Feminist brands Lorde's 'Royals' racist

October 7, 2013, 6:36 amYahoo! New Zealand

Feminist brands Lorde s Royals racist
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Days after Kiwi singer Lorde reached the pinnacle number one spot on the US music charts, a blogger's critique of her song 'Royals' has sparked debate over whether or not her lyrics are racist.

Writing on the website feministing.com, blogger Veronica Bayetti Flores proclaims "Wow, that Lorde song Royals is racist."

"Folks who have spent some time with me know that I deeply love music videos, so when I saw this posted on social media, I went straight to the video. Holy. Sh*t. What did this white girl just say?" she writes.

Flores takes particular aim at the ‘Royals’ lyric ‘But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom.’

"While I love a good critique of wealth accumulation and inequity, this song is not one; in fact, it is deeply racist," Flores claims. "Because we all know who she’s thinking when we’re talking gold teeth, Cristal and Maybachs. So why sh*t on black folks? Why sh*t on rappers? Why aren’t we critiquing wealth by taking hits at golf or polo or Central Park East?

"Why not take to task the bankers and old-money folks who actually have a hand in perpetuating and increasing wealth inequality? I’m gonna take a guess: racism."

Comments on the blog largely disagreed with Flores' assertion.

"Lorde is from New Zealand, where most mainstream radio plays US pop music on a loop – we’re constantly spammed with lyrics about Cristal, Maybachs, etc. Those symbols of excess aren’t associated with African-American culture in my country (Australia)," wrote ‘LJ’.

Another commenter by the name ‘Davis’ wrote: "Dear Veronika, do you realise Ella is a 16 year old school girl from New Zealand? Do you understand the colonial presumptions underpinning your comments? Do you think racism has a context?

"Have you read the lyrics of her many songs and researched her lyric writing intentions before judging her in this way? Do you think it is right to take a few lyrics out of context and make racist generalisations from them? Is rap and hip hop beyond critique anyway? Do black people in the USA want these signifiers to be generalised and codified in the way you are suggesting? Should pop music be sanitised of their words according to your rules?"

The lyrics for 'Royals' are below. What do you think? Are they racist?

I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I’m not proud of my address,

In a torn-up town, no post code envy

But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room,

We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.

But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.

We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.

And we’ll never be royals.
It don’t run in our blood,
That kind of luxe just ain’t for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler,
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule.

Let me live that fantasy.

My friends and I – we’ve cracked the code.
We count our dollars on the train to the party.
And everyone who knows us knows that we’re fine with this,

We didn’t come from money.

But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom.
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room,

We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.

But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash

We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair

And we’ll never be royals.
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luxe just ain’t for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler,
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule.

Let me live that fantasy.

We’re bigger than we ever dreamed,
And I’m in love with being queen.
Life is great without a care

We aren’t caught up in your love affair.

And we’ll never be royals.
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luxe just ain’t for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler,
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

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125 Comments

  1. viking warrior12:06am Wednesday 09th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Billy Shand is very cool (real cool, it has a beat and you can dance to it) google Billy Shand and his band, you may be plesently surprised, a change from all the rubbish that passes as music today.

    Reply
  2. raider06:43am Tuesday 08th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Americans are just upset because Miley Cyrus got her butt kicked on billboard they can't stand losing at anything

    Reply
  3. raider06:41am Tuesday 08th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    wow the b*t*h group are out again in force i see

    Reply
  4. harry balzac12:17am Tuesday 08th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    wow, someone really craves attention, doesn't she...

    Reply
  5. CHECKPOINT09:46pm Monday 07th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Veronica... I went to your page, i saw you pose with that blue short dress. If i were you i would never wear a dress of anykind. wear pants to hide that crooked leg you got there.

    Reply
  6. CHECKPOINT09:46pm Monday 07th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Veronica... I went to your page, i saw you pose with that blue short dress. If i were you i would never wear a dress of anykind. wear pants to hide that crooked leg you got there.

    Reply
  7. CHECKPOINT09:41pm Monday 07th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Blacks are just jealous because they are not white... End of story...they would give their front teeth to be white.

    Reply
  8. Gail07:03pm Monday 07th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    God what next. Does everything we say or do have to be analized and pulled apart to make something out of it thats not there. Bullshi- to everything being so pc.

    Reply
  9. Sylvia05:31pm Monday 07th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    ?????????????

    Reply
  10. Peter05:25pm Monday 07th October 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Every word spoken by a Kiwi citizen is usually carefully filtered to make sure it's not racist, ageist, weight-est, ungreenish, insensitive, anti-periwinkle, uncaring etc. It's unlikely Lorde slipped through our 'Big Mother' censorship system. The Americans have nothing to worry about.

    Reply

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