To be perfectly honest, when I first saw East Oakland rapper Kreayshawn’s (pronounced “creation”) new video “Gucci Gucci,” I was crushed. Knowing the rap game had yet to see a white female rapper (sorry, Ke$ha), I hoped this was a gap I could fill— achieving fame not through talent, but instead for being the first to capitalize on an untouched sub-genre.
Then I saw “Gucci Gucci.” With her Jeff Koons-esque hot pink balloon headband, considerable swagger, massive Chicago Blackhawks chain, and numerous references to swisher blunts and “basic bitches,” Kreayshawn proves herself as the trail blazing, emphasis on the blazing, anglo-feme rapper I hoped to become. Her lyrics are funny and clever, yet she doesn’t take herself too seriously: “bitch you ain’t no Barbie/ I see you work at Arby’s/ number 2, super size, hurry up I’m starving.”
Her badass, semi-androgynous aesthetic is equally admirable; rather than adopting the uber-sexualized look that defines so many female musicians, Kreayshawn rocks oversized M.I.A. sweatshirts, fitted hats, and tattooed knuckles. This break with traditional gender notions extends to her attitude. When asked in an interview “what makes a bitch real?” she responds: “Can’t have no quiet bitches on the team.”
Finally cementing my sheer admiration – Kraeyshawn claims her biggest influence as Hype Williams, particularly for the videos he made for Missy Elliott in the ‘90s. Seriously, it’s like she took the words from my mouth. Kreayshawn stole my thunder.
That being said, I have no musical background. Kreayshawn, on the other hand, wrote her first song at age 5, which she performed with her mother’s punk-surf band, The Trash Women. By age 10, she and a friend from the neighborhood were writing and recording complete mix-tapes and crafting their own beats. Kreayshawn’s artistic pursuits are widespread—in addition to rapping, she also enjoys cinematography (for which she briefly attended UC Berkeley film school) and drawing. “I’m hella creative,” she boasts, showcasing that Bay Area lingo.
Yet despite her strong ties to the Bay—she’s lived in San Francisco for 10 years and Oakland for another decade—Kreayshawn considers herself “from another planet,” and it shows in her work, which oozes eccentricity. As is likely clear at this point, I have serious faith in this bitch. Since I began writing this review, Kreayshawn has received recognition from Pitchfork, the Guardian, and GQ. The wheels of the hype machine are spinning, kids, and I sincerely hope that Kreayshawn lives up to it. And if not, let’s hope everyone forgets this little video, and clears the way for your girl to be the first white female rapper in the game.