Kitty - D.A.I.S.Y. Rage [EP]
From the deepest, darkest recesses of uber-kawaii Tumblr pages, plastered with the remains of Barbie dolls and antique Saved By The Bell gifs like some archaeological excavation of the 90s, Kitty (the artist formerly known as Kitty Pryde) has emerged as a fully-formed rap primadonna with her new EP, D.A.I.S.Y. Rage. Vomiting a rainbow of pop-culture references, quickdraw quips and an innate gift for wordplay, she weaves the most Marmite-y music the Internet has to offer – people will either leap valiantly to her defence like gung-ho crusaders, or keyboard warriors with RSI and rampant bacne do their utmost best to destroy her on comments sections. But she feeds off this conflict, this anonymous hatred, absorbing it into her precocious mind and spewing out a self-conscious, immensely self-aware flow beyond her years.
'Okay Cupid' was the track that launched Kitty, aka Kathryn Beckwith into the e-eye. It was doused with sickly beats, lyrics about stalking Danny Brown and drunk-dialling – and that flippant subject matter has continued. 'R.R.E.A.M.' is a perfect example, playing on Wu-Tang Clan's 'C.R.E.A.M', making light of anxiety rashes with Gillette-bladed lyrics like "I'll piss all on your bike, I'd like to see your fixie rust." Her flippant, self-deprecating torrent exudes the zeitgeist, with nods to trending on Twitter, NYLON magazine and Drake's biggest achievement, YOLO. Even Benadryl makes an appearance. It's a buzzing cut with a lavish scattering of pixie dust layered over malevolent synth lurches, chattering-teeth hi-hats and a lethargic beat.
'Unfollowed' would give most hip-hop legends a run for their money. Kitty elegantly trips over her words, tying her tongue in knots to hurl abuse at some unknown victim (the identity of whom is probably pretty easy to decipher) with the speed and tenacity that nine in ten up-and-comers dream of. Tolstoy gets dragged in to the obsessive spat between Lakutis and Kitty on 'Ay Shawty', a shimmering effort with skittering beats and a massive R&B chorus. It's sort of romantic – an ode to the love of stalkers or the relationships of Generation Z.
'Dead Island' is a haunting account of the Big Apple. "Wiz is black and yellow, I'm white and fucking terrible." It's brutal. "I love NY cause there's so many bridges to jump off." The 2:20 sprint is home to a razor vitriol, with shout outs to Transformers, Chris Crocker and MF Doom. She juggles regret and anger, shame and rage on her version of the standard rap rotomontade. 'No Offense' calls out fakers, "You're a dentured grampa trying to grill it, you're a handful of acrylics," and while she doles out the damage with disses left right and centre ("You're a Kardashian's ass" / "Illegitimate like Bill and I am Hillary"), it's not a spiteful stab in the dark. Her spiel is focused, concise and witty. The braggadocio is overflowing with puns, all of Kitty's words count. If people didn't take her seriously before this EP, they need to stand up and take notice.
The sprightly 19-year-old from Florida (she affectionately refers to her home state as 'America's Wang') gives the impression that she just doesn't give a crap. This Tumblrcore hallmark is a potent blend of arrogance and apathy (see: Kreayshawn), something that parents would call 'being a brat'. But she's not; not at all. The guise she performs under is deceiving - this saccharine spout of imagery is masked by her costume, but the words underneath are lethal. Though she's a big deal, you get the impression her persona acts as a shield for the fear beneath her skin. These lyrics dart between brand-dropping and her struggle with feeling insecure, feeling not-even-second-best in the world of big dogs she has been forced to inhabit. There's a dark streak lurking within this glittery unicorn.