Kiwi rapper savaged by critics

Scene from the music video "Weave Snatch". Photo / YouTube
Scene from the music video "Weave Snatch". Photo / YouTube

A Kiwi rapper in Australia has been accused of being racist and making "audio blackface" in a savage take-down of her music that many have complained as going too far.

Hucci Luv's video Snatch was torn apart by viral news site Vice Media. Their review, headlined "Has New Zealand spawned a rapper from a deeper circle of hell than Iggy Azalea?", paints a rather unflattering portrait of Hucci.

The video uses a bunch of tropes and dances typically associated with black American culture.

Noisey accuses Hucci Luv of cultural appropriation and racism in the piece, saying: "Make no mistake, the Weave Snatch is audio-blackface."

Watch here. Warning: explicit language.

"Hucci Luv, as an artist, is offensive," the review writes.

"[The video is] ultimately a Nokia 7650 photo of a photocopy of blackness. It's irredeemably, obviously phony. And it's crazy nobody involved could tell."

The unnamed author of the review argues the muscle car, motorbike and booty shots are out of place in Melbourne.

Noisey assumes the artist and producers had a lack of self-awareness in putting the video together.

"The videographer, Chloe Hastings, might've guessed there was something strange about parking a muscle car in Collingwood and having a white woman twerk on the hood."

Hucci Luv told the Herald most people criticising the video were men.

"I find the fact I have angered this many men interesting. A vast majority of the hate I am receiving on YouTube are from male accounts."

"As a female I am more open to negative responses. Hiphop is a hugely male dominated music genre and very misogynistic so being a female rapper was intimidating to begin with, aside from the fact I am white."

In a Facebook post on the article many commenters accused the author of misogyny and felt the review was too vitriolic.

One woman wrote: "Indeed all, if not most white rappers could be accused of cultural appropriation. The problem with this article is that it appears the clearly male author seems to only take issue with white females doing so. Not one white male rapper was mentioned."

People familiar with Hucci also weighed in: "As someone that actually booked Hucci Luv, I'm going to go on the record to say that she's one of the most engaging performers with AMAZING stage presence that I've ever seen."

Another pointed out the author went unnamed in the savage review, "there's a serious angry scorned undertone to this article. Someone with a personal grudge.. Unnamed author? RIP"

Hucci Luv also suspected it may have been written by someone she knows. She said she is used to confrontation, "and no online s**t scares me," but was annoyed about the accusation of racism: "The audio blackface is ridiculous."

"I think people need to thoroughly research cultural appropriation before slamming me this hard for it. You can say Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Justin beiber culturally appropriate however all artists pick up inspiration from each other. Any white rapper is going to be paid out for cultural appropriation."

Hucci Luv, AKA Sophie Jardin, is originally from Waitara, Taranaki where she "grew up on hiphop."

"It's what everybody listened to I was never really exposed to any alternative genre."

Jardin says Snatch reflects the frustrations of being held down by male aggression and misogyny. As a female rapper, she says, "you have to own your sexuality and not be ashamed of being sexuality confident because a lot of men in hiphop will only look at you as either a slut or a hot chick. There is so much more pressure on a female."

Most importantly; Jardin says Noisey missed the mark on the review by taking the video seriously.

"I was 100% aware the video clip was outrageous, hell I stood in a thong in front of a crowded shell station strutting in stripper heels just for fun."

- NZ Herald

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