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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kreayshawn's "Go Hard": The Oakland-Bred Rapper Tries on Mallrat Pop

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 8:58 AM

click to enlarge kreayshawn_go_hard_grab.jpg

After a rather malnutritious return to the spotlight with "Breakfast," Kreayshawn, the Oakland-bred waif who sorta raps, is back today with a new video for "Go Hard," the second single off her upcoming full-length debut, Somethin 'Bout Kreay. So how is it? Well, like most of Kreayshawn's output, it's garish, boorish, foolish, and kinda fun. Here are our thoughts about "Go Hard" in seven quick bites:

1. Lil Debbie is back. We missed her. Yay!

2. Suppose we'll just have to get over tight lyrics not being a thing that Kreayshawn bothers with. The way the chorus only bothers with actual rhyme for the space of two lines just feels kind of cheap and hasty, as does the way she fills another time around the hook with those "La La La La"s. But she still lobbed this one just over the boundary line of "catchy."

3. The rather striking contrast between the refrains "Go Hard," "hey bitch," and K's visual stuntin', against lines about stealing the stepdad's credit card, working at Forever 21 (We guess "you work at" is now a Kreayshawn motif/crutch), and the image of driving around the parking lot in circles. This isn't Oakland hard, we guess. But they still go hard around those circles, these ladies do.

4. Then again, instead of trying to be street, maybe Kreayshawn should just get over more beats from Boys Noize. This one has a frivolous neon bounce to it that fits her mallrat side, if not her hoodrat side. Whoever dreamed up this pairing was smart to give us an even easier way to not take Kreayshawn too seriously.

5. The part around 2:30 where Kreayshawn's face turns into anime is just absolutely terrifying.

6. This is another example of Kreayshawn's collaborators getting her over the hump with a seemingly meager contribution from the artist herself. The solid parts of this are the beat and the visuals. The weak parts are the lyrics, the poverty of a real vocal melody (one that isn't suggested/dictated by the backing track), and the thinness of the overall concept. Go hard? To the mall? Between this and "Breakfast," making a proper major-label star out of Kreayshawn is turning out to mean a lot of work for people who aren't Kreayshawn.

7. However, large parts of Kreayshawn's fan base seems to consist of younger girls who see her as a safely dangerous role model, and guys who like to look at her. This video isn't going to hurt her standing with either of those groups, and it might help. So -- while it's no thinkpiece-inspiring announcement like "Gucci Gucci" -- in the narrow, moving-product kinda sense at least, "Go Hard" probably won't be a failure.

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