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Jamaicans Rebuff TikToker For Suggesting Sean Paul Built Dancehall Career On “Blackface” – DancehallMag

Rebel Nation | October 16, 2021

A TikTok user was harshly rebuffed by Jamaicans after she suggested that Dancehall star Sean Paul built his career on cultural appropriation. The Cheap Thrills deejay began trending earlier this week when he was accused of “using blackface” to advance his career and appear ‘exotic’.

Blackfishing is a term used to describe a white person who takes on black cultural references in order to appear “cool”. Similarly, blackface – which dates back centuries and has roots in theatre traditions – treats black features as a costume that can be removed at will.

The TikTok user in question (who claims Caribbean heritage) said Paul’s cornrows during the aughts, as well as his light skin tone, somehow amounted to cultural appropriation. “He is a white man, like, he self describes as being white, like a white Jamaican and he literally made his career off of stealing Afro-Jamaican culture and using literal blackface. He made so much money in blackface for years and it went unquestioned,” she asserted.

It didn’t take long for Sean Paul’s fans to clap back with a few facts on his behalf.

Twitter responses reached well over a thousand as some sought to educate the accuser, while others had a laugh at her expense.

“Sean is mixed with Portuguese and Chinese either way he’s Jamaican nationally yaad man so when she a talk bout appropriation it don’t make any sense,” one user stated pointedly, while other fans invoked the power of Google. “Firstly Sean Paul is not white. Secondly we have white and other races that are Jamaican. Our motto is ‘Out of many, one people’. Please do your research before you post these things. FYI, we love SP.”

Others questioned, “If you are born and raised somewhere how can you steal that culture?” while some of the more amused users said “Sean Paul a white man.. gyal tell me under which bridge u born,” and “Stay there a nyam up yuself being angry while Sean Paul enjoying being Jamaican and making money from his roots.”

Despite his unfathomable success (or perhaps because of it), many remain preoccupied with Sean Paul’s skin color and authenticity in the predominantly black Dancehall scene.

The Boasty deejay addressed the issue during an episode of The Breakfast Club back in July. “For me, that light-skin argument always comes up. I did work hard; do have a little bit of talent and I try to ignore everything that is negative about the system and do things my own way,” he said.

While Sean Paul’s complexion may be a point of contention, his commercial appeal certainly isn’t. The veteran is already confirmed for the three-day music festival Cali Vibes 2022, alongside hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan, Grammy winners Shaggy and Koffee, and headliners, the Marley Brothers, in February of next year.

Paul will also release his new single Dynamite featuring Sia off his upcoming LP Scorcha on Friday, October 22.

Written by Rebel Nation


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