V-Nasty: “If I Can’t Say the N-Word, Then Nobody Should Say It”
On Kreayshawn’s breakout viral hit “Gucci Gucci,” the pint-sized femcee raps, “I’m yelling ‘Free V-Nasty’ ’til my throat is raspy.” Thanks to that and the video’s 27 million views, people knew V-Nasty’s name before most of them had any idea who she was. It turned out she was a member of Kreayshawn’s White Girl Mob, a collection of a few female rhymers from the Bay Area who started to spark some interest following Kreay’s million-plus dollar deal with Columbia six months ago. Quickly, controversy swirled around V-Nasty, when videos surfaced online of her nonchalantly using the N-word. Soon, she made another video defending herself, which triggered David Banner to release a song condemning her actions.
Now ready to make her own name, V-Nasty has teamed with Gucci Mane for BAYTL, a joint album whose title borrows from the two cities that the artists rep. With the project out through Warner Bros. today (December 13), V-Nasty talks to XXL about what it was like working with her favorite rapper, why it’s alright for her to say the N-word around friends even though she plans to stop using it in her music, and more. —Adam Fleischer
XXL: Tell me how the project between you and Gucci came about?
V-Nasty: Gucci Mane reached out to my manager, so my manager got me in the studio with him. That shit was cool. It was a good experience to be in there with someone that I really look up to.
When did he reach out?
About three months ago.
He’s been locked up. Were you guys able to work together in person?
Yeah. I went to Atlanta and worked with him for like two weeks.
What was it like? I’ve heard he’s one of your favorite rappers.
I felt like boo-booing on myself. Nah, I’m just playing. I was hella excited. It was like a dream came true. Like, Damn, Gucci Mane wanna make some songs with me? V-Nasty? It was cool. And he a cool ass person. He made me feel comfortable.
What’s the feel of the project? What are people going to learn about you as an artist?
Hopefully they take it the right way. I’ve seen a lot of negative feedback, but that’s [from] people that have a problem with me already. Hopefully this changes peoples’ minds, because they can actually see how I feel and where I actually come from. At first, I was writing my own stuff, and then Gucci Mane had me freestyling hella shit. It’s a good project, I feel like; hopefully everybody else feels the same.
Where have you felt the negative feedback?
On Twitter and stuff. They say stuff like, Oh, Gucci Mane, you’re hella dumb for making this song with V-Nasty. Just that type of shit. But, oh, well. Whatever.
I know it’s coming out through Warner. Do you have any kind of situation over there?
No. Well, what do you mean?
Have you signed to Warner, or it’s coming out through them because Gucci is over there?
Yeah. It’s like that. I’m not signed to anybody. A couple labels reached out to me, but I didn’t take a deal yet. I’m not ready for one.
You were speaking about some of the negativity aimed in your direction earlier, and some of that initially stemmed from your use of the N-word. I’m wondering where you’re at with that? Are we gonna hear that on this project?
I don’t think so. I don’t think I said it on there.
Why was that?
Because I’m working on not using the N-word in my music and stuff. But on an everyday thing when I’m with my friends, I don’t feel like I should have to change anything. I just feel like I don’t wanna disrespect anybody, because I don’t know what other people have been through. It’s not like that in my city. I just feel like I’m gonna stop using it in my music, in a public eye. Other than that, I’m gonna continue to be myself.
When I’ve seen you explain it before, and seen Mistah F.A.B. come to your defense, it seems like something that’s very distinctly Bay Area. Has traveling outside of there shed light on a different side of things? Did you talk about it with Gucci?
Gucci Mane had no problem with it. Gucci Mane told me, shit, I’m more street than these muthafuckas that are talkin’ about me saying the N-word. Everybody tells me that. Nobody ever actually came to my face and said, "You can’t say the N-word." You know what I’m sayin’? I feel like a lot of people were feeling disrespected. I don’t want people to feel like I’m racist, or whatever the fact is. I’d rather just have a positive way, and show them that that word does not make me.
So you were never using it in a negative way, it was just what you grew up around.
So falling back from it, is it because you feel like there’s something wrong with you using it, or because—
No. No. I don’t feel like anything is wrong, I just feel like—shit, basically, if you wanna put it like this, I feel like, if that’s what’s gonna make muthafuckas realize that—I don’t know how to explain it right now. I can’t even put it in words. I don’t even know what to say. People think I use this to get publicity, you know what I’m sayin’? No. I never knew these muthafuckas was gonna see me. I never knew it was a problem outside of where I was from. I never knew until I seen a million comments on one of my videos talkin’ about, Oh, she sayin’ the N-word! You feel me. Come on now. What the fuck.
But you understand why people took exception to you using it? Or do you think they’re blowing it out of proportion?
Kind of both ways. I could see—I don’t know. Now that muthafuckas is telling me about it—I don’t know. I don’t feel like it has anything to do with race. I feel like people use that word the way I use it. You know what I’m sayin’? If I can’t say it, then basically nobody should be able to say it then, you know what I’m sayin’? I don’t give a fuck!
Because you feel like you’re coming from the same circumstances that whoever’s around you is coming from?
Yeah I do. In my city, it’s the same shit everywhere. But it’s not even about—how do I say it? I don’t even know. Everybody from the same place. If you using it to each other, you not gaining nothin’ from sayin’ it.
I feel you. But I think that to people who aren’t familiar with that culture from the Bay Area, that the word has a history to where they’re not used to—
If they don’t like me sayin’ it, then they shouldn’t like anybody sayin’ it, though, is what I’m sayin’. It shouldn’t matter what color you are.
Do you feel like that’s what people know you for?
Yeah. They not gonna know me for that no more, ’cause I’m not sayin’ that no more.
So now you’re focusing on people knowing you for the music.
What’s the plan after the Gucci project?
I’m working on my own mixtape right now. I think we’re gonna do some videos and shit for the Gucci project. I’m supposed to be working on this tour with Kreayshawn, hopefully.
A lot of people have attached you to this one thing that’s come out about you, which we’ve been talking about. If there’s one thing that people should know about V-Nasty, that they don’t know yet, what is it?
My family is from Vietnam. I’m half White, half Vietnamese. That’s something a lot of people don’t know. I have two children, they’re five and two.
Do they realize what’s going on with you?
My daughter does. She’s like, My mom’s V-Nasty! I’m like, Shhh, don’t tell nobody that. She be singing all the songs.