Kreayshawn is 2011's most dramatic hip-hop blow-up story. After starting the year planning to transition from directing videos for local Bay Area rappers to releasing her own mixtapes, the 21-year-old Natassia Zolot scored big with the DJ Two Stacks-produced "Gucci Gucci." The song's success was instant and stratospheric -- it's now entertained over 28 million YouTube gawpers -- and she was rewarded with a mega-bucks contract with Columbia records.
Now, the Bay Area native will close out the year with a celebratory New Year's Eve show at the Regency Ballroom, headlining a bill that includes local artists like Wallpaper., Roach Gigz, and Starting Six. Ahead of that party, we got the girl who gave the world the image of swag pumping out of her ovaries to look back on her breakthrough year.
At the start of 2011, what were your goals?
I was just focused on putting out songs and it was really relaxed. It was really just playing around. I wanted to just put out some videos with me in them, instead of just directing them. I definitely wasn't chasing a record deal; that wasn't the plan. So it's exciting that that happened.
What was the high point of your year?
It would be "Gucci Gucci," definitely. It was the game-changer.
When did you start to realize "Gucci Gucci" was blowing up?
Probably like just watching it after we put it up and seeing how many views it was getting, over and over. You could just refresh it and watch it go up. You could just watch it grow.
Was it a surreal experience?
Yeah, it was pretty strange just like to see everything change within days. Every day was different, like going to New York for my first time, going all these places for my first time. It's still like every day is something new.
After signing your record deal, you told us you were going to treat your cats to a fancy cat tower from Petco. Did they get one?
I wanted to get one but they're just weird! So, no, I couldn't pick one; so, no, they don't have one yet.
What about your low point of 2011?
There's no really low point, you know, 'cause everything I'm still learning, like you don't know how to do everything. So sometimes I get angry and get confused 'cause I'm still doing everything for the first time. It's all about learning.
Do you have any regrets about anything that happened?
I don't know, I think everything happens for a reason, but there's certain situations that I wish didn't happen or went differently. But whatever.
What sort of situations do you mean?
Just like it's different how you have to interact with media. Sometimes the media just makes things bigger than they are. Sometimes I think something's really big when it's not and it all blows over in like one day, 'cause the Internet's always got new information. So sometimes I find myself in the middle of things and then it's over.
So what was the most ridiculous thing you heard or read about yourself this year?
Just people saying weird stuff, like, "Oh, Kreayshawn's Dad paid for this video and this is all fake." And that I'm being used by the music industry to scare other people. Weird stuff like that, conspiracy theories and stuff. I'm like, wow, people make up anything!
Next: Kreayshawn on the music she listened to most in 2011.