Friday, November 11, 2011

Kreayshawn: self-making at its finest

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She's a high school dropout. She smokes Swisher blunts. She wears oversized gold jewelry and her hair is platinum one minute and multicolored the next. She’s tatted. Sometimes she’s straight, sometimes she’s not. She leads the "white girl mob." She raps crazy lines like "I'm rolling up my catnip and shitting in your litter.” She went after Rick Ross. Rick Ross went after her. She's an editor and a bay area rapper. She's accused of exploiting black culture. She's 21. She’s 5’1. She’s from Oakland. She's white. Who is this girl?

Her name is Kreayshawn, she's a self-made woman and I really like her. No, I’m not saying that I’m in my room curling my hair with a half inch iron, wearing hoodies under vests, applying press-on nails and rapping about a cat (well…). I’m saying she made herself into something she’s not supposed to be by society's standard and succeeded. She defies the white-girl norm, she’s entertaining, she’s petite, she’s crass, she’s from the bay, so YEAH, I like her.

Self-making can fall under two categories: becoming a successful individual from scratch (however you measure that) whether you’re homeless, poor, illiterate—whatever—or, making yourself over to fit a class you want to be a part (ie: cholita falsa, a white girl goin’ gangsta).

An article by Nell Berstein called “Goin’ Gangsta, Choosin’ Cholita” follows teenagers in Oakland who make themselves over to fit the predominant classes in their neighborhoods that happen to be black and Mexican. Of course, the social groups are stereotypes: baggy jeans, listening to suggestive music (not that I knock that, see: Ludacris), speaking a certain way, and often partaking in activities that mom wouldn’t approve of. Of course, not everybody wants to act all Boyz n the Hood, but this article proves that who you want to be and who you can become can be easily accepted today.

You can argue that telling millions of people you “smoke a million Swisher blunts” and you “aint ever comin’ down” is vapid, but someone can also argue that emulating a certain group or ethnicity is acceptance of race and culture today.

Bene Viera of Clutch Magazine stated how ironic it is that the white girl mimicking black culture has been viewed as quirky, cute, and interesting in the past but not anymore.

"Sister’s who fashionably rock bamboo earrings, gold nameplate necklaces, and blonde streaked weaves, will inevitably be considered “ghetto” by society,” said Viera. “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.”

Okay, so maybe all you’re seeing is that she had an upper-hand because she is white and had she been a black girl rapping about catnip, she wouldn't be nearly as successful. However, she isn't black, she's white, and white female artists sell sex too, but she isn't and she's workin' it. She made an impression in a genre of music without having to get all Lil’ Kim by opening her legs asking how many licks it takes to get to the center of….I’ll stop.

Maybe you don't accept Kreayshawn for personal reasons, but she is self-made. Identity is no longer a matter of where you come from, who your family is, or what religion you are. You could be just like her, Swisher blunts and all, I won't judge. Your success is measured in how much effort you put into self-making. You could be the Oprah Winfrey of self-making or the Kreayshawn. They both did it on different levels.

Hate her songs, hate her look, but don't hate her work ethic. Ghetto she may be in your eyes, she’s a self-made woman in mine. Ya-Ya!


5 comments :

  1. I can't lie I don't like her or her music but I agree with your point. She is making it work for her.

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  2. oh please, she didn't even write "Gucci Gucci"...she didn't make shit.

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  3. Fact: she didn't. But I'm talking about her as a person and how she changed herself to fit a class.

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  4. I remember some friends showing me her video, and thinking REALLY? and before I knew they were blasting her in their cars (as a joke.. I think).

    Actually, before this happened, remember I was at BBQ in Oakland, she was there dressed really... out there. This before she was famous, and within like a year she's on Power 106 in LA. Your post really nails it.

    I also not so long ago found out she's Russian.. which is also kind of interesting.

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