When Andy Warhol predicted that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, he got the idea right, but his time frame was way off. For the past decade, we’ve seen a democratization of celebrity; fame has become more attainable, and yet more powerful, than ever. The internet operates under a village mindset, one in which formerly isolated niches can grow into hyper-specialized global phenomena. There are pop culture deities for singing, dancing, and acting, but also for mastication, gory makeup, and even the soothing sounds of Silly Putty. But who are these everyday people-turned-blue-chip-mega-influencers? And how does this happen? We tracked a few of them down to find out.
Kash Doll is a rapper and model who has become the leader of a generation of self-made, smart-talking female influencers in the online hip-hop community. One of her personal claims to fame is when Rihanna slid into her DMs to invite her to hang out.
“There was a time when I couldn’t release music. I’d signed a deal locally, and it didn’t work out, so they ended up taking all of my music down. Social media was the only platform I could use. It was a gift and a curse — people could see me, but they couldn’t hear me — and I became a pro at it. I was just going with my flow, having fun making videos, doing photo shoots, the stuff that most women like doing anyway. Some people think that I’m full of myself and that the only thing I can upload is pictures of me and how cute I am. They get to see me cracking jokes and being funny. If all else fails, I would just do stand-up. My alter ego is self-explanatory. Kash, because I’m about my money. Doll, because I’m pretty and I dress like a doll. Kash Doll is straightforward. She’s into the music. She’s talking about the money, like, ‘Eff the boys, they ain’t talking about nothing.’ Keisha is more down-to-earth. She’s cool, calm, collected. She will take her time with you. Kash Doll ain’t got no time.”