I have absolutely no idea how Kitty appeared on my radar. I do however remember that I discovered her when she was still using the name Kitty Pryde and she had just released the incredibly juvenile, yet surprisingly catchy ‘Okay Cupid‘. I casually kept up with her music for a while, namely because her casual and effortless style got stuck on my mind.
In 2013, Kitty was chosen to contribute a track to Adult Swim’s yearly singles program, in which for a certain number of weeks, a new track by a usually independent, up-and-coming, or sometimes well-known artist is released, before being compiled onto a compilation of all the singles from that series. Kitty’s ‘Barbie Jeep’ was the second track for the 2013 edition, and when it was released, one week after Run The Jewels’ ‘36″ Chain‘, and Metz’ ‘Can’t Understand‘, it instantly began to grow on me. It felt incredibly simple, yet like something that couldn’t be imitated, and it was just something I kept coming back to.
Let’s be clear though, ‘Barbie Jeep’ is in no way a poetic tour de force. This isn’t the lyrical and emotional depth of Aesop Rock, no, not at all. The track presents itself as an account of a night at the club for Kitty. While there, she appears to meet a member of the opposite sex who seems to have her in his sights. However, he lacks everything she’s after, and she lets him know this. Despite her rejection of him, she assures him that it’s completely fine if he wants to tell his friends that he got somewhere with her. With that, we’ve covered the entirety of the song. It’s short, simple, and again, more catchy and superficial than I’d like to admit.
Kitty has managed to inject numerous references to pop culture in her music over the years. In this case, she not only borrows lyrics from The Mad Conductor’s ‘Starry Safari‘, and Charli XCX’s ‘Dance 4 U‘, but she also manages to make one of the few rap songs that include the term ‘muggle’ from Harry Potter, and the ‘wingardium leviosa’ charm of flight from the same series. I do however enjoy her line early in the song, in which she suggests “I can be your Nancy, you can be my Sid.” Making reference to the real-life romance of the Sex Pistols’ bass player Sid Vicious and his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen which ended in tragedy. This line being used right at the start of the track clearly indicates this relationship isn’t going to work out. Of course, knowing this in advance could’ve saved us a total of three minutes, but hey, we’re slaves to catchy tunes.
Like almost all of her work, Kitty’s ‘Barbie Jeep’ isn’t going to win any awards for being the hip-hop track of the decade, and it certainly isn’t going to go down in history for having some of the best lyrics ever recorded, but damn it if it isn’t a catchy tune.