Everyone knows Chanel West Coast and her laugh as the merry underscore to the bro banter of Rob Dyrdek and Steelo Brim on MTV’s Ridiculousness. She’s the trio’s distaff member, always ready with a quippy comment or sunny smile.
“For a long time, Snoop was my favorite guest but we’ve had so many guests that it’s hard to choose just one,” she says about cohosting the insanely-popular internet clip show that features death-defying fails and gag-inducing challenges.
The thing is, Ridiculousness is Chanel’s day job. When she’s not filming, she’s a recording artist and has been since the age of 14, inspired by her father, a New York City DJ back in the day.
A protege of Lil’ Wayne, she’s dropped singles and mixtapes over the years, often collaborating with artists like YG, French Montana, Ty Dolla $ign, Robin Thicke, and Snoop.
Last October, she released her first LP, America’s Sweetheart, featuring 19 songs exploring the full range of her musical abilities. While half the tracks were written before the pandemic, the rest were conjured under lockdown when installing a home studio. “White Picket Fence” is an autobiographical track that sets the record straight about her difficult path to success.
Another single, “Vinyl,” demonstrates a vocal range that might surprise some. “I’ve never put out a song fully singing like that. A lot of people expected to hear only rapping coming from me. With ‘Vinyl,’ you can really see the artist that I am, that I can do a lot more.”
While Ridiculousness is steady work, the show’s equally ridiculous schedule leaves her no time to tour, other than one-off appearances like the one she did opening for Cardi B in New Orleans. Chanel however met Cardi for the first time at Fashion Week. “We were backstage, and they were like, ‘Cardi! Chanel! Get a picture together!” “She literally grabbed me by my ass! She was friendly and sweet.”
An industry veteran, Chanel seldom gets starstruck by the long stream of celebs guest starring on Ridiculousness however. While many of them are the hottest and newest acts in music, she’s partial to old-school names like Kelly Rowland.
“I grew up performing Destiny’s Child in a bunch of talent shows, so she was one of my idols as a kid,” Chanel recalls in a misty moment. “So I got a little teary-eyed [when I met her]. ‘I’ve been performing you since I was in the sixth grade!’”
With new music dropping this summer, Chanel is currently working on a collection of more new music for her upcoming presently untitled album. Chanel, who has over 10 million followers across social media platforms, moves two steps closer to her ultimate goal: a smash single.
“You kind of see it as a more attainable thing when you grow up in a city like Los Angeles,” she says about her music career. “I didn’t know how hard it would be. It’s been one of the hardest, longest journeys I’ve ever been on.”
“It’s my passion, and no matter what, even if I never get a hit single, I’m going to keep making music. But, I like to say I think that big hit is right around the corner.”