Tuesday 24 April 2018

Lily Allen condemns Honey G over 'cultural appropriation'

Lily Allen has hit out at X Factor star Honey G
Lily Allen has hit out at X Factor star Honey G

Singer Lily Allen has described X Factor contestant Honey G as "offensive" and "so wrong on so many levels".

Speaking to BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac, she spoke of the rapper in a discussion about cultural appropriation in the music industry.

Asked about Honey G, who caused controversy after recently stating that she planned to become a multi platinum artist, the mother-of-two said: "As far as I can tell she is a white lady that dresses up in Ali G, Goldie Lookin Chain kind of attire.

"She has done really well on X Factor and ITV is pouring money into her. I'm not black but I find it offensive.

"So wrong on so many levels, I can't even start to talk about it."

Commenting on the social and political history of rap music, French singer Christine and the Queens added: "The worst thing to do is to steal the culture and not be a part of it and an ally to the fights that can happen."

Allen, 31, described how she was accused of racism and cultural appropriation when she released her 2013 single Hard Out Here, saying that it "felt horrible" but encouraged her to "do more research and strive to keep putting out music".

Known for her outspoken social media presence and hard-hitting lyrics, Allen caused a media storm last week after tweeting that a taxi driver had told her to "find an immigrant" to pick up her and her daughters.

Speaking later about the incident, she said it gave her a "glimpse of what it feels like to be discriminated against", soon after she visited the squalid conditions refugees had lived in at the Calais camp known as the Jungle.

She told Mac that she would love to make politically charged music about such issues herself, but didn't think she would be successful.

The singer said: "I really want to write politically motivated songs, but they sound really earnest and preachy.

"I would make them if I thought they would be good and catchy, but where I haven't succeeded in getting these messages across in my music I get them across through my social media platform.

"I feel like I am here in this position and there are things that are going on post-Brexit, and actually before Brexit.

"I feel like it's my responsibility. I knew full well that there was going to be a fallout from the mainstream media, but I kind of feel empowered by it rather than upset by it."

Adding that modern artists are becoming more reserved about their public presence so as not to conflict with their sponsors, Allen said: " If you (as a musician) want to make millions of pounds and please everyone, then don't say anything.

"But if you want to make changes, then the only way to do it is to talk and do it in your music."

::Listen to The Exchange from 7pm on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show and watch from 8pm on Radio 1's BBC iPlayer channel.

Press Association

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