Monday, July 4th, 2011

Kreayshawn – Rich Whores

There’s the Kreayshawn we don’t like…


Mallory O’Donnell: And now for something completely the same…

Katherine St Asaph: Let’s clear something up. I don’t dislike “Rich Whores” because of Kreayshawn’s authentic or inauthentic or appropriating or organic or cool or wacky or viral identity. I don’t dislike “Rich Whores” because I’m anti-Kreayshawn, anti-Lil B, anti-underground rap or anti-viral videos (OK, maybe a little of that.) I dislike “Rich Whores” because it is fucking terrible, performed terribly and a reverse amnesty for all the women “Gucci Gucci” didn’t insult, which is also terrible. Joke’s over. We can start coronating the First World Problems Rap kid now.

Jonathan Bradley: It’s no surprise that Kreayshawn has sparked such controversy merely by being a white girl with pretensions to rapping. America often tells itself it needs to have a discussion about race, but that’s nonsense. America is always talking about race. Where the nation’s discourse really comes undone is when it’s forced to grapple with the complex crosscut that is the interplay between race and class. When a society so often pretends “black” is a synonym for “urban poor,” what is it to do with a white woman who at least has claims to being the same and yet doesn’t seem interested in talking about it? “Rich Whores” might have been the starting point for a compelling conversation about these issues, as it uses music traditionally made by young black men for a narrative about class tensions among white women, but it falls at the first hurdle by not being musically interesting. Kreayshawn sounds lost within the blippy faux-trap production, and her vocal presence is far too weak to make her repetitious bluster engrossing.

B Michael Payne: The opening of the song sounds like “See You in My Nightmares,” which is distracting, but luckily, some ridiculous bass soon plows through. But the first verse, the Spice Girls verse, is not particularly good, the second verse is practically the same as the first, and where it does deviate, it doesn’t stray far into inventive territory. Using a dollar bill to blow an expensive drug is not a particularly clever paradoxical image. It’s kind of (not really) funny when Kreayshawn makes fun of indie-rock mustaches and drops a year’s old Sarah Palin reference. She also starts and ends her rhymes with the same word, over and over. Maybe it’s supposed to be terrible, like a Gucci Mane song — she copies his tropes and rhyming style and mentions him at the beginning. But it’s a step back from “Gucci Gucci.”

Edward Okulicz: Not fierce enough to be a diss track, not loose enough to be a bit of self-glorification, it settles uneasily between the two. Any ten-year-old could rap like this, which would be a huge point in its favour if it didn’t have such weak rhymes.

Jer Fairall: My sources tell me she’s a controversial figure, mostly because of questions over her “authenticity,” which I can only assume is due to the fact that she raps badly rather than singing — which she would probably also do badly, albeit less controversially. I cannot imagine why anyone would even bother having this conversation over Kreayshawn, who just sounds to me like a Ke$ha also-ran in a world where Ke$ha has been acknowledged without hubbub as something that exists whether we like it or not. This is far less teeth-on-edge grating than any Ke$ha hit, mostly because this girl manages a sorta witty phrase every now and then — I like the bit about the indie rock boyfriend. But the thinness of Kreayshawn’s voice stands as a severe obstacle to her ability to land the punches that she so clearly wants to.

Alfred Soto: This “occasional librarian,” according to her Wikipedia entry, generates some interest based on the determined nasal squeakiness of her voice, which reminds me of not just Michel’le but the world-wise kids on M.I.A.’s “Mango Pickle Down River.” Maybe she’ll write the lyrical correlative to that voice someday.

Alex Ostroff: “Let’s get it bumpin’ bumpin’ yeah.” I can’t tell if this is a celebratory anthem or the equivalent of Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” video or a straight-up diss track, but either way, nobody comes out of this looking particularly commendable. I mean, insulting mustachio’ed indie rockers? Isn’t this a bit tired? Also, the awkwardly nasal flow that somehow gelled on “Gucci Gucci” simply sounds obnoxious in the the midst of busier production.

Ian Mathers: See, the Lonely Island succeeds because in addition to creating credible examples of the genres/artists they’re mocking, they have funny material. “What up bitch? I see you dancin’ with no rhythm” is kinda funny the first time, but it’s not a good enough joke on which to hang a song.

Michaela Drapes: I very sincerely hope you’re never forced to spend extended amounts of time with fashion twit trusties in “vintage” thrift store clothes who date guys in indie bands and brag about their coke “habit.” We knew Kreayshawn could throw shade after “Gucci Gucci,” and she continues to do so here with aplomb.

Anthony Easton: I love how angry this is, and how angry it is about class tourism and destructive it is to those who pretend to be poorer than they are. It’s aggressive, and it is systematic. Even the line about dollar bills and cocaine, the idea of deglamourizing cocaine and reglamourizing thrift stores.

Kat Stevens: My favourite song so far this year is “The Juice” by Soulja Boy, which details Soulja Boy’s undying dedication to the acquisition and consumption of The Juice, with some half-hearted unintelligible ramblings about the awfulness of bitches and hoes chucked in to fill up the verses. For all intents and purposes “Rich Whores” is the same song as “The Juice”, but with the quest for the eponymous liquid replaced by an observational stint by Ms Kreayshawn in the local Marie Curie Cancer Care shop, where some hard-up ladies are consuming their very own “Juice” – on a budget! If you listen closely it even has its own SKRRP noise.

Hazel Robinson: I originally thought I might like this if I was drunk, but even after face-melting amounts of Day Nurse it’s just kind of lame. Which is a shame, since I genuinely think Kreayshawn has potential to be kind of great. Girl Talk will no doubt do something with this in his yearly expulsion.

Zach Lyon: Let’s just call a spade the worst fucking spade you’ve ever listened to.

6 Responses to “Kreayshawn – Rich Whores”

  1. Aw, bum- I was going to go back and up my score on this, several listens later.

  2. I will admit that my only problem with this song is that the focus is maybe a bit too narrow (i.e., the mention of FIDM — LA’s equivalent to NY’s FIT) to really accessibly showcase Kreayshawn’s anger well, but I really do love the fact that she reminds you that the real enemy, in her world anyway, is, and always has been, rich white kids who are slumming.

  3. Is this just another white girl banking on the novelty of her being a white girl doing rap, hoping the critics will salivate and stare at the shiny new oddity while she peddles lyrics that wouldn’t have been considered particularly poignant or subversive in the genre 30 years ago, or is there something actually substantive here?

  4. There’s something interesting about the way she integrates Bay Area and contemporary West Coast “swag” aesthetics into her white girl rap, and I do think “Gucci Gucci” is really catchy, but I’m not so sure anyone would care about Kreayshawn if she weren’t white. I think she appeals to a lot of young white women who envy the subversive power of hip hop. I think she takes hip hop quite seriously. The problem with Kreayshawn isn’t that she’s a white girl rapping, though, but that there are probably a lot of black girls who could rap circles around this chick and they get no attention.

    Anyway, this song is not very good. “Gucci Gucci” might be her one big song. We’ll see.

  5. the problem with this song is it has a terrible beat

  6. “I do think “Gucci Gucci” is really catchy, but I’m not so sure anyone would care about Kreayshawn if she weren’t white.”

    there are thousands of white girls out there rapping, only one made a catchy song lots of people like listening to