How Stunna Girl Became Rap’s New Viral It Girl

Her rise to stardom is directly a reflection of her relentless work ethic and resilience

Suzanne Sade Brown, formally known as Stunna Girl, has an unapologetic, edgy style and self-made attitude that resonates with fans across the country. That is how she bursted onto the scene with her viral 2019 hit “Runway,” gaining 15 million views on YouTube, and her latest hit, “Like Dat,” peaking at over 7.3 million views. 

Her rise to fame through her upbringing from the streets of Sacramento, California proves that you can do anything you set your mind to if you put the work in. Growing up, life in Oak Park was very hard for Stunna Girl and her seven siblings. Their mother was in prison and they had to move from house to house to survive. “We pretty much got stable when I was in the third grade. But then it only lasted until I was in the sixth grade,” she says.

The difficulties she faced in her household caused Stunna Girl to get into the streets, leading her to catch a case early on in her teens. She was hit with four years in prison for a robbery and gun charge, but ended up being released in three years – at the age of 17-years-old. She was released to her grandmother, who was on drugs. “She was on crack. When I got to her house, I was expecting her to be a changed person. She kicked me out the same day I got there,” Stunna Girl tells GU. “All I had to my name was jail clothes and the letters that I left with from jail.”

Stunna Girl had no other place to go but the streets and that’s when she realized she needed to use her talents to navigate a rap career. “Everybody already knew me, so when I started rapping, I pretty much already had a fan base, she added.” Although fans would classify her as a developing artist, Stunna Girl doesn’t feel like she’s new to the game because she is already a household name in Sacramento. She’s been rapping for almost five years but feels like the music industry did not want a girl like her into that space. “When I first came out, the stuff I was rapping about, people weren’t used to hearing that… Everybody’s rapping about Birkin bags and whatever. I’m sitting here rapping about the streets and the politics, the beef I’m in. So I didn’t feel like people accepted me. I’ve already been around,” she says.

Her viral track “Like Dat” received two remixes, one featuring French Montana and the other with JT of the City Girls. She detailed her love for JT, revealing that she can relate to her realness because she doesn’t act like the many industry folks she’s ran into. “She’s solid. People are scared to show other people love or female unity. It’d be fake. JT was playing my music on Instagram Live and that’s how we connected,” she says. Stunna Girl added that one artist she wishes to collaborate with in the future is Drake.

At the beginning of 2023, Stunna Girl graced the screens of the Zeus Network’s popular reality show, Baddies West, quickly winning over the hearts of viewers and becoming a fan-favorite. Throughout the season, fans had the opportunity to witness her authentic and unwavering spirit, a reflection of the passion that stems from her music. “I got into reality TV because everyone was telling me that there was a show that was coming to the West Coast, which I pretty much represent,” Stunna Girl says. She admits that she originally wanted to start acting. But, when she got on the show, she realized that acting and reality TV are two different lanes.

She also admitted that Baddies West did not really help her career but rather showed more of a negative side of her. “I just feel like my fans were able to see me on a more personal level. My rap career was already there. I already had a million-dollar deal, I was already on XXL,” she says. Stunna Girl doesn’t regret starring on the show, although she is now doing music full-time as an independent artist under her own record label, Red Rum Record. She started the label three years ago with her husband, Richmula 500. She says that she was forced to learn the business side of the music industry on her own. “Everything that I do is my creativity. I don’t have any big labels behind me,” she adds.

Stunna Girl recently released a new single, “Courtesy of a Rich N*gga” (CRN), a testament to her confidence and self-made attitude. It features bars that celebrate her lavish lifestyle. With a smooth, melodic hook and lyrics honoring her supportive husband. “It’s just about being fly and the finer things in life,” she explains. Stunna Girl reveals that she and Richmula 500, who grew up in the same area as her, have known each other for over a decade. They’ve been married for two and a half years. Alongside her latest single, Stunna Girl is currently working on the release of her highly-anticipated album, poised to further solidify her status as a rising star in the music industry. 

With everything Stunna Girl has been through, it shaped her to be “real” and “humble.” Music is what got her through the life she lived while trying to feed her family so that they can survive. “It helped put the grind in me. I’m gonna be more hungry than the next person because I really come from nothing,” she says.

View More