Fredericton — Ashley Saunders, 20, lives on Douglas Avenue on Fredericton’s north side in her parents’ large 4-bedroom home. The manicured lawn and spacious garage hide a veritable haven of hip-hop, gangsta rap and dub-step in Ashley’s room at the end of the hall upstairs. She invited a reporter from The Manatee to enter her lair so she could speak out about a growing movement of rap fandom among privileged white females in New Brunswick.
“People think all I listen to is Mumford & Sons and Carly Rae Jepson,” she griped, her 2 Chainz-inspired accessories gleaming in the afternoon sunlight. “Honestly I wouldn’t touch that kind of ‘music,’ if you could call it that, with a 10-foot pole.” She said her friends are of a similar musical persuasion. “My best friend Carissa always makes fun of me because I sometimes listen to the more mainstream rappers like Kanye and Lil Wayne, even though obviously I know their newer stuff sucks. But she’s one to talk — she listens to Eminem and Nelly, for god’s sake!”
“Just because I’m white and my parents are chiropractors, that doesn’t mean I can’t totally identify with Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Nas, A$AP Rocky and Tyler the Creator,” she explained while sitting on her bed, gazing dreamily at her Notorious B.I.G. poster.
Ashley has an impressive-looking shrine to Tupac Shakur in one corner of her room, surrounded by dozens of dripping candles and her self-penned love poems to the rapper. “But he’s not dead!” she spat angrily when questioned about the display. Our reporter asked her what it is about gangsta rap that speaks to her very soul. “We’re all just bitches and hoes at heart — whether we’re from Fredericton or Brooklyn,” she said. “Haters gonna hate,” she added emphatically.
Ashley hopes to marry poor after university, where she’s studying music theory, and move to Compton to live in the squalor of her idols. Her 5-year plan involves making it big against all odds, and drinking Hennessy in “da club” with her second husband, 50 Cent. Her advice to other young female Frederictonians: “Get rich or die tryin’.”