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In an industry full of talented artists vying for the public’s attention, Kash Doll has managed to stand out with a personality and brand of music that is truly unique. Born and bred in Detroit, her remix to Tinashe’s “2 On” made a big splash on local radio. However, despite gaining a strong buzz from her debut mixtape, Keisha vs Kash Doll, a legal battle between her and her record label at the time would leave Kash Doll unable to fully capitalize on the fanfare.
However, while working on extricating herself from her contract, the rapper’s career quickly took an upward trajectory. With songs like her viral single “For Everybody” gaining the attention of Drake — who invited her to open up for him at the Detroit stop of his “Summer Sixteen Tour” — and her 2018 projects, The Vault and Brat Mail, receiving acclaim; Kash Doll’s profile and approval rating reached a crescendo. After cutting ties from her former label, a bidding war was sparked and Republic Records ultimately secured the artist’s services.
Following a stint alongside Meek Mill on the rapper’s “Motivation Tour” last year, Kash Doll spent the bulk of 2019 putting the finishing touches on her anticipated debut album, Stacked, which was released in October. Led by the hit single “Ice Me Out,” the project has appearances by Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Trey Songz, Teyana Taylor, Summer Walker, and LouGotCash. In addition to empowering, man-eater anthems for the ladies, Kash Doll bares her soul on tracks like “KD Diary” and “100 of Us,” which details the blood, sweat and tears endured during her rise to stardom.
REVOLT spoke to the talented MC about Stacked, the influence her hometown has had on her artistry, collaborating with the biggest stars in hip hop and R&B, and much more. Peep the conversation below.
The year 2019 has been a victory lap for you and is set to be the most successful of your career thus far. How does it feel to be recognized for your talent, and be celebrated by the fans and your peers in such a big way?
It just kind of feels amazing. It’s like, ‘Wow, my hard work hasn’t went unnoticed. It made me feel like, ‘Damn, people actually is fucking with me after everything I’ve done and all the work I’ve put in, it’s finally paying off.’
Your debut album, Stacked, dropped. How does it feel to share this body of work with the public?
How I feel is something I can’t explain. I’ve been all over the world putting this album together and flying back to Cali to make sure I’m with the producers I wanna work with. To be going on tour and making sure I’m still making my album, it was pressure. But, it made a fucking diamond ass album. I’m talking about the best album in the world that ever happened... I’m just proud of myself.
What was the inspiration behind the title?
Stacked, it can mean several things. Your bank accounts’ stacked, your body’s stacked... But, in reality, there’s layers to it. I want people to get to know the things I been through. My dreams are stacked, problems stacked, goals stacked. There’s just so many things that’s stacked. I wanted the title of my album to mean something more than one thing and Stacked is perfect.
How would you say Stacked differs from other projects you’ve released in the past and what are some new wrinkles longtime fans can expect?
Versatility. When I say layers, I mean it’s different sounds, different vibes, different flows. It’s different. I feel like this, compared to the rest of my projects... I’m grown. I look at things different, life is different from then. So, I need to give them that new me, overall. It’s different producers. I’m not doing a lot of remixes no more. It solidified me in the game for sure.
The production on this project conveys an array of moods. How would you describe your process when picking what tracks to rhyme over?
The tracks talk to me. Sometimes, I’ll already have inspiration for a song and I know how I want the beat to sound, so I’ll call up a certain producer. Or sometimes I’ll come in and then I listen to beats, and that’s where I get my inspiration from. So, it’s a process. It’s different processes that I use making a songs and choosing beats, so it just all depends.
What are some of the themes you touch on, on this album?
Everything. I talk about how all these guys are all the same. I talk about female empowerment. I talk about me doing too much. I give you guys an autobiography in ‘KD Diary,’ which is my intro, I let everybody know who I am. ‘Ready Set,’ real inspirational. ‘Kitten,’ talking about these dog niggas out here... I kind of touch bases on everything that a woman would want to talk about, that you want to talk about.
‘Ready Set’ features Big Sean, one of your more frequent collaborators. How did the both of you initially meet and how would you describe the creative chemistry between you two?
That’s my dog, that’s the hometown hero, that’s my people. I grew up watching him come up and to see how far he has come is very inspirational to my career, coming from Detroit, as well. So, anytime I work with Sean, it’s inspirational. He’s just a beautiful person inside and out. Our relationship is solid.
Another song from the album that has caught a heavy buzz is ‘Kitten,’ which features Lil Wayne. How did that collaboration come together and how did it feel to be on a track with one of the greatest rappers of this generation?
When I heard that song, it was one of those... ‘That’s a song, that’s for an artist.’ And I was like, ‘I need somebody that’s gonna spit’ and Lil Wayne, he can do nothing wrong. So, I asked Wayne ‘cause I met him in Detroit. So, when I found that song and I made it, I sent it to him and that feels amazing. He just rocked with my music, he rocked with the way I rap, plus I love his daughter and we just got a good relationship. And I feel so amazing, again. That’s something to feel amazing about.
Other features include Summer Walker, Teyana Taylor, and Trey Songz. What was it like working with each of those artists and what made you reach out to them in particular to appear on the album?
I’m a fan of everyone. I’m a fan fan, like I really like their music. So, when I was making my songs, I heard them and I reached ‘cause we’re all cool. Like me and Tey, that’s my sis. So, I just sent them the songs and they got it back to me and I was like, ‘Shit, it’s amazing.’ ‘Cause I was on the road, I couldn’t get in the studio [with them], so I sent them the song and they aced it like I know they would [laughs].
Detroit is known for producing elite lyricists like Eminem, Royce Da 5’9, Big Sean, Elzhi and others. Did coming up in the area with those hometown heroes influence you to hone in on your own skills as a lyricist?
Yeah, of course! You gotta think about who you’re talking. You’re talking about Eminem, Royce Da 5’9, Big Sean. Those are like three of the top rappers ever. Hell yeah, I’m like, ‘I ain’t about to come out the D with them petty ass bars, I’m bout rap (laughs)! That’s what I’m bout to do and that’s what I did. I mean, I’m influenced by those guys. That’s what I grew up listening to.
The city is also known as one of the roughest in America, and has been plagued with criminal activity and violence over the years. How would you say growing up in that environment molded you, as a person and an artist?
I feel like it made me as real as I am. Like, I’m raw, I’m unapologetic, it’s like I done seen it all. I feel like that’s why I know how to own my respect. You’re gonna give me respect, period, ain’t nothing to talk about. I ain’t gonna disrespect you, you ain’t gonna disrespect me. Coming from Detroit, I don’t mess with nobody if you don’t mess with me, and I just give off that demeanor. That’s just who I am, a little diamond in the rough.
On a brighter note, one artist who you’ve clicked with is Meek Mill, who you opened up for on ‘The Motivation Tour’ earlier this year. What’s the backstory between your friendship with him and how would you describe your experience on the tour?
Meek a real one, so it was real fun. Our relationship, it’s real. We’re real cool. I used to steal his Ace of Spade and food ‘cause I wanted it, and he let me do it.
What message do you hope fans walk away with after hearing Stacked and what do you think they will learn about you as a person?
I think they’ll walk away with knowing that I’m a lyricist. I can make all types of music. I don’t want them to put me in a box. I want them to accept me as an artist overall.