Andrew Imanaka

If you’re on the internet, it's possible you saw the recent video for “Come Correct,” a song collab by MCs Gabrielle Kadushin, aka Gifted Gab (from Seattle) and Blimes Brixton (of San Francisco). Or perhaps you checked out the clip shared by UNILAD Sound, or you saw it on Urban Leak's Leak of the Week, or on Born Famous, which amounts to more than 10 million views, all told. That's enough to ensure that the video's stars are on their way to becoming household names in hiphop. Both women were also named in Pandora's Predictions Chart (and then name-checked on Billboard) this past February.

We talked to Kadushin about experiencing her career taking off, what’s been going on in her day-to-day, what’s on her musical horizon, and various other not-so-pressing topics.

You just got done with a video shoot. What was it for?

This one was for Watch Cut, which is a media company from Seattle. They have a lot of videos for the internet and most of them go viral. You’ve probably seen ’em.

In the last two months, your profile has risen. What have you noticed most since your collaboration with Blimes went viral?

People are responding a lot faster than they did before and, you know, extending a hand—either when they didn’t before, or they did and they didn’t take it seriously. Normal stuff like that. For a lack of a better term, it makes them see your worth now that everybody else sees your worth. It’s kinda corny that it takes 10 million people to say you’re filthy for other people to say, “Yeah, I guess so.” But I’m sure any artist goes through this when they’re leveling up. People acting a little different than they did before. But it means there are way better opportunities coming. So that’s good!

What’s one goal you want to achieve in the next year that surprises even you?

Probably relocating, probably leaving to LA. I’ve been going back and forth quite frequently since all this has happened. With what I’m trying to do, I would need to be in LA. I always knew I would move—in a way, I thought I would move to the Bay Area. I have a lot of friends there, people that have moved out there. But they’re like, “Dude, it’s the same shit that’s going on in Seattle.” So moving was something I sensed was going to happen, but not as soon as it’s happening.

I want to learn how to freestyle. What’s the first thing I should know?

Don’t even think. Just say shit. Just let a beat play and go with the first thing that you’re thinking of. Just blank out.

People say the future is female. Is the future of hiphop female?

I think life is female. So, yeah, that can be determined in everything. Everything is female. The past is female, the present is female, and the future is female. So what are you gonna do?

But yeah, females in hiphop have never been lost. I would call it more of a resurgence than anything else. We’ve always been around, since the beginning, but it usually takes a wave, or it’s just how time goes. For a while, no one was, like, really rapping in hiphop. I feel like music—and especially rap—has gotten to a point where people are about the lyrics again. Everything goes in cycles, and people are going, “Yes, I guess girls can rap.”

How does your mind process a new beat?

I definitely have ADHD. So most of it is trying to sift out thoughts that will work versus one that are just thoughts. I’m just trying to make some shit work. It’s weird. I can’t put a finger on it. Sometimes when I hear a beat, I’m in that head space and something clicks where everything flows, and I immediately know what I’m going to say. But sometimes I have to sit with it for a while and hear something. Like, I may not be in love with it at first, but I have to live with it again and have a new perspective. It’s all in the mind of the creative, I can’t really call it. It just happens how it happens.

Is there anything about the possibility of being well-known that scares you?

The fact that you can’t really do the things you want to do anymore—especially if you’re just a regular person like me. We all know when you do this, in the back of your head, it’s a possibility that you might get famous. But you don’t really grasp that concept so much until you have some form of high success. Even now when I go places, I can get recognized. But I can’t imagine going to the dollar store and not being able to shop because people are going crazy. When I see famous people, I go, “Wow, they’re right in front of my eyes.” But I don’t go crazy. So not being able to do regular stuff would make me sad. I’m a very independent person.

How do you deal with moments of doubt?

I’m really a power-through-it type of person. Sometimes you may take a step back or try to put something to rest in your mind. But even if I take a step back, I’m still trying to figure it out. Yeah, there’s definitely always moments of doubt as an artist—that’s just in the name of the game. There’s always down times when things aren’t moving but you have to use that as fuel for the fire. Art, especially music, is pure emotion. Sometimes you say, “Fuck this shit!” but other times, “Well, don’t fuck it. I have to get better.”

Your work harks back to the ruthless, rigorous rhymers of hiphop’s classic era. At risk of sounding corny, what does hiphop and rap mean to you?

Man, it’s freedom. It’s freedom to be able to say exactly what you want to say without having to censor yourself. In everyday conversation, you can’t talk to someone how you’d rap to them. That’d be totally disrespectful. But in rap, you can be without thought. Imagine just talking how you want to talk without processing how someone might feel? It’s the ultimate freedom.