Professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek has entertained MTV viewers for almost eight years, leading them through his life to show how he finds his own balance between work and play. A few years later, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory is now entering its sixth season, and the reality TV star will also host Ridiculousness for the fourth time, continuing two popular reality TV series with their own unique characters. One of Dyrdek’s most consistent and longtime cast members is Chanel West Coast, Dyrdek’s receptionist in Fantasy Factory and his co-host in Ridiculousness, both of which have made her a hit reality TV actress.
But what’s interesting about Chanel is her role as the only lead woman in both shows, roles she won after an unexpected encounter with Dyrdek through Myspace. While MTV fans know her as a reality TV star, Dyrdek first knew Chanel as a rapper who had been working on her music since she was 14. Chanel eventually received an offer from Dyrdek that put her in the spotlight.
“I was inviting Rob to come see these little shows I was performing at, but he could never make it because he was so busy. Then he talked to me one day and said, ‘Hey, I can’t make it to your performances, but would you be on an episode of my new show?’” Chanel says. “Music was still my main focus, so I hesitated about being on his show and the ‘rapping receptionist’ role he had in mind for me.”
Since accepting Dyrdek’s offer, Chanel has had a successful reality TV career. After a few seasons as a main character on Fantasy Factory, the actress and rapper was also chosen to co-host Ridiculousness alongside Dyrdek and Sterling “Steelo” Brim, a decision that attested to her comedic talent and rapport with her fans.
“By being the only girl, I get to give a sort of female touch to the show and to the fan base because a lot of the time girls have a different sense of humor than men do,” Chanel says. “Men and women do laugh at different things, so I get to show a more feminine side of humor that you might not have with an all-male cast.”
The comedy will continue with this season’s run of Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness. While Ridiculousness will feature even more outrageously hilarious videos, Dyrdek and his cast will only be upping the ante on their Fantasy Factory antics to give everyone a good laugh.
Along with the comedy, however, this season’s Fantasy Factory will offer Chanel something drastically different. Years of being on TV never dimmed her dream of becoming a rapper, and after years in the business, Chanel signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment Label in 2013, dropping her own mixtape that summer. The move was huge not only for Chanel, but also for Dyrdek and the rest of the Fantasy Factory cast, who realized that Chanel couldn't stay in the rapping receptionist role that served as her claim to fame.
“Honestly, the biggest setback to my music career was people’s perception that I was a reality TV star, not a rapper," she says. "After I signed on to Young Money, [Rob] didn’t really know what to do, and the question of, ‘How do we keep [Chanel] on the show?’ became very real since I was a signed artist now.”
Instead, Dyrdek and the cast decided to take the show in a new direction that would let them work together while also giving them room to explore their other interests.
“You’ll see by the end of the season, but Rob is going to break down the fourth wall and show our fans that Fantasy Factory is actually all happening in a funny, imaginative place and that not all of it is real,” Chanel says. “Of course, Fantasy Factory is 100 percent Rob’s business and we do all conduct different types of work at the factory. But the reality is that we all have our own businesses outside of Fantasy Factory, and we’re not going to be there every single day like the show makes it seem.”
So what will be new for Chanel?
“This season, people will see me as an artist and not only as the Fantasy Factory’s receptionist," she says. "Just like how Steelo has his own clothing line that’s coming out, I have my music. I’m going to be portrayed as more of an artist who’s working outside of a rapping receptionist role, and that’s going to make this season’s Fantasy Factory the best season yet.”
Even with the show’s new approach, however, nothing else is set to change. The cast is just as close as always, going through every day at the Fantasy Factory as they have for the last few years.
“I’m the only girl on the show with a cast full of guys, and they’re all like my brothers,” Chanel says. “Rob is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and a joy to be around. Even if you have to wake up early for a shoot, you know that you’re not just going to work; you know you’re going to have fun. We’re all happy, funny people on an exciting show.”
And the excitement will only continue on Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness, with Chanel in more important roles than ever before.
Catch the premiere of Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory: Season 6 tonight at 11 p.m. EST and Ridiculousness every Thursday at 10 p.m. EST. Also, be sure to check out Chanel West Coast’s music, which you can access on her YouTube channeland SoundCloud!