Chanel West Coast's Transformation Has Been Gorgeous

Chanel West Coast (real name Chelsea Chanel Dudley) rose to prominence for a number reasons, but most probably know her as America's reality TV sweetheart. Her time co-hosting MTV's Ridiculousness starting in 2011 had fans falling in love with her infectious laugh, and her face is now instantly recognizable from her many TV stints. Sure, some may know West Coast as Rob Dyrdek's sidekick, but West Coast's star quality shines bright all on it's own.

For West Coast, working with MTV was really just a means to an end. The starlet is most-focused on her recording career, and she's proven herself to be one of the top female rappers of the decade. She's also turned heads at all the most coveted red carpets for her outlandish fashion sense, and at times, she's made headlines for all the wrong reasons. But one thing's for sure: West Coast has had quite the journey, and she's constantly evolving as a person and artist. Read on to learn more about the stunning transformation of Chanel West Coast.

Chanel West Coast's parents tugged her between New York and California growing up

Growing up with divorced parents is never easy, but Chanel West Coast had to navigate her way through it on both coasts. Born to a Los Angeles-living mother and a father who worked in the music business in New York, West Coast was immersed in music at a young age. However, she was also tugged between both coasts, as she explained in an interview with Fashionista. "My mom is actually a heavy metal rock chick," she shared. "I grew up listening to a lot of rock music, and my dad is a DJ from here in New York." 

That being said, bicoastal living served West Coast well, and she became quite the city slicker at a young age. "I took the MTA bus growing up," she told In Touch. "I'm very familiar with how to get around all of L.A. on the MTA bus." She added that her New Yorker father took the subway wherever he went, which made her familiar with them as well. 

Despite splitting her time between both coasts, West Coast apparently had an affinity for Los Angeles, given her stage name.

Chanel West Coast's childhood wasn't always easy

While some may assume that money and fame came easy for Chanel West Coast, she wants to make it clear she wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth. In fact, West Coast insists her childhood was pretty average, and there were even some tough times during her early years. As she told In Touch, she didn't buy her way into celebrity. "There's a lot of people who come from rich families" that had it "easier," she told the publication. "I want people to know how hard I've worked, like to get to where I am."

Seeing as West Coast's parents were divorced, things were even harder, and there were times her parents struggled."I grew up with a single mom," she recalled, addressing haters who assumed she had everything handed to her. "It makes me mad when people say that, because I take a lot of pride in how hard I've worked for what I have," she added.

Chanel West Coast's adolescent years were anything but conventional

The road to celebrity isn't always a paved path, and it's been an especially tumultuous one for Chanel West Coast. Before the MTV star got her big break, she had an adolescence that was far from traditional. In an August 2014 profile with LA Weekly, West Coast detailed some of the eyebrow-raising details of her teenage years For one, she was smoking marijuana by age 11, most likely influenced by her mom who grew cannabis to pay the bills. West Coast also spent time in smoke-filled nightclubs at a young age when she accompanied her dad to his DJ gigs.

Even as a teen, West Coast continued carrying on in her unconventional ways. She also found herself spending just two full years at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, CA, before opting to be home-schooled instead. The bubbly blonde TV host everyone has come to know and love didn't have a standard upbringing, but it didn't stop her from stealing America's hearts.

Chanel West Coast had one major inspiration for being a rapper

Some musicians have a huge impact on the world, inspiring generations of followers, and that definitely was the case for Chanel West Coast. The female MC was inspired by the late West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur. In fact, she's gushed about him in a number of interviews. In October 2013, she told Vibe just how impactful Tupac has been to her. "My biggest influence is Tupac," she revealed. "He was a poet, and listening to Tupac is what inspired me to start rapping."

Although the iconic rapper passed away in 1996, West Coast grew up listening to his music non-stop. In fact, she may not have entered the rap game in the first place if it wasn't for him. Between his music, and his book, The Rose That Grew From Concrete, West Coast flat-out fell in love with Tupac's artistry. "It clicked in my head one day while I was listening to Tupac — I thought that, yo, maybe I should write some poetry over some beats and start rapping," she recalled in an interview with Las Vegas Magazine.

There's a reason why Chanel West Coast changed her name

Many big stars adopt a stage name — like Lady Gaga and Demi Moore, for example — and Chanel West Coast put a lot of thought into hers. Part of her stage name was derived from the actual name on her birth certificate, and part was inspired by her love of California. "Chanel's my middle name," she explained to Pop Crush. She went on to recall the names of big-name pop stars through the years, lamenting about how her birth name didn't seem to measure up. "Britney Spears — that sounds catchy. Christina Aguilera — that sounds catchy," she continued. "My real, full name is Chelsea Chanel Dudley." And in her opinion, that doesn't exactly sound like a hot rap moniker.

West Coast got crafty, infusing her middle name with a little extra flair. "It's funny because I added the West Coast by accident," she added. The name came about when she was trying to name her MySpace music page, and since all of the "Chanels" were taken, she added West Coast as she's a West Coast rapper. From there, the name just kind of stuck!

Chanel West Coast's big break came after meeting Rob Dyrdek

Chanel West Coast is a force to be reckoned with all on her own, but she always brings the laughs with her co-host Rob Dyrdek. It was thanks to Dyrdek that West Coast got her start in reality television, and the two have had one hell of a journey through the years.

As InTouch reports, Dyrdek and West Coast reportedly met through mutual friends in 2008. He quickly became a friend and mentor to the budding rapper, and eventually, her MTV co-star. West Coast started out appearing on Dyrdek's MTV reality series Fantasy Factory as his receptionist, but quickly proved she wasn't meant to be a behind-the-scenes character. 

West Coast's quirky personality was a hit, and when it came time for Dyrdek to embark on his next chapter with MTV's Ridiculousness, West Coast became the co-host. Sure, she's made her own success, but Dyrdek has been a pivotal power player in her career trajectory.

Chanel West Coast's show Ridiculousness took off in a big way

Chanel West Coast is a multi-talented star, but if she had just one claim to fame, it would be Ridiculousness. The first episode aired on MTV in August 2011, and West Coast been part of the cast ever since. As The Ringer reported, the reality show became somewhat synonymous with the MTV network over time. West Coast received major screen time thanks to the comedic show, and wormed her way deeper into America's hearts with each episode.

Ridiculousness consists of home videos depicting — you guessed it — pure ridiculousness, and fans ate it up after it premiered. Variety reported that during a stretch of 168 hours on MTV during one month, Ridiculousness comprised 113 hours of programming. Basically, it's always on. Additionally, The New York Times once ran a study about the 50 most-liked TV shows, and Ridiculousness found its way to the 13th spot. So it's no surprise West Coast has stayed with the network for so many years.

Chanel West Coast landed a record deal with rap star Lil Wayne

While Chanel West Coast was largely influenced by Tupac, she spent a large part of her career working with another great: Lil Wayne. The rapper signed West Coast to his Young Money record label, instantly taking a liking to her beats.

After joining Weezy's roster in 2013, West Coast told Billboard just how much it meant to have him as a boss. "He gives you the freedom to do what you want and be creative, and then he gives his official approval later on," she explained. 

With so many artists vying to get on Wayne's radar, West Coast also reflected on how her music won him over. "I went to Miami, played him my music," she continued. "I played him a track and he sat back and said, 'Man that sh*t was stupid.'" Despite the word's usual negative connotation, West Coast knew he meant it in a positive way. "As soon as he said that, I knew I was in," she added.

Chanel West Coast made a gaggle of famous friends

As Chanel West Coast's career gained traction, she leveled up her squad; the TV host soon found herself kicking it with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. For one, she was seen schmoozing with Paris Hilton — who's undergone a stunning transformation — and her crew on multiple occasions. In an interview with LA Weekly, West Coast talked about how much she loves the heiress. "Paris always throws the sickest parties," she gushed. "She's literally the most down-to-earth, coolest person ever."

West Coast's friendship with the heiress isn't her only high-profile relationship; West Coast also formed a friendship with Snoop Dogg. While some may say that their bond is an unlikely one, they wound up running in the same circles due to their music careers (via VH1 News). In fact, the two rappers even recorded a song together; they released their collaboration "Put in Work" in July 2013, and it was an instant bop.

Chanel West Coast had a public romance with Liam Horne starting in 2014

Chanel West Coast's first big public romance was with another musician. The rapper dated Scottish singer Liam Horne from April 2014 to July 2017, according to In Touch. During their relationship, there was rarely a time Horne wasn't on West Coast's arm at red carpet events.

While West Coast didn't talk about her relationship in the media very often, the couple had no problem gushing about their romance on social media. Horne posted a sweet Instagram selfie with West Coast in September 2015, captioning it, "me and my partner in crime out here." West Coast also often posted pics with her beau, and fans became used to their PDA-heavy snapshots (via Nicki Swift).

They say to never mix work and pleasure, but West Coast and her man did everything together, including joining forces on her 2015 mixtape Waves (via Billboard). West Coast has always been the utmost focused on her career, but she had no problem sharing the spotlight with Horne for three romance-packed years.

Chanel West Coast and Liam Horne silently split three years later

They say all good things come to an end, and that includes Chanel West Coast's romance with Liam Horne in July 2017. West Coast confirmed they were done for good in an interview several weeks later with the Daily Mail. The chat marked the first time she'd spoken out about the split, and she explained why she was looking forward to being an independent lady. "I'm single and focused on my music career," she told the outlet.

It seemed to be perfect timing for the romance to fall off the rails, though; that same summer, West Coast embarked on a new reality TV journey. "I'm really excited about Love & Hip Hop," she continued. When asked if she has any reservations about being on the reality TV show, she said simply, "I fear getting into any further drama because I'm really not a dramatic person."

Chanel West Coast has had her fair share of media scandals

Most times, Chanel West Coast is making headlines for her new tunes or fierce outfits, but there have been several occasions when she found herself in the midst of a media scandal. Between arrests and bar brawls, the songstress doesn't always play nice.

In August 2015, West Coast was arrested outside Los Angeles nightclub 1 Oak for allegedly "beating on people," TMZ reported. To make matters worse, West Coast allegedly kicked a cop as well. It didn't sound like a pretty scene, at least not according to eyewitnesses who were there. One person even made a citizen's arrest, and held West Coast down until authorities arrived. According to law enforcement, West Coast got into a fight with a woman inside the club. Naturally, she was kicked out of the party, but then proceeded to fight security outside. 

Unfortunately, this wasn't West Coast's only run-in with the law. In September 2020, she was caught on camera screaming at police officers who tried to shut her birthday party, the Daily Mail reported — which just so happened to take place during the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak... yikes.

Chanel West Coast is quite the fashion maven, and has launched several lines herself

Chanel West Coast is quite the fashion maven — so much so, she's even created some of her own designs. As she told Seventeen, West Coast fell into the fashion design line of work unexpectedly. "It's crazy. At first they wanted me to model for a different line, but the father company decided that they wanted me to do my own line," she recalled.

As for the name of her first line, Valleywood, it actually has a meaningful back story. "I came up with the name because I was born and raised in the Valley," she shared. But don't get it twisted, because West Coast wanted to make it clear that her line was for city girls too. "I'm still in the Hollywood scene," she continued. "The reason it's called Valleywood is because it's for a valley girl in the Hollywood scene and lifestyle."

More recently, West Coast dabbled in the streetwear industry, churning out tie-dye sweats with a brand called The LOL Cartel. According to the brand's Facebook page, their motto is: "Live out loud, Laugh out loud, Love out loud."

Chanel West Coast released her debut album in 2020 and is full steam ahead in her music career

After years of releasing one-off singles and collab tracks, Chanel West Coast finally put out her first full-length album in October 2020. It may have taken some time for the record to get off the ground, but she went all out for her first major project. West Coast enlisted fellow rappers Too Short, Dreezy, Anaya Lovenote, Salma Slims, and Porcelain Black to appear on the album with her.

The rapper looked drop-dead-gorgeous on her album cover, donning a transparent, nude bodysuit and a wide-brimmed sun hat. "I called this album America's Sweetheart because it's an oxymoron and contradicts the perception that many have of me," West Coast said in a press release obtained by Complex. West Coast was apparently feeling philanthropic upon her album's release, as she donated part of the proceeds from streams to criminal justice reform organization REFORM Alliance.

It's been more than a decade since West Coast first embarked on her music career, but with the release of America's Sweetheart, she's just getting started.