This weekend, Justin Bieber stirred up conversation after he was photo’d rocking some cornrows as a new temporary hairstyle. While the singer was simply on vacation and just trying out a new hairdo, some argued that he may be misappropriating black culture, similar to the way that Kylie Jenner was called out a year ago when she rocked the same style. Despite the fact that the Biebz embraces hip hop culture often, and artists have been embracing him, hip hop fans still find ways to shame him for it, despite his love for the culture.
Read more on why white people should stop apologizing for embracing hip hop on the following pages.
Justin Bieber and his Eazy-E shirt
Justin was also seen rocking an Eazy-E shirt this past weekend while on vacation, which also stirred up conversation amongst the hip hop community. While many made the argument that Justin was not alive when the late rapper had tragically passed away, it doesn’t take away from the singer appreciating his legacy and music. Many in hip hop have taken issue with white people trying to benefit off of embracing black culture, without being part of a lot of the big struggles that they go through. Embracing hip hop culture, however, doesn’t necessarily have to tie into that. When we think about white people’s relationship with hip hop, it can extend all the way back to the earliest years, when men like Rick Rubin were actually a huge part in what was being distributed into hip hop culture. Rubin does not have ties to the Civil Rights movement, but he is able to embrace, and be embraced, by hip hop culture as normally as any minority involved. If Justin has no ties to the Civil Rights movement or social injustices, does that still make him responsible for speaking out on it any time he wants to appreciate hip hop culture?
The initial shaming of Eminem
Many may feel as though Eminem is a different case of a white person in hip hop because of how talented he is, but some may not remember that Eminem’s beginning days were filled with some of the most scrutiny in the game. Slim Shady faced a lot of backlash, with names being thrown at him such as “white trash,” just for being from a trailer park in Detroit. Eminem didn’t grow up in hip hop culture; he was able to discover it and embrace it at a later age while exploring his own surroundings in Detroit. So, like many white people in hip hop, he fell in love with the culture, rather than growing up into it. Should he have to apologize for all of the Grammy’s, awards, and classic records that he’s made?