Teenage Girls, Rap Music and Why Kitty Pryde is the Savior
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At the end of January, a 19-year-old white girl from Florida dropped her latest project.
Kitty (formerly Kitty Pryde) raps about wetting the bed, relates the pain of unrequited love and getting unfollowed on Twitter, and even offers her own rendition of Wu Tang's "C.R.E.A.M." (which reveals her struggles with anxiety rashes). Needless to say, this mixtape irked hip-hop's inner circle of "heads," among others, to no end.
These unlikely topics coupled with her laissez-faire recording style have raised hackles among those who still stratify human experiences in strictly black and white terms like "important" and "unimportant." In hip-hop, a genre founded expressly to give to the voiceless, it seems odd that the old vanguard has reacted with such resistance to mutant strains like Kitty and other artists of her ilk.
Teenage girls are among the most embattled groups in society and where is their voice? Plenty of voices speak to them -- marketers, media outlets, magazines, advertising. The women in the music industry who speak to teenage girls include a 28-year-old pop star like Katy Perry, who essentially equates the concept of a teenage dream to a wet dream. Meanwhile, she insists she's not a feminist. No shit.
But who speaks for teenage girls? Who tells the terrors of deciphering text messages from crushes, navigating sexual behavior and finding self-esteem in a world increasingly riddled with negative, harmful messages? Kitty once described her songs as diary entries, and they sound very much like confessionals. Her vocal curlicues feel like the doodles of a teenage girl's handwriting, while her level of honesty is at times almost an affront to the unexpecting ear. But her rhymes are