K.Flay - Howler
K. Flay (born June 30, 1985) is the stage name of American hip-hop rapper Kristine Flaherty, known for breaking down stereotypes in the rap genre and hailing from Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.
Influenced profoundly by her guitar-playing father’s untimely death, in 2003 Flaherty enrolled at Stanford University, which is where the rapper first toyed with the idea of making rap music. Initially a statement on the simplistic and misogynistic nature of modern rap music, Flaherty wrote and recorded the parodic song “Blingity Blang Blang”, and enjoyed it so much she vowed to continue. The rapper subsequently spent her freshman year experimenting with her style and recording tracks on her computer, before growing in confidence and playing to live audiences.
In 2004, whilst in her junior year, K. Flay issued her debut mixtape “Suburban Rap Queen” on Flayzer Beam Records. The record earned significant local buzz and the rapper’s subsequent shows were highly populated events. With her studies drawing to a close, it would be five years before the rapper released any new material with 2009’s “Mashed Potatoes” mixtape. Once again released on Flayzer Beam, the record was followed the collaborative EP “Single and Famous” alongside rapper MC Lars.
Infused with electro-pop instrumentation the rapper issued the mixtapes “I Stopped Caring in ’96” in 2011 and “West Ghost” in 2013. The same year Flaherty made her major-label debut on RCA Records with her 2013 EP “What If It Is”, which spawned the single “Rawks”. In order to release her first official studio album, “Life As A Dog”, Flaherty crowdfunded via PledgeMusic and released the record to contributors in June 2014. Charting at No. 14 on the Billboard Rap Albums chart and No. 133 on the Billboard 200, the record combines upbeat indie-rock with loose beats and well-crafted verses.