I love Rihanna. RIH RIH!!!
Okay, now that’s out the way I was surprised and disappointed when her song “Work” came out. I love the song but the surprise and the disappointment were at the amount of backlash from people. Now being objective the first time I heard it I felt like it took forever to get to Drakes part. After listening to it on repeat forever I feel like the song is too short! I didn’t get to put enough twerk! After googling the lyrics because face it, at first we were all like “work work work work work abishimi I be work work work work work”, I realized that she wasn’t speaking English! She’s from Barbadoes and I appreciated more that she was incorporating island dialect into her music. The haters hated on . . .
I asked the haters, “Excuse me haters, why do you hate this song so much?” They replied that it was stupid and she wasn’t even speaking proper English. Of course my response was like “Ummm . . . that’s because it’s not English . . .” Crickets . . . awkward . . . BUT then they tried to justify their hatred of the song by saying that she should have sang it in English! They would have like the song had it been in English. How could they like a song whose words of “broken English” they could not understand? In fact, the mere thought of a language of broken English was ridiculous to them! The idea of a language formed from several languages was ridiculous? Well damn. I was offended. Although I have Jamaican descent in my family tree, I do not claim to be from the islands yet I felt completely insulted. What did that mean? How ethnocentric could these ‘Mericans really be?!?!? That’s like asking Shakira to stop singing in Spanish. Like hey Shakira, you’re in ‘Merica and these ‘Mericans can not understand you so can you just sing all the songs in English now? That would be completely for lack of a better word dumb. I was baffled. That is stereotyping and a bit racist all at the same damn time. Speaking in “proper” English does not signify intelligence. You can teach a bird to speak English. Then most of these haters can only speak English. So . . . who’s really intelligent now? Bottom of the line, how can you hate a song because you lack the world wide experience and multi-cultural intelligence to understand it?
Newsflash everyone, not only does the victor writes the laws (in their own language), but they also set the tone for what is considered “cool” or proper. Prime example, at one point the coolest thing to wear was the Roman toga. It signified that you either A) were someone of high birth or B) were someone who rose to a high rank/class. The most proper language was Latin and those who were well educated also knew Greek. When they hear the guttural language of the Celts and saw them in their attire, they perceived them to be barbaric and uncivilized. These so called “barbarians” would eventually break free from Rome and super fast forward to become the English. Religious strife would send some of their citizens, the Puritans, to the chopping block. Others would flee religious persecution to come to the “New World”. They discovered the natives here whom they thought were barbarians and uncivilized. Sound familiar? History has a sneaky way of repeating itself. They stole the land from the natives and kept the French and Spanish at bay . . . So we all speak English . . . for now . . . Who knows, if a butterfly would have flapped it’s wings for a second longer in China and we could all be speaking German or Japanese right now.
Back then there was much unexplored world so it was much easier for someone to be ignorant of another mysterious culture. These days you can fly around the world in a day and make your way easily to a multitude of cultures with the right resources. You can Skype someone in another county in a second and educate yourself to the language or stories of another land with a click of a mouse. Despite the growing ease of globalization, the ignorance continues to amaze me. To my chagrin as soon as I believe I have seen or heard it all . . . I am surprised and disappoint all over again. Sometimes men just want to be fed and not taught to fish. Keep your heads up all my diverse and multicultural people! Our awareness of the world and others does not keep us in the dark nor does it hinder us when we embrace each other. We may not all see eye to eye but we can acknowledge the place, beliefs and cultures of the each other. That can only make us stronger. If the ignorant do not want to learn . . . the ignorant can not be taught.