CHINESE KITTY COVERS
LOOT & RIOT MAGAZINE
Ink Tone Swep
Interview Samara Powder
Images Gabriel Perez Silva
Asst Images Blest Jones
Creative Director Samara Powder
MUA Ambreen Khwaja
Hair Tatyana B
Asst Looks Huberta Richardson
Asst Looks Star Campbell
Location New York Magic Lab Art Exhibition, Chelsea, Manhattan
How was early childhood growing up in the Hing household? What do you remember about early 2000’s Brooklyn? My childhood growing up in Brooklyn was real cultural. I was surrounded by different cultures from around the world. I learned a lot at a very young age, and I learn a lot faster than the average kid. The things I was exposed to both good and bad educated me about people and life. I was just more in tune with things. Nothing was ever a pretty sight, you know, but it made me the person I am today. And that is, hard working, very driven with big goals and aspirations, and never stuck on one thing.
As you reached adolescence what became your interests, your short term goals? What did you want in life? Regardless of whatever it was, I wanted to win. I don’t care what it was, just me playing a game of cards with friends – I wanted to win. I used to freestyle with my sister and I wanted to win then, too (Laughs!). In modeling, when I chose to pursue that for a while, I wanted to win as a model. I’m very competitive and I am always willing to work hard to improve at whatever it is I am putting all of my time and energy into. I’m a winner, I’ve always wanted to be a winner.
At what age did you begin to realize that most men found you attractive, that they wanted you? There’s power in beauty but also danger. How did you retain the power while avoiding the danger? I definitely realized how beautiful I was when I was in college. I did a fashion show, and it was like a contest where the winner got $500. And I like attention like everyone else, but people were really rooting for me. And I mean like really cheering me on: ‘Kitty you got this! You can do it’! It surprised me, made me feel like a celebrity. I loved that. I felt like, whatever this is, like this feeling I am experiencing right now in this moment, I want more of it; with people praising you and wanting to be like you, I want it in my life forever… As for beauty, basically, I still go through that to this day. Every woman who feels beautiful is going to go through it. Males always feel like they have one up on females. We are juggling beauty and being the center of attention at the same time. So with each lesson that you learn you have to really, really level up for me. It’s important. We have to do that. There are things I did before, earlier in life, that I learned my lesson from that I would never let happen again. You have to really stay focused and not get caught up. There are always going to be good opportunities, too, so you can’t just be shutting down everything. But it’s the guys saying they can take you here and do this for you. You really have to know who is in it for you, and recognize the ones who are only in it for themselves.
You remind me of Trina. Sexy, confident, catchy hooks, hard beats, street but glamorous. She knew who the fuck she was even at a very young age also. She had her own money and understood her value. Is that a fair comparison? I don’t necessarily want to compare myself to Trina, she is of course a legend. Honestly, I feel like I am setting the tone for my own self. I feel like I can’t be compared to anyone. But if that is the comparison you or someone has that’s cool, I can sorta see why people could make that comparison. I can relate to her mentality if anything. But for me personally, I feel like I’m the first to do this my way, from my look to my sound, just all of it. But I do respect Trina for being bossed up and reppin’ her city. She made us New York girls want to party on South Beach.
As an artist from Brooklyn, does sharing hometown’s with Biggie, Foxy, Kim, Mos, Jay and so many other greats influence you at all? Of course, of course. Especially Lil Kim! Look, listen, I love Lil Kim! She took that raw, sexy, hood chick and still was like super glammed and super street at the same time. And Lil Kim had guys just going so crazy over her. I mean what girl doesn’t want that? We all want that, right. Kim is definitely someone who I always looked up to. An artist who I looked at like yo, I want to be like that! Not just as an artist but as a woman period.
We live in the club anthem era of hip-hop, lyrics usually take a back seat. As a New Yorker do you still feel obligated to be lyrical, like the boroughs expect that of you? It’s 2018, and it’s not really about going back to the old school days. That’s the problem with New York people. The New York artists who are blowing up know they need to fit in with what’s going on now. You have to remain current. And it’s also how you say your lyrics. How you flow. It’s a time where melody and energy means more to fans; that vibe you give them. It’s like they can feel the vibe more now as opposed to just listening and remembering your lyrics. They respond to how your music makes them feel and the moment it’s attached to. You can’t just try to be super hard and talk about what’s going on in the streets and keeping it real. That’s cool, but girls want to hear shit like: ‘girl I’m going to the mall. This guy bought me these diamonds. We met these other guys, too. I’m taking good care of myself’, you know? Lifestyle. What’s the lifestyle? You rappin’ about being in the projects (Laughs!). Nobody trying to live in no projects now, we passed that! At least I’m not. We used to glorify that, but not anymore. But those are key things they are looking for from a sexy female rapper. Being super lyrical isn’t really needed, it’s just old school. You won’t catch a wave like that.
Chinese Kitty is a superstar persona created by Taylor Hing. Is there a big difference between the two? There is. I think sometimes I’m too humble. That’s Taylor. She’s mad nice. She’s going to hug you rather than shake your hand. When I’m at a performance people want to see the arrogance. Oh, Kitty Kitty was all flexed up and bossed up and had security with her. That’s Chinese Kitty. But Taylor will come in the club by herself just to chill and talk to people. There is definitely a difference. People want different things from both of us. I feel like both are a part of who I am, but you know, Taylor is the girl who I’ve always been and Kitty is the artist I am now. You can’t always be in artist mode. You have to be human and keep it all the way real with yourself.
You’re a star on Love & Hip-Hop Miami, one of the show’s most popular celebrities. Does it portray a negative image of Black culture, and specifically, women of color? Or simply reveal the way things are without sugar-coating anything? I feel like anything black people are involved in they are going to say is ghetto and ratchet. I hear people say other shows are ghetto and ratchet just because black women are on there. So, Love and Hip-Hop itself, if all white people were on there? It would be the same thing because it’s more about how it’s directed. It’s going to still come out that way because that’s what the producers want, a lot of crazy drama. So much drama, more than other shows. So yeah, I mean, I get it. I could see where it could be seen as people of color being portrayed in a negative light – In some ways, not everything about the show – because you are still seeing black people striving for success, building their businesses, making moves in the industry, but people are going to judge you regardless… The only thing with Love and Hip-Hop is attaching it to your music brand can be the gift and the curse. Some may think that you only do music because you are on the show, or you are only winning due to being on the show. And that is because there are some who go on there and record once just for the show. So it gives the impression that every artist on there is doing the exact same thing. They don’t see the true talent, and effort, and work that you put into it. And that sometimes overshadows those of us who were doing this way before joining the show.
If you had a studio session booked, walked in and Whitney Houston, Tupac, and Prince were sitting in there – what would happen? I think I would just be too shocked. Like I must have walked in the wrong studio (Laughs!). Yea, I would be like yo, ya’ll legendary iconic people go ahead and do your thing. I’m just going to be over here taking notes and catching all the dope vibes and going Live! on the Gram with all of it (Laughs!). I’m not ready for this yet!