When you think the words “west coast rapper,” a handful of names come to mind, but one you shouldn’t forget is Kamaiyah. She’s an Oakaland based rapper that easily brings back old school west coast vibes. Recently covering XXL magazine for this year’s freshman class and dropping her music video for the track, ‘Build You Up,’ Kamaiyah has paved a lane for herself ultimately separating herself from other female rappers in her generation by recreating a sound and adding her own twist.
After releasing her debut mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto, with the standout track “How Does It Feel,” last year, Kamaiyah kept the hype going with a feature on Drake and YG’s “Why You Always Hatin.” In the video, she was able to change regular stereotypes on the power dynamic by flipping the switch. She was at the head of the table, on a throne of some sort, as a shirtless, muscled man rubs her foot, while another pours her champagne. This was one of the first times, besides being a tomboy, that Kamaiyah showed the world she was different from her counterparts.
Kamaiyah’s purpose as the tomboy girl of the female rap group seems to be to show that women can be normal and still be beautiful. Majority of her music uplifts people. For example, on her latest track “Build You Up,” Kamaiyah raps,
“ Queen is a queen of all things
Respected by all means, uplifted by all kings, na’ mean?
If he don’t show you love then he’s less than
Never stress it, tell that brother get to steppin’
The message is if he’s real enough to build you up
Then he should really love, and try to build you up, sho’nough”
Some of her biggest influencers are those from 90s R&B and rap. Her most recent mixtape includes a sample from SWV’s “Always on My Mind.” While containing a track named after Biggie’s “Mo Money Mo Problems,” as well as K.P. & Envyi’s 1998 single, “Swing My Way.”
Kamaiyah is a west coast female rapper that makes feel good uplifting music. It’s about having a good time and being proud of your accomplishments, Kamaiyah finds away to be humble about coming from nothing while still being able to flaunt a little with your friends and be proud. She makes it okay to just be normal and be yourself.