The New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones joked that he would buy anyone a box of Junior Mints if they remembered how to spell Kreayshawn come December, when asked whether the latest white-rapper phenom is just a fad. But at the rate that she’s going, we may not just know how to spell Kreayshawn, we’ll probably also remember her given name (Natassia Gail Zolot) and that she’s a third-generation Russian-American.
The video for Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci,” posted to YouTube in mid May, has close to nine million views and almost immediately after it was uploaded she signed a million-dollar deal with Columbia Records. Seasoned producers and record executives like Sean “Diddy” Combs reportedly were upset when they got news she had signed on to Columbia. Lil Wayne sampled her “Gucci Gucci” beats in his “Sorry 4 the Wait” mixtape and she most recently directed a music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new single.
In Wednesday’s issue of fashion-trade paper Women’s Wear Daily, Kreayshawn explained how it sucked to be her growing up. “When I was younger, growing up in the ‘hood, being the only white girl, like, there’s time when you’re like s–t, it sucks being white, you know?”
The woman is 21, hasn’t even finished high school, but charmed her way in to a film school on scholarships (and was later kicked out when she was implicated for the disappearance of a $1,000 cable). Now she’s directing music videos for seven-time Grammy winners Red Hot Chili Peppers. But it sucks to be white in Oakland?
Some critics say that’s exactly the problem. Colorlines.com’s very own Jamilah King wrote, “Kreayshawn represents one of the most insidious traits of white privilege: the inability to even notice it. Of course, the irony is that the rapper has openly talked about being white lots of times.”
Bene Viera at Clutch Magazine pointed out Kreayshawn has been able to avoid an over sexualized image because of her whiteness:
It’s ironic how the White girl mimicking Black culture has been viewed as quirky, cute, and interesting in the past. But sisters who fashionably rock bamboo earrings, gold nameplate necklaces, and blonde streaked weaves, will inevitably be considered “ghetto” by society. It’s equally problematic that every female emcee post Queen Latifah and MC Lyte who has had massive mainstream success all had to sell sex.
<p>Her latest controversy is around the use of the n-word. Kreayshawn herself says she doesn't use it, but her DJ and sidekick V-Nasty does, and she uses it very often.</p> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="640"> <tbody><tr> <td width="339"><p><a href="http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/06/kreayshawn.html">New York Magazine's Nitsuh Abebe</a> recounts Kreayshawn's manager explaining fellow white rapper V-Nasty's use of the n-word. </p> <blockquote> <p>"She has 35th Project tattoos; she's been to jail a lot. In the Bay Area, they don't look at her as the white girl, they look at her as the homegirl, because everybody's been born and raised together. You don't know how it looks until you go elsewhere. The Internet puts it out there and says 'racial slurs.' But her mom is black -- the woman that raised her is black -- and she calls her 'nigga.' As in, 'nigga, get your ass back in the house.'"</p> </blockquote> </td> <td width="12"> </td> <td width="289"><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/TIXLX1i_GXA" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="229" width="350"></iframe></td> </tr> </tbody></table> <p>Now V-Nasty is in the game too. Get ready for her.</p><p>This post has been changed since its publication; we've expanded the quote from Nitsuh Abebe's piece, to make it more clear as to who calls who the n-word in V-Nasty's household.</p>