It's no secret that female MCs often get marginalized in hip-hop. From Lauryn Hill to Missy Elliott to Nicki Minaj, women more times than not have to fit into a certain category to make it past regional fame. But with early co-signs from YG and Drake, young Oakland upstart Kamaiyah refuses to be boxed in.

The 24-year-old rhymer is keeping it old school with her style (she's got a block cellphone to match) and seemingly came out of nowhere with her debut mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, in March. Kamaiyah's project dropped just in time for her to make her rounds at the annual SXSW music festival, where she won over crowds and left new fans in her wake. With biting honesty, West Coast funk influence and hilariously realistic skits sprinkled in, the tape is certainly a standout of the year so far.

"It took two weeks to make," Kamaiyah tells XXL. "I started working with this group of producers called Honor Roll, so we started making the beats the first week and then the second week, we were supposed to have a session with Travi$ Scott, but then he ended up canceling. So then the second week they were like, we gon’ see if we can finish this project in a week. And we did."

Fortunately for Kamaiyah, the project doesn't sound like a rushed job. Get to know more about the West Coast's newest female force below.

Name: Kamaiyah

Age: 24

Reppin: Oakland

I grew up listening to: "2Pac, TLC, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Total, *NSync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears. The first hip-hop album I bought was Doggy Bag by Lil Bow Wow. My first CD I ever had though that somebody actually gave me was TLC, the single CD of ‘Unpretty.’"

My style has been compared to: "I don’t know, it varies. Some people say Missy, some people say my style remind them of Da Brat, some people just say me. It’s weird, I can’t really explain it. I feel like [Missy] is one of my influences so, it’s great. I feel very honored to be held as high as her. Her personality, her creativity, just everything about her. Her whole mindset and how she works, I just really admire her work ethic. I actually met her recently. We were at a Grammy party where Missy performed. It was crazy. She was right next to me performing. You feel like you making it because you’re right next to somebody who you hold to a higher point. Like, you literally like an arm-reach away from them."

Something people don’t know about me: "I like pop music. They think that just because I’m a hip-hop artist, I don’t listen to that shit. I bump Lady Gaga! I grew up on that. I feel like people get older and they get out of touch with who they truly are and I feel like a lot of us grew up being Disney kids, so you going hear that type of music. But then, you get older and you act like you too cool to own that. I ain’t scared to own it! I listened to that shit and I still listen to it. Justin Bieber is like the new Aaron Carter to me. We been there, done that, so I still listen to it. I want to work with Gaga. And I fuck with Ariana [Grande]. She remind me of Mariah, so I fuck with her."

Standout record or moment to date: "A Good Night in the Ghetto and then SXSW. I feel like that performance was one of the biggest performances I’ve ever done in my life. And it was a tough crowd but I feel like we had fun and we made them muthafuckas party with us, so it was fun. There was literally nobody out there when we first got there. My DJ had to go out and start spinnin’ to get people to come to the stage area. But by the end of the performance, it was like packed, everybody had walked over."

My goal in hip-hop is: "Just to be the biggest female artist within the next few years. What makes me different from other female MCs is my creativity, my style, my lyricism and most of all, my business ethic. I feel like that’s the part that a lot of people don’t have that. I go above and beyond to make sure my business side is just as good as the music because this is what solidifies you as an artist and makes you. Those business relationships, you gotta earn them."

I’m the next: "Superstar. Everything I’m doing, there’s nothing like me out there. I feel like I’m going be the next female “it” artist of this decade. Without a doubt, I know I’m the next superstar."

Follow Kamaiyah on Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud.

Standout Song: A Good Night In the Ghetto

"Out the Bottle"

"How Does It Feel"

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