Vixen Q&A Vixen Q&A

The Vixen Q&A: Kilo Kish Talks Uninhibited, Generational Rebels + Respecting Odd Future's Flippant Attitude

Kilo Kish (pronounced KEY-LOW KEESH) is a mystery. Even a thorough Google search won't result in Wikipedia-sized article about about this quirky, 20-year-old Art Institute of NYC student who vocally laced "Want You Still", a track created by The Jet Age Of Tomorrow (a group nestled within the ever-growing collective Odd Future). The trippy, spaced out record launched Kilo, who is a member of hip-hop threesome Kool Kats Klub, into our radar and we caught up with the easygoing and sarcastically non-serious New Yorker. She talks to VIBE Vixen about jokingly starting her music career, why she has respect for Odd Future and why the extent of her fashion sense is comfortability. -Niki McGloster


Kilo Kish – where did you get your rap name from?

We listened to a lot of Kilo Ali at our old apartment where I lived with Justin [her manager] and another friend who I do music with, Smash Simmons. They’re from Atlanta, so we listen to a lot of Kilo Ali and they put me on to it. I kinda just fell in love with it, so they would joke around and be like “Kilo Kish” and all that. I think it was my Twitter name before it was my rap name, then I just kept it.

I like it! Do you live with the other members of Kool Kats Klub now? Smash Simmons and Mell McCloud?

I no longer live with them now, but for like a year we were all just roommates hanging out and that’s how I started doing music. Smash had the whole recording studio set up in our house, and we would just get in there late at night and hang out, have a beer and just make music. At first, I was just kidding around. I’m still just kidding around which is kind of the point.

That’s what’s so awesome. You’re just having a good time with it. Now, just to rewind a bit, when did you start wanting to record and release the music?

Well, maybe last year, I noticed that every one in New York was coming out with a mixtape. Like, everybody you met was a rapper or something, and it was funny to me. It would be really hilarious if I could go to parties and have a mixtape just to joke around and be funny, so I started doing it and then I realized why everyone does it. It’s so much fun to get in there, screw around, say whatever you want and just be you. ‘Cause I go to school for art, so I’ve always just been a painter, but I realized music is a really quick way to get out your own personality and get out your style. It’s really cathartic just to do it. The first music I have is me [when I was] even worse of a rapper hanging out and saying whatever. I was working at this store called Georgia and I would play it there, then my friends were like, ‘That’s really funny, but it’s also not bad.’

While you were joking, people were taking it seriously.

Yes, and people were like, ‘No, it’s actually pretty good!' And I just kept doing the same thing. My friends would play it at Supreme, and it’s just funny to me that people like it.

People are really into it, and I think that’s what’s good about it. It’s very organic and it just so happens that it’s good.

Yeah, and I don’t even have to try. Music is great because you can be yourself, and you don’t have to try to be like anyone else. Like, I’m not trying to be the best rapper ever; I’m not trying to compete with anyone. I’m just being myself, and that’s what makes it fun for me. When it’s not fun anymore, I’m just going to stop doing it because I’m not a musician [Laughs].

I feel you. Well, you’re featured on “Want You Still” from Journey To The 5th Echelon, and that’s what everyone is recognizing you for. Tell me, what are your affiliations to Odd Future, specifically Matt Martians and Hal Williams.

I ended up meeting with some of the guys from The Super 3, and my friend Matt who happens to be really good friends with Justin and Smash. He stayed over at our apartment one time, and I was just playing some of my music and he even jokingly was like, ‘You need to get on a song.’ Even he thought that it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal, but he just sent me a beat and was like, ‘This is yours. Do whatever you want on it,’ and that’s how “Want You Still” came about. Like, some stuff I write down, and some stuff I improvise as the song is playing, and that’s what I did with that song. He ended up really liking it and keeping it on his CD. I haven’t met any of the other guys from Odd Future ‘cause I haven’t gone out to LA and they’re not really [in NY] that much, but I feel like it all works out pretty well. The sense that I get from them is that they’re just hanging out, having fun and just being themselves, and I’m the same way. I’m not all puppies, kittens and butterflies. I’m kind of a bit dry too and really sarcastic, so it works out. [Laughs]

Swag

You’re personality definitely seems to fit with their style of music so well. I can tell that with The Jet Age Of Tomorrow, your vocals match perfectly with their spacy, futuristic beats. You fit so well that I had to double check if you were apart of the Odd Future collective.

[Laughs] No, I’m not a member, but I think they’re awesome. They’re just kids having fun, and I think that’s great. I think people should be more uninhibited to do what they want. Tyler and the whole Odd Future crew, they’re all really, really talented. I think it’s just their personalities that it comes from. A lot of rappers and musicians try to live up to this persona where you have to talk about cars and girls and champagne and shit. Odd Future is just talking about what they know about which is good. They’re not speaking on anything that they don’t know anything about, and that’s really respectable. I respect them for not caring and not giving a fuck.

Do you think the movement of "not caring" is what this generation needs?

I think every generation has their own way of standing up for themselves, you know? Every generation. Like, the 60's had their whole peace movement. Every generation has their own movement of rebellion and standing up to whatever system that they dont' agree with. There are kids all over the place who have ideas and feelings and opinions and it's not any different now; it's just easier for them to get those opinions across because we have the internet, we have Twitter, we have all these social mediums to allow you to say whatever you want, and I think it's a culmination of that more than anything.

Whoa, I understand that so much. With your own crew, Kool Kats Klub, are you expressing your own movement of rebellion?

Um, I feel like everybody has something that they have to say. Sometimes Smash will get on a track and talk about whatever he's feeling about girls or working and daily life. But it's more of us just having fun because when we're making music, it's hilarious!

How does your painting and drawing directly influence your music or vice versa?

I don’t know if they reflect on each other so much, but it all reflects me. My paintings are very expressive. I use a lot of black; I don’t use a lot of straight lines. I just flow and let it do whatever it wants to do. I let paint drip, and I’m not the neatest, geometric artist who takes the time to finesse every little thing. And it’s the same thing with music, I don’t really freak out over it. I got to school for textile design, so I’m really into patterns and prints. I want to create home products at some point. Everything. Lamp shades, bedding, everything...

How deep is your love for fashion?

I love fashion to a certain extent. I go to fashion school, so I like it. I can appreciate fashion, but at the same time, my own style is pretty simple. I like my space to be pretty simple—a clear palette to go through life with. I keep it comfortable. [Laughs]

Is there any person or particular thing that influences your style, or is it very much “wake-up-and-go”?
It’s definitely “wake-up-and-go” because I have a million jobs. Not only just school and the music, I work in restaurants and nightlife. I have to run from 9 a.m. all the way to 3 a.m. some days, so I have to be comfortable and just go from there.

And from here, this point where you are in your budding career, where do you want to go? What do you want to come from the recognition you're gaining?

Music isn't... I know that there's a lot of people that want it way more than me. With me, my passion for music grows every day, but I don't think I'll ever be at that level where there's somebody who wants it so bad. Like, they want to be on television so bad and they want everyone to hear what they have to say. I'd really like to just have something chronicling... because I don't really keep a diary or anything to help me chronicle what I'm feeling. I think that's what people sell art for. It's not just to sell paintings or make money or become famous; it's just to have a diary of yourself. And if nothing comes out of this, I'll be happy just knowing that this is how I felt when I was 19 or 20 or 21... Just to say that I did it.

Something that can show that you lived! And lastly, what other projects are you working on?

[Kool Kats Club] is going to release a few tapes on ImNotAToy.com, and I'm also working with The Super 3 from Odd Future doing a whole CD by myself. That's going to be out at the end of the summer, and we're going to call it Junior Varsity.

 

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That Glow, Tho: How To Revive Your Skin After A Brick A** Winter

Whew, chile! Freshly fallen snow may be nice to look at, but the dry skin that accompanies the winter months ain’t it. And by the time the first tulip blooms come springtime, best believe your skin—which just endured months of humidity-deprived conditions—is super parched. Pass the moisturizer, please!

“The lack of humidity during the winter months is the main cause for the ‘winter’s itch’ and dryness,” Dr. Meena Singh, board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, told VIBE Vixen over email. And let’s not forget how the shorter days rob us ladies of the melanated variety of our warm and natural glow.

Luckily, there are many ways to combat such cold weather woes, both during and after the winter.

“I personally change my regimen significantly between seasons,” Singh added. “In the winter time, I am more prone to use heavier ointments and butters. Whereas in the spring, I can typically get away with moisturizing with emollient creams and lotions.”

But that’s not all you can do to whip your skin back into shape. Looking to bring your fly and radiant self back to life? Look no further. Vixen reached out to five women of color dermatologists, who’ve shared the following tips to help you get started.

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Hydrate From Within.

How many times have you asked a woman with bomb skin what her secret is and been met with the “I drink a lot of water” response? Did you figuratively roll your eyes? We’ve been there and we get it, especially since science says genetics do play a role in how your skin behaves—but homegirl wasn’t wrong!

Dr. Fran E. Cook-Bolden, board-certified NYC dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, tells Vixen that while you may not feel as thirsty when it’s cold out, it’s still important to stay hydrated and drink your eight glasses of water a day.

“The best way to avoid dry skin in the winter is to tackle it from the inside out,” she says.

Other ways to stay hydrated? Health.com suggests eating fruits such as apples, pears, and clementines, which are all over 80% water. Plus, not only will the vitamin C content of these fruits help you ward off the flu in the winter, but they’ll also keep you cool and refreshed once the weather warms up.

We stan a multifaceted solution.

Don't Forget To Cleanse.

As important as it is to drink your eight glasses a day, it’s also important to keep up with your cleansing routine—even if you’re not sweating as much.

In fact, board-certified Chicago dermatologist Dr. Caroline Robinson tells Vixen that maintaining moisture during the harsh winter months begins with cleansing. Washing our face removes makeup, dirt, and debris from the day, preventing buildup and breakouts. This also means the expensive serums and moisturizers you’ve probably splurged on are better absorbed by the skin.

But don’t overdo it!

“I find that many patients are over-cleansing, over-exfoliating or using cleansers that are not appropriate for their skin type and this is causing excess dryness,” she added. “Using a more mild cleanser can help tremendously in the battle against dryness.”

Our dermatologist-recommended favorite? CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser Bar.

It may also help to reconsider what you’re washing with when the weather changes. Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, Medical Director of Ingleton Dermatology, adds that as the temperatures go up, your routine should become “less heavy.”

“Switch from more hydrating cleaners and oils to foamy, gel-based cleaners” and to “a lighter weight daily moisturizer,” she advises. And if you’ve been skimping on the SPF don’t—you’ll definitely need it when the sun is back in these streets.

Keeping Up With "Wash Day" Is Important, Too.

Otherwise, you may end up with a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which often appears on the scalp as a result of product buildup, but can also show up in skin folds such as behind the ears, under the breasts, etc.

“A dry, itchy and flaking scalp is very common in the winter and becomes more common as the frequency of washing the hair decreases,” Cook-Bolden tells Vixen. “When seborrheic dermatitis presents, it’s a common belief that applying scalp lotions, gels or pomades will help to treat the condition and is indeed sometimes helpful in temporarily soothing the itching and irritation.

However, as these products build up on the scalp, they can actually worsen the inflammation and overall worsen seborrheic dermatitis.”

So keep up with your hair care regimen, and if you do find yourself with a case of the seborrheic itchies, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dermatologist for an anti-inflammatory treatment.

Ceramides & Antioxidants Are Your Friends.

If you’re not familiar with ceramides and their superpowers, now’s the time to get familiar. Why? Because they can be extremely healing for desiccated skin.

As Atlanta board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Clay explains, ceramides are fats in the surface of the skin. When added to skin care products, they not only help your skin retain moisture, but they also give your skin a boost after being exposed to the elements like pollution and icy wind.

In terms of what to use, you’ll want to look for products described as “non-comedogenic,” which means a product is less likely to clog your pores. Additionally, products containing hyaluronic acid (HA) are also a win because of its ability to attract and hold water at the surface of the skin.

“I typically recommend patients keep their antioxidant serum/lotion (vitamin C) and their retinol on board no matter the season,” Clay also notes. “Over- the- counter retinols and prescription retinoids are vitamin A derived medications that most people use in a topical form.”

And they’re a major win-win. Using retinols/retinoids short term will help exfoliate your skin and give you that Kelly Rowland glow. Their long-term use helps to promote collagen production in the skin, minimizing fine lines and decreasing excess melanin production, which will even your complexion, reduce hyperpigmentation, and help reduce photo-damage.

As for vitamin C, look at it as SPF’s best friend.

“Vitamin C is an antioxidant that, when applied topically in combination with daily sun protection, decreases free-radical damage from ultraviolet exposure,” Clay shares.

Those rays don’t stand a chance.

Exfoliate, But Make It Gentle.

It may be tempting to grab the St. Ives but don’t. Instead, Clay suggests, get acquainted with chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandolin acid, or salicylic acid.

These strong but gentle powerhouses typically come labeled as AHAs and BHAs (alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid) and are way less harsh on the skin. Those over-the-counter scrubs you’re used to? They tend to leave scrapes and cuts on the skin, which can lead to inflammation and—you guessed it—hyperpigmentation... and we ain’t ask for all’at.

If you do decide to use a traditional scrub, Ingleton suggests trying Dove’s Exfoliating Body Scrub.

“This will help to slough away dry, dead cells on the surface and also hydrate/moisturize the skin in the process,” she says. “Apply a hydrating body lotion after doing the scrub.”

But again, be gentle!

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Kylie Jenner attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Kylie Jenner Doubles Down On Being Crowned A "Self Made" Billionaire

The premise of "self-made" and its interpretation when it comes to privileged celebrities has been a huge debate. When Kylie Jenner was named Forbes' youngest self-made billionaire, debates were raised due to her timeline in the limelight and her wealthy family. The 21-year-old defended her title, explaining how she doesn't fall into any ofter category.

"There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth," she said in Q&A with Interview Magazine's German edition. "That is the category that I fall under," she started.

She acknowledged how her fan base equated to her success but refuted claims that she used her family's money to jump-start her wildly successful Kylie Cosmetics line.

"Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans. I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that."

Earlier this month (March 5) the mother-of-one officially surpassed Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest person to reach billionaire status, when Kylie Cosmetics hit a billion dollars in revenue.

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'Boomerang' Episode 7 Recap: Family Matters And Pride

Bryson and Simone are a thing, like for real for real. They can’t keep their hands (or tongues) off of one another. As the two of them get steamy in the jacuzzi, a sexually riled up Simone tells her new beau that she wants to treat his face like a bean bag. They are in it, y’all. There’s just one problem — they may be half-brother and sister (insert vomit emoji here). The excitement of finally landing the girl of his dreams is shut down when he reveals that his mother, Jacqueline, informed him that Marcus Graham may be his papa. (Wait. Does that mean Marcus cheated on Angela back in the day? Regardless, what a way to ruin a mood.)

As they wait for the DNA test results, Simone and Bryson still try to be business as usual, you know, chillin’ like they used to. Speaking of business, Bryson is all that. Ari may be his boy and all, but when it comes to directing Tia’s music video, Bryson wants an Italian dude to shoot it instead. He just doesn’t believe Ari can execute. All great directors have vision and through Bryson’s eyes, Ari has none. Simone can’t help but agree. It’s obvious that Tia and her bae are not at all pleased with the video production of her single. Bro gotsta go. Tia has never been one to hold back and in a fit of frustration, she does what Simone couldn’t verbalize; she fires Ari.

Like the “big bad boss” he is, Bryson harshly tells Ari that not only will he basically fail at being a producer, but people will notice that he doesn’t belong here. Hold up. Are we sure Bryson and Ari are friends? Tough love is understandable but to completely obliterate the dreams of someone you’ve been rocking with? That’s foul. Unlike Ari, Bryson knows that he was brought up with the keys and basically helped himself to whatever role he wanted in the industry, a luxury he can afford to extend. Why not help your friend out now even with a little guidance knowing his career aspirations?

Bryson may be able to but Simone is not willing to give up on Ari just yet. She lets Ari collaborate Bryson’s pick, Shayan, who is also seemingly having a hard time capturing dope shots. A conversation with Simone about perfecting his craft leaves Ari somewhat disappointed but open to the constructive criticism.

While enjoying the Atlanta Black Pride festivities, an old filing recognizes Ari and waves him down. In catching up, the discussion quickly takes a turn to sexual orientation labels with a judgemental tone and Ari is not having it. Sure, while he was with her, he liked women but sometimes he’d rather be with a man. “Bisexual,” “Gay,” call it whatever, he just likes who he likes, refuses to be put in a box, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What is not about to happen is him being judged by a woman with five kids and three baby favas. Yikes.

That frustration instantly births inspiration. Instead of dryly shooting Tia performing with Pride weekend just happening around her, Ari points out how the world needs to see all black people not caring about what anyone has to say about them, especially when the world includes women rocking $12 jewelry. Sashayers, milly-rockers, and twerkers galore, the video shines on the culture, highlighting Kings and Queens of all shades, ages, genders, and sexualities. It’s a good time. Even Bryson can give up his props and that lead director credit to Ari. You see, Bryson? You gotta have a little faith like David always has.

Speaking of our fave pastor, unlike many Baptist churches, it’s amazing to see that David embraces and participates in the Atlanta Black Pride weekend. With the help of Crystal, David is preaching a message of loving who you are and loving others. His sermon last week no doubt spoke to the soul but if you recall, Crystal did notice that a lovely lady attended the service moreso for David and less so for Jesus. That obviously triggered something. Crystal and David may not have been able to work out their marriage but the attraction is absolutely still there. Could it be one-sided though?

You didn’t think we forgot about Bryson and Simone, did you? It should be noted that for his entire life, all Bryson ever wanted was to be like Marcus Graham, but not like this. David is right: be careful what you pray for. No matter the outcome of the paternity test, Simone and Bryson will undoubtedly be in one another’s life (maybe less like Whitley and Dwayne and more like Denise and Theo).

Well, folks, the results are in (insert Maury voice). In the case of Bryson J. Broyer, Marcus, you are NOT the father! But, you may still have some ‘splaining to do. Now that they are officially not related, Simone can finally go ahead and have that seat. We know, sis has been tired all day. Ow!

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