ABOVE: KATIE KATE. PHOTO COURTESY OF HAYLEY YOUNG
“I am a mountain face, with a tree line / You want to cross me, I got tall pines,” spits Seattle rapper Katie Kate to open the newest track, “Rushmore,” from her upcoming LP due in August. It’s an unusually creative boast that soon gives way to something more reflective—the song’s pretty chorus, which finds Kate contemplating on her own immutability.
“‘Rushmore’ is a permanent statement to myself. The first part is defensive rap braggadocio, the second a more sincere expression of the same thought—I can’t help but be who I am, how I am,” Kate says. The song doesn’t sound like anything we’d associate with Americana, but maybe that just means we need to broaden the definition of the term: there’s a certain Walt Whitman quality to “Rushmore” we find very appealing. “The oddity and permanence of faces carved into the mountainside, the integration of humanity and nature, and the uniqueness of it all inspired me,” Kate continues. “‘Rushmore’ is an atypical, earnest, American-made mantra that gave me the strength to complete Nation and celebrate my monumental weirdness.”