What classifies someone as a “culture vulture”? 🤔 Instantly, I think of people like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner and Iggy can get put on the list too. Over the years, I’ve had this discussion quite a few times and the responses have been pretty standard across the board, “A culture vulture is any white person who does “black” things”. NOT TRUE. Tiger Woods isn’t a culture vulture for playing golf. Darius Rucker isn’t a culture vulture because he is a black country singer. However, if we use the previously mentioned as examples, we would see that African-American culture has definitely influenced the brands of those people.
Miley Cyrus did a rendition of “Bodak Yellow” earlier this week and it was ehhh…kinda shitty. Although she was just participating in a game.💁🏾She hasn’t been on the radar much lately but that was a vivid reminder of how much she uses our culture to gain relevance. Miley Cyrus is and will always be Hannah Montana. Period. She has stated in several interviews that she was made into the wholesome, blonde hair, blue eyed little girl to appease Disney and their family-oriented audience and that was never who she felt she was inside. That isn’t hard to believe because everyone knows that Disney has a reputation of manipulating the images of child stars to better suite their consumers, business moves of course. BUT what is hard to believe, is that the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, one of the biggest country singers of all time, raised his daughter around hip-hop influences. So where did this gold teeth, Jordan sneaker wearing, twerking half naked Miley come from? Will I admit her singles with Mike Will were lit, hell yeah! The fact still remains that she took what we claim and ran with it because it was the “trend” at that time. Hip hop music has completely saturated the entertainment industry as a whole. So when people want to stay on top of their game, they conform to whats popping and everyone wants to be a hip hop star nowadays. Katy Perry looked like a damn fool performing “Bon Appetit” on Saturday Night Live with the Migos earlier this year!🙄 Katy Perry tried so hard to be “hood” even when she collaborated with Juicy J on “Dark Horse”. The dancing, the hand gestures, the faces she made, it was all bad…and a little insulting that she thinks THAT’S what we look like performing rap songs. Then we move on to Kylie Jenner and Iggy Azalea, which are both pretty self explanatory. The phat asses, the big lips, Iggy’s rap voice versus her speaking voice, it all seems to me like a cry for help because they so desperately want to be black women for whatever reasoning. The only credit I can give Iggy is that she really did grow up in a struggle, the same struggle a lot of inner city blacks kids can relate to. But Kylie has been rich her whole existence and I’m sure to this day she has never stepped foot inside of a project or even a damn corner store to be able to even slightly relate to the people she is emulating. “You wanna be like us but don’t want to struggle like us”. She is definitely a culture vulture by all definition of the term. Check out this vid of her face tranformation below. She doesnt even look white anymore!😂
But what about Macklemore? Eminem? Justin Timberlake? Robin Thicke? When I’ve had this conversation in the past, these men were never mentioned. But upon reading up on this topic, I have seen some people label Mack and Em as culture vultures and honestly, that kind of baffles me. In my opinion, Macklemore has never portrayed himself to be “black”. He doesn’t “act black”, his music isn’t even really hip hop. He just so happens to be a white rapper, that’s it. So this goes back to the statement I previously mentioned, “”A culture vulture is any white person who does “black” things”. Just because Macklemore is a rapper, does not make him a culture vulture. Eminem! Another white rapper, that began his career as a gimmick but has gained much respect from even the greatest of rap artist, grew up in the white equivalent of the projects, in a household where he witnessed the same struggle as many black kids do today. He, to me, is not a culture vulture. That man has spoken his truth since “My Name Is…(Slim Shady)”. And speaking the truth is everything rap music has been about since the beginning of its time.💯 Justin Timberlake had soul in him since N’Sync. Black girls didn’t just love him for the curly hair! N’Sync as a group was indeed classified as a pop group but if you were a fan and listened to their early albums into their last, their classics were always of R&B rooting. Check out the credits of producers on “No Strings Attached” and “Celebrity”. And when Justin went solo, from that point on, he was no longer considered a pop artist. Has he “acted black” in any way that we can recall? Naw. Same for Robin Thicke. Even though he was married to a black woman and his daddy had some soul in him too back in the day (RIP), Robin was bound to be the R&B artist that he is today. He is our modern day Jon B., and I’m pretty positive, we were feeling the hell out of Jon B. in the 90’s. Nonetheless, I have never heard them referred to as culture vultures either.
Black people started hip hop music. Rap stemmed from black issues, black struggles, black views. Black people are who brought this art formto the forefront and provided it to the masses. That’s no debate. That’s facts. What is also facts, is that our lifestyle has become a trend and is being mocked everyday by people who have no interest in what its like to be black but want all of the benefits that it SOMETIMES comes with.💰
So I want to know how you guys feel about culture vultures. Who do you think fits into this category? What do you define as a culture vulture?
Let’s talk! Comment below and also check out the conversation on my Facebook page Carmen Roxanna “Unwritten TV”