Kreayshawn's major-label debut, Something About Kreay, lands on August 14, or more than a year after the Oakland rapper's syrupy, ridiculously catchy "Gucci Gucci" became first a viral and then an actual hit. It's an indication of how quickly online pop culture's creative destruction works that since then we've seen viral videos and streaming audio from a host of rappers both more technically proficient than Kreay (Azealia Banks, Angel Haze, Riff Raff) and not exactly (Kitty Pryde). Not to mention rappers with more street cred (Chief Keef and the Chicago scene). What's a White Girl Mob member to do?
On the basis of latest video selection "Go Hard (La.La.La)," the follow-up to the (frankly superior) 2 Chainz collaboration "Breakfast (Syrup)," the answer is, sadly, to start smacking of effort and follow generic radio electro-pop trends. The video, featuring Kreayshawn and her girlfriends in a loony-toon fantasy land, is a trippy mess — something like children's TV as reimagined by 20-something stoners, which actually can be a great thing! — but the real misfire here is the song itself. In no particular order, here are the top five things wrong with it:
1. The instrumental lacks Kreayshawn's larger-than-life personality. Or much personality at all. According to the Prophet Blog, the producer on this is DJ Two Stacks, the Staten Island-based beatmaker who also worked on "Gucci Gucci." But where that track found a weird — and weirdly appealing — middle ground between old-school G-funk synths and present-day Based headiness, this feels like a retreat. With cheerful "Barbie Girl" bleeps over trap-ready thuds, it's not so far off from what Rye Rye has been doing on tracks like "Boom Boom." But that only brings us to some of the new song's other problems.
2. The spoken-word intro is ridiculous, and not in the good way. "Hey, bitch. What's up. You know, I'd really like to do that, but I don't have any fucking money. Like, I don't have any fucking money." This would all be a whole lot more entertaining if it were an outtake from Breaking Bad.
3. The pre-chorus is also ridiculous, also not in the good way. "Hey bitch, do you really really wanna go hard," Kreayshawn sings. "It's summertime and your bitch is on my mind" it's not, to quote a previous Kreay track, but you can see where see where her mind might have been headed. Also, the fact we're even talking about a pre-chorus on a Kreayshawn track ought to be an indication there's too much calculation going on here, and not enough of the cheekiness that brought Kreayshawn to online fame in the first place.
4. The chorus will make you want to gouge your eyes out. Hey, we like a dumb but fun and catchy earworm as much as the next pop fan. Ke$ha's "Blah Blah Blah"? It grows on you! And maybe that will be the case of this one, too. But the monotonous "la la la" hook, sung with a brattiness that is too forced to be infectious, is neither particularly catchy — it just falls flat — not particularly likeable. It sounds like someone's idea of what's supposed to be poppy, and as such it makes Nicki Minaj's better-than-we-thought club-pop turn "Starships" sound practically inspired.
5. Did we talk about the verses yet? Oh, OK. There are verses, too. "Girl, run your own show / But don't be on some hoe shit," Kreay spits. She's never been a particularly nimble rapper, but that's just fine. The only problem is there needs to be some kind of cleverness or, at the very least, basic human charisma to draw in the listener. The closest this one comes is toward the end — on the bridge, we guess? — when Kreayshawn encourages a fallen comrade, "Silly girl! Take your jacket off! Get off the floor!" But then she ruins it by going back to one of the song's many attempted hooks, only in a stilted, awkward voice: "Go hard. Go ... haaard?" It's like its own William Shatner cover.