About a year or so ago Columbia Records got wind of Kreayshawn and saw she had millions of hits via Youtube for her song Gucci Gucci.. They saw this Oakland based white girl as a major cash cow and figured she would take music and record sales to new heights.. So Columbia did what they didn’t do for artists like Nas, dead prez, Public Enemy and few other notables who at one time or other graced their ‘esteemed’ label, they wrote a rumored fat check for almost a million dollars so this new internet sensation could produce her debut album..
They followed up with that fat check, by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars more to make sure she was on every radio station in heavy rotation.. Not a day went by that we didn’t hear Kreayshawn. Columbia then spent truck loads to make sure she got to co-host parties and events at big time music awards like MTV Video Awards.. Yes indeed Columbia dropped duckets galore thinking that Kreayshawn was gonna attract all the nice little white boy and girls from the burbs who have long been rumored to be the primary purchasers of rap music.
In the minds of Columbia executives, Kreayshawn was hip and happening. She was connected to Odd Future who were already making noise. She had produced videos for Lil B who was also making noise. She was managed by the same team that managed Oakland rapper Mistah FAB.
On top of all that Kreayshawn had a healthy dose of controversy. Her partner in crime half white/ half Asian V-Nasty of the infamous White Girl Mob which is Kreayshawn’s crew insisted that she had every right to use the N word. There were videos surfacing of her standing on a street corner calling a Black dude ‘nigga’ and daring them to do something about it..Her rationale for using the word, was she’s from the hood, that’s how she talks, she’s been in and out of jail and she’s always packing.The controversy around V-nasty in many ways overshadowed Kreayshawn’s music..but at least people were talking.
Next controversy, some semi nude photos of Kreayshawn surfaced...From Pamela Anderson to Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian to now, Kate Middleton of the Royal Family, you seemingly can’t go wrong with a sex scandal of sorts in today’s sex crazed world..Hence Kreayshawn was in good company.,
Lastly Kreashwn also saw herself embroiled in some beef. She took shots at Rick Ross on a freestyle resulting in things almost coming to a head at the MTV Music Awards when Kreayshawn was hosting a segment and her crew and his crossed paths.. All big selling rappers need beef of some sorts..
With all that said, everything was in place and ready to go..The tried and true formula to make noise via a major label was in place..Columbia made this big time investment and released her debut album ‘Something About Kreay‘ The end result was them selling a whooping 3900 albums.. yep you read that correctly 3900.. Making it one of the worse major label album debuts in history..
As for Columbia records.. a few things to keep in mind.. First just because an artist has 4 million youtube hits doesn’t mean they’re gonna sell 4 million records. For starters youtube numbers can be gamed and you may also have a significant amount of people watching a video repeatedly. I know I watched that Gucci Gucci video at least 654 times, but have no intention of buying the record or album..
Second..it serves Columbia and any other label right that went for a gimmick vs cultivating and nurturing talent. In this case they saw white girl rapper from the hood who is down with Odd Future and figured that was all that was needed. That was a big time fail..One should not put art and culture into nice little boxes.
Lastly if history is any indication, we should never forget that this is the same Columbia records that refused to put out Billy Holiday‘s Strange Fruit because they hated the message.. This is the same Columbia that refused to put out Charles Mingus anti-discrimination song Ode to Faubus because they didnt wanna anger racist white folks.
This is the same Columbia records that refused to let dead prez release their original album cover of the Soweto protestors from South Africa holding guns during an Anti-Apartheid rally while this same label was simultaneously promoting sipping on syrup by 3-6 Mafia by sending blow up dolls and whine flasks to urban retailers radio station jocks all over the country…
This is the same Columbia records that Michael Jackson said was shady and did him wrong by ripping him off when it was headed by Tommy Motala. I can go on and on.. reciting the missteps of this company and I shall not shed any tears..