June 14, 2011
Kreayshawn: The new Vanilla Ice, but worse, because she's a woman
Aside from Noz's black friend who writes for the Root, black people are mostly indifferent towards Odd Future. Most black people probably never even heard of them. I heard one of the songs from Goblin on Sirius once or twice the week that album came out, via "astroturfing," but that's about it. But now I'm starting to hear it on Sirius' indie rock station, XMU - which is quite literally unprecedented. The only time I've ever heard rap music on XMU is when they let the cracka-ass cracka from one of these indie rock blogs list his favorite albums of the year, a while back, and one of them was Cuban Linx II. I remember thinking there must have been something wrong with my radio. These Sirius stations don't pull that shit white alt-rock stations used to pull back in the '90s, where they didn't play any rap music... except for the occasional rap song by a white artist. To this day, you can turn on 105.7 The Point, here in St. Louis, and randomly hear "Time to Get Ill," or "Jump Around." It's because terrestrial radio stations are funded by advertising, and these advertisers aren't gonna want to spend any money with a station, if they think too many dreaded n-words listen to it. That's the reason why the pop charts are dominated by shitty black music and music that sounds like shitty black music, but there's only ever one or two stations that play that kind of music: a "hip-hop" station, which mostly plays shitty R&B and rap music that sounds like shitty R&B, and a top 40 station, which is like a version of the "hip-hop" station that's more palatable to white people. Also, some shit - like alcohol - you're not allowed by law to advertise on stations that too many kids listen to. That's why there's so many country stations, soft rock stations, old head R&B stations, so on and so forth. It makes you wonder how Tyler the Juggalo ended up on Sirius' indie rock station, if it doesn't sound shit like indie rock, and since they don't normally play any rap music, even by white people. Is it because there was so much discussion of OFWGYMCA on sites people who listen to XMU check, like Hipster Runoff, Thought Catalog, and, erm, the official Tegan and Sara website? Or did one of the TIs from Interscope, realizing black people don't generally #fuxwit juggalo music, make a few phone calls.
But I digress.
Whereas black people could mostly give a rat's ass about Odd Future, it seems like they (we) can't stand this chick Kreayshawn, the supposedly white (but kinda Arab-looking, for my liking) rapper behind the instant smash hit "Gucci Gucci," which is apparently doing Rebecca Black numbers on YouTube (but not necessarily for lulz purposes?). Several black sites I check have posted the video of Kreayshawn's sister dropping the dreaded n-word in a freestyle, as if it's all of a sudden cool for white chicks to drop the n-bomb anywhere other than in my dreams, and the subsequent interview in which Kreayshawn herself explains why she should be allowed to use the term. I posted a quote from that interview here. Another guy from the aforementioned the Root got in that ass, arguably even deeper than their post on OFWGYMCA. I thought this may have been a black guy as well, since I'm not sure what's the point of a cracka-ass cracka writing something for the Root, perhaps another one of Noz's black friends, if there's more than one of them (of course Noz himself once wrote something for the Root), but I consulted Google image search, and it looks it may have in fact been a white guy, albeit one of these white people who live in the hood, eat bean pies and wear dashikis, like in - and here I'm dating myself - I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. There was a post on one of these sites where salty black chicks get together to bitch and moan about their lack of ability to generate a full, healthy head of hair, as if that would be a dealbreaker for any straight man, which I'm assuming was definitely written by a black person. And finally (for the time being), there was a post on NPR Music, by a white chick with a penchant for silly identity politics, usually of the feminism variety, but you know how the political correctness community occasionally finds it important to take an ecumenical approach to its hand wringing. Hence, for example, the occasional post on Gawker criticizing Drudge for his coverage of Ghetto Violence Week in Miami, as if they'd want those people in their own backyard. They must think we're stupid...
With all due respect, past and present, and without further to do, selected excerpts from the Internets' various responses to Kreayshawn.
The Root, on the real reason people like Kreayshawn:
To be clear, Kreayshawn's buzz -- which has landed her a deal with Columbia Records -- is more about novelty than the quality of her music. Her weirdness and, yes, her whiteness are what have made her blog fodder and a hot commodity. White America likes to see white people rap, even if they're bad at it. It's part of a misguided notion that white people doing "black things" are complex and therefore noteworthy.
The Root, on whether or not Kreayshawn has any talent:
Let's forget, for a moment, about the fact that Kreayshawn is white; put aside whatever knee-jerk "culture vulture" reservations you might have about her; and actually listen to her rap. She sucks. Her flow is inept and stilted, and her voice is reminiscent of every telemarketer you've ever wanted to hang up on.
Clutch Magazine, on the precedent for this sort of thing:
Elvis Presley was not the originator of rock ‘n’ roll. That would be Chuck Berry. Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” is said to be the first hip-hop song to top the Billboard charts (others argue it was “Rapture” by Blondie). Justin Timberlake went from the pop sensation group ‘N Sync to the soulful singing White boy with swag. My point? America has always capitalized off of Black culture. Kreayshawn, the new White girl rapper, is only the latest byproduct.
Clutch Magazine, on where Kreayshawn found her gimmick:
I don’t believe for one second her image is authentic. It is one derived of the stereotypical “sister girl” trope we’ve seen time and time again. Understand, I’m not arguing whether “sister girl” actually exists. I’m not even arguing that the “sister girl” is to be shunned. But Kreayshawn’s image, how she carries herself, her lyrics are all derivative of her very limited view of Black culture.
Crunk Feminist Collective, on how Kreayshawn makes black women feel:
The White Girl Mob media darling blowing up the interwebs whose potential deal with Sony is making waves makes me angry in a way I haven’t been in a long time. Her appropriative swag is yet another reminder (not that we needed any more this month) of how little black women are valued in our society, even in genres we co-create.
Crunk Feminist Collective, on what Kreayshawn thinks about black women:
Kreyashawn is the perfect accoutrement to the tortured misogyny of her friends and co-signers Odd Future. For her, calling women bitches and hoes is funny, a category she is somehow exempt from via her whiteness and sometimes queerness. She’s got swag because she fucks bitches too, though she’s quick to point out she’s “not a raging lesbian.”
NPR Music, on Kreayshawn's many black (albeit male) friends:
One-liners like that, as well as the Kreayshawn's biography as the daughter of a single mother who grew up in racially diverse East Oakland, suggest that she does experience herself as an equal member of a multiracial scene (she also very publicly hangs with black male rappers like Soulja Boy, the Odd Future crew and Lil B, for whom she's directed a couple of videos).
NPR Music, on other white chicks who copped their swag from black people:
White women appropriating women of color's style to gain access to masculine power is a common pop strategy. Pink does it in "Raise Your Glass," Gwen Stefani did it with "Hollaback Girl," Christina Aguilera does it every time she covers "Lady Marmalade" and those are just recent examples. Here we are circling back to the discussion of Amy Winehouse I mentioned in my post on Adele: Kreayshawn even physically resembles that earlier swag princess.
The Kreayshawn Myth [The Root]
Kreayshawn: Another Case of Appropriating Black Culture [Clutch Magazine]
On Kreayshawn and the Utility of Black Women [Crunk Feminist Collective]
Byron Crawford a/k/a Bol is the celebrated author of several books, most recently NaS Lost: A Tribute to the Little Homey.
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