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Kash Doll’s Secret to the Hustle: ‘If I’m Too Content, Something’s Wrong’

In the past year, Kash Doll has been featured on tracks by Iggy Azalea, Dreezy and Pusha T, and now, the 27-year-old Republic Records signee is gearing up to release her debut album, Stacked on Oct. 18.

Read more about the Detroit native's come-up below.

Born Arkeisha Knight, Kash Doll started writing rhymes in fifth grade, honing her freestyle skills on the ride to school. “I would tell everybody, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to be famous, and all y’all are going to want to be my friend,’ ” says Doll. After graduating high school, she worked at local strip clubs to fund the start of her musical career, paying for studio time. Soon enough, she was booking gigs rapping at clubs, public schools and charity events.

 

One of a Kind: In 2017, Doll’s self-released single “For Everybody” became a viral hit. “It changed my life,” she says, explaining that it let her hire a lawyer who got her out of a “terrible” contract, though she won’t say with whom. The next year, Republic Records A&R coordinator Ken Jarvis introduced her to the label’s president of West Coast creative, Wendy Goldstein. “He walked into my office with the ‘For Everybody’ music video cued up,” says Goldstein. “You could feel something special happening.” That spring, Republic signed Doll to a recording contract and released her major-label debut single, “Ice Me Out.”

 

In the past year, Doll has been featured on tracks by Iggy Azalea, Dreezy and Pusha T. Her own debut, Stacked (out Oct. 18), includes verses from Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, Teyana Taylor and fellow Detroit native Big Sean. Doll collaborated with the lattermost on August’s “Ready Set,” which she says aims to show that “failure is not an option. You have to stay patient. It ain’t easy to just get up and become a rapper out of Detroit -- we made it out the basement.”

 

Doll is also focused on growing as a businesswoman, running her label Kash Doll Enterprises and Detroit-based nonprofit B.A.D. (Black American Doll) Girls, which donates prom dresses to young women and sponsors community events. “I have to keep going harder because I can’t let my family] down. If I’m too content, something’s wrong. There’s always a new level to reach.”

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 12 issue of Billboard.

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