Quoted: Clutch Magazine on Kreayshawn


Note: Audio NSFW

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.
- From “Kreayshawn: Another Case of Appropriating Black Culture,” by Bene Viera, June 6

  • Leena

    Hmm.

    Gucci Gucci bumps, but mostly because of the southern sample/hook.  And even I can’t front on “…you aint no Barbie/I see you work at Arbys/number 2 supersize, hurry up I’m starving” (or something like that)

    BUT

    She is hella corny, similar to Amanda Blank.  Although I do find her other single/video where she is cyber stalking & making out with the black girl interesting as it relates to black appropriation in music/culture.

    Oh & I have a huge problem with Eminem ALWAYS being touted as being great by hip hop/rap heads…yeah, it’s subjective but really the dude has had one classic album.  He’s had moments of  brilliance sure, but I wish folks would stop using Eminem as a litmus test for white people being able to rap well.

       
    @Drhiphop85

    You make a good point; however, I think  there’s other variables too.  If Kreay’s image wasn’t  overtly sexual she wouldnt be known either; she’d be stuck in the underground with Eternia and Invincible.  Also, she has co-signs by OF which is HUGE.  

  • Drhiphop85

    An issue that gets glossed over, is that people like her make it harder for other white artist who are not portraying the same imagery. Like Eternia…a white female emcee who has great skill on the mic but will never get the same attention as this artist. And when people see her they’ll place her in the same category. It’s like what happened to Asher Roth being compared to Eminem (when their skin color is the only things they have in common…but hey stereotyping knows no color).

  • Anonymous

    Ahhhh…the annoyance of hipster racism.

  • Val R.

    This seems like Blackface/ minstrelsy to me without the make up.

  • http://DeadAmericanDream.blogspot.com AngryBroomstick

    and why the fuck is she wearing Indian nose jewelry that’s normally worn by brides for their weddings? I’m gonna wear that for my wedding day one day. WTF. Does she think she’s sooo edgy for wearing Indian jewelry that women have been wearing for a long time? Ugh, another case of hipster douches’ culturual appropriation.

    • Paloma

      I noticed that too.  As a Latina who married an Indian guy I didn’t even wear it for my wedding because I didn’t want to be a poser. She looks ridiculous.

  • http://DeadAmericanDream.blogspot.com AngryBroomstick

    I’ve been told that her lyrics refer to black women as “bitches” and “hoes.” She’s not standing in solidarity with Black women or celebrating Black culture. Having watched the  video “Gucci Gucci” it looks and feels like a straight-up parody and mockery of hip hop and rap…

  • http://www.scribblesandsonnets.blogspot.com Jessica Isabel

    Here we go with this hipster appropriation of other culture bullshit. I’m getting really tired of this “Oh look at me I’m being ironic” crap.

  • S. Mandisa

    The Crunk Feminist Collective also had a really great article analyzing what is just so problematic about her. 

    Whats really sad about the discussions around Kreayshawn is how quick people get defensive around people calling her and white rappers like her to task for complete and unaccountable exploitation of the stereotypical aspects of black culture- well, in her case black female culture. 

    A lot of defenses I’ve read stem around the notion that she’s from the Bay and, thus, somehow her persona isnt as offensive because, you know, its much more progressive out there. I dont buy that at all…but I am curious to hear what more readers from the Bay think about her. Any thoughts?

    • DreaD

      East Coast transplant living in the Bay here. I don’t know about the Bay being more progressive, but there is definitely more fluidity of culture and challenging/transcending of boundaries, which may on the surface appear to equate with progressiveness. For all the value of that (I do think there’s some), the flip side of it is there’s more opportunity for white folks to appropriate shit  under the guise of progressiveness without being called out. 

      (I think I saw this chick and her friend at Mama’s Cafe in N. Oakland back in ’09, having just moved to the Bay…she looked like she does in her videos, and I was like, wtf, is this a bad hipster joke?)

    • kim

      I lived in San Francisco for 7 years (I’m originally from NY) and I HATED the white people using “I live in the Bay Area and therefore I get a pass” on all kinds of outright racist jokes and comments they had no problem spouting under the guise of “irony” as well as constant fetishism and cultural appropriation. When I would protest they were without fail, completely indifferent or defensive.

       The most ironic thing to me was that the only place I have ever lived (out of 6 US cities) where people regularly claimed racism didn’t exist or wasn’t really an issue was San Francisco and those people were always white. And then they would continue to pat themselves on the back for not being in the “Flyover states” or the South.There is no way IN HELL that it is more racially/culturally progressive there. No matter what the hipster PR machine claims.

      • Whitney

        Yeah, it’s shit when people claim there’s no racism in SF/the bay area but I have found it preferable to … oh lots of other places I have lived. People don’t give me side-eye or pretend they don’t see me when I smile or nod on the street at least, thank god for small favors