The Internet nearly exploded yesterday when Kitty Pryde, an ambiguously teenaged white girl from Daytona Beach, Florida, released the music video for her month-old song, "Okay Cupid." In it, she fawns over celeb crush Danny Brown, drinks PBR, hits up Google Images, and expresses a general carefree adolescence while the cameras roll at her friend's yard sale.
The rhymes are amateur—and she knows it—but her juxtaposition with the "standards" of rap music, combined with the "is she in on the joke?" speculation is what makes her presence so damn captivating. A few hours after the video dropped, we got on the phone with Kitty to talk about how she's handling all the attention, as well as the hate.
Interview by Ernest Baker (@newbornrodeo)
Complex: Where are you coming from? Where do you work?
Kitty Pryde: I work at Claire’s.
That’s pretty trill. And you live in Daytona Beach?
This is all hilarious. This entire thing is hilarious.
Are you 17? That’s what the Internet is saying today, but I know you said you like to be mysterious about it. Can you confirm that?
I don’t know. I haven’t really decided yet what I want to do about that. When I do decide to tell everybody how old I am, maybe it won’t even be a big deal. Maybe everybody won’t even care, but I think at this point it might be a big thing. I have talk to my manager about it now. Now it’s like a big deal. “Is Kitty Pryde legal?” [Laughs.]
It’s always a thing. People are especially hard on girls about age.
Yeah, there was a blog that thought I was literally 13. I thought that was hilarious. I’m 13? That’s just a joke among my friends because they’re all older than me. To some people I’m 13. I said that [I was], now, it’s a big huge speculation and I think it’s hilarious. This is all hilarious. This entire thing is hilarious.
Yeah, I imagine it is pretty funny for you. You’re in high school, right?
I am not going to confirm or deny that. [Laughs.]
Wow. You are like completely…
You seem very self-aware. You know things have the potential to get crazy really soon, as opposed to three months ago when it was probably still silly Tumblr shit.
Honestly, it was just a joke. It was just a big joke and after [producer] Beautiful Lou saw it... I mean, at first, I wanted everybody to be in on the joke. I was like, “Everyone listen to this! Isn’t this hilarious? Isn’t this funny?” My friends were all into real hip-hop culture, so they weren’t really taking it seriously and they’d be like, “Wow, you’re terrible at this, but it’s cute.” Now, people are getting really mad about it. You know when people start to get mad about stuff, that’s when it starts to get real. Now, I guess people are mad about it, so whatever. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe, I’ll get to hang out with someone famous and then it will be cool.
My friends were all into real hip-hop culture, so they weren’t really taking it seriously and they’d be like, 'Wow, you’re terrible at this, but it’s cute.' Now, people are getting really mad about it.
How are you handling that? I’m sure you got a lot of Tumblr questions and your Twitter mentions are in shambles. Does the mean shit really get to you or piss you off at all? Does the nice shit gas you? How do you feel?
It was actually… I don’t know. It didn’t really hit me for a while. I had to go to work right after the video was posted. I got called in to cover for someone. You know, Claire's emergency, so obviously that was very urgent. [Laughs.] They were like, “Can you come in for three hours?” OK, good. These crucial first three hours I don’t have to sit and see what is going on. I was kind of unplugged. But then, one of my friends literally called my store to tell me Earl Sweatshirt dissed me on Twitter. I was like, “Oh my God. What is going on on the Internet right now? What am I missing?” I figured it must have been something really big.
I really haven’t looked at everything yet because the first thing that I did was get on my Facebook and I had so many messages and notifications and stuff. I just really didn’t want to even look because I didn’t want to know and I didn’t want to know who was saying mean things. Some mean things have gotten through and I got like a few hundred Tumblr followers today and I had to turn off the anonymous thing because I didn’t want anybody to say anything horrible. I don’t know, I haven’t really seen anything too bad. I guess Noz, who, truthfully, I didn’t know who that was. I had to ask some people to find out who he was. And then I realized, “Oh man, he doesn’t like me.” That’s probably really bad if I ever want to be a legitimate hip-hop artist. But I guess I didn’t really go for that anyway. It’s OK. Other than that, I didn’t see anything that hurt my feelings. I think it’s really funny. When people say mean things online, it’s kind of like, ‘Why bother? Did it bother you that much that you had to talk about it?'
What about the people who really like it and are intrigued? How does it feel to be getting that positive attention?
It’s really cool. It’s fun. But after a little bit, it depends on who it is. I got all these followers on Twitter when I was gone. When I came back, I had like 300 more and I was like, “What? Who are all these people?” Then I started scrolling down through it and I started to notice people that were verified who are following me. Like, Kilo Kish is following me now. And I was like, “Oh my God, Kilo Kish.” It’s very exciting when famous people that I’ve idolized talk about me and stuff and like me. When it’s just people who just kind of like blend in, I’m like, “I don’t know this person.” You are just a faceless person on the Internet, so it’s like a little bit weird that they know things about me. Like, they’ve seen me, but I’ve never seen them. It kind of freaks me out a little, but in a good way. I like it.
I don’t really know how the music industry works. Maybe I’ll start making money somehow. But as of right now, I’ve made literally $25 off of Bandcamp
You’ve said that this is a joke and you’ve put it out there, saying stuff like, “I am a terrible lyricist. My music is bad.” And then you say shit like, “Fuck, what if my next song isn’t good or doesn’t blow up like ‘Okay Cupid’?” So, where do you stand as far as wanting to be a real artist?
For the most part, my general attitude is that it’s just like, it’s funny. It’s fun for me. It’s a joke. Anytime I make a song, it’s because something funny happened or something cool happened and I’m writing about it, you know what I mean? It ended up being a joke and I just had fun doing it. Every so often, like, I guess the day that I tweeted about being worried that my next song isn’t going to be as big of a deal, I was doing an interview with these people who were very intimidating. I was like, “Oh my God, I am interviewing with someone. What if this cool stuff just stopped happening one day? What if I fuck up and everything in my life stops being exciting as it is?” But then I realized before I started getting people to look at my dumb songs on the Internet, I definitely had a fun life anyway. It’s not like it’s going to affect me negatively if I make a song that’s not good. And plus, it’s not how I make money. So I think since I’m not trying to make money or anything, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not like I am going to lose my job or anything.
Well, you probably have the opportunity to make some money off of music in the coming months. At this very moment, you’re working at Claire’s. Did you have something else that you were working towards? Like, did you want to be a movie director? A model?
[Laughs.] No. I always wanted to work at the corporate part of Universal Studios. It’s not a very girly, kid, head-in-the-clouds goal, but it seems like a lot of fun. That’s where I was heading with my life before all this happened. I don’t really know what’s going to happen now. It certainly doesn’t seem like I’ll make a career out of music. I don’t really know how the music industry works. Maybe I’ll start making money somehow. But as of right now, I’ve made literally $25 off of Bandcamp since I had it so that’s all.
How do you feel about the attention from guys? There’s like a semi-creepy, obsessive vibe to some of it. There’s a lot of nerdy dudes who see someone like you blowing up on YouTube and start crushing. And you see all the comments, “Oh, I’m in love with her.”
[Laughs.] That’s so weird!
I always thought I was super unattractive but if all these people think I’m cute, maybe I might be cute? My dad was like, 'Don’t let it go to your head, dude.' I’ll try.
How is that? Especially in an era when you have girls thirsting out on Facebook and Instagram who crave that male attention. As someone who doesn’t appear to be soliciting it, it has to feel a way when there’s like threads of dudes talking about how hot you are.
That’s so fucking weird to me. Honestly, I don’t even think… When I see the tweets, “Kitty is so cute!” I really thought I looked horrible in that video. I was like, “Oh my God. My face is broken out. My hair looks so gross.” I don’t even want to do this. I don’t even want people to see me looking like that. I think that the girls who post things on Instagram just for boys liking them, I think they have kind of like… I don’t know. That is like the opposite of me. I don’t know. I guess I like the attention. That’s pretty cool. I’m sure you are going to quote me in a weird way that’s going to make me look a total butthead that I said that. [Laughs.]
I never do that with anybody.
Okay, good. Not in a butthead way, but it’s really flattering. I always thought I was super unattractive but if all these people think I’m cute, maybe I might be cute? My dad was like, “Don’t let it go to your head, dude.” I’ll try.
What type of girl are you in school? Do people treat you differently in the halls at school?
I kind of started doing music more so when I started getting more attention. I met a lot of people because they were people who wanted to book shows with me. Mainly in Daytona Beach, but there’s not much of a music scene there. It’s kind of a hardcore, punk scene. And they are not very interested, so I never really played shows. I didn’t really think it was a thing that I could do. And I didn’t think anyone would really care anyway. And then I met a lot of people in Orlando, which isn’t very far. They would always want to book shows. I would go and book shows and I would meet all of these new people. I met people who had a lot more in common with me with the music stuff, so I’ve been hanging out with them more.
Only a few of my friends even watched it. So, I think it’s really weird. I don’t understand. If any of my friends were like getting some very crazy, random amount of popularity, I would be excited for them. My friends are just like mad or something.
And also, my friends kind of stopped... They don’t talk to me as much as they did before. The ones that I actually see all the time, they are not interested. And they never ever want to bring it up or anything like that. They don’t want to talk about it. Like today, there’s only been like three or four of my friends that I see a lot that actually said anything about me online like the video. Only a few of my friends even watched it. So, I think it’s really weird. I don’t understand. If any of my friends were like getting some very crazy, random amount of popularity, I would be excited for them. My friends are just like mad or something.
Does it seem like apathy because that’s the type of people they are, they don’t give a fuck about whatever? Or do you honestly feel a little bit of jealousy directed towards you?
I think it would make sense for people to be jealous, I just don’t think that they are. I think they just don’t care. I think it just really doesn’t affect them, so it doesn’t really matter. Maybe they are just thinking about—I don’t know, there are more important things to think about than a video on the Internet. [Laughs.] That was a very profound quote.
As someone who said Earl was an influence, his diss or whatever, it was sort of passive. He retweeted Noz saying some shit, you know?
Yeah, but it still hurt my feelings. [Laughs.] Of all the people that could possibly say anything mean about me. Obviously, I am a teenage girl here. I am gonna read into every single thing that you say. And I am going to take it to heart, because that is who I am. I am full of hormones and I can’t help it. But like, Earl Sweatshirt has been like my rap idol ever since I first heard him years ago. When I heard that, why couldn’t it have been Tyler? Why couldn’t it have been anybody but Earl? I mean, come on. That kind of stung. It wasn’t even that big of deal. Technically, it didn’t even say, “He doesn’t like me.” It was kind of like…
It was like if you’re going to support Kitty, make sure you’re not overlooking Kilo.
Yeah. And when Kilo came out with her EP or whatever, her mixtape, or whatever that was, I was like, “Oh my god, I am never going to be anything close to this girl.” I’ve been listening to Kilo Kish. I love her. I think she is amazing. So, I don’t know. I wasn’t too upset about it, but I was like, “Oh my God, Earl. Come on, Earl. I just wanted you to love me.”
Of all the people that could possibly say anything mean about me... Earl Sweatshirt has been like my rap idol ever since I first heard him years ago. When I heard that, why couldn’t it have been Tyler?
Is the rap game stressful?
First of all, it’s a constant stream of being asked to collab, which is cool and really nice and I think it’s really flattering. But, it’s also from people that I have never seen before. I’ve never met them and they send me their music. I don’t have time. I am a really busy person. I don’t have time to listen to all this music. And if I don’t answer them, then they get really offended and they start to talk shit to me. I’m just like, “Come on, this is completely unwarranted. Where did this come from?” And the other thing that’s stressful is having a manager telling you what I need to be doing like, “Kitty, you need to make a song. When are you coming out with a song?” Obviously, I am going to have to come out with more songs otherwise everybody is going to forget about it. Being told when things need to be done by is crazy stressful because I am very, very bad at deadlines, so that’s the worse part.
Outside of the collabs for music, is there any weird stuff you’ve been hit up about?
Do you mean in regards to anything? I have been asked for some crazy shit lately.
Yeah, in regards to anything.
Well, I’ve been asked... It’s weird when people are asking me for pictures of my feet. I don’t know where that came from. I don’t know who he was or anything. I am getting beats. Everybody in the world has sent me beats. I have gotten so many beats. I don’t understand what I am going to do with all these beats. I keep getting asked to go to New York City and do things in New York City. I mean, that’s cool, but I’m not old enough to pick up and go to New York City on my own. The coolest part is people are asking me to wear their clothing brand, which is exciting because you get free clothes. People ask for everything.
Has anyone been like extra explicit or forward with you? Expanding on the whole crush thing that dudes are having or whatever—have dudes ever gotten out of pocket?
Yeah. There have been some really explicit messages and they are always anonymous. These people–I don’t know if they’re joking–maybe it’s somebody trying to creep me out, but I’ve been around the Internet awhile so I am kind of desensitized to it because I am always on it that much. People are always leaving weird, anonymous things. Like, “I want to…” Oh God, I don’t even know. I don’t even want to say this. I don’t want to be quoted on these terrible things because my mom reads all of my interviews and she Googles me, so I don’t want her to see it. But yeah. Honestly, there’s people who leave me very scary things. Sometimes, they will add me on Facebook and they send me pictures of them naked and stuff. Well, that’s cool. Thank you. I will just print this out and put this on my wall. That’s just what I wanted.
Sometimes, they will add me on Facebook and they send me pictures of them naked and stuff. Well, that’s cool. Thank you. I will just print this out and put this on my wall. That’s just what I wanted.
You said you’re busy. What are you busy with? Not to make assumptions that you don’t have a life or something. But what are you doing?
[Laughs.] I work a lot. I have a job. I also like to make art, so I sell the things that I paint online and people order it a lot now and it's very time consuming. I have a lot responsibilities, I guess, with my friends and my family. I’m always like, “I have to go here. I have to go do this and be at this person’s show.” I think being in the middle of the music scene is the thing that makes me the busiest because I always feel obligated to go to certain shows and there’s always a show I want to be at. I spend a lot of time on that. And lately, I have been spending way too much time worrying about this music shit. That’s actually what’s making me the busiest, but I don’t like to think what I do is sit on Twitter and read all my replies. It’s not that kind of busy. It’s actually trying to make things.
Are you a real redhead?
I was actually hoping you were going to say no.
Why? I mean, I am not going to lie. I could lie. I could see people getting in big arguments about it and bitching at me about it. I am not even going to lie, man. I dye my hair red.
I just had this random conversation today about how, like, Emma Stone isn’t a natural redhead. Christina Hendricks isn’t. All these famous redheads these days are not.
No, I am way more mysterious about my age.
You’re either like 16 or 17. Is it that complicated, really?
It’s more just like, I don’t know. I think depending on how you interpret what I do, it changes depending how old you think I am. Obviously, the people who thought I was 13 were like, “This is horrible. I can’t believe this 13-year-old is using such language and talking about drinking.” I was like, “Oh my God.” So, I think just seeing things. I think it’s hilarious. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll tell everybody. I’m sure you’ll hear about it.
I guess you’ll just tweet it one day and it will be a big deal. Because I’m like, if you’re going to tell some guy tomorrow, just tell me today.
OK. I’m not going to tell anybody tomorrow. I am going to have a really in-depth discussion with my manager before I tell anybody. But honestly, I can’t believe nobody has figured it out yet. Nobody has gone through… It’s really obvious if you, like, look. You can find it. It’s not hard. But people haven’t done it yet. I’m surprised someone I know in real life hasn’t sold me out.
I have this Danny Brown thing. It’s probably even bigger than my Justin Bieber thing. But he doesn’t really text me back that much, but today he did. I was very excited. It made my day. I don’t know how he feels about me. I just love him. I think he knows that I am just creepily obsessed with him.
So, how is your relationship with Danny Brown? Are you guys like BFFs yet?
Oh my God. In my dreams, dude. He gave me his number one time and I don’t know if he knew who I was at that point or he was just like, “Oh, this girl is cute. Here, have my number.” But, I have this Danny Brown thing. It’s probably even bigger than my Justin Bieber thing . But he doesn’t really text me back that much, but today he did. I was very excited. It made my day. I don’t know how he feels about me. I just love him. I think he knows that I am just creepily obsessed with him. Maybe, he is just shy about it or maybe he is used to it. I don’t know.
What’s your crush? Why do you like that dude so much?
He is incredibly talented. He is totally my favorite rapper ever. He is just really charismatic and he is just weird and he really doesn’t fucking care about most things everybody talks about and cares about. The way that he talks, the way that he acts, the way that he does everything. I think it’s mostly his charisma.
And then, what’s it with Bieber?
[Laughs.] I don’t know. Justin Bieber is like, I never really cared about him until I saw that movie Never Say Never. And I was like, “Oh my God. This is the most inspiring thing I have ever seen in my life.” And ever since I saw how he came up I was in love with him. I was like, “Oh my God.” I cried. At the end of that movie, I was like sobbing. My brother was like, “What is the matter with you?” But, I just thought he was great. Ever since then, I have just been watching him grow up and it’s just so cute. I just want to be a part of it, but I never will.
How was that video shoot for “Okay Cupid?”
[Laughs.] Very unprofessional.
Apparently, some dude just like showed up to your house or a friend’s yard sale. Do you want to run through…
He was friends with [my manager] Walker. He’s from Boston and he shot a lot of videos and stuff. He is a really good photographer so I just saw his videos like, “Oh this is cool.” He e-mailed me, “I am going to be down for vacation next week.” This is like the day “Okay Cupid” came out. He was like, “I want to shoot a video for you. I’m going to be in Florida next week.” He was like two hours away. He drove like two hours with his girlfriend in tow to come to my house and to shoot that
I was just sitting at home alone and I was like, “I don’t want to be alone with this random guy at my house. That’s so scary. What if he kills me?” So, I called one of my friends and was like, 'Can I come over? And have this video shoot at your house?' She was like, 'Yeah, sure. I am having a yard sale right now but if you want to do it at the yard sale, that’s fine.'
video. We had no idea what we were going to do. He was like, “I don’t know. We’ll just wing it.” I thought, “OK, whatever.” Because I don’t really like to think about logistics of things, either. I was like, “Sure, we’ll figure it out.” But when the time came to do it, I hadn’t really planned anything out. I was just sitting at home alone and I was like, “I don’t want to be alone with this random guy at my house. That’s so scary. What if he kills me?” So, I called one of my friends and was like, “Can I come over? And have this video shoot at your house?” She was like, “Yeah, sure. I am having a yard sale right now but if you want to do it at the yard sale, that’s fine.” I was like, “Oh my God, this is going to be the worst thing ever.”
And we just did it. And the people ended up being really cool and now we are really good friends. And so it worked out for the best. But, I mean, yeah it was random and my friends are not particularly well-groomed in that video because they weren’t really expecting it. [Laughs.] I think they are kind of not very happy with it being this popular right now because they didn’t really have time to get ready or anything.
But that’s cool. So what’s next? You were talking about how your manager was getting on you about writing another song. Do you have another great one in the mix or a sick video idea?
I don’t really like to sit around and decide, “What is going to get me the most hits on YouTube?” Because if I think that way, then it’s gonna be really lame and it’s just gonna turn into an everybody else fame. I have been working on a song, and by working, every so often a lyric will come into my head so I’ll just text them to myself and that’s how I work, I guess. It’s a very unprofessional way to go about it but I’ve been working on this song and it’s kind of a lot like “Okay Cupid.” I feel like once I post it somewhere, people are going to be like, “Oh, she can’t do anything else.” Whatever. Whatever they want to say. I have one song. It was produced by one of my friends and it’s not going to be one big huge Beautiful Lou deal. I also have a four-song EP that is going to come out and it’s produced by only Beautiful Lou. That will be out soon-ish, hopefully.
Are the labels knocking yet?
No. [Laughs.] Actually, I don’t really know because everybody just e-mails my manager. And every so often he’ll be like, “Oh, by the way, I got this e-mail from this incredibly important, exciting person.” Wow, thanks for telling me now. So, I don’t really know. I have to ask him. I haven’t been really worried about it because I feel like having a label would mean more deadlines and that would be terrifying.
I think Kreayshawn is awesome. She is really hot and she is really cool. She makes cool videos... She’s like the popular girl at school. I think people are comparing me to her because we are both little white girls. Little white girls online.
There are the inevitable Kreayshawn comparisons. How do you feel about her? It seems like you’ve taken some thinly-veiled shots at her.
I feel very bad about that, actually. There is one song. I know, that’s what you’re talking about. Maybe that’s what you’re talking about. But there’s one song that says, “I can go harder than Gucci Gucci/ Louie Louie/ Fendi Fendi/Prada.” And like, now I am like, “Wow. I really hope she doesn’t hear that and think I am talking shit about her because that’s not what I was doing at all.” That song I wrote just because I didn’t think people were cool to it except for the people I was shouting out. That’s why there are so many people in it because it was just a shout-out thing. Now, I feel super bad. I think Kreayshawn is awesome. She is really hot and she is really cool. She makes cool videos. She’s like this really cool… She’s like the popular girl at school. I think people are comparing me to her because we are both little white girls. Little white girls online. That’s only the real similarities we have. We talk about different stuff and we go about things way differently. She is also way better at dressing herself than I am. There’s that. But I think she is cool, and I don’t want her to ever think I was talking shit about her. I am sorry Kreayshawn, I didn’t mean it!
Has this boyfriend figure that you’ve mentioned finally heard “Okay Cupid”? Have you let him in on the whole thing?
Now, everyone that he’s friends with is bugging him about it. “Hey, you know this song is about you, right?” Now he’s like, “Alright, I have to listen to it.” He really hadn’t heard this at all. I feel like it’s cute. I didn’t want to ask him about it. I feel like he is the one person that can escape it. Everybody else kind of brings it up a lot and he doesn’t.
You mention your dad a lot. What are his thoughts on your career?
Today, I asked about the video. “So Dad, what song is this video for?” He was like, “The ‘Cupid’ one.” I was like, “Alright, name five of my songs.” He was like, “The ‘Cupid’ one and then the other one.” I was like, “Alright, forget it.” He’s not into it. He has come to my shows before because I have forced him to. Because I was like, “I don’t want to go by myself, but I don’t want to bring any of my friends because I might embarrass myself, so you have to come." He was like, “Alright. Fine. Whatever.” He thinks it’s cool that I am getting popular. But he doesn’t understand. Like, he doesn’t understand why. [Laughs.]
Well, I think a lot of people feel that way.
I feel like exactly the same. I don’t understand why either.
I guess it’s happening and you’ll have to deal with it.
Yeah. If I get to meet Danny Brown, then it’ll be worth it.
It probably won’t be the worst thing in the world.