By now you’ve heard that Kreayshawn’s Somethin ‘Bout Kreay struggled to sell. It’d be a compliment to say that it even went wood. I can’t prove it, but I bet it sold worse than albums by NBA players not named Shaq (Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Troy Hudson, et al.) and Lil Kim’s Black Friday, aka “The One That Shut Down PayPal.” Of course, it’d be foolish to judge an album’s quality based on sales. Tha Carter IV has sold AT LEAST eight times more copies than your favorite underground rapper’s best album.
Why did it flop so bad? Well, considering it’s October and my homegirls dressed as White Girl Mob for Halloween LAST YEAR, it’s safe to say she missed her window of opportunity to ride out the success of the infectious “Gucci Gucci”. Since the single’s success, she’s made news only on slow news days for everything but music. The nude pic leaks, the fallout with Lil’ Debbie, the Rick Ross beef, and all the other shenanigans that keep her name in the news cycle distract from the fact that she has ONE song worth mentioning.
I suppose there is something about Kreay that garners her coverage, the hip girl from the Bay with the “I’m fly, I do what I want, you haters get off my nuts” swagger who lives some kind of hybrid party girl/gangsta chick fantasy. She relies on this image rather than actual rapping skill, the latter of which she doesn’t have much of. “Blasé Blasé” and “Ch00k Ch00k Tare” sound like if Ke$ha tried to make Missy Elliott songs—fun, futuristic songs to shake ass to, but Kreayshawn is no Missy. She may be Ke$ha, though. I haven’t listened to so much off-beat rapping since the heyday of Silkk Tha Shocker, which wouldn’t so bad if she didn’t insist on rhyming “money” with “money.”
The Spaceghost Pur – excuse me, SPVCXGHXZTPVRRP – produced “Left Ey3” is another addition to hip-hop’s new love of naming songs after celebrities to boast how they’re moving like them (see Wale’s “Barry Sanders”). Kreayshawn’s vengeful threats of goon squads and choppers are just so out of place it’s comical. I know Oakland is facing tough economic times, but we MUST be in a recession if people are filling out applications to tote guns in the name of Kreay.
Since it’s 2012, no album is complete without a 2 Chainz feature, who spits some throwaway bars on “Breakfast (Syrup)”, essentially a “Beez In Tha Trap” retread. Fellow guests Kid Cudi and a rapping Diplo are similarly uninspiring and underwhelming. They showed up like the label made them appear on the album to boost sales, but since none are labelmates with Kreay, I’m forced to assume they mailed it in in hopes of not being asked back for the sophomore album. If there is a God, there won’t be a second album. I can usually listen to songs that have good production but subpar raps and just vibe to the beat, but Kreayshawn’s choppy flow, basic rhymes, and annoying-little-sister voice make listenable beats un-enjoyable. I actually prefer Lil’ Wayne’s version of “Gucci Gucci”, and it takes a lot for me to prefer post-incarceration Lil’ Wayne over anybody.
One of my dear friends who swagged herself out as Kreayshawn for Halloween last year remarked that Kreay has done more for fashion than music. Indeed, style-over-substance has never had more of a shining example than Somethin ‘Bout Kreay.