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The Blue & Gray Press | August 24, 2019

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Controversial Musician to Perform at UMW

The University of Mary Washington will be hosting the controversial rapper Kreayshawn next Monday as part of her Noisey College Tour with Neon Indian.

Kreayshawn’s invitation to perform at Smith College, as a part of their campus, was recently revoked after students started a petition against her playing at the school.

The petition states that “she is blatantly racist, and has repeatedly mocked both people of color, and black culture.”

According to their website, Smith College, a women’s school, has between 2,500 and 3,000 undergraduates. As of Wednesday, 96 people had signed the petition.

Smith College sophomore Brooke Gerstein started the petition the day that Kreayshawn and Neon Indian’s upcoming performance at her school was announced.

According to Gerstein, Smith College’s invitation for Kreay-shawn to perform was renounced about a week later. Because she and Neon Indian are in a tour together, this means Neon Indian will not be playing, either.

Many students were angry that Kreayshawn’s invitation was revoked because they believed that if someone did not like Kreayshawn, they should just not attend the concert, according to Gerstein.

However, Gerstein said that she believes that  having her play would reflect poorly on Smith College, and that students in agreement with her especially did not want her performance to be subsidized by “budget money coming from everyone’s tuition.”

Gerstein did not know how much it would have cost the school to bring Neon Indian and Kreayshawn to their school.

According to UMW Giant Productions President Justin Thompson, UMW is paying $5,000 to have them come.

Kreayshawn’s publicist Michelle McDevitt said she believes that people being misinformed about who Kreayshawn really is led to the petition.

“If the Smith students who are so upset about Kreayshawn did some research on her instead of relying on one music video and/or op-ed pieces and blogs who concern themselves more with getting traffic instead of doing investigative journalism, I’m sure they’d come to a different conclusion,” McDevitt said.

She also added that she believes that the claim in the petition of her being “blatantly racist,” is untrue.

“They’re probably referring to the rumor that she said the ‘n-word’ which she has repeatedly addressed time and time again; she has never said the word,” she said.

Gerstein maintained that while Kreayshawn has not used the N-word, another member of a group she often performs with, White Girl Mob, has.

She added her belief that many students at Smith College come from “areas much more difficult than her own background, and do not conduct themselves in such a demeaning manner as [K]reayshawn.”

“It’s not an excuse for cultural appropriation,” Gerstein said.

Kreayshawn recently addressed the controversy over her image and music in an interview with National Public Radio.

“For people to say, like, someone is supposed to act a certain way because of their race or they’re not supposed to act this way because of their race — I think that’s racist,” she said.

Thompson, a junior, said that he believes the controversy has been blown out of proportion and that it is a non-issue.

“What they were talking about isn’t true,” he said in reference to the claims that Kreayshawn has used racist terms. “I don’t believe it’s going to reflect poorly on the university.”

He added that as part of a corporate tour, Kreayshawn is restricted by what she can do.

“Don’t go to the show expecting controversy,” he said.

Junior Liana Burgoyne had heard of the petition at Smith College but did not agree with the students there.

“I feel maybe they should check their facts and adjust their opinions accordingly,” she said.

Sophomore Sally Wrenn said that she’s, “glad that [Kreayshawn] feels like she can come here and feel confident enough to keep pursuing her dreams.”

According to Gerstein, backlash at Smith College to the petition was harsh. She said has been called derogatory names by many people since starting the petition.

“It’s been really hard for me on campus, but it isn’t a personal issue,” she said.


  1. Arnold

    This makes me very nervous.

  2. krystal kegley


  3. There’s nothing wrong with this music! If people aren’t interested, they don’t have to go. It’s held indoors, people know who she is so they won’t be surprised if they go in, and it’s not a mandatory event or anything. She’s in pop culture now, and students listen. Why not bring her in. If Giant can bring in bands from my past, this is probably one of the better decisions for this semester since it’s a hell of a lot more current.

  4. whosoever

    total disgrace

  5. Justin Thompson

    The second half should really be the focus of the article. The Smith College petition was small (in comparison to the school size), and rather misguided.

    To reiterate, do not attend this show expecting controversy.

    If you have questions or concerns about the upcoming concert, feel free to email me personally at

  6. anon

    i have no idea who this artist is and went to see for myself…”im rolling up my catnip and shitting in your litter” is probably her most profound lyric which should tell you something. im actually a little sad i looked her up and wish i could have the last 30 min of my life back and could resume the remainder of my natural existence with the ability to say ” i have never heard of kreayshawn”

  7. krystal kegley

    i had never heard of her before either until a little bit ago and def feel the same…5000 bux ? lol

  8. Lonnie Southall

    Don’t forget about Neon Indian, who is a very different style of artist and arguably a bigger name (though you may not have heard of him). This is a very diverse show that a lot of people are excited about. We got 2 acts for the price of one cheap act. It’s a good deal. And once again, if you don’t want to go, you don’t have to go, but a lot of other people are excited, so it isn’t a waste.

  9. krystal kegley

    very true lonnie…and id have to say ive never heard of neon indian but looked him up and def completely different and not so bad

  10. bw

    I’ve got friends coming from far away to see Neon Indian , and i’m absolutely stoked to see their performance. I didn’t even know who this Crayfish character was until today, and if she really is racist, then why should we let something so ass-backwards and false as racism stop NEON FUCKING INDIAN?

  11. Billy Ella

    @bw Dude, you’re totally right. Stoked for Neon Indian too. But, I heard the show is for UMW students only, wouldn’t want your friends driving all the way out here and they can’t get in.

  12. bw

    hehe they’re actually a little crazy and follow certain musicians around on their tour routes. Trust me, they will try!

  13. Arnold

    @Fleur de Lulz, while I appreciate your point I’m not sure you needed to use the “h-word” to make it. While this concert may be indoors, the internet travels into our homes, public libraries, and even the smartphones of American youth. I hope the Bullet editors will take note of this and keep the comments section family friendly.

  14. I don’t see what’s wrong with the word “held” since it’s a common term. But, if you prefer, I could say “happening” or “occurring” if either sounds better and less offensive.

  15. Arnold

    Fleur, that’s not the word I meant and I’m quite certain that you know that. As one of the premier commenters on the Bullet I would hope you would set an example for the “newbies” by using family friendly language.
    If you ever find yourself in a gray area, just ask yourself “Would I use this word to my grandmother at Thanksgiving dinner?” Or maybe more relevantly to our situation, “Would George Washington use this word to his mother at Thanksgiving dinner?” If not, then perhaps you should not use it in the Bullet comment section.
    I look forward to commenting with you further in a G-rated way on many other Bullet articles.

  16. Arnold, while we’ve had our tiffs in the past, I do believe that censorship is the devil. While I don’t curse on articles too often, I do when I see that certain words can be used in context.

    First, the word ‘hell’ can be used for emphasis. It is used in this case to emphasize the current situation of bands that Giant brings in.

    Second, that word can be deemed Bullet friendly. I can say that the youths and adults who read this online version of our student newspaper have been exposed to this word (and many worse ones). This word isn’t a bad one in my book…erm…newspaper.

    And third, it’s relevant to the times, seeing as Halloween is just around the corner. What’s wrong with a little bit of hell-fire and damnation in a comment? 😉


  17. kreayshawn

    one big room, full of bad bitches

  18. The word bitch is definitely worse than hell! D:

  19. Arnold

    I’m just trying to make a point, Fleur. You don’t have to celebrate it.
    Perhaps in the future you can type “earmuffs” (or perhaps “sunglasses”) before using any obscene, profane, or blasphemous language?
    At the end of the day we’re all one big happy family here in the Bullet commments page, and I look forward to commenting with you on other articles soon. Perhaps we can find common ground on less controversial topics.

  20. By thusly agreeing to disagree, I have made a new friend. Arnold, will you marry me?

  21. meh

    Kreayshawn is the best.

  22. me

    gerstein is ugly on the inside and outside. this bitch causes problems.