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Cover 03/27/2013

Hello, Kitty

Internet rapper Kitty (formerly Pryde) rides out the Tumblr wave

Photo: , License: N/A

“I wanted to go into marketing or public relations, but now it’s just … I only have a semester left, I’m almost done,” Kitty says. “And everything that I’ve learned has just been really beneficial in what I do now. It’s really cool, because I started when I was 16, and I was like, ‘I don’t know what the hell I want to do,’ and this seemed like something that I could do a lot of things with it … and it worked out.”

The first track on D.A.I.S.Y. Rage begins with a sigh and ends with a giggle. It’s called “UNfollowed,” and in it, she raps over minimalistic sparkling synths and contrasting low-echo beats with lines debasing an ex as “fool’s gold.” It’s a strong introductory track that also serves to initiate a more mature perspective that takes the diamonds out of the online stalker’s eyes and confronts her character with the rock-hard reality of superficial romantic obsession. Throughout the EP, she’s clever and weird, but she comes from a more grounded (though frequently bitter) perspective that seems – from her lyrics – to be the result of actively scrutinizing every little criticism she’s gotten over the past few years. It’s still personal. It’s still the same girl who legitimately cannot function as a songwriter unless she’s alone.

On “Scout Finch Bitch,” Kitty responds to Antwon’s drug-touting rhymes with a squeamish assurance to her mom not to worry, there’s not really cocaine, calling her mom out for the online-stalking tendencies she owns up to herself on her biggest hit, “Okay Cupid.” When Kitty collaborates, each artist works independently on their contributions, so that instead of reacting impulsively to what Antwon spits in a shared writing space, the rhythm of her responses is established in a manner more like the crafty retorts you’d see on a comment thread. It’s fitting for a rapper whose career is the direct response of an Internet-based lifelong fandom for hip-hop that she’s only recently begun to branch out from.

She’s taking a break from hip-hop now and listening to “very girly, obnoxious pop music” like Charli XCX and Marina & the Diamonds, along with the occasional, random emo, and exceptions made to hear the music her friends make, especially rapper Chippy Nonstop, who was the inspiration behind Kitty’s established beef with Pitchfork, whose opinion she views as overrated, regardless of the decent score the music review site gave D.A.I.S.Y. Rage.

“There are people who literally only listen to music based on its Pitchfork score, and it’s so stupid and political,” Kitty says. “My friend Chippy, she’s a rapper too, but all her songs are like the opposite of mine, and Pitchfork wrote the meanest thing ever about her. And obviously, her songs are really catchy and fun and everything, but it’s not Pitchfork material, which means, you know, pretentious. … And she just never gave a shit about it. I was like, ‘Wow. Why do I care so much about Pitchfork?’ … Pitchfork is not the authority.”

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