Kreayshawn: Single White Female
Believe it or not, Kreayshawn wasn’t always poppin’ online. Take her Xanga blog page, where a 12-year-old Natassia Zolot spewed out sweet nothings like this on June 27, 2002:
“Hey new site!! Saucy huh? Well anywayz time to Gossip. This boy Allen Asked me out yesterday and I said yes because It has been a while since that ever happened!! mmm I want a Pizza :p…”
“Allen, if he’s out there, he probably don’t even remember this shit,” Kreayshawn says in her New York City hotel room as she is fiddling with the vintage Game Boy Color she just bought downtown.
That post has since racked up 81 views in nine years, a laughable number compared with the 7 million views the spunky rapper’s “Gucci Gucci” video earned after only two months on YouTube. Then again, a lot has changed. “It was always something I did for fun, a record deal never even crossed my mind,” Kreayshawn says of her musical endeavors.
Now the 21-year-old Oakland, California rep has her name on the lips of everyone from Diddy to Drake to Lil Wayne. We’re sure Allen is paying attention too.
Born in San Francisco, but raised in Oakland, young Natassia spent a lot of time at home with her grandfather. Kreay’s mother was the lead guitarist in all-girl punk band the Trash Women and spent a lot of time on the road. “They were popping. They toured Europe, Japan, Asia,” Kreayshawn says of her mom’s band with pride. But when asked about her dad, she clams up: “Yeah, I don’t think we need to answer that question or talk about it.”
She studied at the Berkeley Digital Film Institute and always dabbled in music. The budding filmmaker went on to direct videos for Soulja Boy, Lil B and local Oakland rapper DB Tha General, who would introduce Kreay to her current manager, Stretch. It was Stretch who encouraged her to focus on rap. “Stretch hears my music and is like, ‘Man, you should just take this serious and see where it goes.’ And that’s how I got down, and we did ‘Gucci Gucci’ and ‘Rich Whores’ and a whole bunch of other songs that we’re gonna put on the album.”
Within months of dropping “Gucci Gucci” on YouTube, the female rapstress scored a deal with Columbia, said to be worth a million dollars. She says it’s in the ballpark. “I got signed, and it was for around that much money, but it’s, like, hell of it goes to the album. It’s like you get one-third of it,” she says.
It’s not just her music that’s hit the big time. In June, Kreayshawn was tapped to direct the video for Red Hot Chili Peppers single “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.” Now both her musical and directorial careers are soaring. —Rob Markman
(This article originally appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of ANTENNA.)