I’ve been accused quite a bit of hating Kreayshawn because she’s white or because she’s a woman or both. This is far from the truth. I want there to be more diverse rappers. I want to see more white girl rappers. I want to see Asian rappers. I want to see Arab and Persian rappers. I want to see gay, lesbian, transgender, etc. rappers.
And there are a lot of white rappers I really like. Eminem, for all his flaws in terms of sexism, doesn’t pretend that he isn’t white or that he doesn’t benefit from white privilege, even though he’s from the hood. Macklemore did a song about white privilege, which says everything I need to about him. Mac Miller’s videos feature lacrosse sticks and American Spirit Perique cigarettes; he doesn’t appropriate black culture or pretend to be anything other than a suburban white kid. The Beastie Boys routinely acknowledge their punk roots, and they felt no need to take made-up pseudo-black names to perform under. Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, and Why?’s Yoni Wolf all manage to share their experiences and views without resorting to cheap shots at black people. And Lady Sovereign, undisputed queen of the white girl rappers, who got signed after freestyling to Jay-Z in person, covers Sex Pistols songs at live shows.
Kreayshawn and her White Girl Mob, on the other hand, have made a career out of turning white America’s view of black culture into a giant joke. Kreayshawn, who grew up in Pleasanton, the richest mid-sized city in America, came up with a “black” name to rap under, making fun of the attempts of the black underclass to establish a cultural identity following the Civil Rights movement. Her three-member “mob” also includes V-Nasty, another suburban white girl who puts on a ridiculous hood accent and says “nigga” more than your grandpa’s Chris Rock impression.
In the minstrel show days, there were two sides of the coin: black performers who shucked and jived for the white man and white performers who acted like what they thought black people were like. Today, we have more subtle variations of these same minstrels. We have black performers like Soulja Boy and Tyler Perry giving white people forms of entertainment that do serious harm to the mass cultural vision of black Americans. Then we have white performers like Kreayshawn and her White Girl Mob, who are basically Al Jolson without the shoe polish laid over slickly-produced beats. They’re aiding the most insidious racists in this country think of black people as uneducated jokes, and the mainstream is eating it up.
I want everyone who loves hip-hop and has talent to share their views and experiences through wonderful music. I just can’t stand being the butt of the same joke we’ve been the butt of for our entire history.