Milwaukee Rapper Kaylee Crossfire proves that she can do it all
Kaylee Crossfire is a woman of many trades. Not only is she a mom, a local businesswoman and a well-known Milwaukee rapper, but she also recently played a lead role in the movie “Untangled.”
Her path to music began when she was in elementary school, where she first learned to play the violin. Although Kaylee's first love was singing, she started to rap when hanging out with her local boys in her community. She was a tomboy and in order to fit in with the crowd, she needed to show off her freestyle skills.
“I always wanted to hang out with the boys,” said Kaylee. “I was a real gangsta girl, so hanging out with the boys had me into hip-hop.”
Her stage name Kaylee Crossfire comes from her first project and mixtape, titled "Crossfire," when she went as K.LEE. Kaylee said she connected with the name because it represented that she was multitalented.
“I was crossing, rapping and singing,” said Kaylee. “‘I was like, ‘Now you’re caught in a crossfire.’ It was this whole slogan I used to say.”
Kaylee appeared on Netflix’s 2019 music reality television series, making her the only Milwaukee rapper contestant. However, before her appearance, she had been rapping for a solid seven years, touring both locally and around other cities. Kaylee said starting a career in Milwaukee had its challenges.
“I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t have a large team of people,” she said. “Everything you see from Kaylee is individually done by me. On the scene, I had to make sure I grinded. I had to let people know that I demand my respect, as a woman in the industry and as a black woman”
Knowing firsthand the struggles and commitment one has to take in a creative industry, Kaylee decided to start her own music academy, Fueling Your Fire. She said that her goal is to be a valuable resource for up-and-coming artists.
“Don't get discouraged if you feel like you don’t have that support system,” said Kaylee. “Some of your biggest supporters are going to be strangers. Sometimes you just have to start and do something. Whether it's finding a little song to remix or reaching out in the community to someone that may have the resources. It’s a little scary but if you connect yourself with the right people, that’s the first part.”
Taking a step back with music, Kaylee dipped her toes in the film industry when she landed a lead role in the movie “Untangled." The film follows a couple that finds themselves involved in a love triangle after a series of miscommunications. “Untangled" is available to watch on Tubi and Amazon Prime.
“The transition was totally unexpected,” she said. “At first I was hesitant. I didn’t know how I would be as an actor. I had to just sit down and find my zen and I said, ‘Look you’re always supposed to challenge yourself.’”
One thing that Kaylee Crossfire continues to show is that she is willing to reinvent herself. Her contagious energy matched with her stellar work ethic shows that she is ready to become a household name.