|Birth name||Natassia Gail Zolot|
|Also known as||DJ Kreayshawn|
September 24, 1989 |
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Rapper, music video director|
|Associated acts||White Girl Mob (V-Nasty, Lil Debbie), Lil B, L$D (Grimes, Blood Diamonds), Dev|
Natassia Gail Zolot (born September 24, 1989), better known by her stage name Kreayshawn, is an American rapper, creative director of OK 1984 and music video director from Oakland, California. In 2011, while serving as a member of a rap group with her friends, she released the music video to her debut single, "Gucci Gucci", to internet viral success. The popularity of the song and its video led to a recording contract with Columbia Records soon after. Kreayshawn released her debut studio album, entitled Somethin' 'Bout Kreay, on September 14, 2012.
Early life and education
Natassia Zolot was born on September 24, 1989, in San Francisco. She has Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry from Russia on her mother's side. Her mother, Elka Zolot, is a former member of the San Francisco garage punk band The Trashwomen. Kreayshawn moved to East Oakland and acquired her first video camera at age ten, whereupon she started documenting her raps and films about herself and everyday life.
At the age of 13, Natassia enrolled at Met West High School, which she described as a "new alternative type of high school". Instead of having the usual classes, such as English and mathematics, she had to take an internship at a local radio station three days a week. She was dissatisfied with the lack of work and wanted to go to a normal high school, so she switched to Oakland High School. However, according to Kreayshawn, she "went to none of [her] classes, ever" at her new school, which led to her finishing the term with a 0.0 grade point average and getting expelled for truancy. After taking a short break, she went to Alameda High School but after a few months she was expelled for threatening to throw a watermelon at a schoolmate. After the incident, she then enrolled in the continuation high school, Island High, where she then completed her sophomore year. While attending, she began skipping school for weeks on end. After two weeks, she returned to find out the school moved to a different location. Since she had no address or any contact with the school she was unable to find the new location and never went back.
At the age of 16, she moved to live with her aunt in Berkeley and was taking care of her little cousin. She later moved again to live with her friend V-Nasty and enrolled in a work program, where she passed her GED test. After graduating, she received financial support from her work program and used the money to get her own apartment. She became employed at IKEA, and was also selling marijuana and working a short-lived stint as a "Craigslist pimp" in her spare time. When she was 17, she got a laptop and began recording songs and exploring her interest in cinematography, by shooting music videos for local artists such as Lil B. Her videos caught the attention of Dean Patrick Kriwanek, and she attended Berkeley Digital Film Institute with a full scholarship for two semesters. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music video career. Her manager Chioke McCoy, whom she met while directing a video for DB tha General, encouraged her take on a music career of her own.
Kreayshawn performed in the hip hop group the White Girl Mob (WGM). The group included her friends V-Nasty and Lil Debbie. The White Girl Mob, after many disputes, disbanded in 2012. However, the entire White Girl Mob crew appears in Kreayshawn's video "Go Hard (La.La.La)".
In 2010, Kreayshawn released her first mixtape, Kittys x Choppas, as well as her first music video for the song "Bumpin Bumpin." On May 16, 2011, she released a music video for her single "Gucci Gucci", which generated nearly three million views on YouTube in the first three weeks. "Gucci Gucci," according to Kreayshawn, is a song coaxing people to wear their own styles and not succumb to being "basic bitches," The popularity of her "Gucci Gucci" video caught the attention of several record labels, and Kreayshawn quickly signed a contract with Columbia Records. Kreayshawn's management was contacted by the label representing the Red Hot Chili Peppers about directing a music video for the band's single, "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" (from the album, I'm with You). In August 2011, Billboard ranked Kreayshawn number 34 on their Social 50 chart for her presence on social media.
Kreayshawn sparked controversy during a Tinychat freestyle, wherein she insulted rapper Rick Ross by calling him "fake." She later retracted her statements and described it as a misunderstanding; however, a few days following her statement, Kreayshawn continued making negative remarks about Ross's body weight, once again calling him "fake" and stating that "he can't rap." These remarks eventually led to Rick Ross verbally threatening Kreayshawn and her manager Chioke "Stretch" McCoy entourage during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. She was nominated for the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist, but lost the category to Tyler, The Creator. She also hosted the Red Carpet event. The same night, nude pictures of herself were leaked via her Twitter being hacked. She claimed the photos were taken when she was underage.
In July 2011, Kreayshawn's first physical release, Nattymari presents Kreayshawn and Sortahuman Murder in Memphis Vol 1, came out on cassette tape via Clan Destine Records. Produced by Nattymari with features by V-Nasty and Yung Hawaii Slim among others, the release was limited to 100 copies and celebrated Memphis' culture of murky, underground rap distributed via tape. Side A of the tape is available for free online via clothing company Mishka NYC, while the instrumental side B is tape exclusive. In 2012, Kreayshawn was nominated for the O Music Awards.
Kreayshawn's debut studio album, Somethin' 'Bout Kreay was released for digital download on September 14, 2012 under Columbia Records in the United States. It was released on CD elsewhere on September 25, 2012. The singles, "Breakfast", featuring 2 Chainz, and "Go Hard (La.La.La)" precede the album. A music video was released for "Blasé Blasé" exclusively through HungerTV.
On one of her YouTube videos she stated that she's working on an EP. On February 15, Kreayshawn vlogged her at the shoot for her new line of jewelry along with her appearing in a new music video with Bukkweatbill for their song "Pipe Down" Kreayshawn announced in a vlog released on February 22, 2014 that she has recorded several songs that might be on her upcoming EP, she also announced that she had an interest in getting a production crew together and to start directing again along with making a reel. In the same vlog, she also said that she had been unsigned from her label after she had had her first child. On July 24, Kreayshawn released a collection of chokers called "Hella Cute". Kreayshawn has been the creative director of OK 1984 since releasing her first collection.  She also released a new song "Pizza Song". When responding to a fan on Twitter, Kreayshawn stated that she was working on music and would have something out by the end of 2014 hopefully.
On October 22, Kreayshawn announced on her Facebook page that she had created a podcast, Lost in Thot. It features Kreayshawn and Chippy Nonstop. Lost in Thot is usually released on SoundCloud and Stitcher.
Kreayshawn has stated that the biggest influences on her rapping style are the Spice Girls and Missy Elliott. Kreayshawn states that Missy Elliot is her strongest influence because "she's always been stylish, and she’s always kept her own thing going." In an interview for M.I.S.S., Kreayshawn stated that there were several musicians she was a major fan of, some include Waka Flocka Flame, Kool Keith, Aaliyah, and The Spice Girls.
Kreayshawn was listed as one of the 19 Most Important White Rappers in 2011 on the same list as Eminem and Mac Miller by Business Insider. Her 2011 hit song "Gucci Gucci" was critically acclaimed and referred by Pitchfork as #141 of The 200 Best Tracks of the Decade So Far.
An amateur pops off with a genuine hit—it's nearing 50 million views, aka Bieber numbers—and suddenly everyone has to make sure you know she didn't write her own lyrics, that everyone just liked the beat, it was really the Odd Future cosign, that the writer deserves the credit, that anything can and must be taken from her. But "Gucci Gucci", a perfect pop-rap record, has sustained, because Kreayshawn was at its center. Not that collaboration didn't help it come together: DJ Two Stacks' beat was immediate and hooky, and the song's lyrics are eminently quotable. But the spirit of Kreayshawn was what people wanted, what captured our eyes and ears. Down to the quotidian detail, she got what it was like to be a young and urbane hip-hop head in 2011, growing up on the Cool Kids and Curren$y, choosing style over fashion, dealing Adderall out of your backpack and shooting music videos for the gangster rapper up the street. In one record she built a universe—and transformed "basic" into the slang term heard round the world.—David Drake
"Gucci Gucci" was included in many music critic year-end lists.
|Complex||The 25 Best Songs of 2011||2011||#9|
|MTV||25 Best Songs of 2011||#23|
|Pitchfork||The Top 100 Tracks of 2011||#48|
|Popmatters||The 75 Best Songs of 2011||#24|
- Somethin' 'Bout Kreay (2012)
|2012||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Herself||Performer|
|2011||MTV Video Music Award||Best New Artist||Gucci Gucci||Nominated|
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