Skylett White Brings Liberia to the East Coast

Hailing from the West African country of Liberia, hard hitting MC Skylett White utilizes a unique spin on her native tongue while sharing diasporic inspirations, namely from Black America. In her music video ‘Literaly Music’ (2018), White raps a significant portion of her bars completely in Liberian Kreyol, the creole dialect unique to the Liberian nation. The video features a braggadocios White surrounded by her crew of goodmen somewhere along the East Coast. As a young Jamaican-American, I funnily enough find it easier to understand her ‘Pidgin’ English dialect due to my background listening to Patois and interacting with the dialect with no other accent for long periods of time. Although I can understand my family homeland’s creole language, I still find myself unable to speak it myself. Skylett, while performing most of the song in her Kreyol, seems to also mimic the stereotypical Black American accent, one often portrayed in the over commercialized medium of the radio that is often broadcast or streamed to these African nations. The aggressive video is meant to adopt the energy commonly seen in Black American hip hop music videos. This adoption of the ‘ebonics’ accent can most likely be attributed to the location of the music video, which appears to be shot somewhere along the east coast of the United States. The wardrobe, location, language, and even production of the music video indicate the retention of the Liberian artist’s own culture through the use of Kreyol while also mimicking and adopting Black American culture, specifically hip hop. This adoption, while some may deem crude due to what may appear as simple cultural appropriation, must not be conflated with that practice of grossly misrepresenting another person’s culture. This video in fact displays an appreciation for other members of the African Diaspora, learning and incorporating differing but familiar cultures into their own to create more creative bars.

One comment

  1. I Run a Label in the USA and am Looking for Artists to Promote. Look Me Up on Facebook Darric Griner/ Take Flight Records 918, I Currently Work with Artists in Uganda South Africa & Nigeria

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