More on “cultural appropriation” and Caribbean artists

Repeating Islands


A report by Christina Santi for Ebony. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Sting, former bassist for the new wave rock band the Police has teamed up with dancehall reggae artist Shaggy. The two are working on an unlikely collaborative album 44/876 that is heavily entrenched in the sounds of reggae music. While promoting the effort on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne asked the English musician if he “ever felt guilty” for making reggae-influenced early on in his career. In the 1980s when Black artists weren’t allowed on MTV, Sting likely benefitted from the mainstream access given to him performing Black music.

From there Sting spoke about his upbringing in England which is densely populated with West Indian culture and seeking out an “authentic” Jamaican musician like Shaggy. With all the debates about Bruno Mars culturally appropriating Black R&B music, he also revealed that…

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