The untold truth of Chanel West Coast

Chanel West Coast may not be the biggest name in the entertainment industry (yet?), however, the popular performer who has ventured into both the realms of reality TV and music has been making a name for herself in show business for years.

West Coast is known from both MTV’s Fantasy Factory with Rob Dyrdek, which features a crew of quirky real-life (if arguably exaggerated) characters, and Ridiculousness, a show that takes on (and takes down) “the most hysterical and absurd viral videos out there,” InTouch notes that “the bubbly blonde” is also famous for being “the clapback queen of Instagram and one to watch in the music industry” thanks to her ongoing efforts aimed at establishing herself as a rapper.

Along the way, she’s also embraced her fair share of unexpected opportunities and, in turn, earned countless fans and indulged in an enviable social media-worthy lifestyle. However, while her work has her spending plenty of time in the spotlight and her followers probably think that they know everything about the star, there’s plenty of deep track’s in the burgeoning artist’s life that may surprise you when it comes to the ever-intriguing and always-captivating Chanel West Coast. 

How did Chanel West Coast come up with that name?

If you think Chanel West Coast has a memorable moniker, then you’re proving that the star was right when she opted to ditch her real name for something more worthy of a successful celebrity. She told MTV in 2015, “It’s funny, because growing up I knew I wanted to do music. And Britney Spears — that sounds catchy. Christina Aguilera — that sounds catchy. My real, full name is Chelsea Chanel Dudley. In my opinion, Chelsea Dudley does not sound like a rapper. So I was like, ‘You know what? I’ma drop both of those names and just go by Chanel.”

Granted, Chanel is definitely catchy, but it’s also apparently too common, which is how West Coast ended up with an unexpected (and accidental) addition to her stage name. Admitting to MTV that she was simply “trying to figure out a URL for [her] MySpace music page” early on in her career, she explained that all versions of her name were unavailable. “So I was like, ‘You know what? I’m a West Coast rapper, so maybe I’ll just make my URL Chanel West Coast,'” she said. “And then it kind of stuck with me and people started calling me West Coast like it was my last name, like, ‘What up, West Coast!?'” Thankfully she didn’t make her MySpace URL Chanel Oompa Loompa or Chanel Silly Butt (not that she has a silly butt) or her stage name might have ended up being very different.

Chanel West Coast's childhood was far from traditional

Chanel West Coast was raised by her mom in North Hollywood, according to the star’s biography, and it appears as if the two share a loving relationship. “Thank you for making me the woman I am today,” the adoring daughter captioned a Mother’s Day post in 2020 while also sharing photos of herself and her mom throughout the years. After noting that her mother made her “tough and resilient yet also sweet and kind,” West Coast wrote, “I want you to know that no matter what we have been through you are the greatest mom in the world to me!”

While the star obviously had a special relationship with her mother growing up, the same can be said for her father, Jamie Dudley, but for a different reason. When West Coast wasn’t with her mom, she stayed with her dad, who lived in New York City and worked as a DJ. When he would perform at clubs, he would take his eight-year-old daughter with him, which is why, according to her bio, “some of her earliest & fondest memories involve sitting under the DJ booth, so that no one could see her.”

The woman who became a rapper explained the influence the experience had on her, saying, “I’ve always been around music, and I knew it’s what I’d do for the rest of my life. I didn’t have a choice.”

Wait, Chanel started smoking weed at what age?

Chanel West Coast isn’t shy about her use of cannabis. She even explained to LA Weekly that the reason she has “a tendency to say ditzy, stupid things on TV” is, in part, “because [she’s] high” when the cameras are rolling. In fact, marijuana is something that has been a part of the star’s life since she was surprisingly young, and is something that her family actually relied on to get by. West Coast claims that her mom “grew marijuana at one point to pay the bills.” It’s unclear whether or not West Coast was aware of her mother’s illegal activities at the time, however, the star also revealed that she “started … smoking weed at age 11.”

While using cannabis has apparently remained a part of West Coast’s life in the years since, she addressed her use of weed when she was faced with a tragedy in 2020. The star took to Instagram on Feb. 3 to post a tribute to her friend who had died. “Nicole I am so sorry I didn’t do more to help you,” she wrote, in part, adding, “I will do all I can to make sure to fight against addiction issues and I will try to help as many people as I can get off drugs because I should’ve done that for you. I should’ve went to rehab with you and quit smoking weed and did whatever it takes to get you on track.”

Chanel West Coast had big dreams as a homeschooled teen

Like plenty of other celebrities — for instance, Billie Eilish, Serena Williams, Taylor Swift, and Ryan Gosling, according to HuffPost — Chanel West Coast had an alternative kind of education. LA Weekly reports, “After two years at Taft High School, she was home-schooled to graduation.” According to Forbes, spending time learning at home apparently let Eilish “soar,” in that she was free to pursue her creative endeavors, and it may have done the same for West Coast, who started rapping when she was just 14.

The star opened up to LA Weekly about her inspiration, saying, “When I first started rapping, I was, like, ‘I’m gonna be, like, the female Eminem.'” With that ambition fueling her, she “avidly pursued singing and dancing lessons from a young age” while also “immersing herself in hip-hop,” her biography explains. She eventually took her music public when she was 17 via her MySpace page, and in 2012, enjoyed “one of [her] biggest breakthrough years.”

That was when “multi-platinum recording artist, and Young Money Records founder, Lil Wayne personally invited Chanel to his Miami studio to play him some of her music.” Apparently, “impressed by what he heard,” he “immediately signed” West Coast to his label. Whether or not she grew up to be a female Eminem is debatable, but her work with Lil Wayne’s label means that her name is listed alongside “superstar artists” like Drake and Nicki Minaj, which is pretty impressive.

Reality TV may have stifled Chanel West Coast's rap dreams

Chanel West Coast may be famous for her work on MTV’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness, however, the performer whose dream was to be a rapper thinks that her onscreen gigs may have hurt her music career. In 2014, LA Weekly noted that “instead of selling millions of records, [West Coast] has spent … years playing the role of the giggling dumb blonde in the reality-TV universe of professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek.” In fact, it turns out that when her friends originally “put her in touch with Dyrdek,” she “was hesitant to accept the job offer.” She explained, “The first thing that crossed my head was, ‘Is this going to ruin my chances of being taken seriously as an artist?'” At the time of the interview, she apparently “worrie[d] that instinct was correct.”

Granted, while being on MTV could potentially help the star’s hip hop aspirations, the network apparently refuses to promote her music. “They’re so stupid and, like, disrespectful and rude,” she says.

When West Coast finally got a chance to get her music in front of her TV-loving fans thanks to VH-1’s Love & Hip Hop, she told the Daily Mail in 2017 that while she “fear[s] getting into any further drama because [she’s] really not a dramatic person,” she also explained that “being on show that highlights [her] music careers makes it worth the little bit of drama [she’s] had to go through.”

Did Iggy Azalea steal Chanel West Coast's white girl rap thunder?

Chanel West Coast’s career as a rapper may have faltered due to her TV work, however, she also might have struggled to find success in the music scene for a different reason. There happened to be another rapper with a similar image who was skyrocketing at the same time that the “I Be Like” performer was trying to make her name. That rapper is Iggy Azalea.

At 25, West Coast felt like “her career [was] nowhere near where it should be,” and had fought “with her producer … about whether she need[ed] to be more like Iggy Azalea,” according to LA Weekly‘s 2014 profile. In comparing the artists, the outlet somewhat cynically noted, “The two have plenty in common. Both cultivate an image that is equal parts baller and cheerleader; both borrow hip-hop tropes to somewhat boring effect: Middle-class white women rapping about their struggle to acquire labels and diamonds is about as edgy as a Sex and the City movie.” Ouch. Despite their similarities, Azalea was the more dominant artist at the time thanks to the fact that she was “comfortably perched atop the Billboard charts with two hit singles — ‘Fancy’ and ‘Problem’ — for seven weeks in a row.”

LA Weekly continued, “West Coast … fixate[d] on why Azalea has succeeded and she hasn’t. After all, there was a time when the two were equals.” However, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

Chanel West Coast's label mates didn't exactly embrace her

Given her years spent in the entertainment industry, one would think Chanel West Coast knows plenty of influential people in the business. After all, her network had to have gone up a notch when the rapper was signed to Lil Wayne’s label, Young Money Entertainment, in 2013, right? Not so fast. She opened up to Billboard about the experience that same year, saying, “I went to Miami, played him my music, and I just remember … he sat back and said, ‘Man that sh*t was stupid.’ I was like, ‘Yo. Wayne thought that sh*t was stupid.'” She added, “As soon as he said that, I knew I was in.”

However, West Coast apparently wasn’t as “in” as she thought. Despite her professional affiliations due to her position on a notable label, and the fact that “her ornery Pomeranian may be named Weezy,” according to LA Weekly, “she’s never had the real Weezy’s phone number.” Beyond that, at the time of the 2014 profile, “she feel[t] totally disconnected from Drake, Nicki Minaj, and the rest of Lil Wayne’s powerhouse collection of artists.”

The star even admitted that she found the situation “really annoying,” explaining that she “feel[t] like the red-headed stepchild of Young Money.” Maybe she should send out some old-school greeting cards to the other rappers in her sphere to see if that helps her make friends with her labelmates? Then again, maybe not.

Sharon Stone wasn't thrilled with this Chanel West Coast track

As a songwriter, you might assume that writing a song about another star is a touching tribute. But not all celebrities feel that way, particularly Basic Instinct star Sharon Stone. That became clear in 2019 when Chanel West Coast released her song “Sharon Stoned” as well as a video that featured the musician dressed up as the actress in her iconic roles. In turn, Stone sued the rapper.

Stone wasn’t pleased with the fact that West Coast had used her name and her likeness “for commercial purposes without her consent,” according to Rolling Stone. Beyond that, The Hollywood Reporter explained that “Stone says the ‘mantra-like repetition’ of her name is an example of [West Coast]’s ‘penchant for glomming onto celebrity icons.'”

West Coast released a statement in response (via Rolling Stone) saying she was “surprised and disappointed” by Stone’s filing, and revealed that Stone, who she “greatly admire[s],” was actually supposed to appear in the video. “Sharon pulled out of participating in the music video the day of the shoot after months of conversations, in-person meetings … two dance rehearsals, and even had her own ideas that she shared with myself and my team for the collaborative on the video.” She added, “I have done nothing wrong.”

As of December 2019, a settlement appeared to be in the works, which means that they might be able to sort this out, but probably won’t be working together any time soon.

Chanel West Coast's 'radically renovated' home

Chanel West Coast is clearly living that Hollywood lifestyle, and in November 2019, she bought herself a house to match that enviable image. The reality TV star and rapper picked up “a $1.65 million contemporary home in the Hollywood Dell, a close-knit neighborhood in the eastern part of the Hollywood Hills,” according to Variety. The home — which features 2,600 square feet, 3 bedrooms, and 3.5 bathrooms — was “built in 1954 but radically renovated in 2018.”

When guests arrive, they’ll find that the “multi-level structure” features “an attached two-car garage, and a towering front façade with an irregular roofline and combination of wood and grey stucco siding.” Once inside, visitors can get a peek of the “open-concept living area” that has “grey hardwood floors,” the kitchen which includes “white-oak cabinetry and high-end appliances,” as well as the “skylit hallways” which “lead to the home’s three ensuite bedrooms.” The master suite surely entices its homeowner with its “private balcony, bath[room] with dual vanities, and a walk-in shower.” Sitting on a .18-acre lot, the property “isn’t particularly big,” but it does have “a terraced, fully landscaped backyard perfect for entertaining or alfresco dining.”

The star took InTouch on a tour around her home in March 2020, and showed off the space that features neon décor, gold accents, foliage-covered wallpaper, and “the most expensive” paper towels around that are black (yes, black) and “just for show.”

Cannabis and clothing helped build Chanel West Coast's bankroll

When it comes to making money, Chanel West Coast’s ventures aren’t limited to her work in rap and reality TV. The star has also been involved in two streetwear clothing lines and a cannabis subscription box that was curated by West Coast herself.

West Coast used her background as the inspiration for Valleywood, a line of T-shirts and sweatshirts that she launched in 2019. “I came up with the name because I was born and raised in the Valley, but I’m still in the Hollywood scene,” she told Seventeen while discussing the apparel that was “really casual, but if you put the right accessories with it you can be really dressed up.” Despite the fact that Valleywood doesn’t seem to have been a grand success (the website was inactive as of May 2020), the star tried to take on the fashion scene again with The LOL Cartel. If you like tie-dye and marijuana leaves (real piece of merch shown above), then this is the line for you.

Speaking of marijuana, West Coast embraced that aspect of her brand again by teaming up with the Daily High Club in September 2018 to offer a cannabis subscription box that included “epic supplies in celebration of her birthday and upcoming song release.” The page for the box even suggested that buyers “check it out [sic] her new single during your next smoke sesh!” That’s certainly one way to spend an evening.

Chanel West Coast is loaded, that much is clear

“I don’t care if you understand the meaning, but I won’t stop pilling ’til cash hit the ceiling,” Chanel West Coast raps in her song, “I Love Money,” and the lyrics are pretty accurate considering she happens to have her fair share of funds. Thanks to West Coast’s various professional endeavors — for instance, her work on MTV, her music, her YouTube videos, her product endorsement deals, and more — the multi-faceted star has earned a modest yet impressive fortune. In fact, she’s worth around $3 million as of May 2020, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Money Inc breaks down a few of the sources of West Coast’s income which “have paid off handsomely,” noting that she reportedly earned $81,170 as a full cast member of MTV’s Fantasy Factory, took in an alleged $142,050 as the co-host of Ridiculousness, and supposedly made $174,830 for voicing the character Flipz on the animated series Wild Grinders. (Although, we should note here that we’re unclear of the source of the outlet’s financial claims.) 

While this all sounds impressive, Money Inc estimated the star’s total net worth at twice as much — yes, $6 million — one year prior to Celebrity Net Worth‘s estimate. Did the reality-star-turned-rapper lose some cash? Or are these estimates just … rough guesses? Either way, we’re sure West Coast has no plans to stop signing more lucrative deals to boost up her bottom line.

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