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Spice Defends Drake And Chet Hanks Over “Culture Vulture” Allegations

July 9th, 2024

Queen Of Dancehall Spice shut down claims of cultural appropriation against Canadian rapper Drake and American actor/musician Chet Hanks, both of whom have incorporated Jamaican culture into their work and social media posts.

During a recent Big Homies House podcast interview, Spice stepped in when the host questioned Hanks’ authenticity. “I like him, though. I do. I personally don’t have a problem when someone… I think it’s a love for the culture,” she said.

When asked if Drake had a love for Jamaican culture, Spice agreed, saying, “Yeah, I think so.”

The host inquired further, “Oh, so is Drake welcome at the Dancehall?”

Highlighting Drake’s collaborations with Popcaan, she argued, “Oh yeah man, him can come at the Dancehall of course because he’s somebody that pushes the culture and collaborates with our own as well. Him push Popcaan collaborate with him and stuff, so they love the culture.”

Spice emphasized that the issue isn’t about borrowing from Jamaican culture but failing to acknowledge its origins.

“What I have a problem with is when you take from the culture and don’t recognize the culture for it,” she explained. “Cuz a lot of people do that often, even here when I see people wear certain style and you know a Jamaican culture you say oh it’s come from somewhere else.  Like people try to rob the culture, that’s what I’m against when you take from the culture and do not recognize us for it.”

She also highlighted the importance of cultural sensitivity, saying, “Culturally, sometimes you can get caught up in like cultural diversity because there’s so many different beliefs and certain things. That’s when I go into somebody else culture I’m very mindful of ‘can I do this, can I say that’ you know what I’m saying.”

Chet (second from right) and the family at the Golden Globes in 2020.

Chet Hanks, son of actor Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, has often been criticized for using Jamaican Patois on social media and at public events, most notably when he accompanied his dad to the Golden Globes in 2020.

His 2021 song White Boy Summer sparked further controversy, with many labeling him a “colonizer” and a “culture vulture” after he called himself the “White Don Dadda,” a title originally coined by Reggae icon Bunny Wailer and later popularized by Dancehall veteran Super Cat.

Despite the criticism, Chet described the song as a “fun” and “inclusive” concept, telling Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan, “White Boy Summer is love. It’s about the white boys that love black queens. So white boys that are tuned in to the black girl magic.”

In fact, he explained that his interest in Jamaican culture began with a former girlfriend and her family in Jamaica.

“I was hooking up with this chick, one day she was on the phone with her family in Jamaica and she was really in the middle of a heated conversation,” he said. “I really had no idea what the f**k she was saying… I’m like, ‘Wow! So break that down’.”

“She was just telling me how to say different s**t, so for a week I was really on a Jamaican tip and that just happened to be the week of the Golden Globes,” he added. “Jamaican people showed me the most love hands down, then you got all these social justice warriors in America saying I’m a f*****g villain.”

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Popcaan, Drake

Meanwhile, Drake addressed the ‘culture vulture’ accusations in a 2019 Rap Radar interview, stating that he always recognizes the artists he works with and helps them expand their genres.

“The definition of appropriating a culture is not supporting that culture, doing songs with people who are deeply rooted in that culture, giving opportunity to people who are in that culture,” Drake said.

“That’s not appropriating. Appropriating is taking it for your own personal gain and denying that it was ever inspired from this. That’s the true disservice that somebody could do to the UK, to dancehall, to afrobeats. Me, I’ve always… I ensure that not only paying all due respects verbally but… I make it a point to give opportunity,” he added.

This content was originally sourced and posted at DancehallMag »
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