Heavy sigh. Here we go again…

Oh Akon.

I was so happy and proud when you incorporated Trinidadian rhythms into your video for “Don’t Matter.” So you can imagine how disappointed and disgusted I was to see this article in the Trinidad Express. And then the video of you practically mauling a fourteen year old girl before a cheering crowd at a Trinidadian nightclub made the rounds of the blogosphere. And then the comments began. Let me backtrack for a second here.

I was already mulling over a post about blog comments, partly fueled by the casual racism I’ve noticed on celebrity blogs. The truly offensive Jennifer Hudson chicken post on That Other Blog has now been edited to remove the tastelessly captioned photo, but it is forever comemmorated here at one of my fave new blogs, The World Around Us. Said site also made the unnecessary and stereotypical joke about e mail fraud when posting about Nigeria’s Next Top Model. But I was pleasantly surprised that the commenters to the site were rightfully outraged by their use of negative stereotypes.

Not so much the readers of Perez Hilton, who left me open-mouthed at the racist statements made on his post about the same show. Seriously, scroll down and read the comments if you want to be depressed about the state of racism in America today.

So then this Akon thing happens, and I can’t look away from the comments pages. And I find the same ignorant beliefs being spouted again and again. “This is a part of Caribbean culture, get over it.” “That’s how they dance in Trini.” “Those Caribbean girls get down like that.” And all of the old school disses delivered to dark skinned people that you might expect. Allusions to African jungle beasts and all sorts of phrases and images you’d be more likely to expect in ancient documents from an English plantation owner, than you would from the people you sit across from in your office cubicles today.

As a Trinidadian blogger, I feel obligated to respond.

Yes, suggestive dancing (better known as wining) is a part of Trinidadian culture. Yes, at Caribbean fetes and at Carnival, you will find legions of men and women grinding sexily on each other. Yes, scandalous dancing is celebrated throughout the Caribbean, all you need to do is do a You Tube search for “dutty wine” or “dancehall queen” to find an array of NSFW videos of women getting down on all fours to degrade themselves. But Akon took it to a whole ‘nother level.

First of all, that girl is 14. In all my years as a proud Trini, I have never seen anything like that, and I say with confidence — that kind of behavior is NOT representative of my culture. Regardless of age, Akon’s treatment of that girl was shocking and reprehensible. Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected much from the guy who sang these songs.

I have dismissed the brief thought I’d entertained of going to see Gwen Stefani in Miami, seeing as Akon will be one of her opening acts. But I have a strong feeling that Akon keeps the blatant, unrepentant misogyny and adults-only antics to international performances and urban nightclub acts. He wouldn’t dare bring shame to Ms. Stefani’s Sweet Escape Tour, would he?

The women who participated in Akon’s dance contest are culpable in the sense that they sought his attention. They clamored to get on stage, to prove their sexual prowess by dancing for a screaming crowd. If you’re the kind of lady who takes it off for beads at Mardi Gras, is an expert booty clapper, or thinks nothing of dropping it like it’s hot, then you might understand where they were coming from. I personally do not. But to say “she looked for that” as some of the commenters have said, is completely wrong. And now her preacher father has come forth to defend his 14 year old daughter’s sullied honor.

Akon’s behavior was shocking, abhorrent, and completely unacceptable. No wonder his record label is desperately trying to remove this video from You Tube, and limit the downward media spiral of their blossoming star. Not that I ever bought his CDs before, but having seen this video, I can no longer support anything that Akon does. He’s been officially banished from my playlist, along with R. Kelly. If you want to learn more and read other intelligent (and differing) perspectives from Caribbean bloggers, please visit Karel McIntosh’s Caribbean PR blog, What Crazy Looks Like, The Mad Bull’s Blog, The Manicou Report, Attilah’s Four Fingers and a Thumb, and Elspeth Duncan’s Now is Wow.

Go Shorty, It’s Your Earth Day!

This weekend, there’s bound to be an Earth Day event near you. I’m gonna try to make it out to Earth Fest 2007, here in Key Biscayne. But if you can’t make it, then you can support Earth Day and environmentally friendly initaitives by — you guessed it — buying beauty products!

CARGO PlantLove lipstick has hit store shelves just in time for the green celebration. The lipstick case is made from a polymer derived from corn, and it’s biodegradable. $2 from your $20 purchase goes to St. Jude’s, and best of all, if you plant the outer casing into the ground, it grows wild flowers! LOVE that. Click here to check out the variety of shades, some of which were designed by celebs. Of the celeb-designed shades, Mariska Hargitay’s my favorite. I’ll do a big post about environmentally friendly makeup next week. For now, if you want a big tease for next week’s product reviews and interviews… click here. All of your questions will be answered!

Disco was Made for Afrobellas

So Lauren, one of my bestest BFFs is in town for a gigantic birthday weekend! She’ll be crashing at Casa Afrobella this weekend, but last night we did it up on South Beach with dinner at Cafeteria and a jaunt down a typically overcrowded Ocean Drive (Ugh, I hate driving on Ocean Drive). And I noticed an undeniable theme — disco is BACK. Did it ever go away?

But seriously, at the restaurant it was non-stop disco, and all along Ocean Drive it was like a disco classics CD was on. Wet Willie’s. The Clevelander. All of the usual sidewalk cafe suspects were blaring bubblicious beats and female singers, not Latin music or hip hop as I usually expect. But then, this was late on a Thursday night. I’m sure the weekend will find us back at Crime Mob and Trick Daddy.

But all that disco fabulousness got me thinking about that era, when it was all about the afrobellas in spangly clothes, under strobe lights. I’ll be writing a lot more about forgotten afrobellas from the Seventies in weeks to come, but for now, I’m ending the week on an up note with one of my favorite disco jams.

We gonna boogie oogie oogie till we just can’t boogie no more!

What’s your favorite disco song, and who’s your favorite disco era afrobella? Happy weekend to you all!

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Geija says:
April 20, 2007, 10:59 am
Well I think I have to defend Akon a little here. I'm not really a fan of his,but I'm sure he had no idea that this girl was 14. In hindsight he probably should have thought twice about doing an act like this at what I'm assuming was an all ages show, but let's be honest here...some of these teen girls today need an intervention. I'm a teacher, and what I saw on that You Tube video looks like what I see at school dances today. These parents need to police their households a little better and stop blaming the media and entertainers. That girl is dressed like a hoochie and thought it was cute to get on stage and act a fool like that. She should be on punishment until she's 18.
Niki says:
April 20, 2007, 11:02 am
Since I was born in 1975-- near the height of the funk/disco era, I really love music from around that time. It's so great just to cut loose with (don't tell anybody, but I have been know to do some killer house-cleaning with the Bee Gees blaring in the background!) Fave disco song "Boogie Nights" by Heatwave. Fave disco diva Miss Donna Summer!
afrobella says:
April 20, 2007, 12:29 pm
Gejia, I am sure Akon had no idea of the girl's age, and I'm already trying to figure out how to write about the "kids today" without sounding like a crotchety grandma. But it's totally out of control. Trinidad's different from America -- by 16 I was clubbing regularly and drinking. Our laws are more permissive in that sense, and it worked out great for me -- by the time I came to college in Miami, all the desire to drink until I threw up was gone, and I was able to take care of my college friends who were getting trashed for the first time in their lives. But because my parents guided me, I was never one of those girls who would disgrace themselves like this girl has done. Having said that, regardless of age Akon's actions revealed a side to him as a performer that I am sure his PR reps are desperately trying to erase. He tossed her up and left her on the ground like a rag doll. Even if the girl was of legal age, I'd be disgusted.
flygyrl72 says:
April 20, 2007, 1:00 pm
Bella, I saw the clip, & while it is kinda tacky, I'm not really as put off by it. I don't think he knew the girl's age & he's strictly keeping it to performance-type antics, he never tries to kiss her or make it personal or anything like that. Admittedly, I am not as familiar w/ dancehall type performances as you are, so if you're sayin this is some extra type ish goin down, then you know, I'll take your word for it...
flygyrl72 says:
April 20, 2007, 1:02 pm
And I went to that Perez Hilton blog, it's totally offensive. I work right on Sunset & I see dude at Coffee Bean every morning, in there on his laptop, I've gotta REAL good mind to go up to his pudgy butt & put him on BLAST about that. Cause I think he only did it to solicit ignorant posts from people...
Karel Mc Intosh - Trinidad says:
April 20, 2007, 2:07 pm
In Trinidad the age limit for purchasing alcohol is 18 years of age, but we can't literally control what teenagers take in. Regardless of whether he knew she was 14 or not, (and yes she does look a bit older due to her dress code), the fact is that he should not treat anyone like that. Some artistes are sexual in their performances. That's true. But to go to that extent, which borders on violence, thumping a person like that, flaying them onto the floow, is inexcusable. And yes, she needs some help herself.
mochachoc says:
April 20, 2007, 2:27 pm
aah disco, funk, jazz funk. I was lucky enough to be a teenager in the late 70's early 80's. Oh the fun, the music, the hot pants,the wedges, the way over the top make up, the individuality, the dancing (i won a trophy for some pretty ropey dance moves cuz everyone else was so bad). It was all great, set against the backdrop of the brixton riots, high unemployment, rubbish piled up on the streets, black outs. it was mad.
afrobello says:
April 20, 2007, 2:33 pm
Racism on the internet? Not surprising. It's a haven for intolerance, given the anonymity it allows.
afrobella says:
April 20, 2007, 2:52 pm
Totally, Afrobello - people online hide behind their anonymity and say things they'd never say to a person's face. But I think we are bloggers tend to focus on the racism in music, movies, and other forms of pop culture, while it's right here among us online. Flygyrl - I don't know if I agree that Perez Hilton was deliberately was seeking out racist comments with that post -- he never comes out says anything that dangerous, unlike That Other Blog. But for some reason, the people who comment are so unnecessarily mean and express the lowest, most racist thoughts.
olufunke says:
April 20, 2007, 2:54 pm
bella, this post really resonates. as an african woman (nigerian), i've heard nearly all the hateful, sordid, inaccurate, misguided and stereotypical things that could possibly be said about a people. as you live in a multi-cultural city, i'm sure you've heard many of the stereotypes about various african/caribbean countries. one thing that irks me is the use of the word "africa/n" as if it's a single country rather than a continent of many countries, hundreds of languages, thousands of dialects and cultures. as a child, the repeated "go back to africa"--as a hateful retort meant to remind me i'm not a part of here--hurt. my mother would remind though: "thank God you do have a place to go to." i took pride in knowing where i'm from, right down to the city and street. and thankfully, i *can* go back whenever i choose. i've gotten in the practice of not reading the comment-section of entertainment blogs b/c most posters' ignorance and foolishness is all too evident--and if i let it sit with me...depressing. there's much that is said out of ignorance, and really, people of color are not immune to this narrow-mindedness. peace.
Nichelle says:
April 20, 2007, 3:18 pm
i’ve gotten in the practice of not reading the comment-section of entertainment blogs b/c most posters’ ignorance and foolishness is all too evident–and if i let it sit with me…depressing. there’s much that is said out of ignorance, and really, people of color are not immune to this narrow-mindedness. peace. Wow... me too. I just look at the pictures, but the comments have gotten so bad with all of the sniping (even if they start out positive) that I had to stop looking at it.
Ms Stella says:
April 20, 2007, 5:04 pm
I love Disco too. The music and lyrics are usually so upbeat. Some of my favorites are Ring My Bell-Anita Ward,Disco Inferno-The Trammps and anything by Cheryl Lynn (Star Love, Got To Be Real. A Taste Of Honey are two of my favorite Afrobellas because they were always so fly and kept it sexy and classy while playing instruments and singing.
jerseybred says:
April 20, 2007, 8:27 pm
Akon went to far but the 14 year-old knows she is only 14 years-old... The comments on Perez's site are horrible-people please respect yourself and others
Nikki J says:
April 20, 2007, 8:57 pm
Nichelle, Olu, I stopped reading some of the comments in some of my favorite blogs and news sources because I too grew tired of reading ignorant hateful, comments. It made me sort of sad to see that people still have not changed their ways of thinking. In regards to the Akon thing, wow. I'm not surprised with a song called "smack that" what do you expect? And I thought you had to be 16 to get into Zen?? Any other Trini's out there know the answer to that?
Nikki J says:
April 20, 2007, 9:11 pm
I just read somewhere that T'dad Express had the story wrong and that the preacher has a 21 year old daughter and thats who is the photo's and video.
mezzo_soprano says:
April 20, 2007, 9:42 pm
I love this site!! My favorite Disco Afrobella was Donna Summer! I totally loooooved her back in the day. The music from the 70's was so awesome and most of was actually original, imagine that! You all take care and have a great weekend!
Black Honey says:
April 20, 2007, 11:27 pm
I'm not making excuses for Akon but how was he supposed that this was a child.
Carolyn says:
April 20, 2007, 11:33 pm
Count me in with those who no longer read the comments on celebrity blogs -just too depressing. My favorite disco song - tie between I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor and I Love the Nightlife by Alicia Bridges. Favorite disco artist - Donna Summer. I wanted to BE Donna Summer when I was in Jr High. I actually took German my first year of college because I wanted to be a black woman who spoke German, just like Ms. Summer!
April 20, 2007, 11:46 pm
donna says:
April 21, 2007, 6:15 am
Uhhh, perhaps it's just me but she may not look like a 14 yr old but I don't exactly see an adult when I look at this picture, inspite of how she's dressed. But rather he knew the age of the female or not, hopefully it motivates if not Akon others to be more responsible concerning what's done on stage.
Zoe says:
April 21, 2007, 6:45 am
Universal Records have tried to erase incriminating evidence from youtube, but it can still be seen at: http://contrydiction.blogspot.com/2007/04/universal-records-is-trying-to-stop.html
Sarah says:
April 21, 2007, 9:09 am
color me naive but I am so shocked at the comments on perezhiltons site. How could he just leave those comments up. shouldn't he be responsible for removing them? Racism will never end...never.
Black Honey says:
April 21, 2007, 12:46 pm
BlkKitty, It's not just West Indian clubs where this happens and this didn't start recently. I remember going to the Ebony Club outside of Huntsville, AL in a little town called Triana (about 10 years ago). Mind you this was just a dance club. The night I went they had a dance contest and this dude took off his clothes, climbed one of the beams and started humping away. So this doesn't surprise me at all.
jerseybred says:
April 21, 2007, 12:53 pm
* UPDATE* Little Deena (that's her name)has changed her ways and sworn off the world of hip-hop. She is joining her dad's church, Flaming Word Ministry and dancing for the lord. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161132916
sloane says:
April 21, 2007, 1:04 pm
what IS that girl wearing? when i was 14 i didn't know clothes like that existed. every time i see these pics, i am confused as to why a 14 year old would leave the house dressed in that way, and dance with grown men like that. as the adult in the situation, whether or not he knew this girl was 14, akon is culpable for his part in this debacle, but there is a larger issue at hand, the sincere loss of innocence and hypersexuality seen in our children. we saw this not too long ago with puffy's 12 year old son getting lapdances from two teenaged girls. where are these kids getting the message that its appropriate for them to act in this way?
Teri says:
April 21, 2007, 1:14 pm
I am from the Caribbean and I enjoy soca, dancehall and even some hip-hop music almost as much as the other person. I like to 'wuk my waist" when a good soca song comes on. But I will say that far too many forms of Western culture "black" music and dancing is too overtly sexual. We have rhythm...Great! We know how to move and contort our bodies in a way that amazes other people. Caribbean people are blessed with having the Latin and East Indian influence in our music and dance. But I have always been taught that there are some dances that are just downright unacceptable. I was taught that as a child, and as an adult who is entitled to dance however I want to, I cannot bring myself to excuse this form of dance as just culture. Any arguments for dry-humping in public are perpetuating sky-rocketing rates of promiscuity, teenage pregnancies and young, irresponsible baby-daddies. I agree with the teacher above who said that we as adults and/ or parents need to intervene in the lives of our young women especially. I am disgusted by any form of entertainment that basically exploits black women by putting their girating bodies on display. Indeed, the women usually give consent...but we need to help girls realize the history behind these negative images of ourselves and our bodies and we need to help them learn what it means to enjoy themselves but still maintain their dignity. I also think we should put some pressure on the entertainers who promote this sort of behavior. Even though it may not be immediately apparent, this is connected to the Imus incident. Not excusing his behaviour at all, but what are people of other cultures supposed to think of us when we put ourselves on display for all the world to see our goodies and our sexual prowess. We are victims of the slave trade that stripped us bare and laughed, pointed and jeered at our private parts...and here we are hundreds of years later doing the same things to ourselves. We did not bring the duttiest "dutty wine" from Africa - that much I know for sure. The earliest forms of dance told stories about our culture, our struggles, our pride - what stories are we telling today? That's my 2 cents. Thanks for posting this, Afrobella...I love your blog!
flygyrl72 says:
April 21, 2007, 1:20 pm
Oh! Forgot to give props to my fave disco song/queen. Bein from Chicago, the home of house music, I would say that my favorite anthem is "Touch & Go" it's by a group called "Ecstasy, Passion & Pain". Gets no better than that. As far as a disco icon, I would say Donna Summer also. She was fly & her voice was always so pure to me. A second, style-wise, Chaka Khan. And The Emotions. They were tight w/ their music & appearance too. Man, I LOVE disco...
Mica says:
April 21, 2007, 3:03 pm
I would think that in the post-R.Kelly world, entertainers would be extra careful with who they grab from the audience (or who their handlers pick from the stage)...Crazy to see that they aren't.
E-Fresh says:
April 21, 2007, 3:04 pm
Some of these comments remind me of the "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood" when they are slowly panning the crowd of people dancing and grinding and all of the sudden there is a couple having sex standing up in the middle of the dance floor.
Mrs. Lindo says:
April 21, 2007, 4:20 pm
Mighty Real by Sylvester is one of my favorite disco songs!!!
Kino Kid says:
April 21, 2007, 6:13 pm
1) The girl's age doesn't matter. I am a full-grown woman, and I think if I danced suggestively, I would not deserve that type of treatment in return. It's a suggestion, not permission. 2) Anyone who really has a problem with this, should simply stop buying his records, and not listen/watch his music or videos. A step further would to write his label, say you did buy his product, but never will again. And you're right, don't attend any concert whether he is the headliner or just an opening act. Also write the promoter and tell them why you didn't buy a ticket. It's all about more people committing small acts. They add up. Hit people like this in their wallet. It's the only thing people who lack common sense understand.
NYC says:
April 21, 2007, 10:57 pm
Maybe it's just me, but I don't find anything wrong with what Akon did. What you saw what a 48 second clip of Akon's concert. You didn't see the events that LED UP to what he did. They didn't show you precious Deena Alleyne on stage RIDING on top of Akon, and do basically what Akon did to her. Look at the titles to Akon's songs "Smack that A$$" and "I Wanna F**k" you, what do you expect to see at his show Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary? That's like going to a Luke and 2 Live Crew Show and seeing Yolanda Adams, it's NOT happening. And as a Trini, I'm sure you know about PASSA PASSA. Enough said. Stop beating up on a man that did nothing but entertain his audience. He does this at all of his shows, the women damn near beat each other up to get on that stage, and get humped and smacked on the behind by that man.
NYC says:
April 21, 2007, 10:59 pm
One more thing, this show was held at Club Zen in Trinidad. This club is 18+. If you go to a club that is 18+ you assume everyone in there is an adult.
RJ says:
April 21, 2007, 11:40 pm
Akon: meh. I grew up in Southeast Texas where girls were getting pregnant at 11. Seeing dirty dancing with young girls is/was never new and it is representative, I'd say as a puerto-rican girl, myself. Girls en la caribe mature rapidly. Women, throughout the centuries have often been expected to be married by 15 and starting the family by at least 18. By day, we are devout Catholics, but by night our girls are women with raging bodies and the steamiest expressions on the dance floor. I don't really mind it so much, but then again I come from the isle from came whence the birth of reggetone, no? I honestly don't think that it is a big deal, when I look back on my over-developed days in middle school I was fending off men 3x my age when I got into 21+ clubs. I may have easily been twice as bad! But I promise I've straightened up!!!
E-Fresh says:
April 22, 2007, 1:19 am
In case you wanted to see the scene I'm talking about in "Don't Be A Menace..." Here it is... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqOTw90hYlI
EBZy says:
April 22, 2007, 2:12 am
Going mighty hard there on Akon now aren’t you…I mean WTH. No one sure didn’t put a gun to her head to dance like that. That poor little 14yr. Old no I don’t think so. Akon I’m sure isn’t a dumb man and wouldn’t be dancing all on a 14yr. Old like that…. Definitely looks like HE thought she was a grown woman. Akon’s behavior was shocking, abhorrent and unacceptable? I guess you missed that girl altogether then. What sullied honor? That girl knew what she was doing, Do you know if he knew he was getting all sexy with a 14yr. Old on stage? This blows my mind, you give Akon way too much crap and not enough to that girl in this whole situation. Even IF he possibly could be misogynistic to women that doesn’t correlate with some girls being complete freaks out in the open where everybody is watching kthnx.
bella says:
April 22, 2007, 10:53 am
EBZy, like I said -- REGARDLESS of age, his behavior is shocking to me. I've seen Machel Montano perform many times before. In case you don't know who he is, he's one of Trinidad's biggest soca stars. And he's had hardcore wining competitions on many a stage, I've just never seen a wining competition where it looks so brutal. Akon practically wiped the floor with that girl. YES the girl was also culpable for going up on stage. I think this younger generation is coming up too out of control, and she's obviously a little force-ripe preacher's daughter wanting to be up in the "big people dance." She sullied her OWN honor. And I think she knows that. But the reason I'm "giving crap" to Akon as you say, is because of the brutality of his performance, the way she is literally flung about like a rag doll, and left on the floor at the end. Do you honestly think that's a good look? Can you defend that behavior? It's one thing to be sexy, and another thing to treat a woman like an object. Akon's performance comes at the end of a string of incidents where black women are given the short end of the stick in the media. Reggae, soca, and hip hop artists are all responsible, and I am of the opinion that there needs to be acknowledgement of that responsibility. Mani from The Manicou Report made a really valid point in my opinion -- Akon's record label is the Universal Music Group, which is owned by NBC. Mani continues, "Interestingly enough, the parent company of Universal Music is NBC Universal which in turn is the parent company of MSNBC who suspended radio show host Don Imus over his "nappy-headed hos" comment before he was fired from CBS radio. Do you see where I'm going with this? Ironically Universal Music has other artists like Eminem, 50 Cent, Dre and the late Tupac Shakur under its corporate belt. I'm wondering whether NBC Universal or even Universal Music will take any action over this. Surely it must be worse to treat a woman like a nappy-headed ho, than to call her one, right? Or maybe it is that women are nappy-headed hos at least some of the time." With women clamoring to get up on stage with him like NYC says, small wonder men think they can generalize about the rest of us. I don't agree with Mani's last statement there, but this performance to me says that there is a lot that we as a society need to examine, acknowledge, and change.
Karen says:
April 22, 2007, 2:24 pm
Thanks to the anonymity of the Internet for cultivating a new generation of disprespectful, antisocial American a-holes too stuck in their own head to make the effort to understand where someone else might be coming from.
Mani says:
April 22, 2007, 5:15 pm
Hey Bella, people keep misunderstanding my last statement. It's entirely sarcastic. I don't believe that women are nappy-headed hos, at all. Here's what I wrote in the comment section of my own blog: "...I was specifically addressing the double standard of NBC Universal who, through their companies, have fired Don Imus and are seemingly trying to protect Akon. So it's ok, if you are not with me on the statement. I'm not even with me. The statement "Or maybe it is that women are nappy-headed hos at least some of the time." is entirely sarcastic, and is me thinking out loud the reasoning behind NBC Universal's decisions. I was wondering if NBC Universal, by their decisions (and non-decisions as it were) have decided that remarks and actions are OK "depending". Sufficed to say, I don't think ever that women are nappy-headed hos." I'm actually giving people what must be NBC Universal's reasoning, and not my own.
che says:
April 22, 2007, 9:17 pm
why is this such a big deal. machel, bunji and the rest of them do this on a regular basis, not so? u cant give akon all the blame. a girl volunteered to come on stage in a club for persons above 18. how come the girl and her parents arent seen as the misguided ones as well??
Liz says:
April 22, 2007, 11:21 pm
First of all, what fourteen year old dresses like that? My parents wouldn't let me out of the house looking like that now and I'm 19. I just don't understand what this little girl was doing at a club. I'm not saying that Akon should not share the blame; of course he is responsible. It is never ok to treat a woman like that. It's disgusting and so disrespectful. However, that is what has come to be expected of reggae, soca and hip hop stars and like Bella says, things need to change. I still feel like Deena is partly responsible for her actions. She should have never been at that club in the first place. It is a well known fact that girls in foreign countries develop way faster than girls inness t judge her. Well those are my two cents. :)
Liz says:
April 22, 2007, 11:23 pm
Oops! That last line was supposed to be: than girls in the US so maybe I shouldn't judge her.
E-Fresh says:
April 23, 2007, 12:50 am
Some thoughts. I think a lot of the blame to be thrown around is independent. In my opinion... #1 Akon's actions are despicable. #2 Where are the girl's parents? Although I don't know the exact circumstances... in general, you should keep a tighter eye on your daughter. #3 The club should be accountable for letting a 14 year old to a show where something like this could happen. #4 While I am all for personal responsibility, the girl is only 14 years old!! I did so many utterly ridiculous things in my teenage years. It takes a while to "grow up"... a 14 year old is still a baby.
Dj says:
April 23, 2007, 1:33 am
Where do I begin? Ok Akon, I am very disappointed with this situation. Hip Hop is taking a serious beating right now after the whole Don Imus thing about the way we treat our women in our music and then he goes and does some sh*t like this. Secondly, Deena the Preacher's daughter is exactly that, THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER. Now I HATE to stereotype but must I say it again: she is the preacher's daughter. Children who are "bagged up" as we say in the VI tend to act out like this.I am a trini and I know how we could "wine" but geeze. It's some type of rebellion. This is especially true for girls who's fathers are preachers (my opinion). Now she is going to use her "dancing talent" to dance for the lord. amen. I am also disappointed in DJ Benny D. I know that fool! Perez Hilton's blog comments were ridiculous. I know racism still sticks his rotten head out in America but when I read those comments I seriously wanted to scream! I also was somewhat disappointed in some of the black responders who were fighting fire with fire. We are above that we don't need to go there with them. Now to Disco!! I love ABBA!! Dancing Queen....Yes I know they weren't really a disco group but they were so cool!!Friday night and the lights are low........
Dj says:
April 23, 2007, 1:37 am
Oh Bella I forget to mention that I was in your city from the 19-22 and I had a blast. I did the South beach thing 2 nights in a row. Wet Willy's, Mango's, Fat Tuesday and other places. I ate at some really good restaurants too! I wish I had emailed you to get some recommendations. Next time.
HottieHottie says:
April 23, 2007, 9:05 am
Afrobella I KNEW I could count on you to give a good posting on this. You might want to check out my column... That being said I just want to point out that several people have said that when they were 14 they wouldn't have worn clothes like that. There's a valid reason - when you were 14 clothes like that wasn't the norm. I have lots of teenage friends who complain that all the clothes that are on sale are sexy. And it's true. I recently went shopping for a pair of decent jeans for work and couldn't get any. We're becoem a society obsessed with looking "hot". If celebrities make millions and gain oublicity for flashing their vaginas all over the place, we must expect that on some level the message gets out that this is acceptable.
candy says:
April 23, 2007, 11:50 am
What's the big deal, huh? Maybe, I'm too old (20), too American, or too Christian, but I have never seen anything like that. But honestly I'm not surprised. I saw him do the same(similar) thing to Tara Reid. And he also has a song called "smack that" that sounds like a parody of a bad hip-hop song. Sorry Anon, I don't want my "that" smacked. I'm not even sure what my "that" is, but I don't want it smacked. Its amazing that someone can make a hit song out of vague pronoun reference. This is why I don't like going to clubs. :( Good post Bella! I'm going to try the organic makeup!
candy says:
April 23, 2007, 11:51 am
I meant *Akon.
JV says:
April 23, 2007, 1:10 pm
I'm sorry but if the preacher was so concerned with his daughter, why is a 14 yr old girl out in the club and for that matter wearing the kind of clothes that she does. This girl is not as innocent as she seems to be or as her father imagines her to be. Check her exclusive images out: http://www.mediatakeout.com/4937/exclusive_pics_of_the_14_yr_old_from_the_akon_grind_incident.html So much for being the pastor's daughter!!
afrobella says:
April 23, 2007, 1:41 pm
She definitely isn't an innocent little 14 year old, but my beef is with the way that Akon wiped the floor with her. Call me a prude or a fun-stealing feminist if you want to... but regardless of her age that performance went over the top. I agree with those of you who ask why she was there, why she was dressed like a skank, why does her preacher father come across as such a naif. But I totally knew girls like her at that age! The ones who could pull the wool over their parents' eyes, and use their beauty and sexuality to disguise their age and gain entry to adults-only parties. And if you ask most older folks to name a song by Akon, what would they tell you? I asked my dad, and the only song he knew was "Don't Matter." So perhaps the preacher should have done more research on this concert his daughter was attending. More likely, he didn't know what she was really plotting. And in the Trinidad Express, she admitted that she left home wearing a jacket, so I bet papa didn't know what she had on. I hate to sound like a grandma, but the kids today are NOT the kids that you or I might have been at 14. And placing the blame at the feet of a force ripe 14 year old who just wants to be grown and sexy by any means necessary is missing the point entirely.
Dad says:
April 23, 2007, 2:05 pm
If this young girl was 21 or 31, I would have been equally outraged.The fact that she is only 14, makes it worse. NO WOMAN SHOULD BE SUBJECTED TO THAT TYPE OF ABUSE. That was not simply dancing or wining. We all do thatand enjoy it. What was done to this impressionable child, in my humble view , was tantamount to physical (and yes) sexual abuse. The only thing missing was actual penetration on stage.The young man was physically abusive to a child and all women should be anoyed. Now to the other part of the equation. Young girls unfortunately look up to these talented thugs as if they are gods and leave themselves open to the type of behaviour we saw. They all need help and they must learn to respect themselves first. Episodes like these never leave you and she will be reminded about this for the rest of her life. Thanks Patrice for giving me an insight into your rebellous years. Indeed, parents never really know what some childen may be up to. For all we know, she left home properly dressed for a ''sleep-over''So while I may be inclined to lay some blame at the parents door, it is not always what it seems.They would have never known, had this not been given the wide coverage it has. I also have an issue with the club owners, who did not insist in an ID and indeed, the ''friends'' who went with her.Perhaps it was to late for some sort of intervention, but the way she was being tossed around and abused, perhaps the music should have been stopped. Just imagine your 14 year old daughter,sister or close friend being abused like that, how will you feel. Did she look for it because she was dressed in a revealing outfit? I do not think so.Hopefully there will be lessons learned for all of this.
Geija says:
April 23, 2007, 2:16 pm
Afrobella, I see where you're coming from, but I just feel that you're not placing enough blame on this girl and her family. You can't say on one hand that today's 14 year-olds are different, then say it isn't fair to totally blame this girl. I'm still in my twenties so I'm not that far removed from the teenage years myself. I had a few wild experiences, but when my parents found out they disciplined me and didn't point the finger elsewhere. At 14,15, and 16 I obviously knew right from wrong if I had to lie to my parents in the first place. It seems as if our generation and the ones coming after us live by the "NOT ME" code of ethics. Blame someone or something else, but "NOT ME". Sure today's kids are different, that's definitely you need to keep your eyes on them.
Teri says:
April 23, 2007, 7:31 pm
Ok, I finally got to watch the video and Afrobella, I agree with every single word you say! Even though the girl should not have been there and acting the way she did, she is still a little girl!! Who would want a grown man grinding on their little sister/ cousin/ daughter like that? And she was literally dragged across the floor and the stage like a ragdoll! That's a little overboard don't you think? It's so sad that our society has reached this point where a 14 year old being sexually explicit AND a grown man taking advantage of it is A-ok!
Eni's Girl says:
April 23, 2007, 10:19 pm
For all of us who are past (or well past) fourteen, think about who you were at that time. Did you always make the best decisions for yourself? Did you ever make a decision that you regretted? I mean really regretted and luckily it didn't end up on YouTube. And you told your parents everything that you did? Everything? I just can't hold a fourteen child to an adult standard, regardless of how adult she looks. Like most teenage girls, she just discovering who she is (physically, mentally, etc.). Sometimes, bad decisions are made during this process and I think she realizes that now. She will recover from this incident and hopefully be a better person because of it. But even it she had been twenty-four, that video is just disturbing. She was flung around like a piece of trash -- like she wasn't even human. Even if she was totally nude, I couldn't find a good justification for Akon's behavior. Not so much as a "thank you" at the end of it -- unless it's on a part of the video that we didn't see. He didn't help her up off the floor. He just walked away from her like she was the dirt on the bottom of his shoe. I think this man should be held accountable for treating a woman in that manner. I really lost respect for him.
Hali says:
April 24, 2007, 2:30 am
After reading several comments on the perezhilton and dlisted websites I have decided to become more selective about the blogs I visit. I think the racist comments are caused by the combination of anonymity that web surfing provides and are also fueled by a constant pandering to negative stereotypes that are all too often embodied in the mainstream media. I've noticed that when celebrity bloggers try to feature black entertainers it is often in a negative or hyper-critical light which makes visitors feel more comfortable leaving degrading racist remarks. In the case of the Jennifer Hudson post I think it was almost too blatantly racist to be ignored. The best way to resolve this issue is for us to stop providing these columnists with the web traffic they need to keep going..hit 'em where it hurts.
Mad Bull says:
April 28, 2007, 11:03 pm
Nice that you gave links to sites with differing opinions. Big up for that.
designdiva says:
April 29, 2007, 10:18 pm
I must be getting old because I thought the whole performance was too explicit for words. I found it disturbing and it made me feel like some kind of pervert watching it. But from what I've seen of her pictures on mediatakeout and the video, she looks like she enjoys looking provacative and "sexy". She's a very pretty girl, but it's so sad that she seems to be more focused on attracting men than gaining knowledge.
designdiva says:
April 29, 2007, 10:23 pm
I forgot to mention what else bothered me about the video: afterwards he got up, walked off like she wasn't ISH! And didn't even look back. We women have got to stop letting men look at us and treat us as sexual objects and "just something to do".
mike says:
September 19, 2007, 9:25 am
The little girl lied to her parents and went to a club. She shouldn't have gotten into the club because she is not 18. She shouldn't have gotten into the vip section where the dance contest was held because you have to be 21. Now think to yourself, your in the club having a good time dancing are you really thinking hhmm I wonder if this is just a little girl who smooth talked her way into the club. NO!! especially when she's dancing like that. She looks like she knows what she's doing. Akon is not to blame, if you want to blame someone blame her, her parents, maybe the bouncer at the club, the security of the vip section maybe? Point is she shouldnt have been there, she knew that, Akon didn't
Wendi says:
June 6, 2008, 5:16 pm
I think this is crap that you Dis Akon for this, She is the lil tramp that went into the night club that night and she is the one that went up on the stage herself!!! looks like she knew what she was doing! why is it that he's flat on his back why she is moving from one position to another? She is all at fault she never should have went to that club in the first place watch the clips and see how she gets up there and starts rubbing herself against him. the night club should be doing there job she had no business being there!!!!
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