It’s rare that a rapper surfaces on Tumblr only to wind up premiering a record on Rolling Stone less than a year later, but then again Kitty (née Pryde) is not your run-of-the-mill rappy rap rap words-over-beat-sayer. The 19-year-old Daytona Beach rapper has made strides that even the most ardent of haters and hip-hop purists can’t ignore, slowly carving out her niche within the realm of hip-hop, attracting fans like B.J. Novak, Danny Brown—and his manager Emeka Obi, who took Kitty under his wing—and a lot of teenage girls.
If her new D.A.I.S.Y. Rage EP feels like the work of an artist coming into their own, that’s because it is: It’s as cohesive a body of work as the rapper has ever put out, showcasing the crooked self-assurance that it takes to cop to shit like bed-wetting and making a song with a guy who rejected you.
Kitty (now a Brooklyn resident) recently called me from her mom’s house in Florida to talk about being a role model to those aforementioned teenage girls, the idea of living in public while keeping shit very, very personal, and how she hates the very Internet that birthed her.
OH AND YOU GUYS: Kitty’s gonna be running Noisey’s Twitter account (@NoiseyMusic! Follow Us!) all day, and you can stream D.A.I.S.Y Rage below.
Noisey: Hi Kitty! How’s Florida?
Kitty: It's like, super warm and wonderful. I'm so glad I came back.
Is the transition from New York City to Florida cool or is it kind of jarring?
It’s kind of taxing on my body because I keep going back and forth from, like, fucking freezing to really hot and humid. I keep getting really weird colds and stuff. But I mean, it doesn't bother me, I kind of like it.
You’ve got a ringback tone. What’s up with that?
I had a Razr phone, and for some reason I couldn’t just buy ringtones from my phone server; I have to buy them and download them to my phone. I tried to download a Talking Heads ringtone, and it ended up being a ringback tone. I guess after like two years they expire, so for the past two years it's been the expired default tone that you have to buy another one to get it to stop being classical music, and I just haven't bothered because I never call myself.
Do you like Lil Poopy?
I love Lil Poopy. I painted my boyfriend a portrait of Lil' Poopy for Christmas.
Tell me about the EP. Do you like it?
I keep going back and forth, because when I first finished it I was like, “This is awesome!” And then like three days later I was like, “This is the worst thing ever, I'm not putting it out.” If you go back far enough in my Twitter, there's definitely entire days where I'm shitting on it, and then I'm like, “Wait, I can't shit on this because no one else has heard it so they're not gonna want to listen to it.” That could have been a PR nightmare, but I don't really know how I feel about it now. I'm really scared about everybody hearing it. It's really personal.
How’s the anticipation of knowing you have something so personal coming out?
I literally forced everybody to make it with me, and I told everyone that it was coming out on December 10th I think, and that was seriously just like an arbitrary date. I just fucking pulled that out of thin air in like November and I told everyone, all the producers and like, my manager, and the guy at the studio, “It's coming out, it's being released on December 10th, everything needs to be finished by then.” And then I just bossed everyone around until they did it. But now it’s January 31st, so I’ve been shitting myself for over a month. This week I just kinda stopped caring. Then I remembered it’s coming out again and I was worried because I didn't have Internet and I'm kinda nervous again now that I'm thinking about it.
Would you equate it to being on Death Row? Not like the label, but the actual thing?
After “Okay Cupid” came out that was like, beyond Death Row. This is more like when you take acid and you don’t know if you’re going to freak out and jump off a building or you going to have a really fun time.
That's weirdly Zen.
It's true, because there's nothing I can do now, it's like you you drop acid and you're like well, I'm gonna wait until I either kill myself or have fun so..
Do you feel like you’re a role model to teenage girls?
I don't necessarily think I'm a role model because I do the dumbest things. But a lot of girls that tell me they look up to me who are around 15 or 16. People think that since I'm really honest about not being confident that's kind of a confidence in and of itself, and people are always trying to find the difference between being confident and but not being like, looking like a stuck-up bitch and that's the ultimate challenge of being a teenage girl. I think that girls look up to me because they want to have the same attitude as me. Like, if I had somebody telling me that it was stupid to care about stuff like body image—which really is the least important thing—instead of the usual people who talk about that stuff like grown-ups and teachers... Girls that I've never even talked too before have just said that it changed their whole perspective on things.
How’s the transition from being just some person to being famous?
It kind of sucks, because I can't just say things for a second when I'm frustrated. I kind of have to think about the ramifications of things. The other day I saw this bitch that lives in my town, and she was being a bitch, and I said something about it on my blog. Then there was this massive army of teenage Tumblr kids harassing her, and I was like, “Oh my god, what have I done?” hen Emeka my manager called me and was like, "Dude you cant be bullying people online anymore, you're beyond that, now you have like an army of drones that will kill her." So that kind of sucks, but other than that it's kind of like, you know, whatever. I get a lot of free manicures and stuff, so that rules.
What's your favorite science fiction movie trilogy?
I think they're all equally wonderful—no, I think the second one's the best one, but they're all almost equally wonderful.
How do you feel about being written off as “Internet?”
I kind of have a shield to that now. That and “Tumblr.” This girl was a huge fan and on her birthday she asked me where I buy my hair bows, and she was like, “I can't find any cute hair bows that aren't from Japan, and I was just like, I'll just mail you some.” So I mail her these bows and she posted pictures of them on her blog like "My favorite Tumblr-core rapper sent me these," I was like, “Fuck you, fuck you…Tumblr-core? Never again. Send me my bows back, bitch.”
Did she send them back?
Maybe it's not her fault. It's the bloggers' fault for inventing that word. It was probably you.
Why do you dislike terms like that?
Because it makes me look like I used some sort of marketing prowess to tap into Tumblr and become popular. I feel like that's what that term connotates, and that's not what I do.
What do you plan on doing with our Twitter feed?
I don't know. I'm probably just going to DM lots of cool people that follow you and annoy them.
Drew Millard often wonders whose daughter he might be. He's on Twitter - @drewmillard
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