Oakland artist on the rise Kamaiyah gave her first performance at House of Vans last week in New York crowd. Impressing fans and critics alike, she’s quickly gaining buzz as rap’s next big female MC. In addition to her ability to slay crowds, her debut mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, is receiving stellar reviews as well.
She recently opened up to XXL about her thoughts on music, the struggle with her label, and some of her music inspirations.
She was very open in her thoughts on the explicit, and very casual, reference to drug use that seems to lace the lyrics of hip hop today, saying that’s not really her style:
“For my people, I feel like most music promotes doing drugs and genocide and I feel like this is the reason why we are dying at a rapid rate because there’s no one else promoting something positive, so I make music for the people who don’t want to be those type of individuals.”
Growing up, she always admired the work of Missy Elliott, TLC, and Aaliyah, but these days, she’d love to work with Trina or Nicki Minaj:
“I was actually trying to get Trina on there first. We sent the record to her because I met Trina in Oakland and she wanted to get on “How Does It Feel” … I wanted a female rapper who I felt was going to fit the record but she never came through, so now I’m like Nicki would be fire.”
For a while, people thought Kamaiyah was an independent artist working with a small indie label. While that does bear some truth, she’s actually signed to Interscope Records, though she keeps mum on those details:
“I mean I feel like at this point I can no longer hide that I’m on Interscope. But I just feel like I will never publicly just be like…because I feel like I don’t ever want to shit on my peoples, you know what I’m saying? So that’s why I’m private about it.”