Gwen Stefani accused of cultural appropriation in new Sean Paul video

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Gwen Stefani accused of cultural appropriation in new Sean Paul video

Singer Gwen Stefani has been accused of cultural appropriation for her look in the music video for her new song Light My Fire, a collaboration with Sean Paul and Shenseea.

In the music video for the single which was released this past week Stefani, 52, wears dreadlocks and sports a black and yellow outfit that matches the Jamaican flag while dancing and singing to a reggae beat.

This has drawn the ire of Twitter users who have accused her of cultural appropriation, which refers to the inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.

“It’s time you stop treating people’s heritage like a childish game & give it the respect it deserves. Alternatively, why don’t you portray your OWN cultural background within your work? I’m sure people would love to see that,” one Twitter user commented.

Stefani is no stranger to Jamaican music and working with Jamaican artistes. During her days with the soft rock band No Doubt, they famously recorded the album Rocksteady which featured the singles Underneath It All with Lady Saw, and Hey Baby with Bounty Killer. Popular Jamaican artistes Sly and Robbie also worked on this project, with a number of tracks recorded at the Geejam studios in Portland, Jamaica.

Light My Fire is one of the focus tracks on Sean Paul’s latest album titled Scorcha. In a recent interview he described the opportunity to work with Stefani and Shenseea as “an epic dream come true”.

“I’ve been a fan of Gwen Stefani forever and Shenseea — I am so proud of all she’s accomplished in such a short time. Light My Fire is a big, bad lover’s rock song and we had to represent it with a big, bad video. We went retro on the attire in the video and basically getting ready to party and some lovers rocking. It’s a vibe we hope everyone gets when they listen to the track — feel good and party[in] lover’s rock style.”