Nicki Minaj appears to have both criticised Little Mix and defended their former bandmate Jesy Nelson in an Instagram Live.
It’s less than a week since Nelson released her first solo single.
Watch the trailer for Jesy Nelson's documentary 'Odd One Out'. Post continues after video.
Nelson spent nine years with British girl group Little Mix before quitting to go solo in December last year, for the sake of her mental health.
Last Friday, she put out the music video for 'Boyz', featuring rapper Minaj. It has a sample from Diddy’s 'Bad Boy For Life', as well as a cameo from him, and lyrics like “so hood, so good”. In the video, Nelson has a deeper tan than she did in Little Mix and curly hair, and she sings with what one critic calls “arguably a Blaccent”.
As soon as the video was released, Nelson was accused of Blackfishing.
So what is Blackfishing?
Journalist Wanna Thompson drew attention to the practice in a Twitter thread in 2018, when she posted about “white girls cosplaying as black women on Instagram” and said it was “alarming”.
"Blackfishing is when White public figures, influencers and the like do everything in their power to appear Black, whether that means to tan their skin excessively in an attempt to achieve ambiguity, and wear hairstyles and clothing trends that have been pioneered by Black women," Thompson told CNN recently. "Instead of appreciating Black culture from the sidelines, there's this need to own it, to participate in it without wanting the full experience of Blackness and the systemic discrimination that comes with it."
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea has been accused of Blackfishing, as has singer Rita Ora, whose parents came from Albania. Nelson was asked about Blackfishing in an interview with Vulture published last Friday.