The Break Presents: LightSkinKeisha
Some people are born with star power. From early on in LightSkinKeisha's life, it was apparent that she was going places.
"Since like 6 or 7, my mom would always be like, 'You're the little superstar, sing,' she tells XXL. That early urging from her mother turned Keisha from a shy little girl to a youth who freestyled for fun at school. In 2017, the 24-year-old Atlanta rapper dropped her first track, "Weather," which is inspired by one of her viral social media posts. The track has more than 2 million streams to date. Yet this was only the beginning, as the consistent success of her next few songs earned her a deal with L.A. Reid's Hitco Entertainment.
"Everybody can't be signed to L.A. Reid," she says. "He only signs superstars."
The legendary record executive's belief in her music is understandable. LightSkinKeisha knows how to deliver to her fanbase. "I know what beats I like, I know what I like to hear myself rap on," she says. "And I know what a lot of other people like to hear, too." With tracks like "Cash Shit," "Believe Dat" and "Treadmill" all exceeding 1 million streams, she seems to know what she's talking about.
"I got a sound, I can rap, I can deliver and people like me for me," says Keisha, whose project That's Just The Bottom Line dropped earlier this month. "If people can relate to me, they're gonna support whatever I do."
Check out LightSkinKeisha's come up in her own words in the latest edition of XXL's The Break.
I grew up listening to: "T.I., Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz, Pastor Troy, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony , Brandy and Monica. I listen to a lot of gangsta stuff. OutKast, of course."
My style’s been compared to: "I've been compared to Cardi B, because we both have big personalities. That's cool with me, cause I fuck with Cardi B. And I think it's good that girls with big personalities are getting more attention. For a minute, it was frowned upon. 'This girl too loud, this girl too ratchet, she too outspoken.' But girls like me and Cardi, we be like, 'Fuck that shit! I'ma be myself regardless, I don't give a fuck what setting I'm in.'"
My standout records to date have been: "'Believe Dat'—I performed that at all my shows. 'Treadmill' might be doing more numbers in streaming, but more people know 'Believe Dat.' When I do shows, I have supporters in the crowd recite the lyrics to me. It's crazy. I'm getting so much love off of that song."
My standout moments to date have been: "I performed at Streetzfest; that was pretty big. And being signed to L.A. Reid. I think that's pretty fuckin' big."
Most people don’t know: "Just in December—really January—I was homeless, living outta hotels. Didn't nobody know. I was finding parking garages, tryna sleep in my car, just so nobody didn't bother me. One time I was sleep outside of my brother's apartment, waiting for him. This homeless man had knocked on my door and I got scared as shit. I was living out of my car. Coca Vango was one of the few people who knew what was going on and never judged me. That's why our bond is so strong. He was getting them hotels for me. I done had my heart broken a lot of times, but honestly, I'm thankful for all the heartbreaks, cause I'm shittin' on all them niggas now!"
I’m going to blow up because: "My music is damn good, first of all. My sound is like no other. How I deliver is good and I'm not gonna be the typical female rapper. I'm an artist. I'm a real performer too. I like putting on a show. Plus, my personality—that's the biggest thing. I have a lot of character, I just make people feel good. I know I'm one of those people who walks in a room and I'm gonna stand out regardless. I have a big voice, I just have a big-ass personality and I'm not scared to show that."
I’m going to be the next: "Biggest female artist, period."
Follow LightSkinKeisha on Instagram and SoundCloud.
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