About a year ago, a relatively unknown rapper from Oakland, Calif. dropped a song that took the web by storm, gathering millions of YouTube hits in a matter of weeks. Kreayshawn’s track, “Gucci Gucci,” was a goofy, subversive send-up of brand label mania, and immediately earned her equal amounts of praise and scorn. People called her an amateur rapper, an industry fad, and a one-hit wonder. Now, she’s out to prove them all wrong. Kreayshawn’s debut major label album Somethin’ Bout Kreay will be released this September on Columbia, and the Bay Area rapper is ready to take her haters head-on. We caught up with Kreay to chat about the inspiration for the album’s title, her love of BAPE, and why nobody really seems to “get” the meaning behind her first hit.
OS: You recently teamed up with Tragik, Grimes, and Blood Diamonds on the track “Don’t Smoke My Blunt Bitch.” Are you all planning on doing more music together as L$D, or was that just a one-off deal?
K: It was just four musicians hanging out in a room who ended up making a song. We really just did it for fun. It was like, “Let’s make a song in ten minutes!” We literally said that before we made the song. Maybe if we all sit in a room together someday it’ll happen again, but it was really just for fun. It was like that for the video, too. We shot it the next day. Tragik is a legendary-ass filmer and editor, and she was able to turn it around in less than a day. It’s cool to see something like that happen.
OS: Obviously you’re more focused on the new album right now. What can you tell us about the title? It immediately brings to mind the ’98 Farrelly brothers movie¦
K: It definitely has that same type of feeling. It basically started when I was talking about how hella guys are in love with me. Well, not hella guys. But there are always guys who are trying to talk to me through a friend. They’re all like, “Hook me up with Kreay! Hook me up with Kreay!” This was in the middle of me trying to name my album about anything that I saw. I’d be like, “Look at that pole! Let’s name the album¦Really Long Pole.” So I’m thinking of album names, and my homie’s like, “Damn. There’s just something ’bout Kreay that makes the guys go wild!” And I was just like, “That’s it! Something ‘Bout Kreay. That’s it!” It came from that, but I realize there’s also just something about Kreayshawn that people either really love or really hate me. It’s never in between. It’s always something about me that either makes them hate me or makes them love me.
It’s no secret that the Internet is a crucial tool to any artist in the twenty-first century. Not only does the web give artists an easy way to let the public hear their music, but it also gives them a direct line of communication with platforms like Twitter and Facebook. And in no musical community is the Internet more important than in hip hop. The emergence of mixtape culture has prompted rappers to release countless tracks for free online to build buzz and make a name for themselves. The ease in which artists can release tracks, and the speed at which these tracks can go viral, gives the web the ability to create superstars overnight.
For example, take one of the newest Internet rap phenomenons, ASAP Rocky. After releasing just a handful of songs at the end of the summer, he signed a $3 million deal with Sony/RCA. That’s a lot of money for an unproven rapper who’s new to the scene. Although he did release the solid free mixtape LiveLoveA$AP right after signing the deal, there’s no way to tell if he will be able to deliver on the hype when he releases his major label debut. Did Sony/RCA jump the gun and sign him before he was ready?
There’s a new crew in town and they came to play. The White Girl Mob has taken hip hop by storm through a ninja-like internet crawl and some standout stars making big waves. The Oakland-based crew made mainstream take notice with Kreayshawn’s solo single, Gucci Gucci and V-Nasty’s nasty habit of dropping the n-bomb.
Kreayshawn’s impressive resume includes directing videos for Lil B and the video for Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new single, TheAdventures Of Rain Dance Maggie. She is nominated for ˜Best New Artist’ at the upcoming MTV VMA’s for her single, Gucci Gucci. The viral video received over 3 million hits (watch after the jump), launching the Bay-area beauty into superstardom.
Her rise to fame hasn’t been all smooth sailing. In recent months, she paraphrased DMX in a Twitter post, using the n-word in the reference. Many were offended, and the backlash commenced. The situation made headlines when another Mob member, V-Nasty, used the n-word in her rhymes. Kreayshawn apologized, saying I don’t use that word in my music. My sister V-Nasty says it all the time. I don’t say it in my music. It’s not my place.” Her bandmate’s brazen attitude has done even more damage.
“On some real n*gga sh*t…y’all muthaf*ckas ain’t never walked in my shoes, bruh. Y’all ain’t never seen where I came from…That sh*t be hella fake, muthaf*ckas always asking Kreayshawn, ‘Why you gotta say n*gga?’ Is n*gga a f*cking race? Am I offending people? Am I saying it in a disrespectful type of way?”