An influential blogger has accused Lorde, the New Zealand-born pop star, of racism over lyrics in her chart topping song “Royals.”
In the offending lyrics, Lorde, stage name of 16-year-old Ella Yelich-O’Connor, the youngest person to top U.S. charts in a quarter century, rails against how “every song” these days is about gold teeth and luxury cars. Veronica Bayetti Flores wrote a searing post last week on feministing.com, calling the song “deeply racist.”
“Because we all know who she’s thinking when we’re talking gold teeth, Cristal and Maybachs. So why sh** on black folks? Why sh** on rappers? Why aren’t we critiquing wealth by taking hits at golf or polo or Central Park East?”
Lorde’s fans fired back that Bayetti Flores was the one displaying arrogance and ignorance by interpreting the song—sung by a New Zealander—through the lens of American race relations. “I realize not everything in this world is an instrument of oppression,” wrote one New Zealand journalist. “And not everything in this world should be viewed through the lens of Americans, particularly when it comes to race and cultures of other countries.”
Bayette Flores stood by her post amid the barrage of criticism. A spokesman for her record label told CNN Lorde had no comment on the controversy.