Now there’s a few things Black folks don’t play about, (well let’s keep it honest this close to Sunday, there are many). As a short list, I offer up; spades, “who made the potato salad?”, and the Vocal Bible herself, Brandy. Because these list items are sacred to the Black community only, it’s of no wonder when those we invited to “the cookout” like Jack Harlow, commits an offense. This past week, the white 24 year old rapper from Louisville, Kentucky admitted on air to not knowing that Brandy and Ray Jay were siblings. Fortunately for us all, India.Arie is here to do the dirty work of getting him together.
The legendary vocalist behind Black women empowerment anthem, “Video” has been heavy on the cultural appropriation call out over the last few years. And recently, Arie sunk her proverbial teeth into Harlow after his interview with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden and co. During the taping he was asked to play a game testing his musical knowledge, where they would play a song and he would respond with the track’s title and artist name. At one point, the radio hosts play Brandy’s “Angel in Disguise,” and after initially guessing Aaliyah, he was given a hint. Ebro references Ray Jay’s infamous sex tape, and that he and the mystery artist were related.
“Who’s Ray J’s sister?” Harlow asks, and the room erupts with laughter. India Arie however, did not find the moment to be amusing. Shortly after the news broke about the rapper’s inability to connect the R&B dots, Arie took to her Instagram stories to express her disapproval.
Just because you make Black music doesnt mean you know black culture,” she began. “If U dont know Brandys voice when you hear it …. WHO EVEN ARE YOU? When an ACTUAL MUSICIAN! WHO MAKES BLACK MUSIC! Deduces ones of the industries MOST IMPORTANT VOICES! @brandy To Ray Jays SISTER who is famous (mostly) for his Proximity to Kim Kardashians.”
She then wrote, “And WE HEAR @brandy Influence Eh-VER-REE-WHERE! PLENTY of Non Black signers. (Ask them) Even MALE singers. Gospel singers. AND PEOPLE KNOW RAY J BETTER? the sh–s STUPID. STUPID. STUPID. STUPID!”
Now while I understand where sis is coming from as do others, there are many that felt Arie was making more of the situation than what it was. They responded on Instagram with comments that read, “Girl, it’s not that deep,” and “It’s not that serious.” But “The Truth” singer doubled down in a new story post on May 13th once her previous message had expired.
“Let’s clear this up now! Cause I said what I said,” she began. “My comments are about how racist the music industry is based on EVERYTHING I see here. I know a lot of y’all don’t get it. AND isn’t it INTERESTING every time I speak on a white boy or a white institution y’all print it,” she continued. “WHICH PROVES MY POINT. AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN PRINT EVERYTHING I SAID BEFORE THESE COMMENTS. DON’T @ me about this sh-t anymore cause IDC. I said what i said and I’m done.”
Auntie Arie is mad, yall. But she continues to show us all that she is not the one or the two to play with. If you recall, the vocalist pulled her music and podcast off of Spotify earlier this year in protest of podcast host Joe Rogan’s racist rhetoric.