Are white girl rappers the new black?
Kreayshawn this. Snow Tha Product that. These two white girl rappers are the talk of the hip-hop town right now. Both women are challenging society-driven stereotypes. Kreayshawn, of course, is the hard-core, smoked-out princess with swag "oozing out her ovaries," who was just signed by Columbia Records, and Snow Tha Product is the rapid-fire rapper who holds her own with the boys. Are white girl rappers the new black? Bree Davies and Ru Johnson recently debated this very notion.
Ru: *is this thing on? So, Kreayshawn... first of all, WTF is with the spelling? I probably type it different every time.
Bree: I think you have it right! I did a little investigating on Snow. She is legit.
Ru: Word! What do you think?
Bree: She has hustle, but Kreay is more "connected," I think? I mean she has video of her smoking with Snoop -- not that it's a hard thing to do.
Ru: And I think the OFWGKTA connection gives her an edge, regardless of whether she's 'bout it 'bout it or not, no?
Bree: Absolutely. I see her more as a party rapper -- early Beastie Boys shit -- and I like that about her. Her content is silly, but I don't know if that's what she's about.
Ru: I can dig that she's a party-girl rapper, totally pushing the envelope on some "I dare you to challenge me" type shit, you know? Snow seems to have to really earn her stripes.
Bree: Why do you feel like Snow may have to earn those stripes more? Just based on coming from the unknown?
Ru: Well, on Snow's other record, "Drunk Love," it's hella girly and emotional. Not hard-core at all, really, but her rapping is good. I feel like she might be relegated to a relationship-type rapper girl, rather than Kreay, who will punch you in the mouth. Maybe Snow will, too, but her name is SNOW, for Pete's sake!
Bree: Totally. And, honestly, that "Drunk Love" clip you sent me first, I was like, "Meh." It was boring to me, and I think it will totally pigeonhole her for sure as a relationship rap/girl. But then I listened to some of her other stuff and read the story of her label and I thought, "Wow!" She is working really hard -- but whether that makes her interesting is a different thing. But as far as the fascination with lady rappers, especially white/Latino girls -- to me, it's a lot of things.
I am immediately attracted to Kreay's trashed-out, sort-of gangster style. I like the ridiculousness of her look. But I am still confused about her angle: Is she really hard? My bandmate said to me recently, this shit is perfect for you: White girl gangs always talk a lot of shit but never do anything. Ha, ha.
Ru: Ha! Your bandmate is hilarious and totally on point. I see Kreay as trashy and hella rowdy in that young-style way. As in she won't really be this way in five years. She got signed to Columbia, actually, so maybe she will be that way. I think Snow has something to prove. And, yes, there is a fascination with girl gangsta rap because it begs the question of whether these pretty girls will really get down. I think the answer is yes. I know some rowdy white girls who can pseudo-rap but will mostly cut your face. Some of them look like Kreayshawn.
Bree: I agree with you in that she probably won't be around in five years. I mean, the Internet moves at hyper speed. Kreay is an Internet rapper. Her references are comical, and that is, in a way, an easy way out. But also, I will be curious to see what happens with this Columbia deal. She has said it won't change her game, but who knows? And I mean, Odd Future is rowdy, but are they legit? And do they really make her anything but a novelty of their novelty?
And, yes, Snow has to fight way harder, but also I think it's because she's got a different trajectory. I see her like a Too Short -- she will maybe be in the game for a long time, but maybe not have as big of a career spike as Kreayshawn will have in the short term. Also, I think it is long overdue that we address the influence of rap on white females.
I, myself, being a white female, can say having grown up on Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return to 36 Chambers has no doubt influenced me. But the output -- I know, as I've thought about trying to rap for a long time, mostly because I can parrot a lot of that shit pretty well -- is questionable. There isn't a lot of legitimacy in what white rapper women do in the first place. I wonder how many will really cut your face, though! Is Kreayshawn a fighter? I mean, on a real level?
Ru: Interesting. So interesting. The problem with the idea of novelty is that white girls who rap in itself is a novelty, right? I mean, hip-hop comprising rowdy-ass hooligans, young girls, in general, are cautioned away from it. For a woman to step in the game and say she's got swag "oozing out her ovaries" puts her out there regardless.
Kreayshawn will never be able to work at Bank of America after this. Snow might be able to work at Bank of America in two years, though, if it doesn't work out...and she'll probably still be rapping. Kreayshawn is more than likely not a real fighter because she's likely never had to fight, cause she's got a mouth....and homeboys to back her up.
Bree: Oh, it totally is a novelty. Because if you look at women who are rapping on a political or socially conscious level who are white, well, where are they? They exist! They totally exist! But for this, you're right. It is all novelty. I don't even know if Kreayshawn knows herself whether it's novelty or not, or if she can decide which way to be.
You're right, too, in that she won't probably go back to a normal existence; she'll end up in the "former" category. And on her own, without that crew of dudes, I just don't think she could swing this behavior. Especially in Oakland, where I know some of that scene isn't too kind to white people in general -- I'm thinking mostly of D-Lo. But Snow as a novelty, well, I don't think she has to be that. But she may end up that way, if she doesn't work her ass off.
Ru: So do we think these girls have what it takes to succeed beyond the perimeters we've already, as a society, placed on them? It will be interesting to see how the rest of the country truly reacts once this phenom truly catches on. White girl rappers are the new black!
Bree: I would say yes to Snow, no to Kreayshawn. And I think you are right in that it will catch on. There is a huge audience for it: WHITE PPL.
Ru: I agree... although I'd probably say, from a novelty perspective, Kreayshawn is about to make the blow-up. P.S., she kind of reminds me of Mariah Carey in the face.