Local Wire

Kreayshawn @ Lake Havasu City

In May, Oakland rapper Kreayshawn bubbled up from the underground with her smash single "Gucci Gucci." Now she's the talk of hipsterdom. With its propulsive, jackhammering beat, "Gucci Gucci" was skillfully produced, but the content left something to be desired. Kreayshawn rapped about dining at Arby's and selling pills to college kids. Critics were incensed. Despite her song's prevailing theme of anti-materialism, many took Kreayshawn to task for her alleged aura of white overprivilege. How dare this Berkeley-educated girl use hip-hop — a platform historically swarming with disadvantaged urban blacks — to voice mostly white, suburban concerns (e.g., peddling Adderall in the quad)? But give the 22-year-old credit for this much: She doesn't pretend to be anything she's not. Kreayshawn rarely flaunts her race, whereas vacuous white "rappers" like Mac Miller and Machine Gun Kelly seem to expect brownie points for their un-gangsta approach to hip-hop lyricism. Kreayshawn is a post-Eminem MC in the truest sense. She simply discusses her life in an observant, unaffected way, with a flow reminiscent of Kid Sister or Santigold, with beats catchy enough to grab the attention of casual YouTube surfers. And with that major-label check in her back pocket, we're betting she can plan to upgrade from that Arby's menu.

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M.T. Richards
Contact: M.T. Richards