Back in 2011, Kreayshawn blew up with her song “Gucci Gucci”. Not just a one hit wonder, Kreayshawn is rapper with a novel and eclectic aesthetic that she manages to pull off with genuine, weird girl ethos. Besides the timeless rap themes of lean drinking, blunt smoking, and money making, Kreayshawn also touches on friendship, artistic phantoms, privilege, mental health, love, and pizza. Her songs are equal parts turn up, oddity and girl power. The beats are obscenely infectious and very upbeat. She also draws a lot of visual influence from anime culture, the 90s, and “soft ghetto” fashion. Kreay submerges herself in irony, such that you can never really tell if she’s doing something sarcastically to make fun of internet culture or wholeheartedly believing in her own swag.
Born Natassia Zolot, Kreayshawn was raised in East Oakland, California. During her adolescence, she struggled to get through school because of her serious depression. When she was 16 she was abandoned by her mother and grandfather to fend for herself. She was also expelled from four different high schools for behavioral issues. Kreayshawn soon moved in with, friend and rapper, V-nasty. She then got her GED, and became an employee at Ikea while dealing drugs and briefly being a pimp for her friends on Craigslist. She also received a scholarship to attend Berkeley Digital Film Institute and completed two semesters. V-nasty, Kreayshawn, and fellow artist Lil Debbie then formed the rap group “White Girl Mob,” and the rest is history. Kreay cites Missy Elliot, Gwen Stefani, and the Spice Girls as her biggest musical influences. She has collaborated with 2 Chainz, Yung Lean, V-nasty, Diplo, DJ Two Stacks, Kid Cudi, and Grimes.
In case you didn’t know, Kreayshawn is white. She does not have the lived-in experience of racism that rappers of color do, but she isn’t from a suburban paradise either. She grew up in a neighborhood so violent it was nicknamed “murder dubs.” She’s dealt with mental illness, an absent father, and a young and negligent mother. She is very much a veteran of hardship, and deserves as much respect and legitimacy as male white rappers such as Vanilla Ice and
So, where can you find her now? She’s been releasing very low-key, but not mind blowing, consistent mixes on social media. This year she designed and distributed not one, but two jewelry collections on ok1984.com. And she’s been very busy raising her now one-year-old son, Desmond.
Kreayshawn is definitely a novelty artist and an acquired taste, but she puts a really delightful spin on things and through art creates a little fun world all her own.