Bay Area rapper Kreayshawn pays her haters no mind. The 22-year-old rose to prominence last May when the video for her swagged-out ode to anti-materialism, “Gucci Gucci,” went viral, logging almost 35 million YouTube views – and more than 33,000 “dislikes” – to date. With her Columbia Records debut Somethin‘ Bout Kreay now slated for a summer release, Kreayshawn says she couldn’t care less if people dismiss it.
“I think there are people who are just waiting to hate. This could be the best album in the world and they’ll hate it anyway,” Kreayshawn, born Natassia Gail Zolot, tells Rolling Stone. “I’m not really concerned with trying to turn haters into believers. I just think it’s going to be a fun-ass album for my fans that I have now, and for people who have only heard one song.”
Kreayshawn enlisted producers Diplo, Boys Noize, DJ Two Stacks and Jean Baptiste to broaden her hyphy-leaning sound. “One song will be like, super hip-hop, and one song will be like Bay Area hyphy music, and another will be like Chicago house juke music and one will be New Orleans crazy booty-bounce music. And one will be a crazy, witch-house-sounding track,” says Kreayshawn. The LP also features guest appearances from 2 Chainz, Kid Cudi, Sissy Nobby, DB tha General, Chippy Nonstop and V-Nasty.
Album cut “Twerkin'” features a hook from the track’s producer Diplo, who Kreayshawn says inspired her to pursue her film career (she’s directed videos for Soulja Boy Tell’em and Lil B). “When I grow up, I want to be like Diplo, for sure,” she says. For the Kid Cudi-assisted “Like It or Love It,” she says the pair drew from punk’s influence. “We were in the studio and we kind of made a new song with a whole new genre … [Cudi] actually played some guitar on the song and we made a break there with instruments,” Kreayshawn says. “The song is just like, punk. If you like it, then do it. Do whatever you want if it makes you happy.”
Since inking a rumored $1 million deal with Columbia in June 2011, Kreayshawn has laid relatively low, appearing as a featured guest on tracks by 2 Chainz and Juicy J and building up her performance chops with a headlining slot on last year’s Noisey college tour. In the meantime, other white female rappers have penetrated the game like Iggy Azalea and Kitty Pryde, whose “Okay Cupid” video has drawn comparisons to Kreayshawn for her aloof delivery and teen appeal.
“I saw her stuff. She’s cute. I love kitties,” Kreayshawn giggles. “I wouldn’t say [her flow is] similar at all. Her style is super poetic and well-written. My style is more like freestyle, crazy, whatever I’m thinking of. Ponies and blah blah blah. But her shit is tight, for sure.”
With her self-described “super upbeat” and “uptempo” debut arriving in a few months, Kreayshawn says she’s also cooking up duets with Insane Clown Posse, Sissy Nobby and pop-rap duo Millionaires. The former Berkeley Digital Film Institute student is also itching to pick back up the camera soon, and she hopes to record a new mixtape while promoting Somethin‘ Bout Kreay, which will be released as a special-edition cassette tape for 100 fans. As for those haters? “I hope that this makes them think that they should shut up and listen to my album every day of their lives.”