Kodie Shane is running fashionably late. She’s wearing salmon-coloured New Balance kicks, white baggy sweats and a neon, green fanny pack across her chest as she steps into Toronto’s Velvet Underground music venue. She takes in the city view from the building’s rooftop, and then gets comfortable, ready to talk. Her attire drips of inspiration from the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of famed ’90s R&B supergroup, TLC. And Kodie doesn’t deny it.
“She’s the shit. She’s fire,” Kodie says of Left Eye. “Everything about her inspires me.”
The Atlanta, Georgia native’s personality is mature beyond her 18 years. Kodie caught her break when her verse on “All In” by Lil Yachty’s rap crew, The Sailing Team, created a buzz. Her companionship with rapper Lil Yachty blossomed and not long after, she became a member of his team. Kodie’s debut EP, Zero Gravity, features Yachty on songs like “Sad”, one of her recent hits.
I feel like that song is for everybody but more for the younger kids ’cause they really be going through it and nobody even be knowing.
It seems there’s a deeper meaning to “Sad”. What inspired you to write that song?
I was like 14 when I wrote that. And it was fire, too (laughs). At the time, I felt like it was bigger than just a record. It was more like to help people get through stuff; to help the youth in times of heartache. See, the problem is, being sad is like a trend now. Everybody wants to be sad boys … I’m happy boys over here. But when I did write “Sad”, I mean I felt like everybody had moments of being sad and they just don’t know why they feeling upset. But it’s just like, the whole ‘wear all black and be sad movement’ is like a trend and it’s kind of lame. I feel like that song is for everybody but more for the younger kids ’cause they really be going through it and nobody even be knowing. But I can say I was actually blessed. I’ve never had to sell crack.
Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, how did your upbringing inspire your music?
You know, the culture and the whole music scene is real cool out there so I guess I can say I’m inspired by the environment, but other artists don’t really inspire me — unless they’re Prince or Andre 3000. But regular rappers don’t really inspire me. It’s more like regular, everyday situations and everyday people. That inspires me. Maybe sometimes, I’ll be around Yachty, and he makes me feel like recording more.
Who is your dream collab?
Andre 3000 and Frank Ocean in one song. It’d be the shit. It’d be a wrap.
Would you feel intimidated?
No, ’cause I feel like we all three could bring something different to the record. I can’t even think of an artist that’s just like me ’cause there’s not one, but it would be different if I had artists out just like me and it’d be like, ‘Yo, are they gonna kill me on this verse?’ No, because I already know Andre 3000’s gonna kill me, you know what I’m sayin’? So, I know how I gotta come; I already know he’s gon’ be better than me — I don’t have to try so hard. Frank Ocean gon’ sing his ass off, I don’t gotta do all that. I’m just gonna give y’all a lil’ swag.
When I walk, I got swag. When I get dressed, I got swag. Swag on my walk, swag on my step, drip everywhere you feel me?
Speaking of swag, “Drip in My Walk”. It seems like there are always these dances coming out of Atlanta even from the early 2000s. So, what is “Drip in My Walk”? How did it come about?
It’s not really a dance. Like, I have the drip. You see my walk; I got that swag when I walk, basically. When I walk, I got swag. When I get dressed, I got swag. Swag on my walk, swag on my step, drip everywhere you feel me?
So, it’s like Atlanta slang?
Yeah, we say that. Like people say, I’m drippin’. But I never even used to say that. I never even like made that a saying. (Laughs). But yeah, it’s a thing now.
What was it like working with Lil Yachty in the studio?
He’s just funny, bro. He makes me wanna just not write anything. He makes me wanna freestyle ’cause when he freestyles he’s like good. It comes out good.
How do you feel being the only female on The Sailing Team? Do you get annoyed when people put a label on you like ‘female rapper’?
I don’t really get annoyed because I expect it, that’s how it’s gonna be. Like, I’m just like Lil’ Kim. Not exactly, but I mean she had the big brothers at the label just like I do now.
What’s your favourite song on the EP?
“Can You Handle It”.
It’s a nice beat.
Thank you, that’s the reason I like it. But I really like it because I recorded that song at my house and the song just wasn’t what it was at first. I like when you gotta keep adding pieces. I like when you gotta build a record out.
Photos courtesy of Sony Music Canada