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.

Her government name is Natassia Toloz. Complex magazine reported the 21-year-old Oakland native is rumored to have signed a $1 million dollar record deal with Sony Music. The petite, sometimes blonde, sometimes brown-haired rapper, sparked buzz with her hit single “Gucci, Gucci” totaling over 2 million views on YouTube. Like Soulja Boy, she’s young, an Internet sensation and plans on parlaying her popularity into a full-blown rap career. She has denied the rumored record deal, but admits she has been in talks with Sony Music. Whether the ink is already dry or not, she will get a deal.

Kreayshawn (pronounced Cri-shon), possibly a play on creation, is the leader of her squad White Girl Mob. Vigilantly watching her video for the first time, I thought, ‘Is it possible for me to be intrigued, humored and disgusted at the same time?’ The huge gold doorknocker earrings. Her asymmetrical bob cut. Her homegirl rocking a similar cut, but with blonde streaks. The tats, the vernacular, the black dude entourage passing her a blunt. I hoped it was satire, while knowing it wasn’t.

Backed by Odd Future, homies with Lil B and co-signed by Snoop Dogg, I knew a record label executive somewhere saw dollar signs within 30 seconds of watching her. The novelty of a mainstream White female rapper has been nonexistent. It was only a matter of time before a vested interest arose to capitalize off such a rarity. But White rappers are not some new phenomenon. Eminem is arguably one of the best lyrical emcees in the game, Black or White.

White rappers aren’t the problem. Exploitation of Black culture is.

Black culture is diverse with various meanings; and how one defines Black culture varies from individual. In the case of Kreayshawn, I’m referring to her misinterpretation of what she thinks Black culture and hip-hop is.

One could argue she is exactly what hip-hop has become–gimmicky, devoid of substance, whack, the glorification of a street life, sexualized and talentless. If that’s the case, is she appropriating Black culture or just a part of a watered down genre?

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.

Beside her lack of creativity, the fact that she’s garbage on the mic, the inauthenticity of her persona is unnerving. A Berkley Film School dropout, allegedly from the hood, has found her niche in hip-hop. Perhaps her posturing is homage of sorts to what she grew up seeing. And this is what she believes she must imitate to gain credibility in hip-hop.

But with artists like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and B.o.B., isn’t there now a space in hip-hop that exists for rappers to just be themselves without the need for street credibility? Or a trumped up, unoriginal “sister girl” image? I guess we haven’t reached a point where female emcees are afforded the privilege of not having to be either “hood” or sexy.

It’s ironic how the White girl mimicking Black culture has been viewed as quirky, cute, and interesting in the past. But sisters who fashionably rock bamboo earrings, gold nameplate necklaces, and blonde streaked weaves, will inevitably be considered “ghetto” by society. It’s equally problematic that every female emcee post Queen Latifah and MC Lyte who has had massive mainstream success all had to sell sex. Kreayshawn, on the other hand, is able to avoid an over sexualized image because of her whiteness.

It goes without saying that most people don’t take issue with talented White artists excelling in genres Blacks created. We’ve certainly supported artists like Robin Thicke, Amy Winehouse and Eminem. I’d imagine that support was gained from them creating good music and not selling a gimmick.

Clearly I’m not Kreayshawn’s targeted audience, and I’m totally opposed to spending money on a White artist who loosely drops the n-word in casual conversation. My being unimpressed, however, does not negate her following. If only she had gained a following through actual talent, opposed to capitalizing off of a genre and culture she obviously doesn’t care to understand.

Kreayshawn’s existence within hip-hop is a reflection of the very aspects we self-proclaimed hip-hop heads find problematic. She is a result of a genre that was forever changed once America realized there was a huge opportunity to capitalize off of a global influential culture. Kreayshawn, artists like her, and those who co-sign them are all culprits in the auctioning off of our culture to the highest bidder.


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  1. Actually the most striking thing to me about this video was the juxtaposition of white women with black men. So we all now that hip hop is male dominated. We also know that for black women in this day and age it seems like the only way they can get on in hip hop is if they are selling sex (i.e. nicki minaj).

    These chicks aren’t selling sex – they instead are selling girl power (“i got swag comin’ out my ovaries”), BUT at the expense of black culture – specifically black women (to get back to the author’s point about seeing a black girl dressed the same way being immediately deemed ghetto).

    If this is truly the way they came up in Oakland where white girls are hood too, why don’t we see any black female peers who they jacked the style from? Why is this specifically the White Girl Mob? Right now all I see is two white chicks passing blunts with black dudes whose presence co-signs their validity as authentic hip hop. Further, the few white men we see in the video aren’t of this hip hop persona the white women have taken on — so is that “so hood” Oakland style only applicable to white women?

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    • you’re right women belong in the kitchen.. i agree with what the author said :)

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  2. Mikele

    I’m from Oakland and involved in our burgeoning music scene. She’s genuine. I know her friends, cohorts and manager. They’re authentic. When I saw the video there was no question in my mind about that. We don’t really allow “impostors” or what have you in the Bay. Growing up in Oakland (the most diverse city in America) everyone is influenced by everyone else, it’s impossible not to be. The entire city of Oakland is not hood but we have our areas. She clearly is from one of those areas. I don’t know anyone who is not a product of their environment in some form or fashion and for her to be gaining success right now only makes me proud.

    And if she wAS a fraud why are we so quick to want to claim being hood as “ours”?

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    • Exactly. *Like*

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    • blanca

      I feel you. Oakland is really one of the most diverse places in America. Most of the folks on this thread would probably never step foot in the Murder Dubs (where she’s from) to really check if her “hood pass” was real.

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    • REALTALK

      This is where you are straight twisted, I have YET to see a White girl hang in the hood and NOT have Black girls as they friend. PERIOD. You can clearly see these girls are trying to be apart of something they are not, the music industry has set them up with some people to give them this particular look, the same way they did Nicki Minaj. So, to be from the “HOOD”, and not have 1 Black girl in the video?? come on now, doesn’t go down that way. P.S. if she was grabbed up by some black guys and brought to the hood, she wouldn’t be looking like that when she 1st get snatched up. One of the “sisters” would have recreated her look quickly. So, I agree with this article wholeheartedly. I mean seriously, they are a mix of the back in the day Salt N’ Peppa look with a mix of TLC and a hit of Xscape written all over the cover of them. PERIOD.

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    • Mikele

      It’s very easy to be from the ‘hood’ in Oakland and not have black girlfriends! WTF are you talking about?! lol!

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    • dr rich blackman

      word. i’ll reiterate my hunch that this talk is amongst the people that arent is our “bubble”.

      on a different note oakland is getting hooder almost in every nook and cranny, i lived on 14th and jackson, downtown within throwing distance of the lake and i left b/c it was getting hyphy (not in a good way).

      the bay area though produces the most unique and enigmantic out/well spoken artists in the world and its b/c were in our own world.

      i love it.

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  3. First, the lack of black girls in this video disproves any possibility that this wannabe homegirl is actually “hood” in the hip-hop sense. I don’t care what anyone has to say about Oakland. I know FAKE when I see it.

    Secondly, I wasted three minutes of my life listening to that dumb ass song.

    Thirdly, while we’re hating on old girl (and trust me, I co-sign all the hating here because it is warranted), her lyrics aren’t any worse than Nicki Minaj’s. Minaj is no less moronic and no more talented than this chick, in my opinion but we give her the pass for some reason.

    Finally, this girl is an indication of how f-ed up rap music and hip-hop has become in general these days. The only good stuff out there is practically impossible to find, with a few exceptions. I agree with another commenter: we need to worry about the popularity of disgusting folks like Lil Wayne (and even Kanye, considering his latest album), roll our eyes at this chick and move on. She’s not worth the time, and writing about her will only give her more undeserved PR.

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  4. AshleyMonique

    “I thought, ‘Is it possible for me to be intrigued, humored and disgusted at the same time?’… I hoped it was satire, while knowing it wasn’t.” → My sentiments EXACTLY! I’m over this kind of exploitation and even disrespect of Black Culture, by non-black people.

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