You know, as a rule, I tend not to curse a lot in my posts here at The Root, despite having free rein to do so, as do all of our staff. That’s mainly because I like to consider myself something of a lady—and, as the editor of all things lifestyle here at the site, tend not to find profanity terribly necessary. Also, because my parents read much of my work, and I’d rather spare myself the grief.
That said, there is some shit that irks the ever-loving fuck out of me, and I’ve got time today. Avert your eyes, Mom and Dad (though I have a feeling you’ll both back me up on this one).
You see, as we speak, some poor, unfortunate, clearly uninformed soul has got Sade—she of the love deluxe and lover’s rock—trending on Twitter by making an absolutely asinine comparison between the 61-year-old singer and (of all people) Jhene Aiko.
I know: Make it make sense.
First of all, it is 2020, the year of COVID and our antichrist, Donald Trump, and we just unexpectedly lost our beloved Chadwick Boseman on Friday. Please stop making folks trend without cause—and definitely not for no bullshit like this. I have no doubt both of these lovely, talented women were somewhere minding their own damned musical business when their names were unceremoniously brought up by someone who has likely never set foot in a recording booth in her life (and before you try to come for me, yes I have, with a Grammy nod to prove it). But in case you were wondering why you need to teach the children well before you let them lead the way (miss you, Nippy), dumb shit like this is why.
Girl, what? And why? This is the epitome of “nobody asked for this.” Literally nobody. Not even Aretha, who likely also doesn’t want her name brought into this slanderous mess.
And that’s all it is; mess for the sake of being messy because you’re bored (which I must be too, since I’m entertaining this nonsense). But clearly, you’re not bored enough to fire up Spotify and see why your entire premise is flawed. Kids, it’s okay to not like things. To try to delegitimize a career that has likely outdated your existence on this earth? Not so much, Sis. Sade’s voice and stylings may not be common; but since we’re making unnecessary comparisons, neither were Billie Holiday or Nina Simone’s. Arguably, that’s what makes each of them iconic, inimitable, and instantly recognizable. Is this what happens when they cut arts education in schools?
In fact, I’m not sure which part was wilder; the part where the OP acted like Sade doesn’t have albums’ worth of highly recognizable hits, or the part where she credited the woman’s success to the fact that she is “thin & light skinned” and “humming”—while comparing her to the equally thin, light-skinned (both women are biracial), and hum-adjacent Aiko.
Again, please make it make sense. Nope, still won’t.
As a result, not only is this comparison insulting to Sade and everyone who has adored her music for the last 35-plus years, but if I’m Jhene Aiko, I’m cussing you out for even bringing my name into this shit—especially in the name of so-called fandom. Beloved, if your idea of supporting a perfectly good artist is setting her up to be dragged by inexplicably comparing her to a beloved icon, you are neither a friend nor a fan. You are simply a fool.
But sometimes, when you seek dumb attention, that’s exactly what you get. (Thankfully, I get paid for my opinions. What’s your excuse?)
Sade’s exhaustive bona fides are readily available to anyone with internet access, so I won’t list them here—besides, we already did that in part last year, when the eternal muse turned 60. Apparently, her detractor has an e-book of keto recipes to sell, so, there’s that. (I don’t know about the light-skinned part, but those make you thin, right?) But for the rest of you, please think before you tweet—and Google before you come out here looking goofy.