Chicks Who Rap, Namely One

by Ellie McHale

How did I not know about K.FLAY? Seriously. Why did no one tell me about her sooner? I’m shaking my fist at you…

Driving home from work a week ago, the DJ said “And here is K.FLAY from Palo Alto” followed by this awesome beat leading into this chick bouncing out some words. All the while, I was thinking, “Palo Alto? For reals? That’s right next door…” Turns out she isn’t really from Palo Alto. She just studied sociology at Stanford. Really, she’s from a Chicago suburb. But, that’s not important. Fact is, she came to a great place for hip-hop. Hello? Oakland is just across the bridge (or three)! Oakland, the home of Too $hort, E40, & Tupac (for a period of time).



Anyway, the moment I got home, electric from the song I had just heard, I figured out who she is and how I could go about getting her into my life somehow. I hopped on Google Chrome (remember, I am actually a hipster) and iTunes and found her. Because she’s a smart chick, she was offering one of her EPs & a single, giving her audience either the option to pay for the EP or download it free. I’ll be honest, I’m strapped for cash most of the time, as I work retail. My money goes toward more “grownup” things like food, gas, new underwear & socks, and general bills. In that very moment, I didn’t have $4.95 to spend on an EP. A hot bowl of soup sounded equally as delightful. I was nice & liked her on Facebook, followed her on Twitter & YouTube, and shamelessly plugged the single I had heard on Live105 (the Bay Area “alternative & rock” station). And, right now, I have her self-titled EP downloading. Yes, I did actually pay for this one. This chick deserves to get paid.

I am very impressed. K.FLAY can hold a beat. She makes me want to jump around. And, her lyrics aren’t horrendous. She’s quirky and fun.

It turns out she’s part of the Treasure Island Music Festival this weekend. Every year I want to go, but never am wildly impressed by the lineup. There are only a few acts between both days that are real lures. Sure, this year is no exception, but I still am intrigued. So, I lagged. I didn’t request the time off at work. And, now I’m kicking myself. She’s joining a current favorite of mine: the xx, as well as M83, Joanna Newsom (Gavin Newsom’s niece, for you Bay Area folk), The Coup, Los Campesinos!, and Toro Y Moi. Sure, there are other acts, but those are the only ones I would take in. And, tonight, as part of the TIMF activity, K.FLAY is opening for The Presets tonight at The Independent. I’m not big into The Presets, but would have gone to see K.FLAY do her thing.

Point of the story: chicks who rap are cool. Especially when they are funny, independent, and smart. Those three attributes will get you far in life. Please, check out her stuff. And, find her on YouTube. She posts more than just music videos. If you are a hipster and haven’t already discovered her, you’ll do what’s best and put her on your iPod or iTouch or iPhone right away. If you want to get deep with your hipsterness, contact her and tell her you want to get all of her stuff on vinyl. She might have a hearty giggle at that request, but do it if all you listen to is stuff on vinyl.

K.FLAY. I heart you. Keep beatin’.