The Blow Up: Interview: Ka5sh on becoming the worlds most famous meme maker, his new album, No Jumper, +more

Man, Ka5sh is definitely one of the rarest beings to grace the internet. It’s funny because even though Ka5sh has gone super viral in the past year or so for his many L.A. ventures, I’ve actually known him for a couple years since he was in North Carolina group Weirdo, and hit me up on Twitter showing me some music. Even back then I knew he had some kind of unique movement behind him and I actually conducted an interview with him and the Weirdo guys. After being Facebook friends for about another year and literally crying from laughing so hard at the wild shit he he would post, Ka5sh announced that he was dropping a line of t-shirts that were a cat face that read “Supreme Witch Pussy”. Obviously I HAD to buy one (and am confident I’m the only person in Seattle that owns one), and he announced he was en route to L.A. It was just a few months after he touched down that I witnessed his sudden rise to the top of the meme game, including making the latest viral sensation “I fw the vision”. It was only natural that I had to give Ka5sh a call and get his first hand tales on everything from the beginning days of Weirdo, all the way up until now with him beefing with Father John Misty, and taking over the No Jumper twitter.

P.S. I made his song “I’m Depressed” my “Anthem” for my Tinder account so I recommend listening to that.

You probably explain this all the time but what made you decide to put the spelling of your name “Ka5sh“?

Ohhh, it was because back in the day, back in like 2012 when I first started rapping I was a nerd and went by the name “Kash Ketchum”. The older I got I thought Kash Ketchum was corny. So I watched this movie Band Slam with Vanessa Ann Hudgens, it’s about some kids who wanted to be in a battle of the bands and stuff like that. Vanessa Ann Hudgens character’s name was 5am (pronounced “Sam”) and the 5 was silent. She had a “5” in her name and I was like “Wtf that’s sick, I wanna do that!”, then I just threw that “5” in there. Everyone already called me Kash for short so I figured if I’m gonna rap I could just go by Kash, but I can’t just be Kash, I have to do something special to it so I put a “5” in my name. There it is, now I’m Ka5sh with a silent 5.

Originally you’re a part of rap group out of North Carolina, Weirdo. Can you tell us a bit about Weirdo and Trash mountain?

Yeah Weirdo was a punk-rap trio. It was me, technically there was 4 people with Sober our DJ, but it was me, Wasif Allah, and Davey. Davey ended up quitting in 2013-2014 because he wanted to be a doctor and I think he’s going through med school right now. So it was just me and Wasif and Sober DJ’ing and we pretty much stopped in 2015, whenever I moved out to California. I just wanted to do something different, I felt like the underground rap scene wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, I could only go so far with that so I wanted to switch it up. Trash Mountain was this movement I was trying to collect in Fayetteville, where I was trying to collect all the homies who were struggling but good at what they do, good at the art they were doing, good at the music they were making, good at the music they were producing, put them together with the idea that if we all just take all the trash we have, we can build a trash mountain and get out of Fayetteville. I feel like only a handful of people took that model and built that trash mountain and got out, but I was one of those people.

Is Weirdo a thing of the past or does the future have something in store for you guys?

Yeah, I was talking to Wasif about doing another Weirdo project. I don’t know. I just gotta see if I’m in the mood for it but I feel like I’d be able to do some Weirdo stuff. It would have to be some super futuristic, weird ass music but I’d be down to do it.

How and when did you decide to make the move from Carolina to LA?

It was always in my head that I wanted to do it. Around October of last year me and my girlfriend broke up and I was going broke trying to get her back, spending all this money driving back and forth in this stupid van. Then, my stupid van broke and I realized my life was just going nowhere and I was working a shitty job as an appliance salesman, and I was just fed up. I had about less than $400, and I bought a plane ticket and just flew over to California in March, so almost a year ago at the end of this March beginning of April.

What made you decide to do the run of “Supreme Witch Pussy” shirts back in the days of you being in Carolina?

Oh yeah! That’s the money that I used to move to L.A.. When I first realized I was making super good meme’s because I hadn’t seen a meme get super big before, it was the Supreme Witch Pussy meme. That was my first super viral meme that was getting a lot of shares on tumblr and shit, and I was like “fuck I didn’t even watermark that one, damn IDK what to do.” I saw people were saying that phrase all the time and it was people’s Twitter handles and shit so I was like “Oh I need to capitalize on this before someone else does”. So I made like 20-30 Supreme Witch Pussy shirts and sold out of them in like a week and a half. I used that money to fly to California.

Has LA welcomed you with open arms thus far, and how has the experience been?

Yeah it’s been pretty tight! Since day 1 everyone has been pretty welcoming of me since I already had the internet presence, it wasn’t huge but it was ok on Facebook and Twitter. I had people that I knew out here so it was easy to just get around and network and meet people. Everyone’s just really cool. I don’t know. I feel like my experience in L.A. is a lot different than everyone else’s, it might be similar, I don’t know. I remember when I played Ham on Everything and did my Masked Gorilla interview that Adam had never heard my music before, he just booked me to play! He was like “he’s gonna be tight, I know it!”, and I was! So, things like that happen. People don’t know who you are but they like you so you can just do stuff.

Can you tell us about the first meme you made?

Oh man let’s see. I honestly cannot remember! I make so many memes and people show me them and are like “this thing that you made is so funny”, but I cannot remember the exact first meme I mad, but I know it was bad. I was really bad at memes for a while and I feel really bad for anyone who was following me back in the day. I was just trying to figure out what the hell.


What was it like meeting your crush Erin Jeen?

Man, should I tell the story the real way of the Erin Jeen saga? I don’t want people to think I was some Charlie Kelly and she was the waitress type things. One time I was on the facebook and I had this idea, this was like a year ago before I even lived in California but I was still making memes, I was like “I wonder what would happen if I made memes about a girl, would she think that was funny or would she call the cops?”. Nobody had ever done that before! I completely forgot about that idea until I started following Erin Jeen, I don’t remember why, I think all the L.A. people were doing it, and she was like a girl. I didn’t know about her Instagram at all or anything like that. She had posted about people making fan memes about her or something like that, she had some kinda fan page or something, and I was like “Fuck that, I can make way better memes than whoever the hell made those memes, and you’re hot so I’m gonna do this idea that I had and see what happens!”. So I started this whole weird ass meme campaign. She’s cool and stuff, like I wasn’t actively trying to swoon her in real life. I had met her in real life before but I’m not sure if she remembers that. I met her at Emo Night in October, so I had already seen her before so I didn’t think it was super, super weird that I was doing it, but it was still weird that I was doing it. The first couple memes I made went off and I was like “ok cool”. This was good for both things I wanted to do, it was good for my music career, and it’s good for this weird experiment. Everyone loved it so much that I just carried on the stories throughout my life whenever I would see her somewhere I would just add on to it. And, yeah everyone loved it. I think the first real time we met – actually I don’t know! The first time we really met was at Complex Con but I don’t know if she remembers it because I was just standing behind her and I didn’t know if she knew who I was or if I was just a weird guy. Eventually she followed me on Twitter and she would help me out with memes that I was making and be like “How should I respond to this post”. She made sure I didn’t come off as a creep because I didn’t wanna seem like I was making it ok to stalk someone (laughs). I didn’t want anyone to think you can be like me and just stalk a girl for like 3 weeks, and eventually she’ll become your friend and come to you art show. That’s not the story I wanted to put out to the world.

You had your memes featured as an art show. What/how mad you decide to do that? And looking back on the event how was it?

I decided to do it as a joke because I was frustrated that people were like stealing my memes all the time and not crediting me, even though they are extremely specific. You could just be like “Hey, I got this off Ka5sh’s page”, I don’t know. I was like “Memes are art and I deserve to be credited because I’m an artist!”. Junior High commented on my post because I was saying I wanted to create a meme art show, and she was like “Do it!”. So I met with her that Wednesday and we picked a day for it, and she was like “Just collect sponsors for this show and you can do it”, and I did! The show was like, at first I thought it would be the worst thing in the world and stupid and no one would like it, but it did super well and there was like over 1000 people came, and people couldn’t get in, and it was raining so people were just waiting in line in the rain, and they still didn’t get to get in. I think that’s good! I threw the world’s first meme art show, and I got asked to do more, so that’s cool.

If you could choose, what are say your 3 favorite memes that you’ve made?

I would for sure pick Lincoln Build, because that was my first, well, technically second catchphrase that caught on because the first was Supreme Witch Pussy. That got bigger than I could ever imagine and famous people were saying it. Pete Wentz (from Fall Out Boy) wanted that on a windbreaker but I never made it. Second one probably would be the whole, in a saga, all of my Erin Jeen memes collectively put together because in my head that’s a meme in general, that whole campaign was a meme. My third favorite meme would have to be a meme I made for the art show which was “Reasons Why I Like White Women”. Is it because I like them for who they are or do I like them because they have a fat ass and Eurocentric beauty standards, and stuff like that. I don’t know how to describe that meme unless you look at my page, but I feel like that one was really artisnal, and the way I used Android emoji’s instead of iPhone emoji’s to make it extra black. I mixed the feminist format with the hood format and no one has done that before, I wanna experiment with that more. I burnt myself out with long format memes (laughs).

Most recently you created the “I fw the vision” movement which has gone viral. How did you come up with that and was there a particular person who inspired you?

Me and my friend Carmen were talking on the phone one time, and this was something I’d been tinkering with for a long time where I was making fun of, specifically rappers, that when they would take pictures of people who were more famous than them they would be like “Yeah building with the big homie, we up next”. I was thinking about that like all the time, like “how do I convey that thought?”. First I was gonna start taking pictures with random people and do that but then I was like “no one’s gonna get that joke other than me”. Like if I was to take a picture with a random Asian dude and be like “Building with the big homie, he say we up next”, I didn’t think anyone would get that. So I translated that idea when I saw the Travis Scott, the first dude I saw when I made the “When you hear Travis Scott at prom for the first time, he was the first dude who inspired me putting Supreme next to it because I went on his Instagram and found all these pictures. The other guy who really inspired it was this dude that was wearing the Supreme hoodie as pants, so I was like “this dude is perfect!”. So I combined all those things together and put Supreme on top of everything as like the final addition to the joke, so whenever I would make a “FW the vision” meme I would put Supreme all over it. For some reason people just got it, like, “This is the guy that does that!”, and then it just caught on.

What are a few reasons why you’re famous?

 Man, the list has gone up since the last time I’ve talked about this. Well, I did the world’s first meme art show, I currently beefin’ with Father John Misty. I met the Rock when I was little, so for sure yes. I’ve met Jack Black, he gave me a thumbs up, pretty sure he doesn’t remember that, but I do. Fuck man, I wish I could remember all the things that make me famous! I have a John Mayer tattoo, and I met John Mayer and showed him that tattoo!

Did he like it?

I can’t remember. Well, I remember what he said, he said “Yeah I made a lot of bad decisions when I was younger, too.”. But still, that’s fine.

You’re currently beefin’ with Father John Misty, how did that unfold?

It’s because one time me and my friend Snake Lively were at Whole Foods, and she made a joke about “Was that Father John Misty” when we drove past somebody, and I was like “Fuck that’s hilarious!”. I can’t remember if she was legitimately asking if that was Father John Misty or not, but I was just like “Ok, cool” and I ended up making that joke on Twitter a few days ago saying “Have you ever been to Whole Foods and wondered which one of y’all is Father John Misty?”. He replied to it, because I guess he searches his name to see what people say about him I guess, and he was like “it was a joke for yuppies and it’s a sure fire way to expand your brand” and basically shit on my joke. I know exactly the tone of how he was saying it, but I don’t know how to explain it as a diss, but I know it is. So then I told him to meet me at the Whole Foods in downtown L.A., and he didn’t show up. I’m still gonna make a diss track though because I think that’s better than making an Ugly God diss track. A Father John Misty diss track will go far. No rapper has ever just dissed an Indie Rock guy (laughs). I think the world needs to hear this, I’m gonna record it this week.

You just dropped your EP which featured the single “I’m Depressed”. “I’m depressed” obviously has depressed subject matter but is very happy sounding. How did you decide upon the creativity of the song and execution?

 It’s weird, whenever I’m cycling through beats Yung Skrrt who produces for me, he doesn’t show me beats like that I used for “I’m Depressed” because I’m looking for hard beats like the other half of the EP. That one really spoke to me and kinda reminded me of “Broccoli” by DRAM & Lil Yachty, and I was like “I like how this feels, but I’m not happy and I don’t rap about happy things” so I thought what if I just do the complete opposite of what a song like this would be like. So I started freestyling *sings “I’m Depressed”* and doing this weird voice, and Yung Skrrt was like “you need to make this a song”. I made the song in probably the fastest I’ve ever made a song, in like 15-20 minutes. Then everyone was like “This is gonna be a hit!”, and I don’t know, it’s not super big but it’s bigger than any song I’ve put out. I don’t fucking get how people are getting a million views, I wish I could figure that the fuck out. I tried hard to get 20,000 views. Also I gotta remind myself I’ve been making music for a while but this is my first solo project, so I’m basically starting over and this is good for a debut project, I gotta remember that.

You just recently took over the No Jumper Twitter, how did that happen?

It’s weird I’ve only ever interacted with Adam22 like a handful of times at parties and shit. They talked about me on No Jumper 1 time because of the Erin Jeen memes. Also I realized that somehow unbeknownst to me I became friends with everyone in No Jumper besides Adam (laughs). I’m friends with Robesman, and Cam Girl, and HousePhon3 and all those people, so everyone in that camp knows who I am. So they were looking for someone to make memes and content for their account and I was like “dude I should fucking do that!”, so I emailed them and Adam told me to text him and was like “Yeah ,do it”, and gave me the password immediately. At first I didn’t think everyone was gonna get my brand of humor and I was scared no one was gonna like it and the next day they were like “this is amazing”, and the account gained like 6,000 followers. I think that’s notable, you could that on a resume.

What does the rest of the year have in store for ka5sh?

God I don’t know, it’s so random. Right now, Vice T.V. show, that’s in the works I just gotta sign the contract for that. I’m pitching a show for MTV, so hopefully that goes through to development and that gets happening. I’m doing more meme art shows, and I’m playing a festival in September but that’s forever from now. Anything that I feel like I can do. Maybe I’ll make a movie this year if I feel like I have time to do that, or at least write the screenplay. I was inspired because I saw Jordan Peele was looking for scripts from Black filmmakers and I was like “Oh shit, I’m gonna do that”, but then I also tried to find Jordan Peele’s email address but I can’t fucking find it anywhere so I don’t know why that article said that. He’s not available to reach. Hopefully if I do write it, somebody know’s it and can get me to this guy!