Trueself

Black Twitter Rolls With Laughter at Adele's Bantu Knots

Adele's recent Instagram post sparked a debate about cultural appropriation—and some entertaining remixes.

Adele wears Bantu knots in a photo posted on her Instagram

Adele's Instagram

Adele was rolling in the deep last weekend after posting a controversial photo on her Instagram page.

Captioned "Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London," the photo shows Adele wearing a triangle bikini top with the Jamaican flag printed on it, long athletic stretch pants, a yellow feather Carnival shoulder piece, and gold jewelry. The outfit is a good fit for Afro-Caribbean carnival events, so it makes sense that Adele might wear it on a day that people would have been reveling and sharing culture if not for COVID-19. The problem, however, is the hairstyle. Adele's hair is in bantu knots.

Bantu knots, like locs and cornrows, are a Black hairstyle. Hair is parted into sections and coiled into buns. The style is also referred to as Zulu knots because it originated with Zulu people in South Africa. It is now popular throughout the African diaspora, and it is used both for protection (of the hair) and for style. For a non-Black person to wear this hairstyle is, in fact, cultural appropriation.

Celebrities are gassing Adele up in the comments and elsewhere. Zoe Saldana said, "You look right at home guurrrl." Zoe Saldana has only recently come to realize it was wrong for her, as a light-skinned Black woman, to play the role of Nina Simone—which required makeup to darken her skin and a prosthetic nose. She is definitely not the person to give Adele the go ahead on cultural appropriation.

Many Jamaicans and people throughout the Caribbean and African regions have also come to Adele's defense, noting that Carnival is a time for sharing cultures and arguing that her attire would have been appropriate for such an event. It is often the case, however, that those quick to defend people who have been called out for cultural appropriation have never experienced the same discrimination as those drawing attention to the issue.

Cultural appropriation can be a complicated subject, especially in quickly fired tweets, but it's worth the discussion. Technically, cultural appropriation is the use of an element or set of elements from a culture or identity that the offending person does not share. It is usually done without understanding of the history, tradition, or meaning of the element or elements in question, and does nothing to educate other people about their origin. In many cases, the element or elements are looked down upon by the dominant culture or identity, so its appropriation presents a cost to the people who own it and a benefit to the people who misuse it.

Black hair is an easy example of cultural appropriation because Black people continue to face discrimination on the basis of their hair. Black people are fired from their jobs and barred from graduation for having locs while white people use them as a fashion statement. Cultural appropriation at its worst allows people to wear and flaunt an aspect of another group's culture or identity without facing any of the discrimination that group endures.

It is easy to say "It's just hair" when you have never experienced discrimination for wearing your hair in a style or natural form that is directly connected to your culture and identity, whether place of origin, ethnic group, religion, or otherwise. Because of all this, there is no denying that Adele got it wrong. She is, however, well-liked. This, combined with what people believe to be her intent to celebrate diversity and the need for light moments led to a hilarious time on Black Twitter.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, top 40 songs were often remixed, giving us reggae or dancehall versions. Reggae artists would sing the songs in the same melody so they were completely recognizable, but with reggae musical arrangements. Yes, My Heart Will Go On had about a million reggae versions. This trend has not maintained the same frequency or popularity as back then, but people brought it back just for this Adele moment.

One of the best has got to be Adele's "Hello" vocals on the Wayne Wonder track "No Letting Go."

They slowed it down a little for "Someone Like You."

We finally have the Jamaican patois version of an Adele album tracklist.

It's been hilarious to see Adele's song titles and lyrics translated to Jamaican patois.

Someone dubbed Spice's "So Mi Like It" over a video of Adele rapping a Nicki Minaj verse.

It is always great to see Black joy, whether in physical or virtual spaces. The whole Adele-with-the-bantu-knots situation has shown that Black people remain undefeated in many areas. The creativity was on full display as video editing, audio engineering, photo memes, and clever turns of phrase flooded Twitter immediately. It took no time to turn a highly questionable moment into hours and hours of scrolling and full-belly laughter.

It has been a difficult year, and Black people have been dealing with far too much. Constantly having to affirm the value of our lives while putting them on the line takes its toll. It would have been easy to respond to Adele with rage, but Black Twitter came through with the jokes. Cultural appropriation is a serious issue, and we can tackle it even as we give ourselves the space and time to enjoy each other's virtual company.

Cultural appropriation is clearly difficult for people to understand, especially as we try to learn to appreciate other cultures. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that there is not enough attention on the discrimination and racial injustices we face every day, so big issues like hair are often viewed as small matters of style rather than evidence of a more pervasive issue.

We have a lot of work to do, from being more honest about our experiences and making private occurrences public to calling on people like Adele—who appear to appreciate our culture—-to speak out against the injustices we face. If it's okay to wear bantu knots as a white person appreciating Black culture, you're going to have to show up when Black people are made to suffer for participating in the culture that we created and fight to maintain. Appreciate the culture and ensure that people in positions of power do too. Use your own power to compel others to act. Be loud in your demand for justice and cultural appreciation at all times, not just on Notting Hill Carnival days.

Zia Benjamin

Press Photo

Meet Zia Benjamin, whose contagious blend of jazz, retro dancehall music, and roots reggae have thrust her into the limelight.

She describes her sound as "rum shop blues," adding, "I think my style is a mix of opposites: I'm like Shabba Ranks meets Marilyn Monroe, with a Nina Simone soul and a few shots of Appleton rum."

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and going on to attend high school and university in Canada, Benjamin got her start in music as a songwriter and vocalist for Sean Paul and Major Lazer. Then she decided to establish her own brand, which resulted in her debut solo single, "No Fame," and her latest single, "Rudie," putting her on the cover of TIDAL's Reggae/Dancehall playlist, as well as being selected by EBRO as the Beats1 Apple Music Discovered track.


Zia Benjamin x RoryStoneLove - Mr Neverman (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) youtu.be


Now, she's directing her music video for "Rudie," and putting the finishing touches on her debut EP, Love In A Plastic Cup, slated to drop in the near future. If that's not enough, on June 14th she makes her debut performance in the U.S., opening for Kabaka Pyramid at Club Reign in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

"Mr. Neverman" rides a potent melody full of percolating roots reggae flavors, skiffing guitars, and horn accents. The one-drop rhythm injects the tune with an infectious tropical feel. Benjamin's sultry voice glides forth on lush, seductive timbres.

According to Benjamin, "The video, 'Mr. Neverman,' is a visual vacation, I tried to invoke the feeling of a place where time stands still, showing Jamaica's beauty and showcasing its talent. All the fashion in the video is Jamaican-made (Flowerchild1999, Spokes Apparel), down to the nail polish (Bella's Beautique) and jewelry (Peace is of Bianca). I was pretty depressed when I started directing the video, and so I just poured my heart into it, I tried to express beauty and a sense of timeless love, but then ruin it with reality."


Benjamin explains "Rudie," saying, "'Rudie' to me is far more than just me throwing shade, its really me trying to play with the power constructs around relationships: it's about women diminishing and undermining each others power with a male as this prize, and yet the male that is the prize has already shown himself to be unworthy of a crown and their affection."

"Rudie" opens on deliciously skiffing guitars. A fat bass line rumbles as Benjamin's voice imbues the lyrics with cool textures of color, as she confronts her man's other woman.

"Baby forget him, he's mine all mine / You gonna regret it, wasting your time / He say he's leaving the past behind / You'd better put those dreams to sleep / I'll sing your lullaby."

Both tracks, "Mr. Neverman" and "Rudie" confirm Zia Benjamin's lustrous talent and sense of rhythmic flow, as well as her luscious smoldering voice.

Follow Zia Benjamin Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Born and raised in Jamaica, Queens in NYC, singer-songwriter Morley will drop a new album – Thousand Miles – October 5.

The album's title echoes the universal human desire to flee from demanding situations, avoiding the complications of life; yet rather than surrendering to the feeling, making a conscious choice to meet the problem head-on with humility, compassion, and courage.

Morley hopes that Thousand Miles will "serve as a friend to the listener and be part of the great map of art that reveals time and time again how short the distance from one another truly is."

Produced by Morley and co-produced by Ken Rich and Toshi Reagon at Grand Street Recording, Thousand Miles features the talents of Brian Blade (drums), James Genus (bass), Will Lee (bass), Jon Cowherd (piano), Marc Cary (piano), as well as special guest appearances by Richard Bona, Toshi Reagon, Joan Wasser, Martha Redbone, and Tiokasin Ghosthorse.

Encompassing 13-tracks of jazz, folk, blues, and soul flavors, the album opens with "Golden Sparrow" a jazz-infused tune reminiscent of Sade because of its simmering sultriness. Morley's stunning voice mingles the best tonal textures of Joni Mitchell and Sade - smooth and sensuous.

Speaking subjectively, the best tracks on Thousand Miles include "A Life Fully Realized," riding a blues-flavored pop tune with hints of jazz-lite. Full of captivating wisps of recollection traveling on Morley's gorgeous timbres, the song is enchanting.

A softly colored folk-pop tune, "Sweeping Stars" will make you fall in love with the nuanced, exquisite beauty of Morley's voice. Candidly, all the songs on the album shimmer with tangible energy. The highlight of the album, of course, is Morley's voice, a confection of pure sonic grace.

Thousand Miles is one of those rare albums worthy of being classified as "must-listen-to."

The Record Release Party for Thousand Miles will take place at Joe's Pub, on October 5.

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Interviews

Exclusive Premiere | Rose Villain's New Video "Funeral Party"

Popdust's Very Own Brent Butler Gets an Exclusive Scoop on Rose Villain's Newest Release

Meet Rose Villain.

Rose Villain is a singer and songwriter from Milan, Italy, now based in New York City. A film and horror enthusiast – she's inspired by directors including Quentin Tarantino,the Cohen Brothers, Stanley Kubrick, and David Lynch - and a fashion devotee, her eclectic interests include poetry, aliens, criminology, and natural catastrophes, all of which find their way into her singular lyric sensibility. Having grown up on a love of rock – Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Guns'N'Roses, and Metallica to name a few – Rose was soon drawn to hip hop, citing Kanye West as a major influence. Her music fuses pop, trap, and 80s vibes.

Rose Villain

Hi Rose Villain, welcome to Popdust! Ms. Villain, how have you been?

Miserable, thank you!

Can you talk to us more about "Funeral Party?"

So the story is pretty clear, he's dead to her. And she's so happy about it she takes full responsibility for the funeral arrangements. I think it's about moving on, to feel confident and mostly about letting go of the negative shit.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this?

I did write it after a funeral. It was a truly sad moment and I felt lost there. But the person who passed away taught me in life to take all the negative and turn it into something positive. So I tried to write something funny about it, to exorcise.

What can you tell us about the making of the video?

It was toug hhh. But in every single video, I put myself in the most bizarre and painful or dangerous situations. Diving into icy waters, cockroaches and tarantulas, standing on the edge of really high buildings... In this case I was riding backwards on a very fast motorcycle and walking in winter clothes at noon in Jamaica. That means a million degrees. But it was beautiful and I got to meet really wonderful people in Kingston, especially at Life Yard, this community of talented kids who live for music and arts.

How was the recording and writing process?

I work on all my music with Sixpm, my producer and boyfriend. He's a genius and everything we write, including Funeral Party, comes very naturally. We're both obsessed with details and spend hours in the studio on maybe finding the perfect sound for an instrument. The writing is the easy part for us both, we're very creative. In the vocal booth, he sorta yells at me a lot. He thinks that if I get angry I will perform better. I hate men.

How did your upbringing influence your music? We see you draw from everything from ACDC to Ye. Interesting!

I grew up with the devils of rock and they still make my blood boil. I think they totally influenced my way of writing but mostly they pushed me to try and make high quality music. You see, they are the Gods. The rock of the 70s, the 80s, even the 90s… That was real music, with real instruments and they would cut the tapes to pick the best takes, no autotune and no laptops. I wish we could still do it like that, I know Jack White does. The least I can do is to keep it authentic and true to who I am. I love Kanye cause he broke all the rules and made real music with a laptop.

NYC vs. Milan - go!

I gotta say, they have similarities. They're both very international cities and there's a huge presence of fashion and the food is great. People are ambitious and a little snobbish. New York is more frenetic and the people are more aggressive towards their jobs, they bust their asses and try to become the best. Milan is more laid back and chill about this, they wake up, get a cappuccino and a croissant, then try to leave early and do aperitivos with friends in the evening.

Does this mean we can expect more new material from you - how's that coming along?

I'm at a point where I have TOO MUCH new material. I'm just waiting for the label to say ''UNLEASH'." I'm over-excited cause after years of looking for my sound, I now have that feeling I had when I listened to new tracks on MTV as a kid, the chills and the connection, with my own music. I cry a lot when I hear my newest tracks. Happy tears.

If so, any tentative release date or title in mind for the next project?

I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you.

Any plans for upcoming shows?

Hopefully we'll go on tour very soon. I love to perform live, and I wanna go around the world and see as many sweaty faces as I can.

What else is happening next in your villainous world? Everyone staying out your pool?

Ah it's tough to be evil. Next up of course is the conquering of the world, duh. A few can totally stay in my pool, but they have to play by my rules cause there's no lifeguard on duty.

Follow Rose Villain on Facebook | Instagram


Brent Butler, Co-frontman of The Cold Press, actor and host of PopDust Presents! www.soundcloud.com/brentbutlermusic


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MUSIC

REMEMBER | Frankie Paul, famed Reggae artist, passed away with little fanfare, but left a lasting impact

Best know as the legendary leader in Dance Hall / Reggae music, he tragically died at 52

Frankie Paul did not waste his time, as short as his life was. Could a little help from his friends have extended his life?

Jamaican Reggae artiste, Frankie Paul (1965 - 2017), died at 52, at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, following a long illness. He had been suffering from kidney problems and was on dialysis two days per week. Paul Blake, better known as Frankie Paul, was a hugely influential Dancehall & Reggae star of the 1980s and 1990s. Paul died on the 18th of May 2017. According to his sister, Trish Clarke, he died shortly after 10:00 pm.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F05%2FFrankie-paul-cabecera.jpg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.djeasypromos.com&s=71&h=4f57778d8d3051983c6fc42dd6928c43808c39021d7be485e0f60fff7406721c&size=980x&c=887401065 photo_credit="" caption="www.djeasypromos.com" pin_description="" image-library="0" crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2017%252F05%252FFrankie-paul-cabecera.jpg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.djeasypromos.com%26s%3D71%26h%3D4f57778d8d3051983c6fc42dd6928c43808c39021d7be485e0f60fff7406721c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D887401065%22%7D" expand=1]www.djeasypromos.com

Born in Jamaica in 1965, Paul was blind at birth, but as a child he underwent surgery that had partially restored his sight by an operation that took place on a hospital ship. He spent his early life at the Salvation Army School for the Blind. While there he met American RnB singer Stevie Wonder, who was in Kingston for a show at the National Stadium in the 1970s. He impressed Stevie Wonder with his singing when Wonder visited the school that Blake attended, prompting him to pursue a career in music . Wonder urged him to become a professional singer. Like Wonder, Paul also played a number of instruments including the keyboard.

He first found fame in the early 1980s, and he recorded prolifically throughout the decade. He has recorded for virtually every producer/studio in Jamaica at some time, and has been known to release several albums a year. Frankie Paul moved to the African nation, The Gambia in 1994.

Frankie Paul has made a tremendous contribution to Jamaican music and leaves a legacy behind. The partially blind singer is one of the best voices to ever come out of Jamaica. He was even dubbed as the "Jamaica's Stevie Wonder". Some of his hits include "Worries In the Dance", "Pass the Ku Shung Peng", "Tidal Wave", "Cassanova" and "Sarah".

"Frankie Paul has a voice that improves with each release and, although initially compared with Dennis Brown, he has evolved a strange nasal, throaty style that makes him sound much older. It's the sheer exuberance of his best performances that give away his youthfulness, and his two London appearances have been joyous occasions." - NME (4 May 1985)

Frankie Paul recorded so many hit songs and meant so much to reggae but as good as he was to reggae and dancehall, the dancehall fraternity was not always kind to him. Top flight DJs like Capleton and Beenie Man had songs which contained disparaging remarks about Frankie Paul, with Beenie Man saying that he will never do a song with Frankie.

It was not a surprise that when Frankie got ill, a lot of the entertainers did not show any support. Last year after Paul lost a leg because of his illness. A benefit concert was held to purchase a prosthetic leg for the star. While artists like Tristan Palmer, George Nooks, Lloyd Parks, Philip Frazer and Little John showed their support, many artists declined to help.

Just a few weeks before his death, family and friends of Frankie Paul were asking for help in the media. Frankie had kidney disease and needed dialysis twice a week.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F05%2FFrankie-Paul.jpeg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fdancehallhiphop.com&s=646&h=c10e874aa30588b06bddfef32d137d67b97c53ec8a696986df7575f527401874&size=980x&c=1325210767 photo_credit="" caption="Dancehall HipHop" pin_description="" image-library="0" crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2017%252F05%252FFrankie-Paul.jpeg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fdancehallhiphop.com%26s%3D646%26h%3Dc10e874aa30588b06bddfef32d137d67b97c53ec8a696986df7575f527401874%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1325210767%22%7D" expand=1]Dancehall HipHop

Friends, including dancehall artiste/producer Wayne Lonesome were assisting him in meeting a huge hospital bill of some $1.5 million when he died. He had been admitted to the hospital since April. Artists like Sizzla and Ninjaman are busy with their own movements aimed at uplifting Jamaica and Jamaicans but what are other artists who are not doing any kind of charity work. Could their financial support have bought Frankie a little more time? It would have been great to see the reggae and dancehall fraternity offering support to a legend who has meant so much to both genres.

"He will be sadly missed by us, his friends, his colleagues in the music business, his faimily and thousands of fans around the world who loved his music," Lonesome told the OBSERVER ONLINE.


Album Discography

  • Give The Youth A Chance (1982), Freedom Sounds - also released as Rich & Poor
  • Pass the Ku-Sheng Peng (1985) Nyam Up
  • Tidal Wave - (1985) - Greensleeves
  • Over the Wall (1985) Crystal
  • Still Alive (1985) Jammy's
  • Shut Up Bway (1986) Ujama
  • Sara (1987) Jammy's (JA) / Live & Love (UK/US)
  • Warning (1987) RAS
  • Alesha - (1987) [3]
  • Fire Deh a Mus Tail (1988) Blacka Dread
  • Dance Hall Duo (1988) RAS
  • Slow Down (1988) VP
  • Frankie Paul at Studio One (1988) Studio One
  • Veteran (1989) VP
  • Reaching Out (1989), Blue Mountain
  • Can't Get You Out of My Mind (1990) Rohit
  • Detrimental (1990) Rohit
  • Get Closer (1990) Profile
  • Start of Romance (1991) Sonic Sounds
  • Best in Me (1991), VP
  • Let's Chill (1991) VP
  • Jamming (1991) VP
  • Should I (1991) Heartbeat
  • Money Talk (1991) Jammy's
  • Sleepless Night (1992) Sonic Sounds
  • Hot Number (1992) VP
  • Tomorrow (1992) Sonic Sounds
  • Cassanova (1992) Dynamic Sounds
  • Live & Love (1992) VP
  • Sizzling (1992) VP
  • Don Man (1993) Philo
  • Talk All You Want (1994) VP
  • Hard Work(1994) RAS
  • Time Less (1995) Tan-yah
  • If You Want Me Girl (1995) Trojan
  • Come Back Again (1996) VP
  • Freedom (1996) RAS
  • A We Rule (1997) RAS
  • Live at Maritime Hall (1999) Artists Only
  • Give Me That Feeling Freedom Blues (1999) Foxtail
  • Forever (1999) World
  • Rock On (1999) Charm
  • Every Nigger Is a Star! (2000) Greensleeves
  • Remember the Time (2001) Artists Only
  • I Be Hold (2001) T.P.
  • Don't Wanna Get Funky (2001) Prestige Elite
  • Sara (2002) Fatman
  • Blessed Me (2002) Scorpio
  • Hardcore Loving (2003) Charm
  • Asking for Love (2004) Jet Star
  • Who Issued the Guns (2006) Music Avenue
  • Are You Ready (2007) Cousins
  • Best of Friends (2007) Charm
  • Tink Say Dem Know Me (2008) Jet Star
  • Most Wanted (2011) Greensleeves


Top Videos

Happy Birthday Tuff Gong

Honoring Bob Marley on his 72nd birthday by sharing 7 of our favorite covers

Denis O'Regan/Getty Images

It's hard to believe that Nesta Robert Marley, Jamaica's favorite son, would be 72 today had he not died of cancer 32 years ago. For most, he will forever be remembered as the 36 year old bright eyed, long-locked, sharp tongued Rastafarian displayed in pictures and videos. From ska to rock steady, reggae music was the vehicle in which we got to know, grow, and honor the international superstar. Yesterday, a day before the legend's birthday, it was reported that the 13 reel to reel masters of performances Bob Marley and the Wailers had performed from 1974 until 1978 were restored after a year of trying. Today, we are giving you our top 10 Bob Marley covers, because what better way to tribute a musician than through never ending song.

7. Zac Brown Band and Michael Franti, "No Woman No Cry"

Not sure how many times a country band has integrated reggae into their performance, but the Zac Brown Band and Michael Franti prove that music is universal, and it should be a thing–if authentic. At the Southern Ground Music and Food Festival in Charleston, country guitar riffs transformed into acoustic reggae chords, with an appearance by a mandolin.

6. Floetry, "Wait in Vain"

Women covering Marley successfully does it for me. The duo was very respectful in covering the song without trying to be Marley, and that's what makes the song work. One of my favorite Bob Marley songs.

5. Allen Stone, "Is This Love"

Allen Stone is an amazing vocalist, no matter the song, but there is something about a Marley cover that takes his voice to new magical heights, literally. The range he posses in this "Is This Love" cover is what dreams ar emade of. His few final notes? Flasetto, activated.

4. Tutahi, "Get Up, Stand Up"

Something tells me Bob would be particularly fond of this one. A group of well known Kiwi (the name given to people from New Zeland) musicians came together to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. All proceeds from the song's purchase will be given directly to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe - Dakota Access Pipeline Fund. Marley, an activist himself, often spoke out against the corporate greed that hurt America's greatest resource, its people.

3. Eric Clapton, "I Shot The Sheriff"

Most American's initially thought that this song was actually Clapton's. In a time where artists had been successfully stealing lesser known artists songs and passing them off as their own for about thirty years, Clapton happily gave credit to Marley, helping to make way for Marley to rise on an international stage of super-stardom.

2. Lauryn Hill, "Could You Be Loved"

Lauryn Hill might be late to her next, last, and present concerts, but her Bob Marley covers are always on time. Her connection to the Marley family extends beyond music, her ex-husband and father of her kids is none other than Marley's son Rohan with Janet Hunt. She also has a killer posthumous duet with remastered Bob Marley vocals on "Turn Your Lights Down Low".

1. Matisyahu, "Redemption Song"

This was actually my first encounter with MatIsyahu, a vocalist usually accompanied by a reggae/rock rooted trio. Not only does his voice have an uncanny resemblance to Bob Marley's he also connects in the fact that his musical notes seem spiritual. Matisyahu is also an amazing beat boxer, and lyricist.

BONUS COVER: Stephen Marley and Playing for Change, "Redemption Song"