If you're a young rapper putting videos on the Internet, lots of things can happen really suddenly. Take probably-teenage rapper Kitty Pryde--she doesn't talk about her exact age online, but she's old enough to have a job at Claire's and young enough to still be in school. A week ago, the Daytona Beach student was posting earnest, self-recorded rap songs like "Justin Bieber" ("Justin Bieber on my notebooks and my pens / Justin Bieber is my very best friend") and "Okay Cupid" ("Lordy, shorty, you're a 10 and I wait for your drunk dials at 3:30 a.m., I love them") to Tumblr, set to spacey beats and delivered half with swagger, half with giggles. Since then, she's been mentioned--and praised--by media outlets both niche, like Fader, Vice and Complex, all the way up to The New York Times, which called her a "fascinating" alternative to the likes of other Internet-savvy female rappers like Kreayshawn. We spoke to her about her sudden fame, rumors and texts from her idols, and what she'd like to do next.
So things have gotten a little bit crazy over the past days.
Yeah. It's been really ridiculous!
Has it been sudden, or has it sort of built up to this?
It was way more than I expected at first. When I came out with ["Okay Cupid"] without the video, it was a little mini-version of this anyway. It's been kind of steady since then, more and more stuff. We had all this stuff in talks with my manager for Fader, and I thought, "Ooh, Fader! That's going to be cool." Then it came out, and everything exploded.
So what brought you to start all this? Was it just an idea one day, or a joke at the beginning?
I was hanging out with my friends, and we were listening to Nicki Minaj. And every time we would listen to Nicki Minaj, we would just go over the song and do different lyrics.
It was "Roger That."
So I was on my MacBook and was like, "Oh, I have a MacBook. Let's record it in GarageBand!" So we did, and it was a song about how much I hated my ex-boyfriend. At that point we didn't really talk, so he didn't know that the song was about him. Then we kind of got back together for a little while, and I hid it from him. I really, really hope that he's seeing all this. I just think it's so funny.
So in the video, you're looking up photos of Danny Brown. Have you met him?
I've never actually met him, but he did give me his phone number. I don't know why he did. But he gave it to me on Twitter one day, messaged me and was like, "You should hit me up!" I was like, "Oh my god, what the hell?" I was so excited. I texted him a few times, and he only answered me once. You could tell he wasn't really into it. But yesterday, he tweeted the video, and he told me he loves me and was like "Fuck the haters, you're awesome!" Hopefully I'll get to meet him. That's the only thing I really want out of this. If I don't get anything else out of this, then at least I got to meet Danny Brown.
You could also meet Justin Bieber, possibly.
That seems super out of the question. Who gets to met Justin Bieber? Nobody gets to meet Justin Bieber.
I mean, it's not entirely impossible.
Maybe not. I guess maybe Rebecca Black got to meet Justin Bieber at some point.
It's funny you mention that, because with her or Kreayshawn or people like that, it's kind of a really weird thing the Internet does--make everything into a joke, or a novelty.
It sort of is a novelty, I guess. It was just a joke. I didn't sit down and think with a team of people, "Oh, how am I going to make it in the music industry? That's what I want to do. I want to be a musician. Let's do this, I want to be famous." I've literally been sitting here doing this on my own computer, recording it in my closet. The "Okay Cupid" song took me 30 minutes to write. I just think it's really funny that people are taking it so seriously and going through and writing huge articles and making comparisons to pop culture and all this other shit. I just wrote that song because I wanted to impress a boy, OK?
Like the whole "rap game Taylor Swift" thing?
Honestly, I said that myself. One of my favorite Internet rap guys is Riff Raff. He's always coining these terms, like "rap game Clark Kent" and stuff like that. I just think it's funny. So I was like, "I'm wearing a sparkly dress! Rap game Taylor Swift!" I just said that, and I guess it caught on. Then everybody's saying that I called myself the Hayley Williams of the rap game. I never said that. I have literally never said that in my life. So I don't know where that came from.
It just mutates, I guess.
It does! There are so many crazy rumors right now, it's so funny.
What's the craziest thing so far?
I saw somebody tweet that whoever started Supreme was related to me, and that they paid to have that music video made. And that's why there's such a prominent Supreme logo in it. I was like, "Wow, I don't think so."
That's pretty out there.
Or there's a lot of them about how somebody in the music industry is my daddy, and that's why this all happened. I'm like, no! My dad doesn't even know how to use the Internet at all!
It must be really interesting for him. What's his general opinion?
Now I have to have all these managers and stuff, and he's a lawyer, so he's really wary about contracts and money. He doesn't want me to get ripped off, which I probably already am. I haven't made any money at all. I made, like, twenty bucks off Bandcamp. He thinks it's really cool that people know my name now, but I think he's nervous about it. He doesn't want it to turn into a big trainwreck. And I agree. I don't really want that to happen either, but whatever.
It's a different sort of crowd, I imagine, now, from a couple hundred people on Tumblr. I've been reading this thing in Complex about people being really weird about it.
Yeah. It's weird. When I put something on my Tumblr, most of them already know who I am, and I guess they already like me a little, enough to read about my life. I didn't get a whole lot of mean things, but now it's like everybody in the whole world. Obviously, everybody in the whole world isn't going to like everything.
Is there any pressure to do things differently? Change the schedule, change how personal or biographical things get?
There is pressure. People keep bringing up, "you're very open with everything!" I didn't even realize I was being that open. I just kind of did. And I'm not going to stop -- that's just going to ruin it.
You mentioned in that interview how even though people in your personal life might know about this, they haven't really been forthcoming about it. It seems like a really weird disconnect.
It's really weird. I haven't really seen anybody in the past day or so. Yesterday, I had to work all morning, then I came home and the Internet was exploding. I was like, wow, I kind of want to monitor this a little bit. I didn't really do anything except watch yesterday. My closest friends have been like, "oh my god, this is crazy." Today, one of them sent me a picture of my song playing on XM Radio, and they were like, "Oh my god, Kitty!" There's a group of really supportive friends, and then there's a group of friends who don't care at all. I'm like, "Why don't you guys care? This is so cool!" [laughs]
Different groups of people you know, or just different people?
The people from school are the ones that don't care. The people I know from outside of school are the ones that are cool. So maybe that's just one of the things that happens, that whole high school thing.
What about work [at Claire's]? Does your manager know?
I don't think they take me seriously when I tell them things. I think they think I'm making it up.
So you named yourself after somebody from the X-Men. Where'd that come from?
Well, my name is Kitty anyway. The first song I made, I actually made it with my ex-boyfriend, the one that I was making fun of. We were just messing around in my closet, too, and he was like, "I want to shout out your rap name in the beginning! So what's your rap name? I was like, "Oh, I don't know. I've never thought of one. just call me Kitty!" Then I was like "Uh... my real last name isn't very cute. I don't want to use that. So just call me Kitty Pryde!" Because I had just watched X-Men, and it was in my head. Now it's just turned into this big thing. Everybody's trying to find out the big meaning behind it, but mostly I just like X-Men.
It seems like the sort of thing that people could possibly make into a big thing if they wanted to go that route.
Yeah. Now that I think about it, there's ways. But whatever.
So since you mentioned Nicki Minaj, do you have any thoughts on her album?
It's really good. Everything Nicki Minaj does, I think is awesome, because she's the queen of my heart. It's really, really different from what she used to do in 2007 and 2008. That was my favorite, when she was really, really scary. Now she's not scary anymore. It's kind of like a different person.
So who else out there right now do you like right now?
I've literally been listening to the same three albums on repeat for the past few weeks. Blackland Radio 66.6, which is a year-old mixtape from Spaceghostpurrp. I didn't like it that much when it first came out, and then suddenly I just started loving it. I'm also listening to Chippy Nonstop all the time, because she's so fun and so cute and I love her. And Future's new album. I've been listening that like crazy. I don't know what's going to be next, but it needs to be something soon, because everybody around me is getting really sick of those three.
So what would your ideal next step forward be?
Apparently my manager's gotten a lot of emails yesterday, so I can only imagine how annoying that must have been. I don't really know how anything works in this business, but if they want me to make an album, I'm going to make an album. I have time. Whatever.
Any dream collaborations?
Obviously Danny Brown. I guess a little bit ago I would have said Riff Raff, but Riff Raff sent me a message last night on Twitter, and now he wants to collaborate anyway.
That's one dream down!
I'm waiting. I'm just watching my cell phone, waiting for Danny Brown to text me. We'll see what goes on with that.