Between Gwenyth Paltrow rapping NWA and a Republican Senator quoting Wu Tang, it seems the media can’t get enough of hip-hop in odd places- notably in the mouths of white women. And perhaps, the fascination is in the incongruity of it all: blonde haired blue-eyed women quoting a genre created by their social opposites- black men.
In this climate, along comes Kreayshawn- a white girl rapping more seriously than Gwenyth and with a credibility backed by well-known names in the rap game. When the self-described cinematographer, and “rap beast” from the Bay dropped the video for her song, “Gucci, Gucci,” many blogs referenced her as the girl who was down with fellow Bay stars, Odd Future or the pint sized girl rapper who directed videos for Lil’ B. She found praise even outside the rap blog circle with mainstream feminists’ favorite site Jezebel noting:
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to get her infectious song out of her your head upon listening, and you just might end up adding some of her fab phrasing like “swag pumping out my ovaries” into your everyday vocabulary.
But while “Gucci, Gucci” is getting nods, it’s Kreayshawn’s real-life vocabulary that has me shaking my head.
Shortly after the video first broke on Friday, Kreayshawn took to Twitter, expressing her excitement with her viral hit. After Snoop Dogg reached out to the new star for her to hit him through direct message, Kreayshawn tweeted a message seemingly directed to excited fans and freeloading acquaintances alike:
Reading Kreayshawn’s tweet and seeing the lack of expected uproar at her use of a racial slur, I had to wonder: do hip-hop’s broadening horizons extend the N-word to white rappers as well?
Thinking back to the moment that was “The Eminem Takeover,” it seemed the one boundary the controversial rapper seemed to heartily acknowledge was using the N-word. Eminem’s avoidance of the word became a key component to his brand, so much so that NPR even told its readers to consider “What would Eminem do?” when questions on use of the racial slur rose up in reaction to Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s infamous racial barrage.
In fact, in 2003 when The Source uncovered a decade old freestyle tape with the rapper seemingly uttering the slur, many fans refused to believe the tape was authentic. Asked his take on white people using the N-word, Eminem said:
“If a white kid came up to me and said it, I probably would look at him funny. And if given the time to sit down with him I’d say, ‘Look, just don’t say the word. It’s not meant to be used by us.'”
It’s been a long ways since 2003 and the rap game has seen many changes since Eminem ruled airwaves and cultural discussions. But in some ways the N-word discussion has never died down. Now, as hip-hop continues to be adapted by new personalities like Kreayshawn, is it unreasonable to assume the norms and habits won’t be adapted as well?
Channeling her inner DMX, Kreayshawn throws around the N-word as comically as an imitation of X’s trademark barking style rap. But as the Minnie Mouse inspired girl rapper hits a cultural landmine for blacks and whites alike, will hip-hop nonchalantly nod along to her ovary pumping swag?
Tell us what you think of Kreayshawn dropping the N-word? Will hip-hop fans embrace the “Gucci, Gucci” rapper regardless of her using a racial slur? Share your thoughts with us, Clutchettes- speak up and weigh in!