The Come Up: Katie Got Bandz

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It’s been a little under a year since Katie Got Bandz released her first mixtape Bandz And Hittaz. In that span of time, the South Side Chicago-bred 19-year-old has made a name for herself nationwide through the streets and on the web via a handful of viral videos. One of the key figures of the burgeoning drill scene, it’s no surprise that Katie wants to separate herself from her peers. She certainly has the confidence to do it.

“My sound, my image and my voice are different. You know, a lot female rappers tend to sound alike,” she says. “They talk about a lot of sex to sell themselves, but I’m talking about something different. It’s hard being a female in this industry regardless, but you have to be able to stay humble and grind hard.”

This time around, she proves that she’s working harder to stand out and people are paying close attention. Although Katie has stuck with the same producer—her cousin BlockOnDaTrakk—she has a bit more bite on her sophomore project Drillary Clinton. Her presence shines alongside the likes of Gunplay, King L, and another female up-and-comer, Dreezy. XXL got to chat with Katie about the tape, aligning herself with Louie, and growing up in Chicago.—As told to Charne Graham