R&B and soul musician India.Arie wasn’t a fan of Megan Thee Stallion and Janelle Monáe’s performances at the latest Essence Festival. Earlier this week, the “Video” singer-songwriter responded to clips of both performers on Essence’s Instagram page, arguing that Meg and Monáe lacked “discretion” due to their risqué performances. In Meg’s case, the Hot Girl invited 20 attendees for an on-stage twerk session, while Monáe bared her breast (albeit her nipple covered with a pasty).
“The issue is what is CONTEXT. Humanity does EVERYTHING. But does EVERYTHING BELONG IN A STAGE,” India.Arie Simpson commented. “No, is everything for KIDS? No, is everything for EVERY BODY? so when we as a culture make something like this main stream ~ it shows a lack of discretion [and] discernment.”
“Just as many folks have the right to want our MAINSTREAM International export – out Music – to show us in a respectful light,” she continued. “Id like to go on the record saying : this wont age well and thats my issue. i LOVE Janelle AND Meg the way i love us all — AND i dont like this moment. Dont bother debating me lol idc and I DO this. for 25 yrs i’ve done THIS. so. read ponder or don’t.” Other fans took both sides of the argument in the comments section.
Some social media users reacted to Simpson’s perceived judgment on Twitter.
Apart from her slight towards Meg and Monáe, Simpson announced her return to Spotify in March after previously pulling her music from the streaming service. The 47-year-old says that her departure in 2022 was “in protest” after podcast host Joe Rogan frequently used the n-word on The Joe Rogan Experience.
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