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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Music journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie artists. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Why You Should Love Kreayshawn & The White Girl Mob
Monday, August 22, 2011

When people hear the names Kreayshawn and White Girl Mob they may think of a lot of things, old school hip-hop probably isn’t one of them. After seeing Kreayshawn and V-Nasty (of White Girl Mob fame) perform at the Highline Ballroom in NYC last week, however, old school hip-hop was the most prevalent thought that was going through my mind. This is because, whether the audience, most of whom were too young to drink, realized it or not, they were taking part in an old school hip-hop experience.

Hip-hop was born at block parties, which were, in part, about getting everyone together and having a good time. This is exactly what this show was about. Kreayshawn and V-Nasty showed genuine excitement to see their fans and to be performing, going as far as reaching out and physically touching their fans as often as possible. These moments were honest and showed the audience that the performers weren’t there just for a payday, or to make themselves feel large, but to give everyone a fun night. That excitement quickly spread throughout the crowd.

Adding to the duo’s retro feel is the fact the Kreayshawn and V-Nasty have slower flows and utilize a more deliberate delivery of their lyrics. Speaking of which, lyrically, Kreayshawn and her crew aren’t about proving they’re the best on the microphone. They’re not talking about how much money they have either, or how much better they are than everyone else. They’re not emulating the prominent women of 90s and 2000s hip-hop who focused on their sexual prowess, whether real or imagined. They’re about having fun and mocking people who don’t understand that individualism is far more rewarding than following trends. It will be interesting to see how the latter plays out as Kreayshawn gets bigger. A Marilyn Manson Effect could happen, where the artist talks about individuality only to have their entire fan base become carbon copies of them. For now, however, it’s working. The young women of the White Girl Mob are harnessing the unbridled fun of the “Fight For Your Right to Party” era Beastie Boys, Kid ‘n Play, the Fat Boys, and a myriad of other old school acts we all fondly remember, even if their lyrics didn’t exactly reveal the meaning of life. Back then we understood the importance of having a good time, and we should embrace those who are helping to bring that vibe today. The lyrics are a little dirtier this time around, but it’s pretty hilarious to hear two diminutive young women rapping about how haters can suck their dicks (at least it made me laugh).

Another interesting note regarding the show is that Kreayshawn and V-Nasty don’t have an extensive catalog of music, or a large number of hit singles, so they were rocking the crowd with mostly unknown music (at least for the casual fans who didn't download the mixtapes). Yes, they have a younger crowd, and younger crowds are more open to enjoying music they haven’t heard before, but to really have the attention of an entire audience with something they’ve never heard is really impressive.

Is the White Girl Mob the future of hip-hop? Honestly, I view that as a nonsensical question. Hip-hop has splintered off into so many subsections that it’s fairly ridiculous to try to point to just one thing and say “that’s what hip-hop should be.” For some people Jay-Z is hip-hop. For others Waka Flocka Flame is. For others the Hiero crew is. For others Immortal Technique is. The fact of the matter is, all of them are right.

An act like the White Girl Mob brings us the fun aspect of hip-hop, which has been a part of hip-hop since its earliest days. An act like Immortal Technique brings radical political views to the forefront, which is also an important aspect of hip-hop. Both have their merits. Could Immortal Technique rock an old school block party with fun rhymes about living it up? Probably not. Could Kreayshawn rock a political rally and expound on immigration laws? Probably not. Does the inability to do either make either one of them less hip-hop? Absolutely not.

Hip-hop encompasses both of those ideas and ideals, along with many others, and I, for one, am glad that there’s a sub-section of hip-hop where an act like the White Girl Mob can thrive and bring a fun time to a large audience. Sometimes we need a good time, and they provide exactly that for their crowd.

OK, so maybe you, personally, don’t have to love them, but at least try to recognize they have a place in hip-hop and their fans do, too.

Side Note: As for the controversy regarding V-Nasty’s use of the N-word, which I’ve heard explained as her being raised by a black woman who called her “nigga” on a regular basis - she didn’t say it at all during the show (at least not that I heard). The only time I heard a white person say it was when the DJ spun a Wiz Khalifa song and a kid who didn’t know any better sang along to every lyric. So if you’re looking for the enemy when it comes to the N-bomb, try looking at the past twenty years of commercial radio.

Related Links

* Learning Promotional Methods from the White Girl Mob
* Currently Stuck In My Head: Kreayshawn - Gucci Gucci

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