Internet rapper Kitty Pryde played her first New York show Friday night in Brooklyn. Over the past few months, hype has propelled the young Floridian into the national spotlight, owing to her adorable persona and winking lyrics. (The Danny Brown co-sign has helped, along with the viral “Princess” tattoo on the inside of her bottom lip.) Pryde exhibited an unschooled charm when she knowingly spouted lines mid-song like, “Am I doing this right?” It was a winning combination of understandable awkwardness and singsongy lyrics that kept the show’s momentum from lagging.
Pryde definitely has a way to go before she is a viable live presence. But this first show showed a youthful enthusiasm and magnetic personality that justified the level of interest in her music. Breakout songs like “OK Cupid” and set closer “Give Me Scabies” (sampling “Call Me Maybe,” of all hits, into a slurping fuzz) punctuated the nervousness with liquid beats and a uniquely flirtatious flow. Assisting Pryde were her childhood friend and her Skrillex-haired brother George, who held a microphone while speaking into it perhaps once the entire show.
Pryde was self-aware enough to follow a Kreayshawn diss with a humorous backtrack and a flippant callout to music journalists Andrew Noz and Jon Caramanica. She cracked jokes about her inexperience, her ethnicity and her suburban Floridian upbringing. At some point, maybe appealing to a general discomfort, she told a long story about a crush who emailed her after her video went viral. Pryde finished with an exasperated, “And now he’s married!” Then she segued into her next song, buoyed by her hypeman and hypewoman.
So maybe this first show wasn’t the best introduction to Kitty Pryde. She exists on Tumblr and Twitter—live performance is a skill that is justifiably unknown to her so far. Maybe it’s better not to judge a performance from an Internet star on unnecessary metrics like stage presence and proficiency. Friday night’s show was a curio—a window into a star who doesn’t need to be good live. She may be yet. At the moment, Pryde has potential and personality. Maybe that’s all it takes.