Rapper Kash Doll wearing pink
Rapper Kash Doll wearing pink
Photo Credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Kash Doll Went Through Label “Hell” to Release Her Debut Album 'Stacked'

For years, Kash Doll's career stalled due to a bad deal with a former label. Now the Detroit rapper is trying to prove that her time is now with her wide-ranging debut album Stacked.

Sitting in the Okayplayer office in Brooklyn, New York Kash Doll tells me the story of an image she stumbled across online. 

There are two people shoveling dirt near each other. One person uncovers a small jewel in his hole. The other person abandons their spot, runs over to where the jewel was found, and begins to shovel in the hopes of finding his own treasure. This was a mistake. 

 “[He] had had a big ass stone right under where [he] was," Kash Doll said, her voice steadily crescendoing into an all-out yell. "If [he] just would have stayed focused on shoveling [his] goddamn dirt, [he] would have had a way bigger stone!” 

Kash Doll, born Arkeisha Knight, has thought a lot about getting what is meant for her. This year, several women in rap have reached historic popularity, and, she says, her fans have wondered “Why not Kash?” In February, Nicki Minaj became the first woman rapper to sell over 100 million RIAA units according to Chart Data. In July, Saweetie became the seventh woman rap act to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2019.  The chart had not seen as many women on it in a decade. Last month, Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” became the longest-leading number one on the Hot 100 by a woman rapping unaccompanied.

Women are winning. 

That is not to say theDetroit rapper hasn’t already seen notable successes, from Drake personally inviting her to open for him in her hometown during his Summer Sixteen tour, to touring with Meek Mill last winter. She’s also overcome a not-so-uncommon setback. For two years, Kash was embroiled in a legal battle with her former label BMB Records and, in that time, was barred from releasing original music on streaming platforms. She signed her first deal in 2015, thinking it would make her work easier. Instead, she says, her career was held hostage. (BMB Records did not respond to requests for comment.)

Today, Kash Doll is too busy enjoying her freedom to compare her success to that of others. The reportedly 27-year old rapper — there have been many disputes about her age online — signed to Republic Records in 2018. And on Friday, October 18, she released Stacked her official debut album after four mixtapes and EPs. The difference between making music from the confines of her first contract and being bolstered by her current one is uncanny. “It’s like coming from hell to heaven,” Kash Doll said.