It’s hard out there for independent musicians these days — touring is shot, fans don’t want to pay for music, and you’re sure as hell not seeing much of that Spotify money. Just ask Kreayshawn, the early ’10s wonder behind “Gucci Gucci” who’s been effectively independent since label Columbia dropped her in 2013. On July 21, after she started trending on Twitter (because #nostalgia but also this one excellent question), she tweeted, “Don’t buy Gucci Gucci or stream it. I get 0$ and I’m in debt to sony for 800k.” She pointed fans toward a February interview on the podcast Masked Gorilla, where she clarifies that she gets no money from streams of her 2011 song “Gucci Gucci.” “That shit don’t go to my pocket,” Kreayshawn said, adding that she gets about $100 every three months from the songwriters group ASCAP. Kreayshawn didn’t write most of “Gucci Gucci,” she added on the podcast, saying the rapper Speakz wrote the song for her. She didn’t even get a plaque when the song went gold.
That’s a shift from when the rapper born Natassia Golot made headlines for signing a $1 million deal with Sony Music and Columbia Records off the strength of her viral hit that’s surely still stuck in your head. But Kreayshawn eventually went into tax debt because her accountant, Kevin Foster, was stealing money from her, along with other clients like Ne-Yo. She didn’t even see the full million dollars of that contract, since Columbia dropped her shortly after she announced her pregnancy in 2013. “If I said today, like, ‘The label dropped me like two days after I announced I was pregnant,’ like everyone would be in an uproar,” she said. Kreayshawn eventually got out of tax debt after her bank account was seized in 2015, but claims she still owes money to Sony. She released an independent EP, T.O.B.M., in 2019 that she says fans can stream instead to help her out (the song “Missing Kitty” became a minor TikTok hit), and she’s working on more new music.
If you’re wondering how things went so wrong for Kreayshawn, the rapper said on her podcast interview, “I was drinking so much lean back then.” (She was nearly two years sober at the time of her interview.) Kreayshawn may not be able to afford Gucci, Louis, Fendi, or Prada these days, but like she’s been saying from the start: “I don’t even bother.”