Controversial X Factor finalist Honey G has responded to criticism of alleged cultural appropriation and questions over her authenticity.
The 35-year-old rapper from Harrow in North-West London – or “North Weezy” as she calls it – has been the major talking point of this year’s series. Some viewers believe she is a serious rapper with rather unusual technique, whereas others think her act is a potentially problematic parody of hip-hop culture.
The Guardian‘s Lola Okolosie recently branded her performance on the show “modern-day blackface”. Twitter users have also described Honey G’s act as “the rape of black culture”.
Honey G's performance on X Factor was the rape of black culture. All jokes aside, cultural appropriation actually upset me on Saturday night
— Ben Hurst (@TheRealBenHurst) October 10, 2016
Honey G has now responded to the criticism, telling The Sun: “Any claims about me being racist are completely false and ridiculous. I’ve been heavily influenced by rap and hip-hop culture and involved in it for a number of years.”
Honey G, real name Anna Georgette Gilford, previously said: “I have been a musician my whole life. I’m a heavyweight producer, I’m not a bedroom producer. I’m the finished article and I’m no different to the likes of Pharrell or Jay-Z. I find it quite insulting that people would think I am a novelty act, but maybe people have a problem with a white woman rapping.”
The controversial reality TV contestant has seen herself accused of being an actress by a member of Little Mix, while also receiving an offer of a duet with Snoop Dogg.
“I will drop whatever I have on to give them an X Factor exclusive and duet with Honey”, Snoop told The Daily Star recently, encouraging viewers to pick up the phone and vote to keep Honey G in by assuring them that together they could give “a performance like The X Factor ain’t never seen before.”
“I think she’s an actress, I’ve been told she is as well,” Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson said of Honey G on KISS FM recently.
“I don’t think it’s fair that novelty acts get through,” Nelson continued. “I get it in that it becomes a little niche thing and everyone finds it funny, but I just think it’s so unfair when so many incredible people don’t get through.”