Kreayshawn at Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver

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Kreayshawn at Fortune Sound Club, Oct 2 2011. Tamara Lee photo.

Review and photos – Kreayshawn at Fortune Sound Club, Oct 2 2011

– review by Ria Nevada/photos by Tamara Lee

Controversy seems to follow Kreayshawn wherever she goes.

Her viral hit “Gucci Gucci” caused a stir for bashing designer toting “barbies”, she’s been accused of throwing around racial slurs, and the Oakland rapper has been criticized for misappropriating black culture.

Additionally, a little rift with fellow musician Nicki Minaj ensued after she stated in Complex magazine, “No disrespect to [Nicki Minaj] because she’s got talent. She’s got an image. But when it comes to inspiring young women, her message is to be a Barbie – to be plastic, to be fake, to all have blonde hair”.

The tiny firecracker is not afraid to speak her mind, and her “take no prisoners” attitude has attracted a lot of haters. But it’s exactly this trait that has also earned her a multitude of fans. The 21=year-old ex-film student’s already gained over 500,000 followers on Twitter, an MTV VMA nomination, and is Columbia Record’s latest prize chicken. Love her or hate her, Kreayshawn’s a pop culture phenomenon to be reckoned with.

Hype had been surrounding her show at Fortune Sound Club for months. It was originally slated for an August date, but pushed back due to scheduling conflicts. More anticipation built just hours before her show, after Kreayshawn sent out a string of tweets describing a run-in with airport authorities in Canada.

The madcap starlet was apparently livid from being strip-searched. But none of this resentment showed on the stage. I gained a whole new respect for the young star as she pulled herself together and put on a fully committed and bumpin’ performance.

The crowded room felt like an outsiders’ ball. Pink wigs, adult hooded onesies, and Minnie Mouse ears bounced around in the club. Kreayshawn definitely inspires fans to step outside of The Gap box and express their eccentricities unabashedly. It was the one instance where I can safely say I stood out like a sore thumb for wearing a blouse, jeans, and topsiders.

Kreayshawn audience members at Fortune Sound Club

Kreayshawn and audience members at Fortune Sound Club. Tamara Lee photo

Kreayshawn was dripping in swag as soon as she stepped in front of the audience. A pro at getting the party started, the woman ran through “Rich Whores” like nobody’s business. She gave a shout-out to idols Amy Winehouse and Lisa Lopes – both of whom she resembled (she shares the skunk-dyed coif and eye makeup of the former, and the cartoonish voice quality of the latter) – on “Left Eye” .

Kreayshawn got cozy with five lucky ladies in the audience on old-school ’80s dance tracks before ending her 30-minute set with “Gucci Gucci”. Fans went crazy for the hit – even local celebrity Nardwuar got close to the stage for the show-stopper.

While her energy and genuine affection for her fans was thoroughly impressive, Kreayshawn’s voice did get grating after a while, so I was thankful for the short set. Her rapping wasn’t necessarily remarkable, but her audacity and brashness gives pop music a necessary kick in the ass.

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