Kamaiyah—the 21-year-old out of High Street, Oakland who shines so hard that you can't ignore it—started recording when she was 9. Today, she celebrates her recent birthday with the release of an excellent debut mixtape, A Good Night in The Ghetto.
Good Night is a celebration of how Kamaiyah put herself on, and all she has achieved since re-focusing on rap about a year ago, after her mother kicked her out of the house they lived in together. “That was the best thing she ever did,” Kamaiyah told The FADER. “I took that money I was paying her bills with and I put it into my music. I was like, ‘Damn, should I pay my rent and my car, or take the risk?’ My brother was like, ‘If you believe in yourself, and I know you do, it’s gonna work. Just do it.’”
The tape features Kamaiyah’s Big Money Gang crew, Bay Area singer Netta Brielle, and Bay Area fan YG, whose own skit-heavy tapes have seemingly inspired a number of brilliant “Hoochie Hotline” interludes, performed by the Hyphy Hoochies. The grounded, aerobic beats come from CT Beats, Trackademicks, DJ Official, 1-O.A.K, WTF NonStop, Link Up, Drew Banga, and P-Lo.
Highlights like freaky tale “Niggas,” melting funk “Ain’t Going Home,” and gravity-defying glow-up anthem “How Does It Feel” all speak from the perspective of a person who aims to be great, does their own thing in the face of phonies, and sometimes, in their quest to break down the bullshit around themselves, gets in their own way. The spread meticulously displays that Kamaiyah has hella melodies and crazy bars, but more significantly just does what great rap does, which is serve as a source of confidence for people who might not always recognize their own.
"I wanted to make a soundtrack for the average 18-25 year old thriving, living and having a good time,” Kamaiyah said. “A Good Night in the Ghetto is a fun time with no drama and no one being hurt. That's what I want to promote. l want to promote living but also make it known that it's OK to have problems. It's not what you go through it's how you get through it. This is the soundtrack of how to get through it.” Happy summer '16! Hoochie hoo.