Kitty, the nineteen-year-old rapper, made famous on Tumblr for the teenage, tongue-in-cheek, video, “Okay Cupid,” gets a lot of flack. It’s easier to suggest a rapper is a poser because they don’t have certain kind of “street credibility” but those criticisms are easy and cheap. After all, Drake was no hoodrat. Drake was Jimmy on DeGrassi for nearly a decade. Drake is Canadian. Hip hop has long evolved from its South Bronx origin. It’s no longer an artistic, cultural reaction to the social and political marginalization of people of color. Rap has simply become an artistic tool. Anyone can pick up a pencil and draw, a pen and write – the sonnet is accessible to any who know its form. So I am pro-Kitty. I am pro, anyone who has the swag and skill to drop eight bars.
Kitty can rhyme. She’s got an easy, lazy voice. The album is a swirly, electronic, distorted chill haze. It’s about puppy love, Facebook, house parties and popular culture – basically everything that’s important to anyone younger than twenty-five.
I’m feeling you, girl.
Yeah, she is a chick who uses Tumblr and she sounds like it. Her race and background don’t have much to do with it. She is riffing off of youth culture and modernity in an almost always satirical way. She’s not rapping about being up in an ATL club and pulling out weaves – that’s not who she is. Hip hop can be used by anyone as a tool as long as it conveys who that person is, as opposed to mocking rap culture, African American culture or appropriating experiences that don’t belong to you. Use hip hop responsibly kiddos.
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