Oakland-born rapper Kreayshawn is headlining a New Year's Eve show at the Regency Ballroom (tickets still available), winding a year in which a single YouTube video landed her a record deal and a red carpet gig at the VMAs. Today she tells the Ex all about her teen years in the East Bay, after "her musician mother Elka (of Bay Area garage-rockers The Trashwomen) moved to Canada" and left her to her own devices at age 15.
Mostly she wants aimless young folks to know that Job Corps was actually kind of cool.
"I was living at [White Girl Mob partner] V. Nasty’s house [and probably smoking a lot of weed], and I just didn’t really see myself doing much of anything. Then I heard of Job Corps, I went, and it helped me get my life on track. And if you graduate, they even help you get an apartment.”
She actually lived in those Job Corps dorms on Treasure Island and was studying facility maintenance while getting her GED, getting training in power-washing cement and painting fire hydrants. We can just picture that little wisp of a thing in her coveralls and hipster glasses trying to operate a power-wash hose. Anyway, she also had a job at IKEA in Emeryville for a while before relocating to LA, where she shot the now hugely famous "Gucci Gucci" video.
She has one important piece of advice for young women like herself: "don’t get in a car with a guy who says he’s a photographer! It’s not that smart!"