Chew On This!: Estelle Causes Controversy with FREAK video

British songstress Estelle has returned after the success of her American debut, her last album, Shine. Estelle is gearing up to release her newest effort, All of Me, with this song Freak, being the lead single. Estelle appears to be taking a page out of Lady Gaga’s dance-hop style of music, but to be fair, Estelle probably has a closer ear to the ground of dance music being from the UK.  The song is pretty hype and is a good look for Estelle who could use some love up in the clubs. Toronto Native and friend of Estelle’s, Kardinal Offishall also raps on the track.

The biggest story I noticed with this video is the portrayal of Estelle in black face and bright pink lips, which created an uproar on the Blogs, many citing the racial insensitivity due to the previous portrayal of black people in the American media as black faced, pink-lipped, nappy-haired fools many decades ago.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

There was a video floating around showing the making of the video where Estelle had the black face paint on with bright red lipstick, but that video is missing and her lipstick is now pink….

Here is the post that sparked the comments as well as some memorable comments:

Lex CEO
February 25, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I do like Estelle but the black face is offensive. Period. It’s kind of hard for me to relate the song to sex when I know our history. Kids, don’t get taken for granted. Know when you are being insulted to your face. Talk to your local radio station and television station executives and tell them you’ve decided to stand for something. Putting an end to racism starts with you. Lets get our respect back.

Stella
February 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm

GET THAT BLACK FACE BIG RED LIP SHIT OUTTA HERE!

THIS BITCH IS BEING PLAYED AND DON’T EVEN KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

THAT SHIT IS OFFENSIVE IN AMERICA, MAYBE IT’S OKAY WHERE SHE COMES FROM, BUT THE LITTLE BUCKWHEAT HAIRSTYLE, BLACK FACE, BIG RED WATERMELON LIPS AND THE PITIFUL EYES BEGGING TO BE A FREAK EVERY DAY OF EVERY WEEK…

REALLY.

I AM HIGHLY OFFENDED – I NEVER TYPE IN ALL CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

idreamoflabels
February 26, 2010 at 8:48 am

I agree…I’m not feeling the blackface either. I appreciate the artistic elements of the video overall, but I really could have done without the blackface. Just seems self-degrading IMO. I would be interested to know if she came up with this concept herself or if it was that director’s idea. Otherwise, she is very talented. Oh and yes, it’s very Baltimore club music. snaps!

What do you guys think of Estelle’s video and of the controversy?

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I LOOOOOOOVE THIS SONG! I can just see the guys in the gay club FREAKIN this song. Maybe I’m a bit ignorant but I honestly don’t think it’s that serious. It’s a dark video with very artistic concepts and the costumes and make-up was done accordingly. She seems like she’s a smart cookie and would know better than to outright offend anyone- which is probably one of the reasons why she changed it to the hot pink lipstick. I would like to think that she wouldn’t want the focus to be on a controversial video, but on her music instead, but hey…you never know.

    • Hmmm I think maybe it could have something they thought would be creative and interesting, and when they tested it on the blogs, they realized it was offensive and changed things.
      And yes, this song is for the Gays lol


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