Vanessa Carlton Calls Out Racist Double Standard After Clearing A Sample For A Rap Song

If you are not sure who Vanessa Carlton is, you may recognize her 2002 hit ‘A Thousand Miles.’ The singer recently had to defend her decision to clear a sample of the track for a rap song. 

It isn’t very common to see our childhood heroes stand up for what’s right, but it’s always amazing when it happens. Over the past week, Vanessa Carlton called out a racist double standard regarding the use of her hit song. 

Vanessa took to Twitter to share her disapproval of the backlash surrounding the rapper’s use of the sample. Continue reading to discover why people were outraged at the sample and how Vanessa argued against them. 

Who I Smoke

Rap artists Spinabenz, Whoppa Wit Da Choppa, Yungeen Ace, and FastMoney Goon released ‘Who I Smoke’ in March. The two-minute thirty-five-second track features a sample of Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles.’ 

The lyrics to the tune detail violent crimes the rappers are willing to inflict on their opponents. These artists even spin the lyrics to Vanessa’s pre-chorus to list the names of their victims in a carefree and almost joyful manner. 

Contrasting the theme of the music, we see the young men enjoying a day at the golf course in the music video. Combined with Vanessa’s ‘innocent’ pop tune and the violent lyrics, this imagery soon resulted in outrage. 

Concerned listeners, most of which are white, shared their backlash and disappointment with the use of Carlton’s sample. They criticized the rappers for turning a cute piano-led tune about love into a song riddled with violence. 

Vanessa Carlton’s Response

After almost two months of the rap song’s release, Vanessa took to Twitter to call out critics of the track. She blatantly pointed out the white people criticizing the content in ‘Who I Smoke’ and invited them to follow a link. 

The link leads to an article from the McNair Scholars Research Journal. This article is entitled “Share Cropping Blackness: White Supremacy and the Hyper-Consumption of Black Popular Culture.”

“Popular songs accompanied by white violence or tales of white violence aren’t questioned. It’s considered visceral or cinematic,”

Says Vanessa Carlton

She further explained the racist double standard regarding the use of pop music accompanied by violence. In her explanation, she included a violently graphic clip from ‘Reservoir Dogs’ accompanied by a pop song. 

A History Of ‘A Thousand Miles’ In Rap Music

Many members of the black community were pleased and surprised to learn that Vanessa Carlton is an ally. They were probably even more excited since the song has an unexpected sacred spot in black culture and hip hop. 

The song became a staple amongst the black community after it featured in the Wayans brother’s ‘White Chicks.’ Vanessa’s 2002 hit has since been featured as a sample in ten rap songs, proving its hip hop cosign. 

Some of the artists that have used ‘A Thousand Miles’ in a sample include Cam’ron, Rico Nasty, and O.T Genasis. However, with Vanessa’s most recent stunt, we foresee many more samples of our favorite pop song. 

Written by:
Siba Mosana

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