Rappers might want to blow up "overnight," and thanks to social media and YouTube it's easier now than ever before, but rarely are they ready for the lights, cameras and action once their moment in the sun arrives.
Just ask recent XXL Freshman selection Kamaiyah, who says she was not at all prepared for the waves of acclaim and attention she received after releasing her debut mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, in March 2016.
"When I dropped my first mixtape, I didn't think it was going to be as well-received as it was. And it was frightening for me," Kamaiyah told XXL for her Freshman cover profile. "I'm not technically ready. I'm in here, drunk every night, making all these records, just to make me feel good because of what I'm going through. Are they going to understand that? Are they going to understand the production? The different-ness of the records I'm putting out? So, when it started getting well-received, it scared me."
Kamaiyah, who has been publically battling depression for years, should be commended for being honest about her star turn. Anyone can say that when their moment finally arrives—if, it ever arrives—they will be ready and know exactly how to handle themselves, but increased attention also means increased criticism and scrutiny. Unfortunately, the two go hand-in-hand.
The page will soon turn on the next chapter of Kamaiyah's career when the Bay Area emcee releases her major label debut, Don't Ever Get It Twisted, later this year.