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Jesy Nelson released solo debut, “Boyz” featuring Nicki Minaj, which samples Diddy’s “Bad Boy for Life.”
The video quickly got criticized for Jesy’s tanned skin, seemingly degrading lyrics, and cultural appropriation.
An alleged screenshot of a conversation between Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy surfaced online showing Leigh-Anne calling Nelson a “horrible person,” and accusing her of Blackfishing, according to The Mirror.
Nicki came to Jesy’s defense during an Instagram livestream titled “Baddie & the Barbie,” where they promoted their latest musical effort. Nelson addressed the claims stating, “My intention was never ever to offend people of color with this video and this song.”
She continued, “I just wanted to celebrate that, that era of music because it’s what I love,” she explained in a interview. “Genuinely it actually does really hurt me that I may have offended people and hurt people’s feelings just by celebrating something I love.”
Jesy added, “Growing up as a young girl this is the music that I listened to, these are the videos that I watched and thought were the best,” Nelson added, noting that she wanted to pay homage to Diddy.
Nelson later said that her appearance in the video showed her naturally curly hair and a vacation tan. But Minaj disagreed with the backlash and had some words for Pinnock and the rest of the group about the alleged DMs.
“Sweetheart, take them text messages and shove it up your f–ing a–,” she said. “Don’t try to come out and ruin anyone. Let her enjoy this time. If you was in this woman’s group and you ain’t taking about this sh– for 10 years, and as soon as you see she got a video come out with Nicki Minaj and Puffy, now you sending the stations text messages and all this sh-t.”
Fans quickly called out the Queen rapper on Twitter for supporting Jesy Nelson amid the blackfishing controversy, after earlier criticizing Miley Cyrus for cultural appropriation.
One fan questioned, “How come the black fishing label doesn’t go to the men? If we’re going by the actual meaning of black fishing then what about these non black men with hairstyles and clothing traditionally worn by black men. Fades, braids, blowouts, fitted caps, durags, timbz, like.”
Nicki responded, “It’ll only apply if they do a solo song with me. Right after I worked with doja she was racist, remember? Now it’s all good? They said Bia was black phishing once our song came out, too. Bwaahahaaaha. but all these other artists acting like black caricatures get praised.”
It’ll only apply if they do a solo song with me 😩 right after I worked with doja she was racist, remember? Now it’s all good? They said Bia was black phishing once our song came out, too. Bwaahahaaaha. but all these other artists acting like black caricatures get praised. ☺️ https://t.co/3kNxXtrOeB
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) October 12, 2021
But this isn’t the first time Jesy Nelson has been called out for blackfishing. In 2018 the songstress was criticized by fans for seemingly altering her appearance to come across as Black or racially ambiguous.
Watch “Boyz” below and let us know if you think Jesy Nelson was catfishing: