Should we talk about Kreayshawn? Yes, let's. God knows everybody else is. I've seen this video on Gawker and Jezebel and more, so I'm pretty late to the game. But whatever. This is a personal blog. I write on my own schedule.
Kreayshawn just got a fancy record contract with Columbia, so good on her. Watch this video and come back.
First thing's first. Here are the things I like about Kreayshawn:
1. She's from Oakland. If you haven't noticed from my obsession with Hunx & his Punx, Shannon and the Clams and Nobunny, I'm totally enamored of Oakland and its scene.
2. Her mom is in a surf punk band, The Trashwomen. That gives her some music cred, as far as I'm concerned.
3. This is really shallow, but I love her look and overall sense of fashion. And I love her friend with the glasses.
4. The song, for it's simplicity, is pretty fucking catchy.
Here are some reservations I have.
1. At first glance I really like the anti materialism, anti conformity messaging.
Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada
The basic bitches wear that shit, so I don't even bother
But, then, Kreayshawn contradicts herself and spits out the most common sorts of wealth flashing:
Young, rich and flashy I be where the cash be
So which is it, Kreayshawn? As my A.P. English teacher, Mrs. Ferguson, would say: "Stay on thesis."
2. This is a bit more complicated, and as a white man I may not be the best person to be writing about this, but when I see a white hipster surround herself with people of color in a rap music video, it makes me a little uncomfortable. Is she being ironic? Or is this who Kreayshawn genuinely is? Is this where she comes from? I don't know whether this is co-opting or the real deal, and it makes me feel uneasy. Am I alone in this? Maybe I am, since I haven't seen anybody else write about it.
The first time I saw a picture of Ke$ha, I felt similarly. I'd heard the song "Tik Tok" all over the place, and when I saw that the singer was actually a white girl from L.A. it gave me pause. That said, I don't know Kreayshawn or Ke$ha's personal histories and can't know what's in their hearts. I went to predominantly Black and Latino public schools in some of the cities I lived in, so I know first hand that there are white kids growing up amongst people of color exclusively. But I also know from living in Seattle and then Williamsburg that white hipsters will sometimes embrace parts of hip hop in a way that's semi ironic and pretty gross. Are these artists racist for co-opting what could be considered a "black" sound, or am I racist for thinking a sound is "black" or "white"? Are we ALL racists? I honestly don't know.