Each member of Lil Yachty’s Sailing Team brings a different energy to the collective, but it’s First Lady Kodie Shane who may be their not-so-secret weapon. The “Level Up” creative, who earned a name for herself last year after dropping tracks like “Drip on My Walk,” brings her playful melodies, energetic personality and fresh fashion sense to Atlanta’s rap scene, and while she considers herself one of the boys, her presence is more important than ever.
In October, Kodie, 19, was making noise at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards when she participated in a cypher full of rising stars. After dropping her anticipated Back From the Future EP, and a slew of newly-released tracks such as “Sirens,” “I Know,” “Kissing Pink,” “Do You Love Me Now” and “Bounce Back,” Kodie is ready to dive into finishing her debut album for the top of next year.
While she’s still currently on the road with Lil Yachty and the crew, wrapping up on Dec. 22 in Los Angeles, the Atlanta native isn’t taking anything for granted on her journey to higher success, and can serve as an inspiration for rising artists in the game.
Coming from a family of musicians—Her father, Danny C. Williams, was a member of Detroit group Rick, Ran & Dan; her aunt is R&B singer Cherrelle and her sister Brandi was a member of Blaque—with many reaching big accolades of their own, Kodie was raised with more knowledge of the industry than the average aspiring artist. Armed with the know-how to navigate the music business, she has a lot to teach the rising youth on their own musical paths. Having already worked with Lil Uzi Vert and Sailing Team captain Yachty, she hopes to work with big names that range from Frank Ocean to Beyoncé.
XXL sat down with Kodie Shane, who dished on her new EP, the artists she plans to work with, getting some key advice from Yachty, some important words for rising artists in the industry and much more.
XXL: What can new listeners expect when they play your Back From the Future EP that dropped earlier this year?
Kodie Shane: It’s fresh Kodie Shane. New Kodie Shane. I feel like all of my music is fresh and different, so it’s definitely more of that, but just next level. I feel like it’s catching people up with where I really am, musically. I feel like everyone has been judging me based on “Drip on My Walk,” and that’s cool, but that was the fun record I did. That doesn’t define me, but for some reason, that’s how the world looks at it. I definitely think this new music can show people that it’s not all just trendy.
Where does the title Back From the Future stem from?
It’s just like, I’m back from the future. I’m back in more of a literal sense. It’s definitely more in the literal sense.
Where did the concept of the “Drip on My Walk” visuals come from?
We just decided to do a fresh look on it because it was just going to radio. So we just decided to catch it up with everything that’s going on. The last video is cool, but it’s just me…you can just see the growth between both videos. I thought it was dope. My boy, Matt Swinsky, came through and went crazy doing that video. So shout out to Motion Family. They always go crazy.
What has it been like touring with Lil Yachty this year, now that he’s blown up? You’ve been riding with him since the early days.
I definitely love touring with Yachty. His fans are honestly really nice, because I’ve been in front of some mean crowds. They’re definitely a diverse, alternative crowd that just want to hear good music and have a good time. It’s really dope just to seeing how he gets moved around, and seeing his level of fame is really dope.
How has it been working with him and getting so close as music partners?
Man, that’s my boy. He’s always fun to work with. He’s a funny character. He’s a fun guy. He’s always giving to family and friends.
Has he offered you any words of wisdom that have stayed with you?
I would say that he’s definitely taught me to be humble and always know what’s going on. He always knows what’s happening and what he’s doing. Even if he says, “I don’t know,” he knows. That’s one thing I definitely learned was to always be aware of what’s going on around you.
Your family is extremely immersed in music and have all had big careers in the industry over the decades. Do you have any advice for those that don’t get to have as much exposure growing up?
I would just say keep people around you that you can really trust. You can’t let everyone dig in your pot of gold. You gotta have that one person. You can’t always be bringing new people in. Like I said, you got to always be aware of what’s going on and what you’re doing.
There aren’t as many female artists coming out of Atlanta. How does it feel to be a representative for the women in the A?
It feels pretty cool. It’s actually exciting. I don’t know. I don’t even think of it as boy or girl. It’s all just music to me. If it is boy and girl, I feel like I run with the boys. I saw this thing that was like a WorldStarHipHop post, and it was like, “Who’s the best girl rapper?” and my face was on it, and I thought, Ah, it’s lit! That was fire.
Who else have you worked with this year outside of Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert?
I got something fire coming with A$AP Ferg. That’s all I can really say to that. I stay locked into my zone. If anything comes up creatively, I’ll tackle it, but I’m not trying to force anything.
Who’s on your dream list of people to work with?
Frank Ocean. Andre 3000. Lil Wayne. But, Wayne, I don’t know. I just want to meet him and have a conversation with him. I need like an hour with him just to pick his brain a little bit. I’d probably just do a song with Beyoncé. just because she’s fire. I love Beyoncé; she’s great. But I’m not into Lemonade. Her last great album to me was 4. But I’m more into all of the songs she does with JAY-Z. His newer stuff be so crazy, and she’s so fire. Yeah, all of that.
What’s going on with the Sailing Team project?
Hopefully it’s coming soon [laughs]. Nah, it’s coming soon. We’re going to go crazy. That’s going to be a very lit thing. I just feel like everybody wants it to be right. There’s obviously a lot of people watching and are wondering if it’s going to be fire. Because you know A$AP Mob always do some fire shit. So, this is the new collective right now in 2017, especially in the youth. It’s super.
What’s coming up for you this year?
After touring and Back From the Future, we’re planning to drop the album in early January . You should see me on tour sometime. 2018 we’re hitting the ground running something crazy.
See New Music Releases for December 2017