Venus X vs. Rihanna

Venus X vs. Rihanna

Heralded New York party girl Venus X recently informed her fans that she was shutting down her popular GHE20G0THIK parties and quitting DJing because Rihanna “stole” her style.

In a series of angry tweets and an Instagram post, Venus X accused Rihanna of jacking the “ghetto goth” look and allowing the media—namely E! Online—to credit her with creating it.

Last year, Venus X explained her frustration about Rihanna’s “ghetto goth” style to The Fader:

Rihanna’s exploiting the term so much. It’s hard to tell who really got the fire burning in her about ghetto goth. She’s friends with A$AP Rocky and I’m sure he’s used it around her. Her stylist has known about our party and has been coming to it for a long time. It would be amazing if she was working with the people who started GHE20 GOTH1K and was like, “I’m going to celebrate the premiere of my ghetto goth video at GHE20 GOTH1K.” But she’s too much of a bitch to do that: I saw her recently and invited her to the party and she gave me the nastiest attitude. She was a little bit embarrassed. Maybe whoever told her about ghetto goth didn’t tell her that it’s a real living, breathing thing that we do a lot. So she must have felt pretty stupid being checked on a Saturday night, at an Alexander Wang party, by me. I was like, “Since you want to hashtag it so much, you’re more than welcome to come to the night.” Her response was, “I’ll think about it,” and she rolled her eyes.

She and her team run out of ideas everyday because she’s an Instagram freak and she needs a new post everyday. She’s a parasite—that’s what pop stars are these days. They don’t participate in culture other than to create these religious, vapid experiences for people. If she wants to use the hashtag without referencing the culture, that’s no different from all the other types of appropriation in the music industry, fashion, and art. She thinks it’s just clothes but it’s my life and family. My brother works the door, my sister was running the list, my girlfriend was making the videos, my best friend was DJing, my close friend was bartending. It’s not fashion.

Venus X began throwing her “ghetto goth” parties–a mashup of hip hop, punk, and goth music–back in 2009, and though Rihanna’s been tagging her darker, edgier looks as “#ghettogoth” or “#ghetto” and “#goth” on Instagram since last year, Venus X thought the pop star crossed the line when she showed up at last months’ iHeartRadio Awards rocking a black lace dress, bantu knots, and dark green lipstick. Several media outlets credited Rihanna with sparking a “ghetto goth” trend, and Venus X wasn’t having it.

Whether or not Rihanna purposely appropriated Venus X’s look, or if she got it from a stylist is unclear, but mainstream artists “vamping on the underground,” as Venus X put it, is nothing new. As a matter of fact, it happens all the time.

Many of our popular music trends began underground—hip hop, punk, grunge, new wave, neo-soul, goth, trap, dub step, et. al all started as subcultures and eventually crossed over. Without the creativity and passions of those we’ll never really know about (unless someone writes a thorough history), much of what we call “mainstream” wouldn’t even be on the radio today.

Though it’s frustrating to create something and watch someone else get the credit (i.e. Madonna and voguing; Miley and twerking), throwing in the towel doesn’t seem like the right thing to do either.

Thankfully, it doesn’t look like Venus X is completely walking away.

What do you think? Does Venus X have a reason to be upset?

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  • elle D.

    I understand her frustration about being appropriated but absolutely NOTHING these young fools do nowadayz is ORIGINAL. NOTHING. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA.

  • Tonididitonem

    I understand her frustration. We cry foul when white people appropriate from us without crediting us and then go on to profit greatly from it. It’s not different with other black people.

  • kale is king

    poor, poor little green-haired, weird girl. she suddenly realizes she’s not as unique as she thought. ok, i can see some culture snobs getting slightly peeved if something something near and dear to them for years suddenly became trendy and ‘not as special’, but it in this instance, no one was disrespecting this girl’s grind. it seems to be about solely about the aesthetic for rihanna, which predates this angry bird. she was not the first black girl to rock colored hair, dark lipstick (or does she has a lawsuit pending against chanel for their vamp polish and lipstick?) bantu knots, facial piercings, etc.

  • bohemia

    But nothing’s new under the sun….I was like this in the NYC 80’s club scene…..Limelight,The Tunnel,Palladium,Mars,Sound Factory,etc and we were labled as “Club Kids”…smdh at the audacity.These poor things think they’re so unique that they believe they can own or brand a subculture that’s been around longer than them?

    • claudejordan

      @bohemia:disqus Yes! Love the Brotha Rabbit pic. Coonskin is a great movie. Peace!

    • bohemia

      YES YES YES!!!Thank you,Beloved!Bakshi is one of my faves,Love Coonskin….Glad you appreciate.<3