Kreayshawn has been on the lips of many this year, since coming to the world’s attention via YouTube with the track ‘Gucci Gucci’. Now signed to Columbia Records the 22-year-old has been the subject of more than 16 million YouTube hits and the target of hackers, critics and Rick Ross. Accused of being a racist, a one hit wonder and a fraud, Kray like many of the biggest artists of the last few decades has created much controversy.
TaleTela wanted to set things straight once and for all and see what was behind the leader of LA’s The White Girl Mob. Kreay upon arrival was very chilled and almost child-like and continued to be as we talked about the VMA’s, the N-word and what the future holds for Hip-Hop’s most talked about new star….
To those who automatically dismiss you as some kind of YouTube Rebecca Black one hit wonder, what do you say to them?
That’s a hard thing to hear because I am a new artist and you can’t expect a new artist to come out with a whole entire album. It’s all about time, some people don’t wanna give me the time to work on my stuff, and it’s hard because you get signed and then you have to push the single and it’s been four months of pushing the single and I get frustrated because I know I am not a one hit wonder. I know I am not viral video crazy lady who’s just popping in and popping out – I need the time to make music and improve. It’s all about just having the time to work on stuff…but apparently Rebecca Black is making more music and getting a lot of views…
It’s a lot easier to get a viewpoint out there and validated nowadays thanks to social networking and you seem pretty calm at the moment despite all the various stories about you, so when people put stuff up online about you – how do you deal with it?
You can’t address it, you can’t talk about it and there are times when I talk to my manager and I tell him ‘I’m gonna say this on Twitter and I’m gonna say this’ and he is like ‘No, don’t do it.’ There have been times when he told me not to do it and I did it anyway and he was right I shouldn’t have done it. Because it always backfires on me, so it sucks that you can’t always say what you want to say but it’s best to not say anything most of the time.
There are always days a girl goes through and you just wanna look at everything and be like ‘F**k this’ this is crazy…but overall the bigger picture is a lot brighter than the little shit and you’ve just gotta look over the little shit and keep it pushing.
What was your reaction to the nude pictures of you that were leaked online whilst you were at this year’s MTV VMA Awards?
That was especially difficult for me because it happened whilst I was at the awards show, and I was on my Twitter and I was tweeting ‘Oh my God! Chris Brown just performed, it is so amazing’ and I was just so happy to be there – and then I just started to notice weird things going on and we ended up leaving early because when we looked at the videos that were posted and what they were saying it was just some creepy stuff.
The videos were from this anonymous anti-Hollywood, anti-gay, anti-scientology group. They hacked Tom Cruise, they hacked CNN and put out a terrorist threat the other day…these people are crazy and I was one of the first people that they targeted – they ended up getting my email and it sucks because those pictures were private to the point that I didn’t want them on my computer so I emailed them to myself. I was underage in those pictures as well so it was just the worst thing that could happen. My mum was at the house watching the VMA’s, so I came home early and my mum was there seeing everything so it was a horrible invasion of privacy…but f**k it I can’t take the pictures back…
How do you feel about all the controversy in the black community, over you using the ‘N-word’?
That sucks because it was my sister who was using the word in her music and for some reason people couldn’t tell the difference between us. We look totally different from each other but it’s hard to say anything about it because it’s my sister and I love her but I know what’s right and what’s wrong. My Aunt tells my sister ‘it sounds like Kreayshawn is throwing you under the bus’ because I say stuff like ‘it’s not right I don’t say that word, that’s her’. But she understands and she told me ‘I am my own person, if anybody askes you about it tell them to ask me about it.’
Oakland is a whole different place compared to the rest of the world, definitely the Bay Area is different. So she is learning and she is travelling outside of Oakland for the first time in her entire life, she is going to Chicago and Atlanta – so she is learning all kinds of things now, and learning to take certain words out of her vocabulary that don’t belong there.
So you’re at the beginning of your musical journey, compared to your perceptions before ‘Gucci Gucci,’ has the industry been different from what you thought it would be?
Honestly no – I never made music with the intention of signing a deal, it was always something I did to express myself and once it became an option and all these labels were fighting over me I had to go for it. You hear a lot of money and you’re like ‘Yes, please’ – but it’s a lot of hard work and it really changes your whole entire life. I didn’t expect this but I am definitely thankful for the chance I got to change my life. Even though I miss doing the old ghetto things I used to do but y’know…I gotta grow up, this industry is a good way to grow up.
In what ways have you ‘grown up’ trying to deal with the fame?
Being mature and just being able to forget things, and thank God the internet is always moving – the next day no one gives a s**t.
Do you think being a woman has contributed to the controversy you have generated so far within the Hip-Hop community?
Well I think it’s hard for any woman coming up especially in rap music because they always wanna pin you against other women, and want to make it sound like you’re beefing. Rap music is one of the only genres of music that feed off of so much drama and beef and all this extra stuff. You never see two rock bands beefing each other, they’ll never ask the Red Hot Chilli Peppers ‘what do you think of the Foo Fighters?’ It’s definitely hard as a female and being in the rap industry and on top of it all being white. It’s difficult but I can only be me and keep doing what I am doing, I can’t let it scare me out of anything because I have been in way scarier situations in my life than being a rapper.
When ‘Gucci Gucci’ went big on YouTube – racking up millions of views in a matter of weeks – what was your honest reaction to that?
I had no idea that it would even receive that many hits, most of the videos that I had done before – the highest views they hit was like 100,000. Some videos that I directed that I wasn’t even in would hit like 250,000 and the Lil B videos that I directed were going up to the millions – so I was always excited about that. But I never thought something that I did, my music would even reach that much – so when it happened I was like ‘what the hell?’ It’s crazy.
This latest movement of L.A Hip-Hop with Odd Future and Tyga etc, to which you belong to really feels like you guys want to change rap music, do you think that the established rappers are threatened by you kids?
I think they like it, if anything I’ve have seen a great response for the bigger rappers; from Snoop Dogg doing a song with me – to Lil’ Wayne doing his thing with ‘Gucci Gucci’. They have been around for a while and they were the ones who were like us but of their generation. Lil’ Wayne started out on the street and he built his name up and Snoop started off in the cuts and built his name up and that’s what we have been doing, so it’s cool to see it all come together.
As a white female MC you don’t have many artists to emulate, who inspires you to get up on stage and do your thing?
My drive to do what I wanna do and push my message pushes me. I love to connect with an audience and when you make music you have to perform it. It’s always fun doing the shows when I have my sisters with me and my crazy hype man who I have grown up with. We had a little mini tour that was like San Francisco, LA, New York and Chicago and it was so much fun being on stage with all of them – it was like one big party for us.
How do you want to change the game? What do you want to do to this industry – what’s next?
I want to open the door for a lot of other artists and I think the internet and YouTube has provided a means for independent artists to expand, the internet gave me the chance to be where I am right now. I would just tell people to keep pushing stuff out, I have about one hundred other videos on YouTube that I’ve directed or that I am in…or me just goofing around with my friends and I’ve got mixtapes and I’m always on UStream. It seemed for a second there that no one was getting signed so I want to help even out the playing field.