Beyond Kreayshawn: The Women In Hip-Hop Who The Internet Should Freak Out About Next

Last week, the birth of rap's newest star-to-be happened suddenly. Kreayshawn, a California rapper with Amy Winehouse's tattooes and piercings, Queen Latifah's earrings, and a modified version of Michelle Williams' pixie bob, dropped her video for "Gucci Gucci," and every person who was tweeting about Odd Future after their appearance on Fallon in February had a new curio to investigate.

That makes some sense, because the "Gucci Gucci" clip is a "Look at the fun stuff I do!" video backed by a snotty song that lives and dies by its brand-heavy sing-song hook ("Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada!") and the potency of dismissing "basic bitches" who probably care about those status markers. Odd Future members Left Brain and Jasper show up in the brightly hued clip, but Kreayshawn's style is very much a sprinkling of new-school Los Angeles and dollops of the color of the Bay Area, where she was raised by her mother, Eight-Ball Scratch and Trashwomen guitarist Elka Zolot, and attended Berkeley Film School. And the presence of the cooking dance popularized by swag messiah Lil B is another tip that her approach more closely approximates B's "based" free-for-all than Odd Future's dark, lurching fare.

Would that the music were as masterful as the triangulation! "Gucci Gucci" has a dynamite hook, an infectious refrain ("One big room, full of bad bitches") and two great bits of verse: "Bitch, you ain't no Barbie, I see you work at Arby's / Number two, super size, hurry up, I'm starving" updates Biggie's seminal "Don't be mad, UPS is hiring"; "I got the swag, and it's pumping out my ovaries!" is just fun. And as a statement of purpose, it's potent: by the end of the second verse, Kreayshawn's "I get shit done" ethos is well established. But she's not quite a gifted technical rapper, dips into the world of web 2.0 for some lamentable Google and Twitter-reference bars, and drops one really moldy Ivana Trump reference. "Gucci Gucci" is the sort of single that gets replayed and vibed to — gliding bass and synth and a few strong drum loops make it replayable — until the hook comes in.

But, the Internet arena being what it is, as soon as the video dropped, Kreayshawn was a sensation, anointed both a Next Big Thing candidate and the long-awaited White Girl Who Can Rap. (And that brought with it the inevitable scrutiny of her tweeting, where she quoted a DMX N-bomb that was dismissed rather than discussed.) It's too bad the best female rappers working are decidedly not in Kreayshawn's White Girl Mob: that cadre has made its niche and will get its shine.

Any discussion of the most talented women in rap has to start with Nicki Minaj, who tops being the best woman rapping on urban radio by being rap's most dynamic performer. Her much-lauded kinetic domination of Kanye West's "Monster" last fall was just an "I can beat the boys" moment; since last summer, Minaj has churned out a series of hits ("Your Love," "Check It Out," "Moment 4 Life," "Super Bass") as varied as her facial expressions, and established herself as one of the genre's flagship performers.


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13 comments
anon
anon

Before you all begin w|. the Negativity - Listen to Angel Haze - Say whats real & 6'7 Freestyle ; Then come back ! xx #TeamHaze !! 

Nicole Wilson
Nicole Wilson

She is ok but the other girls she raps with use the n word...thats not cool.. I am a artist myself a white hip hop artist from nc I am just glad to she her doing her thing..Check me out sometime at www.youtube.com/ladynicenc

onlyheretoberude
onlyheretoberude

Screw this Kreayshawn person. Her music is terrible. The idea of a white girl who likes hip hop and smoking weed is supposed to be new or something?

Gffgf Fgbfbf
Gffgf Fgbfbf

I find it ridiculous, frankly, to say that today we have the deepest bench of female mcs. Dude who wrote this obviously wasn't around when we had Nikki D, Mc Lyte, Queen Latifah, Lady of Rage, Bahamadia, Lauryn Hill, etc.

ChallahBlack
ChallahBlack

Kreashawyn: "But she's not quite a gifted technical rapper"

Minaj: "Any discussion of the most talented women in rap has to start with Nicki Minaj, who tops being the best woman rapping on urban radio"

This is a spoof article, right? 

bayareabeat
bayareabeat

Coincidentally there is another rising female hip hop star with Haze in her name: 22 year old Haze of San Francisco's 40Love. URB magazine said about her, "Hip-hop isn’t really known for the hard-hitting female emcees anymore. Sure, there are the Jean Grae’s and Lil Kim’s of yesteryear, but these days you’re hard pressed to find a lady lyricist who has the total package. Haze, the female emcee of San Francisco-based group 40Love, just might be what the game’s been missing." Check her out.

the sidewalk
the sidewalk

Next time you write an article about someone, try not to use a page about other people as filler unless it's to make direct comparisons. Kreayshawn isn't trying to be Jean Grey or a deep poet, she's trying to be herself, rap about superficial ideals because those are the ones that appeal to her, and generally come with swag.

defbingo
defbingo

if you really want to talk about talented female rappers in a serious way, why would you tack them on to the tail end of a report on a song (albeit a delightful song) that emphasizes style over substance? putting riders in a bill might be ok for congress, but on the internet it's corny.

Andy Hutchins
Andy Hutchins

It's not. Minaj is a stellar technical rapper who is capable of both decimating high-speed beats like Kane Beatz' "Bottoms Up" and laying waste over rumblers like "Monster."

Kreayshawn, relatively, is very, very lacking.

ChallahBlack
ChallahBlack

"Minaj is a stellar technical rapper"ROFLMAO etc.

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