QUEER ISSUE: Oakland rap phenom Kreayshawn reps a casual Bay sexuality
She's like the indie-rap version of Lady Gaga — another young woman in the public eye who isn't afraid to declare her undeclared sexual status. This isn't a phase and she's not on the fence. Nor is she checking just one box. She could be the poster child for that nebulous term, "post-gay," if we're at a point in our culture where we can move beyond the importance of mainstream representation. (Many would say we're not.)
"I wish everybody was open-minded so we wouldn't have to have any labels — no bi, straight, gay. We wouldn't have to have these titles that separate people."
Her spirited musician mother helped shape Kreayshawn's flexible ideas on sexuality. Mom even worked in the warehouse of Good Vibrations, San Francisco's sex-positive one-stop shop.
"I'd go visit my mom and bring my homework. That place is really diverse, you know what I'm sayin'? I saw some crazy dildos and shit, but I was taught that it's normal. That's why I'm open and accepting of everything."
She admits her lyrics are consistently more lez-oriented, but not necessarily raging. "It's not like I say I'm gonna eat this girl's koochie — it's on a different hype." This way, she says, guys can sing along too.
It's appropriate that Kreayshawn keep one eye toward her male audience and supporters — she rolls with a lot of buzz-worthy industry dudes, most notably the guys of Odd Future. As nice as their beats may be, members like Tyler, the Creator have been known to deliver some nasty, homophobic lines. Does she just bite her tongue?
"I know those guys personally, but I'm also not someone who goes off and listens to their music every day. I don't like homophobe stuff, not in music and not in my friends," she says, maybe hinting that the Odd Future guys just like to ruffle rainbow feathers for effect. Kreayshawn herself is no stranger to playing dirty, although she often takes on a mocking male persona when doing so — calling other girls hos and Twittering lines like "I need a bitch on my lap."
"Growing up in the hood and shit, I would hear all kinds of that shit walking down the street," she explains. Now she wants to turn sexist speech on its head and play with it. "When guys say that stuff in music, like, uh girl, your pussy is so wet — what? Ew — nasty!" She wants girls to be able to sing along and participate instead of feeling attacked or uncomfortable.
"But I wouldn't say you should read into every single lyric," she says. With all the attention she's receiving, she may yet turn her girl-love outward with some solid lyrics. She's already hard at work on a mixtape and her first full-length, which she hopes will be released by the end of the year. Predicting where Kreayshawn will be by next summer isn't so easy.
"I'll probably be touring like something crazy. Maybe directing a music video. Or maybe I'll be knitting socks. You never know with me. It could get completely out of control."
And as for advice at this year's Pride: "Everyone be safe. Have fun. And just make sure you have fun and be safe while doing it."
I told her she sounded like a mom. "I know," she giggles in her squeakiest voice. "I just care about my people."