There has never been a much better time to be an Island Girl. You know the type – tanned skin, a scanty two-piece, and English language speaking to a foreign accent. She is probably an excellent dancer, understands how to sway her hips. The Island hot girl rests on a beach, sipping on a mixed drink. Inexplicably, her hair looks great damp.
The Island girl is a progressively popular staple of the popular song industry. Rihanna is another one. She was born in Saint Michael and resided in the nation’s capital until she began making music in the US. Before transferring to Queens as a five-year-old. Though long separated from the coasts of their motherlands, both Caribbean-born artists use a warped American understanding of the Caribbean as some sort of careless paradise to sell their music.
On her most current album, ANTI, Rihanna puts her Barbadian accent front and centre. In previous hits and interviews with journalism, she’s made efforts to hide her accent. On ANTI, she’s chosen to accentuate it. In the album’s most extensively distributed song, Work, Rihanna provides listeners with a pan-Caribbean earful. Experts have removed it as looking like nonsense, parts of the text are sung in Jamaican. Combined with Rihanna’s Barbadian accent, the hook constructs an amorphous, borderless island sound.
Nicki Minaj, who has actually spent most of her life in New York, likewise produces music that attempts to develop a universal vision of the Caribbean. The hook utilizes patois and recommendations a district in South London – the Brixton girls, that is an ethnically combined enclave of the Caribbean diaspora.
Rihanna and Nicki Minaj’s recent hits, both in their lyrics and Afro-rhythms, imitate a tropical noise that listeners would want to envision originating from a far-off island rather than this studio. The listener will not be able to guess where precisely the music is from, but they’ll know it’s foreign, and their finest guesses will land them someplace in the Caribbean. Blindly daydreaming about their music is dangerous, however, since it permits consumers to ignore the methods the Caribbean has actually been a site of exploitation.
Stories of sandy white beaches, lovely brown and black females, and green stretches of vegetation have changed the Caribbean into the perfect getaway destination. This modern understanding has a historical example. My buddy professor, who teaches a class at Harvard, outlines how postcards were utilized to spread out travel stories from the Caribbean throughout the world. She composes that postcards, “was necessary urban texts that developed a visual narrative of the Caribbean as a fantasy of colonial desire.” As a landing point for the slave trade and farming exploitation by both European countries and the United States, the method the world considers the Caribbean is rooted in histories of colonialism.
The impacts of these pictures of tropical, fantastical islands might not be more genuine. Tourism accounts for around a 3rd of the region’s cash and greater for some private countries. Over 70 per cent of Antigua and Barbuda’s money originated from travel and tourist. The heavy dependence on tourist weakens Caribbean economies, makes them depending on foreign visitors, and ultimately injures local people. The Dominican Republic has ended up being a hotspot for immigrants looking for sex tourist, which has actually brought a child-trafficking crisis. Cruise liner often contaminates the coasts and harm marine wildlife. Tourists’ remain at high-end resorts put pressure on water resources, reducing the amount of tidy water readily available to locals. For residents of Caribbean countries, there is no rich paradise; just the fallout from the world’s fantasy.
Nicki Minaj and Rihanna’s music helps construct images of beaches brimming with baskets of sweet fruit and exotic music. They utilize a popular understanding of the Caribbean – one that disregards the way tourism and foreign presence has exploited the islands – to market their music to customers. Listeners engage with the music on the shallowest level, putting it on summer playlists and overlooking its bloody roots.