The Year Kreayshawn Broke

[caption id="attachment_53116" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Kreayshawn Kreayshawn photo courtesy of Audible Treats.[/caption]

"My haters care a lot. It's not like haters that are like, 'Oh, you're so bleh.' It's like, 'Kreayshawn should die in a pool of blood.'"

“When I put out "Gucci Gucci," signing to a record label wasn't even an option. It wasn't even a factor, and I didn't even think that people could find record labels. I thought of making a movie. I thought of being a radio DJ. To get signed was weird, the one thing I’ve never thought about in my life. The other day, Kreayshawn listened to Kittys x Choppas for the first time since its 2010 release -- a mixtape she created while sitting in her bedroom, lifting random beats off YouTube and fiddling with GarageBand. "Beyond that, I'm not the type of person that really listens to my own music," she says. "I'm always like, 'Oh my God, my song's on the radio! Change it!'"

Last year in Fairfax, Ca., Kreayshawn spotted a hot pink Minnie Mouse headband sitting on her friend's kitchen table. She snatched it, then slipped it on for the making of her first music video. This image from "Gucci Gucci," plus all the talk surrounding Kreayshawn -- most notably, about how she's white and how she "wants" to be black and how she must be a joke -- became impossible to avoid.

Kreayshawn responds to both the love and hate in her debut album Somethin 'Bout Kreay. She's rapping to production by Diplo, venturing into punk with Kid Cudi and even "totally singing my heart out," she says. Kreayshawn was able to chat briefly with Hive about her year since "Gucci Gucci" -- namely, making her album, and learning how to deal with hate.

What's the biggest difference between Somethin 'Bout Kreay and Kittys x Choppas?

Kittys x Choppas was definitely me goofing off, but at the same time it was really me just being myself, you know? Somethin 'Bout Kreay is definitely more thought-out. It was like a musical painting. You've got your paint, your paintbrush and your canvas, and you're thinking, "How can I make this sound good?" I definitely think there's a difference between mixtape songs and album songs ... and I think sometimes you'll like an artist's mixtape work more than their album work. I think this album is going to be a good balance of both.

What is the biggest common denominator between songs on Somethin 'Bout Kreay?

I can record all music in the world, and it's not going to compare to how I actually love music, other artists, other genres. So I really wanted my album to just be representative of every genre that I like. Me and Kid Cudi have a song on the album, and the whole thing is punk. Kid Cudi literally did the guitar riffs and the drumming, and it's just raw. The whole theme behind the song is punk -- like if no one likes what you're doing, then you don't give a fuck. You like what you're doing, so keep doing it, you know? ... The whole album sounds like it's everywhere, but when you listen to the whole thing, it makes perfect sense. Every song sounds different, but it still has me on it and the Bay Area vibe, and everything's kind of uptempo and happy, you know?

It'll be interesting to hear how it compares with Kittys x Choppas.

Yeah, it's funny -- I was listening to Kittys x Choppas the other day. Beyond that, I'm not the type of person that really listens to my own music. I'm always like, "Oh my God, my song's on the radio! Change it!" So I was listening to Kittys x Choppas again the other day, and I was like, "Damn! The beats that I chose!," because the beats, the majority of them are just off of YouTube, just random beats that I was playing. So it's kind of like Somethin 'Bout Kreay in the way that there's so many genres.

On Twitter you said "PEOPLE HATE ME OR LOVE ME BUT, THERES JUST #SOMETHINBOUTKREAY." How have you learned to deal with negative criticism?

At this point I don't even notice it. My fans will tweet, "Hey guys, stop hating on Kreayshawn," and so I don't even see the hate. It doesn't register, you know? In the beginning I used to go through my comments, and all I would see is the hate, but then I got a hella lot more fans than haters. Even my haters, they're so intense. It doesn't matter if you're hating; your intensity shows that you care. My haters care a lot. It's not like haters that are like, "Oh, you're so bleh." It's like, "Kreayshawn should die in a pool of blood...." I'm happy that I have a lot of passionate, good stuff surrounding me, so I don't see much of the hate anymore.

So it's actually worse [for people] to be indifferent than to hate.

I mean, there's always the saying that's if you don't have haters, then you're not doing something right. I don't know. I don't think it applies to me because as an artist, you're making art for the fans. When I put out "Gucci Gucci," signing to a record label wasn't even an option. It wasn't even a factor, and I didn't even think that people could find record labels. I thought of making a movie. I thought of being a radio DJ. To get signed was weird, the one thing I’ve never thought about in my life. I just put out stuff for people to listen to, to share my creativity. So it's not like I'm trying to get haters, or to blow up or trying this or that. Sometimes I feel like out of all my friends, I’m the one who didn't want to be famous and ended up getting famous. All of my friends want to be famous so bad.

Oh, really? As video directors, musicians, or...?

Anything. Anything. A lot of my friends make music, anything. They could be models. They're always like, "Oh, I wish I could get signed too." It's not the right reason to make stuff, you know? People that I've met, like Wiz Khalifa or Mac Miller, feel the same way -- like the, "Oh, I got famous on accident" type of thing, you know? It's definitely interesting.

It definitely happened quickly.

Yeah.

In fact, wasn't Somethin 'Bout Kreay supposed to come out last year?

Naw, we just finished the album in February. That was probably just me hyping myself up to get it done quicker. Literally, I went all around the world singing "Gucci Gucci" for, like, seven months before I even had time to go to a studio.

What's a song that people will be surprised to hear?

Oh my God, I did this singing song [closer "luV haus"]. I'm totally singing my heart out, and I wrote these super poetic beat lyrics to them. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised to hear me sing for sure. It's going to be exciting.

I saw this video that you recorded, of you and your friends rapping to different songs. Where did you find that?

Well, I've had hella tapes, all those old tapes, so I went to this store where you can get your old tapes converted and saved onto a hard drive, and I took all of my old tapes over there. I was going to do something with them, but then I would be like, "Oh, whatever." Then I would watch them on my old computer at home, and I was just like, "Oh my God, this is so hilarious. I have to edit this into a video just to share with the world." That shit just literally cracked me up, so it's gotta be entertaining to everyone else, you know? And the best part is, that's like pre-internet. Pre-internet, you wanted to hang out with your friends in your backyard and not do shit, listen to music -- you know? You call your friend on the phone, because you're bored and you don't have the internet.

Kreayshawn's Somethin 'Bout Kreay is out now via Columbia. Stream it below: