News Brief

No, Wale Was Not 'Making It Rain' On His Daughter, He Was 'Spraying' Her

Nigerian-American rapper, Wale, responds, after coming under fire for a video he posted of his daughter being "sprayed" at her birthday party.

Nigerian-American rapper, Wale, came under some fire last week, after he posted a video of his daughter being "sprayed" with cash during her first birthday party.


"My fine girl at her Bday Party the 🇳🇬 way," wrote the rapper in an Instagram post. The video shows Wale's daughter, Zyla Moon Oluwakemi, in a heap of dollar bills.

While it was obvious to many of us, that the rapper was simply engaging in nearly every Nigerian's favorite party festivity—a seemingly age-old tradition, often done at celebrations as a means of spreading blessings and good fortune onto loved ones in the form of money—some were expressly put off by the sight of the toddler being showered in banknotes, pointing out that it appeared that he was "making it rain" on his daughter. Many folks proceeded to misapprehend Wale in the comments section.

According to The Grio, one user commented “It’s like they’re getting her ready for her future career, just need the stripper pole.” And another wrote “What do you think about the negative message that the girls will learn at an early age..shit, one little girl already knew what to do with the money, making it rain and picking it up."

It was a case of severe cultural misunderstanding—which some might simply refer to as plain old ignorance. Yet, rather than sounding off in response to his critics, the rapper used the incident as a teaching moment.

Today, the rapper spoke with TMZ about the incident.

‘I’m not tripping. I’m used to it," he said. "That's just a little bit of that ignorance you get in this country sometimes, for other cultures. I'm used to it," he continued.

"You've just got to respect other people's traditions on all levels before you speak on it. I'm proud of where I come from. That's just what we do, that's all I knew from when I was growing up."

In fact, the rapper has been rapping about "spraying" in his songs for some time now, remember this jam?

This whole ordeal goes to show that while it's easy to criticize things that are unfamiliar to us, it's even easier to do just do the research. Also, don't "knock it until you try it," because getting sprayed by a generous uncle or aunty while you're killing it on the dance floor, is pretty much the best feeling ever.

Watch Wale's response below.

 

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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