For a rising hip-hop star, Kilo Kish cuts an unassuming profile. Born Lakisha Robinson, the Brooklyn-based artist introduced us to her laid-back style last year with her debut EP ‘HomeSchool’. Produced by Odd Future offshoot The Internet, she established her conversational flow and cozy, relatable world. With tracks like ‘Crosstown’ and ‘You’re Right’, Robinson sounds like your friend who’s a little too shy to be the life of the party, but is tough enough to handle heartbreak. Her songs revolve around the everyday – guys who can’t commit, small pleasures and anxieties – and she raps like she’s writing in her diary, though she’s actually taking notes on her phone.
In February, Robinson followed up ‘HomeSchool’ with a mixtape entitled ‘K+’. She earned plenty of high profile pals to collaborate with her, including Star Slinger, SBTRKT, Childish Gambino, Nick Hook, A$AP Ferg and Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt. Though the New York Times, Spin and the FADER had already ensured Robinson wasn’t short on buzz, ‘K+’ presents the songs that will propel her even further. The beats are punchier and she sounds more sure of herself, though she’s no less confessional. ‘Better’’s tale of rejection hits close to home, while ‘Goldmine’ perfectly sums up what it’s like when having a crush is still fun.
Robinson’s New York ambitions weren’t always in music. The Orlando, Florida, native originally moved north for school, first at the Pratt Institute and then the Fashion Institute of Technology. Along the way, she began recording raps for fun, became Kilo Kish, and found herself the toast of the scene. Her background in visual art remains apparent; she debuted ‘K+’ as an installation featuring her notes and messages from the recording process.
At just twenty-two, Robinson still has plenty to explore. With a sharp mind and multi-faceted vision, she’s sure to keep making compelling work. Just don’t be surprised if her next big project is a painting instead of a mixtape.
Words: Katie Chow
Photography: Dom Smith
What: Floaty, personable talk-rapping that doesn’t take itself too seriously
Get 3 songs: ‘Goldmine’, ‘Ghost’, ‘Crosstown’
Unique fact: She has modelled for Penguin and Levi’s.