TGS Speaks to Hip Hop’s Young KaiiBy the TGS team on December 1, 2010
Recently Top Gay Songs met up-and-coming hip hop artist Young Kaii. After watching her video, “I am Young Kaii,” (watch it here, it’s great) we knew that we better speak to her now before she hits it big and won’t have time to return our calls. She is currently in the process of finishing her album. In the meantime, check out our interview.
Which artists got you into rap and hip hop? Which LGBT artists influenced you?
The first song I heard when I fell in love with hip hop was, The Notorious B.I.G and Puff Daddy’s “More Money, More Problems.” Every time the music video would come on I would move everything in the living room, and start dancing like there was no tomorrow. I think Lady Ga Ga is a huge motivator to our community which has definitely helped me feel proud to be different.
Considering the prejudice toward LGBT folks by many rap and hip hop artists, did you ever find it difficult to enjoy that type of music?
Hip hop started really blowing up around the early 90’s. I was still very young when I started listening to hip hop, I was more of a fan of the beat than the words. Now that I’m older and understand, lyrics are way more important to me I think that it’s ignorant when an artists uses the words “gay” or “faggot” in their bars. As a LGBT artist I find it a little humorous and pointless because, we have all these major artists who are gay along with people in general who are proud to be gay. So at the end of the day, what does that bar really mean?
Has there been any progress with rap and hip hop toward LGBT folks? Any thoughts on Eminem using slurs, but claiming to have no issue with gay folks?
If there has been any progress I definitely haven’t seen it, and don’t think I ever will. Because rappers have been using that form of expression for so long, I don’t think they realize how ignorant it is. Eminem is actually one of my favorite rappers, and I think that any man that can wear a skirt in a music video more than once is gay-friendly to me. Plus music is made for people to enjoy. One example is: Jim Jones not getting along with Jay-Z; however he made a comment about how he really liked one of Jay-Z’s songs.
Is your family supportive of your sexuality and your career?
Like all straight parents, of course they would prefer their son or daughter to be straight. However, really good parents will love their son or daughter no matter what. My parents are really good parents. Although my parents already knew, they wanted to hear it from me. As my mother started giving me hints by saying, “I don’t care if you want to be with a man or a woman, you are still my daughter no matter what,” that’s when I told them.
When did you get your big break?
When I started being myself and introduced myself as a proud LGBT artist to the community.
Which other LGBT rap and hip hop artists do you associate with?
I always try to be different, therefore I like to work with LGBT artists outside the hip hop genre. Right now I’m working with an LGBT hip hop artist from California who goes by the name of ADDIQUIT. She is very talented and very original. We haven’t released anything yet due to her being busy touring and me been busy working on my album. However, it’s definitely going to happen. I’ve also been working with a very talented LGBT R&B singer from London; her name is Courtney Bennette. I want to help her be heard so I’m featuring her on my album.
Any interesting stories you’d like to share?
I’ve always been a huge fan of mainstream music. I’ve been in and out the game for eight years working with, and surrounded by people that thought they knew what was best for me. They used to to tell me how I needed to dress and what I needed to rap about if I wanted to make it in the industry. Then one time I said, “if I’m going to do this, I need to choose a path now,” since I felt like I was standing at a fork in my life. All it took was for me to just be myself. Since then I’ve been seeing major progress, and more doors have opened up for me. I’ve learned that if you don’t live your life being yourself you’ll never live a happy life.