Written By: Omar Stamp
Hailing from Oaktown, Califor-Ni-Aye. Kreayshawn (Natassia Zolot) brings her full arsenal of vocal styles to the MIC in her debut album, released on Columbia Records. At a glance, the pretty and petite 27 year old appears to be just another laid back West Coast rapper, as seen and heard in her projects with “White Girl Mob”, and her breakout single “Gucci Gucci”. However, from the clubby intro to its harmonically synthesized outro, “Somethin bout’ Kreay” tells a story brimming with as many colors and sounds as she has tattoos.
Born in San Francisco, she is of Russian-Jewish descent (a usually gangsta cocktail). Her first musical influence was her mother, a member of the garage band “The Trashwomen”. By the age of 10, young Natassia was messing around with her first camera, and by 13 she’d moved to East Oakland, where she interned at a radio station as part of the curriculum at her liberal arts High School. A desire for a bigger workload however, drove the budding film director to transfer to the famed Oakland High School, where she “…never went to any of her classes, ever…” and was expelled for non-attendance. Still, as the life of an artist goes, this only freed her to further develop her palette, as well as soak up more of the distinct West Coast flavor that would later serve her career in cinematography and music. A GED and work program later…17 year old Kreayshawn was recording songs and videos out of her studio apartment in Berkeley, CA for herself and local artists; most notably Lil Debbie, and V-Nasty of the “White Girl Mob”. The attention from her videos earned her a yearlong scholarship to Berkeley Digital Film Institute. She moved to LA afterwards to direct, and that’s where her manager encouraged her to pursue her own music career.
“Somethin Bout Kreay” displays a more liberated Kreasyshawn, with an overall dancer sound than its preceding mixtapes, such as “Kittys x Choppas”. It’s definitely a Summer time album, as heard in the warm synths and breezy lyrics on the aptly named “Summertime”. With the exception of a couple change-up tracks, it’s the perfect soundtrack for rolling with your bitches all weekend or guzzling ice cold 40 oz’s at a raucous house party. The production is consistently high energy, with several tracks peaking as high as 104 bpm, and pulling from EDM, breakbeat, and its redheaded step children Dubstep and Mumbai. Impressively, the never monotone Kreay Kreay uses a different flow on each track, attacking on the 36 mafia like “Gucci Gucci” (…I got the swag/and it’s pumpin’ out my ovaries!), and then caressing on the Egyptian Lover-esque banger “K234ysonixz”. Throughout all the twerk worthy high hats and big bass drops though (“Twerkin”, ft Diplo), Kreayshawn even manages to show her softer side, on what I dare call the ballads of the album. A la Katie Perry on the playful riser “BFF”, and once more in true Lady Gaga form, on ”Luv Haus”. A rapper at heart though, she never strays to far from her roots, and “Somethin’ Bout Kreay” successfully keeps it G, while following the modern Hip-Hop trend of gaining more and more influence from electronic music. The biggest testament to her large presence on the MIC though, is hearing her “flex” her big faced Watches and Gold Grillz just as hard as the big name features, 2 Chainz and Kid Cudi.
At a minimum, Kreasyshawn is irresistibly weird and even controversial as both an LGBTQ woman and rapper…don’t expect her to apologize for it on this album. There really is “Somethin’ Bout’ Kreay.”