Everyone knows about blonde Aussie bombshell Iggy Azalea, but there’s another sassy blonde rapper cutting her teeth in the music industry lately – Chanel West Coast. Her name may sound like some strange California line within the iconic Parisian fashion label, but trust us – while she may rap about high fashion every now and then, she’s about as real as it gets.
Given that they’re both Caucasian, blonde female rappers – a bit of a rarity in the hip hop industry – there’s no surprise that Chanel West Coast frequently gets compared to the Aussie Azalea. However, while Azalea towers over most of her co-stars at 5’10, Chanel West Coast manages to pack a ton of sass and attitude into a pint sized frame. She’s funny, she’s fierce, she’s determined to succeed, she knows how to work the camera, and she can spit rhymes with the best of them. We’re telling you now – she’s one you should be watching out for. Or, at the very least, you need to be blasting her jams while you’re driving with the windows down.
So, need a bit of a primer on the pint sized rap superstar? Well, here’s 11 things you may not know about Chanel West Coast.
11 Her inspiration for becoming a rapper
For those who don't know, Chanel would write poetry as a child and after reading 2Pac's book 'The Rose that Grew from Concrete’ she stated that he is a big part of what inspired her to become a rapper, saying 'I love poetry and I love music. 2Pac really inspired me to start rapping because that’s how he started rapping too, by writing poetry.'
10 Her real name is a little less glam
In the music industry, many singers end up going by a stage name, whether it’s because they want to give themselves an entertainment industry alter ego or simply present an easier to pronounce identity to their audience. In the hip hop and R&B genres, though? It’s practically a requirement to go by an awesome stage name, so it probably comes as no surprise that Chanel West Coast wasn’t actually born Chanel West Coast. No, this blonde badass was born Chelsea Dudley. However, if you take a look at her swagger in her videos, you’ll agree that just Chelsea doesn’t really capture her star power. Chanel West Coast is the perfect stage name for this sassy California girl.
9 She split her childhood between two iconic cities
Many rappers get their start in the boroughs of New York City, selling their mix tapes in Queens and participating in rap battles in the Bronx. Other rappers make the rounds in gritty Los Angeles, trying to make their dreams a reality in the often unforgiving and talent-filled city. Chanel West Coast grew up experiencing the best of both worlds – she split her time between living in North Hollywood with her mother and living in New York City with her father. Particularly since her father was involved in the music industry, that means a young Chanel was definitely hearing all the latest and greatest music industry talents, likely planning the moment she would overtake them.
8 She grew up under DJ booths
Many children raised by musicians grow up spending a large portion of their time backstage, in the wings, or even watching their parent perform from the audience. Chanel West Coast’s music-filled childhood was slightly different. Her father was a DJ in New York City, and rather than leaving his daughter at home when he had gigs, he simply took her with him. She would sit under the DJ booth while her dad spun and simply enjoy being surrounded by music. With a childhood like that, how can you not become a music industry superstar? Music is practically ingrained in her upbringing.
7 Lil Wayne invited her to audition for his label
It can be extremely difficult for musicians to find their big break – after all, they’re constantly surrounded by fellow musicians who are as desperate to achieve their dream. Chanel West Coast snagged her current record deal a little differently. She met Lil Wayne at an event when she was already signed to a small label, and something about the pint sized performer intrigued the rap superstar. Lil Wayne, the founder of Young Money Records, personally invited Chanel to his Miami studio to play some of her music. The budding rapper showed her stuff, and an impressed Weezy immediately signed her to his label, which is also the home of rap superstars like Drake and Nicki Minaj.
6 She’s no stranger to MTV
Once upon a time, musicians dreamed of getting featured on MTV. Whether in an interview or simply having their music played, it was a dream for countless artists. At this point, for rapper Chanel West Coast, MTV is old news – she’s been a cast regular on two MTV series, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness. Her small screen chops prove that she has star quality, stage presence, and a hell of a sense of humor – so, not only can she rap, she’ll probably also be killer during interviews and television appearances, as she definitely won’t be nervous in front of the camera.
5 She was in a choir growing up
Many of the best rappers in the business today can sing as well as they can spit rapidfire rhymes. They’re diverse and can incorporate a variety of vocal techniques onto their tracks. Chanel West Coast is definitely amongst those multi-talented rap stars. Where did she hone her skills? Well, growing up, she sang in a choir. Probably not what you expected from the sassy rapper, right? She may not be belting out classical or gospel tunes nowadays, but her previous experience singing means that she’ll be able to deliver the hooks and chorus on her own songs when necessary.
4 She has 2.4 million Instagram followers
The majority of rising stars in the music industry have a strong social media presence, and most have managed to build an online following of a couple hundred thousand. It’s definitely admirable, but a measly hundred thousand? That’s child’s play for Chanel West Coast. At this point in her career, she has an unbelievably 2.4 million followers awaiting her every Instagram selfie. Now that’s star power. Sure, it may seem small in comparison to some of the biggest names in the rap world, but she’s still just starting out – imagine the type of social media following she’ll have five years down the road!
3 She has a soft spot for T-Swift’s hit “Shake It Off”
Most rappers will readily share their favorite rap artists, the individuals who most influenced them and helped shape their style. Many rappers will even include a pop star in their songs to sing a catchy hook or chorus that pairs with their rhymes. However, gushing about pop music? That’s not something you see too often. With the exception, of course, of the fearless and fierce Chanel West Coast. While she may not be writing bubblegum pop songs herself, she’s acknowledged to having a bit of an obsession with Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” And you certainly can’t blame her – I mean, who can stop themselves from jamming out when T-Swift comes on the speakers and tells you to shake it off? No one.
2 She named her dog after Lil Wayne
The pint sized superstar has a dog fitting her stature, a Pomeranian, but can you guess what the dog’s name is? Weezy. No, it’s not because the little Pom makes strange noises when he runs – it’s a tribute to Lil Wayne’s alter ego, Lil Weezy. Chanel West Coast claims to love the rap superstar’s music, and we bet that she loves him even more after getting signed to his record label. What Young Money star will she name her next dog after, if she ever decides to go for another pooch? We predict a Chihuahua named Drake.
1 She’s been chasing her dream since she was a teenager
In the constantly changing music industry, it can seem like musicians become overnight sensations. One minute, they’re just another face at another Open Mic night, and the next, they’re playing in front of thousands and thousands of screaming fans and flying all over the world to perform. It’s not always that easy, though – most musicians struggle for years before getting their big break, and Chanel West Coast is one of them. She has commented that she’s been involved in creating her music since she was 14 years old – and she’s currently 27. That means she’s been hustling for over a decade to get her voice out there.