For the longest time, queers were never able to stand on the corner with hip hop’s finest. Our safety was at risk at the intersection of music, fashion, masculinity, race, and gender.
Enter Kay Wattz, who is as bold in her fashion aesthetic as she is in her music and lyrics. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever” (Ghandi) is the motto she lives by. Born and raised in Boston, MA, Kay started writing, rhyming, and creating songs when she was experiencing adversity for her identity at 15 years old. Some of her musical influences are Nas, Lauren Hill, and 50 Cent, and some of her fashion choices tease the same bold colors and crisp street style.
Kay Wattz self identifies as a proud Black alpha female (stud) and a member of LGBTQ community. She believes the messages in her music carry universal truths that represent our community’s tie to expression. She’s at the intersection of music and fashion, gender and race. She’s staking a new claim for queer identity in Hip Hop via a common resource of strength and resistance.
Read on to see how music has been her motivation and outlet for meaningful expression, with which fashion goes hand in hand.
How do you think your fashion is reflected in your music and vice versa?
My music and my fashion are reflective of one another. My music is edgy. It’s raw, it’s fearless and bold. That’s how I would describe my fashion sense as well. I wear what I want, don’t really follow trends and generally do what I want. My music takes risks just like I do. It’s speaks for people who didn’t always have a voice just like my clothes say to others that’s it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to wear what you feel and be who you feel and display that.
How does your style influence your music?
If I’m bold with my fashion, I am bold in my music as well there isn't much disconnect. I dress with pride so you hear that in my music as well and strive to be authentic. You also hear my edginess in my music my swag had always meant a lot to me.
My fashion, my swag all play a part in my nonchalant way of being but yet extremely passionate.
We often see subtle fashion choices as commutation between queers and their identities. Can you think of any style choices that you make to indicate your identity within the community? (E.g. like the earring)
I wear chains, earrings, du-rags, bandannas, hats, different hairstyles, face tat (tattoos) to let people know where I stand identity-wise.
What are some stereotypes do you defy, and what types of stereotypes are you stigmatized by?
Perhaps that I’m a thug, hoodlum, not intelligent, intimidating, and have an attitude.
5. If you had to give advice to the queer POCS who are struggling to accept themselves as part of the hip hop fashion world, what would you say?
Don’t ever look to be accepted. You are enough. You are special, love yourself. Walk in your light and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Surround yourself with more people that relate to your journey; you are never alone.
Kay will be performing at the Lilypad in Cambridge on Saturday, Sept 7, 6:30pm doors: