What Happened to Kreayshawn?
“Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada!” In the summer of 2011, one song was as inescapable as a trendy brand name: “Gucci Gucci,” by a then little-known rapper who went by the moniker Kreayshawn.
However, like many a musical sensation before her, the artist never quite managed to capitalize on the name recognition the major hit gave her, and as quickly as she dominated the cultural zeitgeist, she fell off the radar. Suddenly, it was more like Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi… nada.
So, what happened to Kreayshawn in the 10 years since she landed on the charts? Read on for everything PopCrush managed to round up on what the rapper has been up to since.
A Rough Start and Breaking Solo…
Born Natassia Zolot, Kreayshawn grew up in East Oakland, California. While she first started rapping around age 10, it turns out the budding artist had music in her blood from the very beginning: her mother, Elka Zolot, was the guitarist for San Francisco-based, all-female surf punk trio The Trashwomen.
What the younger Zolot didn’t seem to have in her blood? Academic ambition. Throughout her teenage years, she attended four separate high schools, and she was often expelled for major truancy after skipping classes for weeks on end or just flat-out dropping out. At 16, she moved to nearby Berkeley to live with her extended family, where she eventually received her GED through a work program.
While in Berkeley, Kreayshawn befriended fellow female rapper V-Nasty and, after moving to Los Angeles, began pursuing music as a career — directing music videos for other up-and-coming artists and documenting her life via YouTube. Fast forward to a few years later and she had begun performing as part of the all-female collective White Girl Mob alongside V-Nasty and another rapper named Lil Debbie.
However, dynamics within the group were tumultuous to say the least, and the group eventually disbanded.
Kreayshawn released her first mixtape, Kittys x Choppas, in 2010, even dropping a music video for her song “Bumpin Bumpin.”
“Gucci Gucci” Goes Viral Viral
On May 16, 2011, Kreayshawn uploaded a new clip to her channel: the official music video for “Gucci Gucci.” With its chant-along, label-dropping chorus and call out of “basic b—hes” everywhere, the track felt like lightning in a bottle, perfectly capturing the cultural moment of the time from the perspective of a rising star.
Within three weeks, the “Gucci Gucci” video had racked up nearly 3 million views, and naturally the record labels started circling. Quickly, Kreayshawn inked a deal with Columbia Records and from there, life seemed to take off. “Gucci Gucci” gave the rapper her first Hot 100 hit, peaking at No. 57, and it was certified Gold by the RIAA.
Kreayshawn was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, where she also hosted the red carpet. She directed a music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. She even ignited her very first rap beef with none other than Rick Ross, and was also the victim of a nude photo leak after her Twitter account was hacked.
Basically, she started checking off every box of 2010s celebrity culture as quickly as she could, before she’d even released a follow-up to the single hit that made her famous in the first place…
A Disappointing Debut Album
One year after her breakout single, Kreayshawn released her major-label debut album, Somethin’ ‘Bout Kreay, via Columbia Records. Riding the the wave of “Gucci Gucci” as its first single, the LP also featured 2 Chainz collab “Breakfast (Syrup)” and “Go Hard (La.La.La)” as pre-release singles, as well as major names such as Kid Cudi (“Like It or Love It”) and Diplo (“Twerkin!!!” with Sissy Nobby) on the track list.
However, the album peaked at a disappointing No. 157 on the Billboard 200, only selling a reported 3,502 copies in its first week. This hardly boded well for Kreayshawn, and it certainly didn’t help that critics were giving the studio set awfully mixed reviews, with many panning the rapper’s penchant for inane lyricism. (If you need an example, just watch the music video for “Breakfast (Syrup),” below.)
An EP, a New Baby and Legal Troubles
Despite her debut’s failure to connect with audiences, Kreayshawn continued to soldier on. In 2013, her song “Left E3e” was featured on the soundtrack for Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s hit action comedy The Heat. The same year she dabbled in design by releasing a line of chokers called Hella Cute in partnership with the brand OK 1984. She also welcomed her son, Desmond, though she later revealed that she’d been dropped by her label after giving birth.
After a smattering of one-offs such as 2014’s “Pizza Song” and a guest feature on NERVO’s 2015 single “Hey Ricky” with DEV and Alisa Ueno, Kreayshawn returned with a proper, independently released EP, titled T.O.B.M., in 2019. The project contained kitschy rap tracks including “Missing Kitty,” which had found minor success on YouTube the year prior.
Even when she wasn’t actively releasing music, Kreayshawn maintained a regular digital presence thanks to her active YouTube channel. She started a podcast, Lost in Thot, in 2014 until her co-host Chippy Nonstop was deported to Canada. The erstwhile music artist also hosted her own radio show, the cleverly titled “Kreaydio,” on Dash Radio and dabbled in Periscope. However, nothing seemed to stick, and in 2015, the star’s bank account was reportedly seized by the IRS over failure to pay taxes.
A Return to Vlogging, Gaming…and Juggalos?
Following “Gucci Gucci,” one thing has always stayed consistent throughout the years: Kreayshawn’s digital footprint. And lately, she seems to have turned to the world of gaming.
In July 2019, she announced via YouTube that she had joined Twitch, and invited her followers and fans to follow her on the platform for her various gaming livestreams.
Some livestreams she posts on YouTube, though the most recent update to her channel — a walk-through of the rapper playing Grand Theft Auto — was posted in October 2020. There’s also a rather fascinating video of Kreayshawn’s 2019 trip to Indiana for The Gathering of the Juggalos, which you should really check out below.