Who is Kreayshawn?
Kreayshawn on gettin’ money: “I grew up so broke that even this morning I got up and for breakfast I got a cup of noodles, Hot Cheetos, a pack of cigarettes, and some Swishers. I will never get used to having money. I never thought signing a deal was something that I’d want to do. But the record company is hella chill. I always thought that you sign a deal and then you lose everything. But it’s definitely a good move in my life. Basically, the label said, “Do whatever you want, we are trusting you.” They are even letting me design the single art.”
Newfound fame: “The only thing that’s overwhelming is the press. This lady hit me up and asked me, “How did you go from a little white girl to a rapper overnight?” And I’m like, Oh, that is scandalous—I would never ask anyone else that. I never thought of myself as a little white girl, and I never thought of myself as a rapper. I’m acting black because I am a rapper? Does that mean this woman thinks that Obama is acting white because he’s the President?”
Oaktown: “I think the fact that I’m from Oakland is going to help me have a wide audience range. I’ve been telling everyone in Oakland, “C’mon, Oakland, this is our time! Get it together.” I feel like music that comes out of the Bay Area is only music for the Bay Area. The lifestyle in Oakland is exotic; it’s the balance between being a goon and an artist that makes it fun for everyone. Now I come out and Bay Area people are like, Oh shit! I tell my pardners, Get out this box and make music for everybody! Don’t just ride around in Oakland and shit.”
Her sound: “I make my music for everyone to listen to, whether it’s a 13-year-old girl who might say her favorite song is “Gucci Gucci” or people like Snoop Dogg, who will also say it’s their favorite song. I want a wide audience range. I wouldn’t say that my music is influenced by certain artists. I’m just a person who likes to fuse genres together. My mom is a musician and there was always music in the house. She was in an all-girl surf punk band called Trashwomen, so that’s where I get my desire for genre fusion. She would listen to everything from Tito Puente to Kool Keith to Mos Def to Wyclef’s Carnival CD. The album I’m working on is a lot of fucking different sounds. I want to use everything, including New Orleans bounce music and old-school Memphis stuff. It’s going to be crazy.”
What she rocks: “I just kind of put stuff on and wear it with confidence and it usually comes off pretty good. I grew up broke so I was always in Goodwill. When we would go shopping we would say, “Let’s hit Goodwill,” because at the mall we could only afford two shirts, but if we went to Goodwill we could get 10 things. And it is just funner: It’s cool because you get to dip around and test things out, and it’s an experience. That’s just kind of how I dress, for fun.”
“Gucci Gucci”: “The message of the song is definitely not to let label brands define who you are. I never really had a desire to go to a Gucci store or to save up my paycheck for a Louis Vuitton belt. There’s nothing wrong with wearing Gucci and Louis, but you have to wear it right. Don’t let it make you who you are. So far, I haven’t heard from Gucci or Louis—and I hope I don’t, either. You know who we did hear from? In the video I ride a Charger, and someone from Dodge hit up the director and asked if we got permission from Dodge to use the car in the video. And we were like, What the fuck? No. If everybody had to get permission you’d never see a luxury car with big rims in a rap video. A lot of big companies don’t want to be associated with anything but the high life, and they make me sick. Some big fashion labels even incinerate their excess clothes because they don’t want homeless people wearing them! That’s horrible.”
Kreayshawn on tattoos: “I decided to get my first tattoo while at the tattoo shop when my sister was getting hers. I was like, They are tattooing 15-year-old kids—I’m down! It’s my favorite because it’s so old. It doesn’t look like any of my other tattoos because they are all so bright and vibrant and it’s weathered.
Most of my tattoos are Bay Area. I usually go to this guy Dillion Forte, but he has been catting off and not finishing my work—you know how tattoo artists can’t stay in the same shop for a fucking month. Yeah, that’s my pardner. He does all my tattoos but he’s fucking with me. I hope he reads this and finishes my side piece, ’cause it isn’t finished right now; it’s just a sketch, and I’m embarrassed.
My tattoos are stamps. I want to do something that ties them all together, because I get a $120 tattoo at a time. I would be going through a change or something big would happen and I’d get that moment where I’d say, I need a fucking tattoo! Shit is going down, so I need a tattoo! I’m addicted. Last time I counted I had 23 tattoos, so it’s almost like every year of my life has this moment where I get this tattoo. I look at them and can remember how I was feeling at the time. Like, the burger mouse just came from wanting to get a random tattoo. I was at the shop looking at a whole bunch of designs and I got to thinking: What would be the sickest-looking one? And I was like, Fuck it, let’s do it. It’s usually an emotional thing for me, and always super impulse. I have been thinking about more tattoos. I have the money now. There is definitely going to be a tattoo for this new experience—it is going to be large and sick.
You know how artists are: They don’t like their own shit. I don’t like to draw my own tattoos. I did the whole outline for the bow on my chest myself, and it was so fucked up because I was tattooing myself in the mirror. But I got it fixed so it looks a little bit normal. I would always fuck around with the tattoo gun and give myself tattoos like the hearts around my ankle. I would love to be a tattoo artist someday but I feel like that would have to wait for now.
Kreayshawn on Kreayshawn: “I just want people to view me as a creative artist, not a normal music artist. I want other artists to go, Oh, shit, Kreayshawn—I’m going to hit her up to do this, and that, and this. I want people to think I can put my hands in everything and that I’m respected in each department. Rapping is what got everybody’s attention, but I actually started off directing music videos and doing graphic design. But it has all helped me to get where I am right now, like how making music helps me edit music videos better because I know how to find the beat. I am not some interchangeable girl who has songs written for her. I made the name Kreayshawn from the word creation, and I was thinking that I wanted to be a creative person who does everything.”