V-Nasty on Watching Friends Get Shot, the N-Word, and Her Rap Career

From the latest issue of SF Weekly:

V Nasty, as She Wanna Be: “He got shot.” Blunt but with a quiver in her voice, V-Nasty recalls the day her best friend died in her arms. The grisly incident happened on Coolidge Avenue in Oakland, when the rapper born Vanessa Reece was 15 years old. An East Oakland native, Reece says the death of her friend was the most traumatic experience of her childhood. But pressed for details on the murder, she says she doesn't want to comment, adding only that the incident threw her into a period where “there was no holding me down.”

Last year, the 21-year-old Reece, a member of Kreayshawn's White Girl Mob, struck Internet infamy through a combination of cuss-laden, slick-talking songs, and her controversial, casual use of the n-word. But as she tells it, there's nothing contentious about her music or choice of slang — it's just a natural outcome of an upbringing peppered with tumultuous events like seeing friends get killed and watching police raid her house. That rough-and-tumble background is still with her today: Reece was meant to kick off a six-date cross-country tour in San Francisco on Feb. 1, but canceled all the shows due to what her publicist calls “probation issues” stemming from a stint in Santa Rita jail last year. So when she says, “You gotta be from the 'hood to know what V-Nasty's talking about,” Reece might have a point… [continue reading]

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