’s about to change the world. It’s a very inspirational record and I’m looking forward to getting the reaction from the rest of the world. Once I get that energy, then I can live in the moment. It’s a new sound, it’s fun, it’s radio-ready. It’s uplifting. We’ve been spending a lot of time and money on mixing and mastering. It’s my baby and I know it’s going to inspire a lot of people.
What’s something you want to leave with Chill readers?
Love yourself, stay focused, and all things are possible. And y’all watch out for me — I have a lot of things in store that I would love for everyone to be a part of.