Kreayshawn: The Center of Hip-Hop Hate

From Madonna to Public Enemy to Lady Gaga, some artists are just experts at catching audiences’ attention. This can be done by presenting taboo issues, or perhaps by combing fire and a crucifix in a music video. However, it’s less common in contemporary pop culture to be controversial due to something out of your control. For example, your skin color and background, which happens to be the case for Oakland chick rapper Kreayshawn.

If you haven’t heard the song “Gucci Gucci” or the name Kreayshawn, you may be a little out-of-date. In the music video she wields the swagger of a black female rapper à la Nicki Minaj or Lil’ Kim who doesn’t care what anyone thinks and has as much self-satisfaction as Lil’ B or Lil’ Wayne. And if you closed your eyes, you might think she was black. Instead, Kreayshawn is a petite, tattooed, 21-year-old white girl who has the ironic fashion of a modern day “hipster,” but the strong opinion of a pissed off black woman.

While half of Kreayshawn’s YouTube audience is busy creating a viral monster by sharing her video on tumblr, Facebook and Twitter, the other half takes offense to her presence and leave comments like, “Hip Hop is dead.” Almost every blog about Kreayshawn has a list of comments that make up the great debate of 2011. Irate bloggers claim that she is mocking Black culture and has no right to be filling the niche that a black artist should fill. They ask the heavens and Oprah what this world has come to. On the other hand, the calmer bloggers say that hip-hop belongs to nobody, and anyone who wants to rap has the right to do so. Like it or not, the haters and the philosophers are creating this artist. Kreayshawn’s surging popularity is almost definitely due to the controversy she has stimulated, and as history has proven, controversy equals fame.

On May 16, 2011, “Gucci Gucci” was uploaded to Kreayshawn’s personal YouTube account. In a matter of weeks, the video had over three million views. Of course, along with these views there were those comments by the haters and streams of arguments. The majority of viewers “Liked” the video, but there was still a signficant handful of “Dislikes.”

On the evening of June 25 the video was surprisingly removed by YouTube due to a Terms of Service violation. Kreayshawn was quick to comment on the removal by tweeting, “Why is Gucci Gucci deleted off my YouTube account?!?!? Wtf?!?” The tweets continued, followed by the impromptu hashtag, “#FREEGUCCIGUCCI.” Rumors spread that the video was removed because so many users flagged the video, offended by none other than her white racial identity. This may not be true, however, as flagging a video doesn’t precipitate its removal, but rather initiates a censor requiring viewers be 18 years or older to watch. The video was restored to YouTube on June 27 with the view counts and comments (and heated debates) intact.

Although this bickering is what Antoine Dodson might call “really dumb, forreal,” some good points have been discussed. The best argument I have seen pointed out that a black female doing what Kreayshawn is doing would be labeled as “ghetto”; since she is white, however, it is seen as cute and pleasing to the eye. As I myself am guilty of this mindset, it seems this argument is legitimate. However, the truth is that this mindset is inappropriate. It should not matter how the artist looks or acts. I don’t mean to sound like a Lady Gaga song, but regardless of race, religion, or background, anyone could make any music they want, and they should be judged by the art they create, not judged because of their God-given appearance.

Those who say that Kreayshawn is ruining Black Culture and hip-hop music are terribly mistaken. They’ve obviously forgotten the history of Latinos in hip-hop (e.g. Fat Joe, Pitbull, Immortal Technique) and choose to ignore the likes of Eminem and Atmosphere. What we should remember is that Kreayshawn is a remarkable musician, director and editor. Oh, and she just signed a million dollar record deal with Columbia Records. Bicker on that, haters.

Do you think Kreayshawn is worth all this hype? Will whites in hip-hop always stir controversy?

Krystal Danielle Luna My name is Krystal Danielle Luna and I'm a Telecommunication Media Studies major from Weslaco, Texas but, more importantly, I'm the loudest and proudest member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2014! I am a bassist, dog lover, tennis player, World of Warcraft fanatic, debater, optimist, and dreamer. Twitter: @xBirdee

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10 Responses to “Kreayshawn: The Center of Hip-Hop Hate”

  1. Angela Stefano

    White, Black, Asian, Hispanic — I don’t care. BUT, can we PLEASE get away from this culture of rapping about how much money you have, the cars you drive and the brands you wear? (And, actually, that goes for every music genre out there.)

    Reply
    • Krystal Danielle Luna

      Thanks for your response, Angela!
      I agree with you 100%, but as far as I know, rap music has been that way for a long time. In reality, every subject is discussed in rap music. So, as long as rap artists continue to bring some type of variety to the genre (and every genre like you mentioned), I think we will be okay!
      Once again, thanks for reading and letting me know how you feel!

      Reply
      • Angela Stefano

        I think that would be a really interesting thing to explore, actually — materialism in music, and why it’s such a big deal…

        Reply
        • JAYNA

          angela is just too closed minded to get it so angela stick the indigo girls. PLEASE

          Reply
  2. ZZZZgorilla

    Firts, to make things clear, Kreayshawn has not made the charts. Her song Gucci Gucci is a viral hit but people don’t purchased it despite that her record company is spending a massive amount of money on publicity all over the internet. You guys need to check the facts. One hit wonder. She lacks of talent.
    Seconde, this is what the Bay Area thinks about kreayshawn and her friend VNasty:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzQH0HadcqY&feature=feedlik

    Reply
    • Krystal Danielle Luna

      Thanks for your response!
      I went ahead and saw the video you linked. I thought it was interesting, but I want to make clear that out of all the songs I’ve heard and videos I’ve seen of Kreayshawn, I have never heard her use the N word. V Nasty has said it, but I’m not concerned about her.
      Also, you are correct, Gucci Gucci has not charted, but the song is still a hit, and I’m beginning to see promotion for the song on Youtube and Facebook. I wouldn’t be surprised if it charts pretty soon.
      Once again, thanks for reading and letting me know how you feel!

      Reply
  3. Kayla Brown

    The whole point of being an artist is to reinterpret/redefine/reinvent which inevitably translates to pissing people off. I think Kreayshawn is just being herself and it’s honestly really refreshing!

    Also, GucciGucci is cute, but Bumpin Bumpin is way better (in my opinion) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMFsJiAcELY

    Reply
    • Krystal Danielle Luna

      Thanks for your response!
      I really do agree with you! She has creative control and is doing what she really likes. I also like Bumpin’ Bumpin’ more.
      Once again, thanks for reading and letting me know how you feel!

      Reply
  4. mn

    this article talks about not discriminating against whites in hiphop yet she’s is extremely racist. and she lacks talent. she’s never going to make it. rappers like eminent and yelawolf ( and others) are what you can call talented. this article is extremely bias and inaccurate.

    Reply

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