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honey g

The Honey G backlash is in full swing - here's what you need to know

Honey to the G, that’s you for me…

WHETHER YOU ACTUALLY watch The X Factor or just catch snippets of it on Gogglebox, you’ve probably heard of Honey G by now.

The self-proclaimed rapper has emerged as a sort of Marmite figure on this season of the talent show with many enjoying her schtick and others finding it tiresome and even offensive.

Last night, Honey G progressed to next week’s show while her fellow contestant Relley C was eliminated. This provoked outrage from viewers at home.

And now it seems a backlash is in full swing. Let’s examine it, shall we?

Firstly, who even is Honey G?

Honey G is Anna Gilford, a 35-year-old who works in recruitment.

gil LinkedIn LinkedIn

According to The Telegraph, Gifford is the daughter of a classical musician and dentist, and attended two fee-paying schools. This has prompted many viewers to believe that she’s not quite as ‘street’ as she makes herself out to be.

For her part, Gifford maintains that she’s always had an interest in hip-hop and describes herself on her website as an “urban music producer”. She has run club nights, worked as a DJ and even shared eight original songs on her website.

Don’t believe her street credentials? This is taken straight from her bio:

She also memorised the raps from most of Snoop Dog’s songs off the ‘Doggy Style’ album when she was young.

So now. Totally legit.

So what’s she doing on X Factor?

dressed The X Factor The X Factor

So far she’s been performing karaoke versions of hip-hop classics like Tupac’s California Love, Notorious BIG’s Mo Money Mo Problems and, er, Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby.

The X Factor UK / YouTube

And it seems like the judges are into her.

Much to the frustration of people at home.

Tell us about the backlash.

Honey G’s act isn’t sitting well with lots of people at home, many of whom believe that she is guilty of appropriating and mocking black culture.

In fact, columnist Lola Okolosie likened her act to “modern-day blackface”.

Here were all the hallmarks of the originals from over 150 years ago; the appropriation of black cultural production; the demeaning obsession with black (in this case male) bodies exemplified by thrusting hips and grabbed crotches; and, last but by no means least, the raucous laughter.

In response to claims that her love of hip-hop was less than sincere, Honey G compared herself to Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams.

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.
That’s not it, hun.
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.

OK, hun.

And in a twist, Daily Star quoted 50 Cent as saying that her act is not racist and to describe it as such is an insult to “real victims of racism”.

People be crazy saying Honey G’s act is racist. For anybody who thinks a white person performing music of black origin is racist, you know they don’t know what racism really is.
She is entertaining, and I guarantee there is not going to be a hip-hop artist in the world who is going to be offended by her. I would like to see her go far, at least she is bringing some happiness into the world. My message to her is haters always gonna hate, rise above it.

(For what it’s worth, we’re not entirely convinced 50 Cent actually said this.)

Meanwhile, others have defended her saying that she’s ultimately harmless.

Oh, to be as blissfully ignorant as Chrissy Teigen…

hoenyg Chrissy Teigen / Twitter Chrissy Teigen / Twitter / Twitter

All of this begs the question… is Honey G trolling us or is she for real?

Either way, the backlash has begun…

116301 Radio Times Radio Times

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