The best laid plans of Kittys and Choppaz often go awry. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself the whole first half of this year. Towards the tail end of 2010, I approached Kreayshawn (who‘s real name is Natassia,) who was still fairly unknown, although her popularity was steadily rising. I wanted to do an entire mixtape with her and hopefully V-Na$ty once she got out of Santa Rita Jail. My concept was pretty simple, take a whole bunch of classic Memphis tracks, murk them up a bit, and then have the two girls based freestyle over them. Kreayshawn wholeheartedly agreed, and asked if she could pull in some of her friends to help out. Before long it seemed like this little tape was going to become a virtual who’s who of underground superstars.
And it kind of is, although we all too the long way to get to here. During the time it took to put out the tape (yes, an actual cassette is being released through Clan Destine Records and you can order it here) Kreayshawn moved from the Bay to Los Angeles, pursued her film making career, got her cat unswagged (Natassia speak for spayed) and wound up getting signed by Sony as the Based Gaga I predicted she’d become earlier. Due to all this excitement in her life there were periods where it seemed like the project would never pan out. Although the material being sent to me was EXACTLY what I envisioned, there just wasn’t enough of it.
I desperately sought for ways to save this little tape. Although simple in execution, the theory behind it is pretty serious stuff for me. The Memphis Underground hip hop movement is quite possibly the most influential force in much of the new uber underground music memes. Whether it’s based rap, footwork, drag or Juggalo… just about all these microgenres owe their spirit to the forces of those little clear cassettes with plain white labels. Even more importantly to me, the actual medium of tape and the mastering of the Memphis scene has been a huge influence on what I do. Muddy, murky and sometimes missing huge chunks of bass dynamics – these tapes are often hypnotic and haunting. One can only imagine how badly I wanted this whole thing to work out.
Then came SortaHuman, the Huntsville, Alabama trio that would come to save the day. I had already know 1/3 (Matt “Supa” Solley – underground blogger extraordinaire) through the blogosphere, and when I dropped him an email to see if he was interested in working on this tape he didn’t hesitate. Within a few weeks, Solley and his partners Joey Bagadoughnuts and Snax flooded my inbox with some of the most amazing raps I had ever heard. Odes to everyday slacker living delivered with the charisma and insistence of Memphis legends Juicy J and MJG.
Kreayshawn delivered too. Although I have never had a tremendous amount of contact with her, the Natassia I have met is a creative and vibrant artist. Just as comfortable rhyming about her cats as she is set tripping. The recent controversy about White Girl Mobb’s ample use of the word “Nigga” prove that once again the mainstream misses the point. Kreayshawn’s music and image are a testament to individualism. She can be, say and do WHATEVER the fuck she wants, and she knows it. It’s that simple fact that has forced me to admire her as an artist and a person. Over the course of the project we’ve managed to katamari roll up the likes of Young Hawaii Slim and Jay Ughh (aka Chill Black Guys,) Alexander Spit, Gata and Inglewood based rapper OG Nery (who’s been on some other shit since the days when Project Blowed ruled the Los Angeles underground.)
Now that it is done, what can be said about it? Don’t expect anything too pretty, this one is a dirty as they get. Time will tell what Sony does with my new friend Natassia, but this is a physical document of Kreayshawn at her low down best. Cracked and recorded through a MacBook mic, her verses on this tape come from an alternate universe where Aliens got a hold of a Lady Bee tape and attempted to recreate what they heard. In conjunction with the cassette (limited to 100 copies) we’re releasing side A (side B is a tape-only exclusive), Murdered In Memphis as a free digital download for you to enjoy.
Nattymari Presents “Murdered In Memphis”
1. SortaHuman – Bring the Crowd
2. V-Na$ty – MURDERDEATHKILL (feat. Kreayshawn)
3. Nattymari – \\\ICKET\\\ITCH
4. Kreayshawn – Buster (feat. Gata)
5. SortaHuman – Stoner!
6. Nattymari – T$LK Y$ A$$ O$$
7. Young Hawaii Slim and Jay Ugh – CBGFly
8. Kreayshawn – Breathtaking Freestyle (feat. Alexander Spit)
9. SortaHuman – R1S1N
10. Nattymari – H474 BE47
11. O6 N3RY – 666WHUH?
12. SortaHuman – SortaHuman