My head has been spinning trying to track the Kreayshawn, nee Natassia Zolot, phenomenon this week. Her video “Gucci Gucci” was uploaded to Youtube about two weeks ago, and since then she has signed a reportedly million dollar deal with Columbia and been subjected to a spiraling cascade of insta-punditry, hype, backlash. I fully expect to see a Hitler/Downfall meme shortly involving Kreayshawn.
I don’t think anything since “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” has given me the same “what is this?” feeling as “Gucci Gucci.” There’s almost a Catfish or Exit Through the Gift Shop quality, e.g. is this either (a) “real”? (b) “fake”? (c) some kind of deeper game messing with our notions of either? Is “das racist”?? The Das Racist guys are neither “white” nor African-American, which smooths the edge of the issue a bit, but a Ms. Natassia Zolot rapping about smoking blunts has nowhere to hide.
The ear-worm “Gucci Gucci Louis Louis Fendi Fendi Prada/ Basic bitches wear that shit so I don’t even bother” balances on a razor-thin boundary between “selling”/”not selling.” It’s a lot like “I’m at the Pizza Hut, I’m at the Taco Bell,” in fact. It’s anti-consumerism, it’s consumerism, it’s the combination consumerism anti-consumerism. Well, it is anti- — you wouldn’t want to be one of those basic bitches, would you? — but Keashawn also gets to say “Gucci Louis Fendi Prada” a million times and stand in front of a Fendi store….
…while wearing the most outlandishly fabulous outfits, e.g. pink Minnie Mouse ears, huge dark accountant glasses (that’s her buddy actually, Lil Debbie, I believe — named after the snack cake?), giant square gold earrings that are sometimes linked by a chain to a nose-ring, tattoos up and down the arms, the big Native American icon medallion. And, in the “Bumpin Bumpin” video (which “Gucci Gucci” samples, adding to the sense of having fallen into a strange self-referential rabbithole), a comparatively demure yet still garish Fred Flinstone jacket with “FRED” down the arms in big letters. This meme is worth it if only for the fashion!
She’s “a self-described occasional lesbian” and will in fact steal your girlfriend: “I’m colder than the fridge and the freezer/ I’m snatching all your bitches at my leisure.”
She’s a cat lover: “I’m rolling up your catnip and shitting in your litter.” She apparently also enjoys riding elephants (see “Bumpin Bumpin” here again).
The backlash, while understandable given the million dollar contract combined the goofing-around-on-Youtube quality of the project (I can’t say it doesn’t slightly bother me that Natassia earned more on Wednesday than I may in my lifetime), can seem censorious, scolding, and to me, wrong-headed. So she’s not a “good rapper”? Isn’t that like saying the Sex Pistols couldn’t play their instruments? Time will tell, but this girl definitely has style and an attitude. She’s a director and film student too. And I can’t stop singing to myself: Gucci Gucci Louis Louis Fendi Fendi Prada…