After dropping Pryde from her name, expanding her sound past the breathy giggle-rap of her viral hit "Okay Cupid" and releasing the solid D.A.I.S.Y. Rage EP, it's starting to seem that Florida rapper Kitty just might have an actual career ahead of her.
On the final night of South by Southwest, the teenage MC went about "setting the mood like Jessica Rabbit" in a small, sticky bar. Kitty bounced around stage and even sang a few bars from Frank Ocean's "Thinkin' Bout You" during "Okay Cupid." Can she sing? Not at all! But it was still an unexpected, enjoyable moment if only for the WTF element.
While many remain offended at the very idea of a cutesy white girl with zero street cred rocking the mic, the fans and curious onlookers who showed up to her SXSW Saturday set were captivated by her indefinably compelling stage presence and unique vocal cadence.
While Kitty's flow doesn't follow the beat, it does abide by a stream-of-consciousness rhythm that's all her own. And while it's easy to write off someone who exuberantly hops around stage barefoot while apologizing for being "super embarrassing," her joy in performing seems genuine enough that she manages to pull off—or at least excuse—the cloying cuteness.
Similarly adorable, Kitty introduced her DJ as her younger brother and gave him props for "never f-cking up once, which is not something I can say about myself."
When she climbed up on the bar to dance during a track, she nervously told the crowd, "I've never done this before, but don't worry—I'll be careful." That may be the least hardcore thing a rapper's ever said, but on the other hand, you can't fault her for being herself.
Deriding Kitty as inauthentic ignores the fact that she doesn't pretend to be anything other than a suburban teenager who digs rapping and gets a kick out of performing. If you're willing to accept the premise of a rapper who's kinda-sorta in the game just for fun (which understandably, some hip hop heads aren’t), you might be surprised to learn she's actually got some skills in the live setting. Not to mention more than enough personality to command the stage, even if it's in her own timid and "super embarrassing" style.