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Madonna Wears Moroccan Attire During Cringe-Worthy Aretha Franklin Tribute at VMAs—Gets Dragged

"Madonna REALLY went out there in her best cultural appropriation outfit to talk about Queen Aretha Franklin?"

UPDATE 08/21/18: Madonna has released a statement explaining her highly-scrutinized speech at the VMAs. Read it below. " I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show,"she wrote on Instagram. "I could never do her justice in this context or environment."

Read her full statement below.


Continue for the full story:

The MTV Video Music Awards went down last night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

As usual, it was a night of fashion, performances, celebrity appearances, overall bizarre happenings, and of course, candid social media reactions to all of those things.

One moment that had folks typing away, was pop megastar Madonna's "tribute" to the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Except it wasn't really a tribute to the Queen of Soul.

During her speech, she told a long-winded story about how the late soul icon had basically made her career what it is today, while wearing traditional Moroccan clothing, including a flowing black caftan and a heap of Berber jewelry, which she most likely picked up during her 60th birthday celebration in Morocco last week. She took to Instagram to document the festivities, even referring to herself as a "Berber Queen," despite not actually being a Berber Queen at all.


Her superficial consumption of Moroccan culture, wasn't the only cringe-worthy or even self-centered thing about her appearance either. For many, it seemed like Madonna made a tribute that was supposed to be about Aretha Franklin, all about herself, only really mentioning Franklin towards the very end of the speech.

"So you're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story," Madonna said. "There's a connection, because none of this would've happened—could've happened—without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight, and I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen."

Ironically enough, to many, Madonna's display showed a complete lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Twitter was not having it and gave Madonna a proper "dragging" for her antics.

Read below to see some of what folks had to say about it.











(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The 10 Best HHP Songs Ranked

On the second anniversary of HHP's passing, we rank 10 of the South African hip-hop legend's best songs.

Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

How You Can Help Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

We round up some ways you can support the movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

Widespread protests against Nigeria's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are becoming more of a revolution. The movement is an outcry from youths demanding a general reform of the country, majorly characterized by poor governance, with a focus on the harassment and assaults committed by SARS. The movement has been raging through the city of Lagos for the past three weeks, as protesters home and abroad have taken to the streets in masses to express their keen dissatisfaction.

Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria have brandished across all social media platforms to amplify the voices of the youth people fighting back. These hashtags have, in turn, gained traction with the help of celebrities like singers Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others. Nigerian stars, Falz, Runtown, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and many more also joined in the movement, as many of them took to the streets with placards.

To date, the peacefully protesting Nigerians' needs have not been met. With said needs not being satisfied as they demand justice for lives lost due to the brutal and corrupt practices of police officers.

We have rounded up some ways you can support this movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

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The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Simmy, Made Kuti, Shane Eagle, Emel Mathlouthi, Amaarae and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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South Africa Makes Strides and Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently passed the Civil Union Amendment Bill which seeks to protect the rights of same-sex marriage.