Sean Paul is under the microscope by his overseas fans who falsely believe that the artist is ‘blackfishing’ and has used blackface his entire dancehall career.
For those that are unaware, the term ‘blackfishing’ has been popping up a lot lately as many pop stars are accused of the egregious act. The act is basically done by people who are non-black, primarily white Eurpeans, who make taken on characteristics of black people to make themselves more appealing to black audiences, thereby increasing their chances of success, whether it’s for career advancement, profit or even to become endeared by the black community.
Former Little Mix star Jesy Nelson was recently accused of darkening her skin intentionally to appear black. Kim Kardashian, her sisters, Rita Ora, and Iggy Azalea have all been accused of blackfishing.
Among the ways, blackfishing is described is using fake tans to be darker or using darker makeup to fake African heritage. Even hairstyles and surgery to get a bigger butt are all classified as blackfishing.
On Tuesday, a woman on Tik Tok claimed she was mad that Sean paulwas able to establish and profit from his career entirely due to him blackfishing.
“I woke up with a questions for Jamaicans. So I was listening to early 2000s songs and obviously Sean Paul came up and I was just wondering, are you guys mad? Because he is a white man like he self-describes as being white Jamaican and he literally made his career off of stealing Afro-Jamaican culture and using literal black face,” she says while laughing.
“I just want to know are you guys mad? Cause I am as a Haitian, like he made so much money in black face for years and it went unquestioned.”
Sean Paul, who is active on social media, has not responded to the question from the woman, but thousands of Jamaicans have jumped to the defense of the “Gimme the light” artist who is among the few dancehall artists who have continually enjoyed Billboard success.
One fan pointed out that Jamaica is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society but the main identity marker for the island’s population is “Jamaican.”
“Firstly Sean Paul is not white. Secondly we have white and other races that are Jamaican. Our motto is ‘Out of Many, One People’. Please do your research before you post these things. FYI, we love SP,” one fan said.
“He was literally born and raised HERE IN JAMAICA. Americans feel like Jamaicans are only black people with black skin in order to call yourself Jamaican when Jamaica is multiracial country. Even a Chinese person THAT WAS BORN in JA is Jamaican.”
Meanwhile, others criticized the woman who appeared to be American with Haitian heritage.
“Sis is light skin black woman asking us if we mad about a light skin black man? Make it make sense.”
Sean Paul, Spice & Shaggy
Meanwhile, another person pointed out that the question from the woman could be a valid one, especially since Sean Paul is the face of reggae and dancehall in America as he is one of the few artists who have made it to the mainstream. Aside from Shaggy, Sean Paul, Vybz Kartel, and of late Shenseea and Popcaan, Jamaican artists remain relatively unknown to mainstream music lovers, which could be the reason for making that statement, although invalid as it is.
What race is Sean Paul?
However, Sean Paul’s heritage is mixed race. A biography of the artist claims that his father is of Portuguese Jewish descent, and his paternal side of the family (his father) immigrated to Jamaica during the 17th century from Portugal. His paternal grandmother is African, while his mother is English and Chinese Jamaican.
The artist was born in Kingston there has been a bizarre conspiracy theory that Sean Paul was actually not born in Jamaica. We can now put that conspiracy to bed hopefully for good.
Is Sean Paul Jamaican?
In a thread online, one person asked how Jamaicans felt about Sean Paul pretending to be Jamaican.
“What do you think of Sean Paul having a Jamaican accent and pretending like he’s from there even though he’s really from Iowa?” one person posted in a Quora forum which saw 678.1K views!
Of course, none of that could be further from the truth since Sean Paul’s parents are quite well-known on the island while growing up and being a regular schoolboy playing water polo sports for Jamaica.
From the time Sean Paul became popular with his song “Baby Girl” to his “Deport Them” featuring as a soundtrack in 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003, to his latest hits, Sean Paul has been the same person Jamaican on stage representing Jamaica everywhere he goes.
He’s previously spoken about his favorite collab and artist being Rihanna for the love and respect she has shown to his home as Jamaica is still considered a mecca of black empowerment and a powerhouse when it comes to athletics and academic achievements.