Kreayshawn and V-Nasty: The White Girl Rapper Persona

Apologies for the late post! I posted this way earlier today but didn’t realize until now that I posted to the new blog wordpress made for me that I didn’t know I had, instead of this one. Couldn’t figure out how to post to this one until just now, even though I’ve done it before… Very odd. 😛 Anyway, back to things that matter.

In our group discussion last Wednesday, we spoke about how the skin color of a model of clothing, be that a traditional model for the fashion industry or simply a person wearing a specific type of dress, can entirely change the perception of the wearer. Douglas sometimes chose native models for his Indian Fashion Show, and oftentimes chose slender women of European ancestry that mirrored the bodies showing clothing at Parisian fashion shows. Whatever his choice entailed, the effect of the fashion show changed dramatically. Similarly, Beyonce’s and Rihanna’s outfits served to make both their African and Caribbean ancestries salient, juxtaposed with their American identities, in addition to their identities as women/sexual objects/beings. (For reference, their videos are at the bottom of this post.) Some would argue that it takes only personal perseverance, determination, and talent to become famous in the music industry; others, like Bene Viera at Clutch Magazine, argue that Black women have less choice in what they wear if they desire fame. She compares their success to Kreayshawn’s and other white female rappers, who didn’t sexualize themselves in their videos and still received wide recognition for them:

 It’s ironic how the White girl mimicking Black culture has been viewed as  quirky, cute, and interesting in the past. But sisters who fashionably rock bamboo earrings, gold nameplate necklaces, and blonde streaked weaves, will inevitably be considered “ghetto” by society. It’s equally problematic that every female emcee post Queen Latifah and MC Lyte who has had massive mainstream success all had to sell sex.

In this case, as in the ones above, the meaning of the “bamboo earrings, gold nameplate necklaces, and blond streaked waves” changes according to the skin color of the wearer. Women’s Wear Daily quotes Kreayshawn bemoaning her hardships as a white girl: ““When I was younger, growing up in the ‘hood, being the only white girl, like, there’s time when you’re like s—t, it sucks being white, you know?” Colorlinesanalyzes the immense privilege she flouts when making statements like this, without acknowledging or even realizing her privilege at all. Jamilah King, from Colorlines,further analyzes her persona with a list of “5 Reasons Why People Love to Hate Kreayshawn.” Does Jamilah’s list match up with our course readings and our discussion about Beyonce and Rhianna? How does his list carry over to another V-Nasty’s public persona (another white, female rapper)? For some context of her views on racism and whiteness in today’s pop culture, see her reaction to public commentary on her and Kreayshawn’s use of the n-word and claims that they are “acting Black:” (and I’m sorry, I don’t know how to upload a video to the blog! I can only copy the links.)

V-Nasty On Some Real Shit – YouTube

For reference, here are Beyonce’s and Rihanna’s videos, along with Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci”:

Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls) – YouTube

Rihanna – Rude Boy – YouTube

Kreayshawn – Gucci Gucci – YouTube

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8 thoughts on “Kreayshawn and V-Nasty: The White Girl Rapper Persona

  1. I thought this was interesting as I guess it is something I may have never noticed. I think the reason for never paying attention to these fashions on different races is that no matter what the race I’m not really into the whole bamboo earrings and weave looks. If anything I would judge a white women for copying those fashions because it looks ridiculous to me maybe because it is out of place for them.

    When it comes to Douglas picking models based on color or ethnicity based on his collection I feel like it is a bit strange but once again something I wouldn’t notice. I don’t think I would because generally when I see a fashion show I think the models all look the same because they are thin. Obviously they are all very different girls but I see the clothes being shown on stick thin frames. If they actually used larger woman I may notice the difference of the clothing on the people. I guess I see fashion as neutral and not a place where race really sticks out to me. I know what I like when I see it but I’m sure I may have been influenced thinking differently about an article of clothing based on race at sometime.

    Clothing and fashion trends should have the same response regardless of race or whose wearing things.

  2. Before hearing this presentation I had never heard of these white female rappers Kreayshawn and V-Nasty. Researching them further directly brought to mind a very similar YouTube video of a white woman named Karmin who also became an internet sensation covering Chris Brown’s song titled “Look At Me Now” (shown in the link). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khCokQt–l4 This video was only put up five months ago and already has over 41 million views. Her fame is believed to come from the fact that she is white and can rap well which is a stereotype in our society that makes this seem very rare. The fact that she, just like Kreashawn, was not over sexualized when she made her debut video which supports Jamilah King’s view that there is a double standard for black female rappers. The fact that she is also profiting off of covering Chris Brown’s song is another way in which King would agree that she is exploiting black culture. While Beyonce and Rhianna showed their ethnic backgrounds through sexualizing their wardrobe in their videos, neither of these white females chose to do this thus showing again this double standard in society. On the other hand, in both Beyonce and Rhianna’s videos their over sexualization seemed to be intentional showing how women have to right to represent their bodies how they please and do what they want with them. With that being said, it is somewhat sad to say that all four of these women are being talked about more for their over/lack thereof sexualization of their bodies rather than their musical abilities.

  3. Thanks for sharing Karmin’s music video. It was really interesting to watch; she raps quite well and added her own flare to the song which made me think she did it much better than Chris Brown did his own song. The fact that she wasn’t sexualized but has gained much popularity (she’s already been on the Ellen DeGeneres show and has a bajillion hits) definitely reflects her privilege as a white woman in pop culture. I don’t think, however, that she’s appropriating Black culture by rapping and getting away with doing so platonically; I listened to some other videos of her original songs and they’re not rap or hip hop. They mirror pop songs much more so than hip hop. This one instance I think is of her doing a cover for a song she liked, rather than taking advantage of her privilege as a career move in a genre dominated by African Americans.

    To provide another instance of racialized bodies within pop culture, I wanted to post about this article I found on Colorlines: http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/10/rihanna_has_gone_white_and_blonde_on_the_cover_of_vogue_uk.html. It’s an analysis of Rihanna’s appearance on the cover of Vogue Magazine, on which they editors severely lightened her skin. Just like the ease with which Karmin gained popularity with her cover of a hip hop song, Rihanna could only appear on the cover of a popular conventional magazine if she had the appearance of being white. Even her already established status as a Black pop star was not enough to serve as an empowering immobile aspect of her identity. The same thing happened with Aishwarya Rai and Gabourey Sidibe. http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/01/elle_cover_lightens_the_most_beautiful_woman_in_the_world.html

  4. Okay. So that V-Nasty video really challenged my thoughts. As an African-American, I do not think that it is okay from anyone to say the N-word. I especially am uncomfortable with people other than African-Americans using that word. It is never okay for it to be said, but I feel like it is highly offensive for those of other races to say because of the historical context of it. Honestly, my response and opinion of the those who say “if black people can say it, why cant I?” is first: SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! second: WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO BE SAID PERIOD third: BECAUSE IT WAS A WORD USED TO SURPRESS AFRICAN AMERICANS. I really do not care if the word had evolved from “Nigger” to “Nigga” and more commonly “Ninja” the root, content, and context of it all is still the same. It’s use is unnecessary. I do not doubt that Kreayshawn and V-Nasty are talented artist. An I honestly do not have a problem with their demeanor nor image. Growing up, I was often accused of “acting white” or “talking white” that is a very ignorant description, so I understand their frustration. You are who you are. and thats that. I appreciate their fashion and music.

  5. Well, as far as this video of “V-Nasty” goes, it literally sent chills through my body. Honestly, I don’t think it gets more ignorant than that. Honestly, I would not have been as upset if her argument of using the word was that after the transformation of society, the word has changed it meaning and is not as harsh of a word than it used to be. However, because she tries to justify the use of the world by saying “yall have never walked in my shoes” goes to show that she does not have any type of knowledge as to why this word is seen offensive period. The use of this word is not justifed because of where you come from. In my opinion, it does not even matter if you are black, but because black people know the meaning behind this word, it is not frowned upon as much. I think that the word is offensive period and whenever it is used it can create an uncomfortble situation. I also believe that this girl V-Nasty is terrible. This post is not so much about her as much as it was of her ignorance, but I will say that our generation and our opinions of music is deteriorating as a whole. When she said the words “wait until my album drops” my stomach turned. If she comes out with an album and she becomes an successful artist I will truly will be shamed to be a part of this generation to have someone like her as a face in our entertainment industry.

  6. I’m unsure of who’s post it was but they mentioned they are African American and dislike the word “Nigger.” Their rant that continued with the explaination of it as well as investigating the question “Why is it okay for black people to use it and not myself”?” Well I agree with all of her thoughts. I believe the word should never be used as African Americans or white people. It’s distasteful and used to opress people which is not okay in anyway. It reminds me of 30 Rock when Tracy Jordan calls Toofer a “n*gger” as a term of endearment and to show brother hood. Once in mandatory mediation, Toofer tries to use the word back and all hell breaks lose as Tracy sees it as derogatory. I think that message in 30 Rock or at least in my eyes is that no matter the context it’s not okay to use.

    This brings me back to V-Nasty and Kreayshawn who in my eyes have no right to use such terms. They also do not look cute as some argue. In general bamboo earrings etc are not my fashion but I think it’s unfair some are believed to look okay and some look “ghetto” Similar to this is when hispanics are known to wear large hoops and when white girls where them they look sophiscated and unique. I would once again say this is unfair. I think the ideas behind Kreayshawn and V-nasty could be further looked into and advertised. If others could see that certain terms are not okay for anyone to use as well as well calling some “cute” while others “ghetto” that’s not okay.

  7. I feel the statement “acting Black” is so rediculous, but at the same time it seems like many people have an idea of what “acting Black” means. This term only up holds the negative stereotypes that are associated with African Americans. In reality I do not feel there is one set way to identify when an individual is “acting Black.” The Black culture is way more complicated and multideminsional than what society recognizes. It is interesting to see how Kreayshawn’s performance is seen as positive and amusing, but when a similar performance is carried out by a Black female rapper it is viewed as ghetto. Kreayshawn performance is ablle to encompass new meanings of “acting Black.” This can be viewed as a suvival strategy in some cases.

  8. I really cringed when I watched the Kreayshawn video. I am a little confused on how to feel about these types of not just fashions on white women, but the mentality as well. Honestly I feel like Kreayshawn, despite how true to herself she is and where she came from, is nothing but a gimmick. This huge controversy of the use of the N-word (which i personally detest coming out of any ones mouth) is nothing but a way for her to score media attention. What better way to do that than to have a white woman speaking about how she has the right to say whatever she wants on a youtube video. Honestly we can all dress, say and feel however we want. At the end of the day its about who you are affecting with controversial statements that matters. Do I feel offended with her using the N-word? yes i do, mostly because he explanation for her using it is ridiculous. If you have to question who you are offending on a public you tube video because people were complain… obviously you should know that you are offending someone. Know that issue and deal with the consequences… which is what she will be doing. because at this point with the way media is open for the public, anyone can say anything…

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