When her “Gucci Gucci” video dropped last summer, Kreayshawn found herself in the middle of a maelstrom. Some people thought she was a breath of fresh air and that “Gucci Gucci” was a much-needed middle finger to the label-obsessed materialism that's run unchecked in hip-hop for a very long time. Others simply thought she was the worst (THE WORST) thing that had happened to music. Personally we're happy she brought the world V-Nasty, but one thing is undeniable: Love or hate her, Kreayshawn's got your attention, and once she has it, it's hard to get back.
Her major label debut, Somethin' 'Bout Kreay, is out today. It's a hodge-podge of influence and style, and it's quite good. We talked with Kreayshawn about the work, being afflicted with Don't Give A Fuck Syndrome, and the most horrible thing anyone has said to her on Twitter.
Your new album is out! Congratulations!
Thanks! I'm super excited, because I feel like…people are always waiting to see like what I'm going to do next, what's the follow up to the whole Internet spasm of “Gucci Gucci” and stuff. I'm really excited for all my fans to have more music of mine. And just better quality, good, produced studio music for them to listen to in their car and all that. It's my baby. I'm having my first child today.
Tell me about the labor pains.
The labor pains … it was crazy, because I'm used to recording at home on my laptop with headphones and a mic. It definitely took a second to get used to the whole studio process. It was definitely a whole new experience.
2 Chainz never came by the house to drop a verse on a song you recorded into your laptop?
[Laughs] No, 2 Chainz never came through the old spot in Oakland.
What's going to surprise people about the album?
I think definitely the last song , “luV haus,” is going to surprise everyone, because it literally surprises me every time I listen to it. And it's definitely a whole different side of Kreayshawn. But I wanted the album to be a musical adventure. I wanted every song to kinda represent a different genre of music, and that was kinda the whole thought process behind the album. I want every song to be a reflection of the genres of music that I'm into, because I'm into so many different types of music, different artists.
You're a part of an iPod/mp3 generation that grew up in a shuffle culture, and you're exposed to a lot more genres as a result. It seems a lot of music made by younger artists is harder to categorize because it's all over the place, influence-wise.
I mean, I never really thought of that, but that makes perfect sense. I definitely come from an ADD generation where all you need is to change the channel or skip over something and you can change up a whole different vibe. That's probably why the album came out the way it did. I grew up in the ghetto, but I had a punk rock mom. It was always like half-and-half. It was always super punk rock or super hip-hop and rap and, you know, in between those two are so many other sub genres. It's an Internet ADD culture album, for sure.
One song that stands out on the album is “BFF.” It's a slow, heartfelt love ballad.
Actually, “BFF” is literally my favorite song on the album. Well, they're all my favorite. But “BFF” is so good to me because it's cheesy, but it makes sense. I got in the booth and I was just singing and playing around. I just made the song about best friends. Literally, in, like, one take almost. That song is amazing. Every time it comes on, you gotta blast it and sing it and cry.
You've talked openly in the past about being a longtime sufferer of “Don't Give A Fuck Syndrome.” Are you still afflicted, and can you tell us what the symptoms are so we can know if we've caught a case.
I still have that. It's always a battle. It's like you don't give a fuck, but at the same time, you give a fuck about how much you don't give a fuck. But then that doesn't make sense. So you just don't give a fuck at the end of the day. And I think it's one of those things when you're really comfortable with yourself and like who you are and you already know, “Oh, I'm going to be like this forever. This is the way I am.” You try not to hold your tongue as much. Sometimes you don't want to say something; you don't want to do something, because you think it's weird, even though it makes you feel normal. I think if you're suffering from Don't Give A Fuck Syndrome you just like doing whatever you want to do and, like, not giving a fuck what people say. Or if people say something bad about it, you laugh at it. You're like, ha, they're stupid… if they don't get it, it doesn't mean it's stupid, they just don't get it. That's their problem, not mine.
This last year has been quite a ride for you. You became famous almost overnight with the online success of “Gucci Gucci.” With that, of course, comes the inevitable detractors, people who tell you what you're doing isn't worth a shit. You address these haters on “Like It Or Love It.” What's a typical day like for you in regards to dealing with haters ?
People have their opinion on where I should be or what I should do. But they don't know who I am. They don't know what's going on. They don't know what I think. I definitely never made anything with the intent to get it where it's gotten so it's like people don't know what they're talking about. They just wish they were in my position. “Like It Or Love It” is definitely, like, I don't give a fuck. I'm going to say whatever I wanna say … even if it doesn't make sense. Whatever, this is my shit. It's my world. It's my song. And it's definitely cool that I got [Kid] Cudi on that too, cuz I feel like he's one of those people as well who doesn't give a fuck what people say and it's like he has his own vision for what he wants to do and he's going to do it no matter what people in the media or other artists say or think he should be doing.
You mention media and other artists, but nowadays, it's the general public who can cast the most judgment. Through Twitter, anyone can send hateful messages to you from their phone with the press of a send button.
When I say media, I also mean music blogs written by people who aren't qualified to make opinions on music as well. It sucks that that gets tied in with official things like Complex and LA Weekly and stuff. Things that have had this history of researching and doing things right and then you have some asshole who has a blog that might be a little bit popular making these opinions just so he can run ads on it. It sucks.
It's interesting to hear you say that, because some people might say the same thing of you, that just because you have access to a laptop and can make beats in FruityLoops or whatever doesn't give you the right to rap. Technology today allows access for everyone to do everything, and it's surprising to hear someone who's grown up in a generation that believes having a public platform validates your opinions say, essentially, “These blogs aren't valid” or that people aren't qualified.
You gotta understand. My mom's in music. I had a mic in my hand at the age of two. My love for music and my passion and me being involved in music goes back to my first vinyl appearance in 1995. Me and my homegirl were making beats on my mom's computer at 10-years-old, printed out mixtapes and handed them out to our friends just for fun. I never made music with the intention to make money in my life. I never sold a song. I'd never been paid for a verse. None of that. I do what I do for the love of music. That's why sometimes it's hard, because when you get into this position people think these weird things about you. I'm never mad at anybody. I did blow up off of “Gucci Gucci.” That was the main thing. But my love and history of music goes way far back. And I think that is kinda like the difference between people who just come and go. I know girls who will say, “Oh, I just started rapping five months ago cuz my friends told me I should rap because it would be cool.” That's not cool. But if you have love for music, I think that's what makes a good musician and a lasting musician.
Someone like you, who has a half a million Twitter followers, probably can't keep up with all the tweets sent your way, good or bad. Do you try?
I used to be so bad with my Twitter, always paying attention. Always reading. I'm alert. I'm always watching. I'm always watching everything that happens. So for a while, I had an issue, just always being down on myself, reading these things. Then I learned how to only read the good things. After I kinda took a break from Twitter, even though that sounds super stupid, I took a break from Twitter and I kinda, like, forgot how to tweet. I forgot how to pay attention to specific things. That's helped me a lot. Now, I don't know if people notice, I don't tweet as much as I used to. I keep everything really about stuff I want people to know, thanking my fans. You can't read all that shit. People are crazy. It's so easy to say something fucked up. The new thing though is Instagram. You post a picture on Instagram and a million people comment, and someone calls you ugly or someone says you suck. That hurts.
What's the craziest, shittiest @ you've ever gotten? Any stand out?Anything with the word rape in it is just too vile. People will be like, “I'm going to come to your show and RAPE YOU IN THE ASS!” I've definitely read that before, and crazy shit like that.
OH MY GOD! Sorry we asked. That's probably a terrible note to end on, but … thanks for talking to us, Kreayshawn.
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