Kitty Cash's New Mixtape Is Her Most Personal Release Yet [Premiere]
Way back in 2013, a young DJ who went by the name of Kitty Cash dropped into the coolest corners of the Internet, providing forty-three minutes of nonstop fire on Love the Free Vol. I. It’s been three years since that sonic nineteen song mix rattled our bones, and since then, she’s dropped Love the Free Vol. II, conquered New York’s nightlife scene, and played tons of sets in the Milk JamRoom. On the first two mixtapes, she pulled together an array of game changing R&B and hip-hop artists more diverse than the catalogue of a liberal arts college. Willow Smith‘s mathematical equation-inspired sounds danced alongside Kelela‘s smooth, alt-R&B vocals, while Lemonade collaborator Melo-X rubbed against the piercing lyricism of UK MC Lil Simz–and it all blended seamlessly.
Now, she’s proving that not only can lighting strike twice, but it can actually touch down three times. At least, that’s the case when it comes to the Love the Free trilogy. For her most accomplished mixtape yet, Cash threw in everyone from BOSCO and Leikeli47 to Lion Babe and Lil Yachty for an incredible hour and a half of music. It’s her most personal chapter yet, thanks to a handful of interludes intercut with conversations she recorded on the sly with friends, lovers, and mentors. If there were ever a litmus test that proves a DJ has been slaying the game with their music, it comes in the form of personal pep talks from Solange and DJ Khaled. After Love The Free Vol III streamed privately on NPR earlier this week, we caught up with Cash to celebrate the mixtape’s exclusive premiere on Milk. Check out how she felt about picking artists, how her friends are feeling about being secretly recorded for the project, and what comes next for Kitty Cash.
Do you have any favorite songs on the new mixtape?
Honestly, I love all the songs. What you have right now is over an hour and a half of music and that was cut down from three hours of music. It’s insane. These are definitely all hand-picked and I love each one. I listen to the mix in the shower, in the car, walking, running, or wherever just to see how it feels in different environments. Each of them touch on something different for me.
There are such a broad range of sounds on the mixtape. How’d you go about picking the artists for it?
A lot of them I’ll find on SoundCloud because I do like to feature artists that blogs haven’t found yet. It’s also just word-of-mouth from asking friends who are on the pulse of what’s good. It really is a lot of digging from my end and that’s why it takes so long.
Unlike the first two volumes of Love the Free, this volume includes a lot of personal moments from throughout your life in the interludes. What inspired this choice?
I was listening to Miseducation of Lauryn Hill all day, every day when I was working on the project and it inspired me to make this more personal. I’d never really used my own personal moments in my work before, so this time I would be laying in bed pressing the record button and not telling anyone. I would have my friends talk shit in the car and some of it I just couldn’t use. [Laughs] It was all super personal and I was being a creep and recording everybody and, because this was the last one, I wanted it to be the best possible memory.
I’ve got to ask. How do your friends feel now that they know you’ve been recording them this whole time?
[Laughs] Uhm, I’ve already started getting cursed out and I thought that was funny. My mom was like “that’s illegal” but I was just like, shut up it was so good. My friends were telling me how shady it was and I’ve been sending everyone the voicemails I have even if I didn’t use them and they’re laughing—but they’re also cursing me out. [Laughs] It was all done for art and out of love so they can’t be mad.
Exactly! You’ve been working on this for a few years. How does it feel to be done now?
This trilogy has spanned across three years and, although I was really excited to finish it, I’m also really really sad. It’s literally my baby. Everyone has that project that’s their baby and this is my baby. It gave me a lot of confidence to push myself as a DJ and as an artist. It’s really a bittersweet goodbye.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be doing a few dates in America and Europe for the mixtape and then I’ll be working on a lot more production work. I have an EP coming out, but I’m gonna let y’all wait for that. [Laughs] You’ve got to follow me for that!
Stay tuned to Milk for more from Kitty Cash.