Lorde fights the ‘hater’ label in pop music while her song ‘Royal’ is blasted as ‘racist’


Lorde, the 16-year-old pop music phenom, is still causing controversy with every word she utters. I covered her comments about Taylor Swift, feminism and “photoshop culture” last week, and I was… perturbed to see that some of you were going hard on Lorde. She considers herself a feminist and she is critical of bling, materialism and only singing songs about boys. I realized that she was going to make some enemies, but I also thought, “Hey, let’s praise this talented teenage girl for at least being smart enough to think about and discuss these issues in a unique way in pop music.”

I guess I was wrong though. The same week that Lorde became the youngest artist to ever hit #1 on the Billboard charts is the same week that people are trying to paint her as a “hater” (of Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift) and as a “racist”. Feministing has a post about whether the lyrics of “Royal” are racist – go here to read. The idea is that Lorde is lyrically calling out the accoutrements of wealth specifically in hip-hop culture and because she’s targeting the blinged-out hip-hop life, she’s racist. Yeah. Personally, I think Lorde is challenging materialism in a general way, not specific to hip-hop culture or whatever. She could be singing about Justin Bieber, and he’s the whitest Canadian you’ve ever seen (although Baby Biebs does think he’s black).

As for Lorde and how everyone wants to make her into some Twerkathon controversy-generator, Lorde spoke to MTV News about it:

The 16-year-old New Zealand pop star has been vocal in expressing her distaste for other artists. She released her debut album Pure Heroine last month, with first single Royals reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one in America.

Although relatively new to music, Lorde hasn’t been shy with talking about her views concerning the music industry.

“I think there’s a funny culture in music that’s only happened over the last 15 years, that if you have an opinion about something in music that isn’t 100-percent good, you’re a ‘hater’. Even if you have perfectly reasonable grounds for that critique. People will say exactly what they think about a movie, but as soon as you say it about a record, you’re like some little zombie in a funny dungeon,” she told MTV News.

Over the summer she accused Justin Bieber of not providing a real depiction of what it’s like to be a young person. Most recently she’s spoken up about Taylor Swift, berating her for being flawless and unattainable. And it doesn’t look like that will be the end of her tongue lashings, as the young pop star was the first to admit that she can be outspoken.

“I have pretty strong morals and opinions being in pop music, and I can’t help but express those, which I think people appreciate,” she continued. “I mean, I don’t think I say anything that isn’t backed up. Most of the time I will stand by things that I’ve said.”

“I just want to continue making music; it’s the reason I’m here in the first place,” she said.

[From Belfast Telegraph]

The full quote of what Lorde said about Beiber is this: “I feel like the influences that are there in the industry for people my age, like Justin Bieber or whatever, are just maybe not a very real depiction of what it’s like to be a young person.” A few weeks ago, Lorde also said she didn’t like Selena Gomez’s song “Come and Get It”, saying: “I’m a feminist, and the theme of her song is, ‘When you’re ready come and get it from me.’ I’m sick of women being portrayed this way.”

Far be it from me to hyper-analyze this 16-year-old artist to the point where we’ve declared her an unrepentant Bieber-hater and racist, but I do think Lorde would probably do better if she just stuck to talking about herself for a time instead of calling out bitches right and left, you know? It’s possible to critique the culture of music without calling out specific people.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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143 Responses to “Lorde fights the ‘hater’ label in pop music while her song ‘Royal’ is blasted as ‘racist’”

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  1. Meg says:

    I don’t know, I think the things she has been saying were probably in response to specific questions and the media are showing these responses without context and people are then like “Oh man she’s BLASTING bieber and swifty” when in reality she’s responding to a question that someone else brought up about these people. But even if that’s not the case, the things she’s saying about these artists are justified criticisms not just bitchy harangues. She’s also not being cruel to them she’s saying that they biebs and swifty aren’t accessible to her generation because swifty is so perfect and biebs is living a lifestyle that the majority of their age group are not. That doesn’t seem horrible to me, that seems to true. These are the images those two choose for themselves and Lorde is just commenting on it. I also think it’s fair for her to comment on the message of Selena Gomez’s song. She’s only commenting on one song, not Selena herself or ALL of her songs. It just seems like a media controversy,not a real one.

    • Eleonor says:

      I agree with you. And with this girl: she can have an opinion, and if she expresses it in an articulated way like she’s done, without being bitchy she has the right to talk without being labeled as a hater.

    • wiffie says:

      God, she’s gorgeous. And I really like her message. And she delivers it more maturely than people twice her age. It’s like she KNOWS how she feels, and isn’t just saying what would sound controversial, artsy, or cool. It’s just how she thinks.

    • Lucinda says:

      This right here. She is a victim of the sound bite. And she’s 16 for God’s sake!

    • NerdMomma says:

      You said it, Meg. The media tries to turn every innocent comment into a “thing.” It’s like high school gossip, making drama where there is none. When I read her full statements, she seems perfectly polite, she’s not calling anybody out. She can have an opinion, and I’m glad she does. I’m glad she says what she thinks. I like this girl, and I guess I need to go find some of her music.

    • Janet says:

      I agree completely. Of course people will try to blow it up. I like her. I might not agree with everything she says. I am however sick of bling, swag, and skankiness. It’s not that I don’t like nice things…it’s just all in our face all the time. It’s like this is all we are this is what you have to be. It’s all a reflection of US. We should encourage better.

    • Sticks says:

      Completely agree! I love her. So refreshing to see this from a young upcoming pop singer. I would much rather see my daughter be into Lorde than Miley Cyrus!

    • Wren says:

      Agree with this ^^

    • Cloulou says:

      Alright my friends, I’m personally thinking all she is saying is…we don’t need money to live life? We do envy it!? Plain simple pure! Huh? But it can also be interrupted as we’d like it!
      How did this become of rasisim??? Serously? What? Has nothing to do with any of that! In my eyes? Racism need to be gone and done with! No more cards lets play this game we’ve all been delt with in life like what it is! So over ALL of it! Really if we really discuss the issue I’m a “slave” in current day! I Work FOR SOMBODY!

  2. pantalones en fuego says:

    Eh, I think that Ms. Flores is reaching and/or looking for publicity. I could be way off but I’ve never gotten a racist vibe/connotation from this song.

    • Angel says:

      i don’t see how the song is racist. Madonna, Bieber, Lindsay Lohan (just to name a few) do that kind of sh*t that she sings about in her songs. I think ppl are just looking for stuff that isnt there so they have something to trash her about. Miley wears grills for pete’s sakes!

      • Veeeeeery Veeerytas says:

        Who cares about being called a racist by the cultural Marxists? They use the word so much that it’s lost all meaning.

    • blue marie says:

      *never mind, I didn’t notice where the article came from. jaye’s right it’s a joke.

    • Marty says:

      I think that piece was meant to be satirical.

    • jaye says:

      Who are you side-eying? That article was making fun of the original article about “Royals” having racist undertones. The writer was being sarcastic.

    • layla says:

      That article is AMAZING!

      (And just for clarification – thou Im not sure how anyone can consider it otherwise – this article is COMPLETELY tongue in cheek and taking the p*ss out of the original article.)

    • Angel says:

      that article is amazing sarcasm. i love it!!!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      This cracked me up!!!!

      “Blogger Veronica Bayetti Flores directed most of her anger at the album’s hit single Royals, which she says shamelessly ridicules the tens of millions of African Americans who own expensive cars, champagne and tigers, while denigrating the well-known black monarchy that is most commonly associated with notions of royalty.”

    • SJ says:

      Just to point out – thecivillian.co.nz is New Zealands answer to the Onion. Be sure to follow the link provided on the page (which leads to thefeminist.com or something), which is the actual (REAL) source that the Civillian is actually making fun of.

      Great to see you guys standing up for our Lorde, otherwise :)

  3. Tiffany27 says:

    But she also talked about “trashing hotel rooms” in the song, which is a stereotype of rock star behaviors. She’s talking about materialism as a whole, not just in hip hop.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      EXACTLY. That essay made me want to scream.

      I loved this comment below by a New Zealander:
      “This is not about black Americans, this is about the rubbish commercial music that American cultural imperialism feeds us. This song is about how New Zealand youth feel when every popular song is about gold teeth, and Cristal, and trashing hotel rooms, etc.”

      ..and I think there are some black AND white Americans who would agree. Singing and rapping about materialism and perpetuating a largely consumerist culture is just so…YAWN.

      • Marty says:

        Yes! Honestly how many rappers these days write about anything significant or just not about how much money they have or what they’re drinking. I think Lorde is spot on.

      • Feebee says:

        As a kiwi living in the US I have found on occasion that some Americans forget the rest of the world does not look at every subject through the glasses of American history and culture, even if we have a popular culture diet high in Americana.

      • Dawn says:

        All this American can say is that I see nothing here that I disagree with. I like this girl.

      • Whatwhatnot says:

        As an urban Latina who grew up not to far from Jay Z listening to 80′s and 90′s Hip Hop I agree. The music that is being put out today is materialistic, vapid garbage. Perfect for the generation of the Kardashian.

        Gone are the days of deep thought and clever Hip Hop by the likes of NAS, KRS 1, Common, Rakim, just to name a few. Now it’s all about what makes the $$. Even Jay Z has admitted to having to dumb down his music to make it more digestible for commercial consumption.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        WTF, ‘Royals’ is a racist song??! As if.

        You took the words right out of my mouth, Kitten!

      • V4Real says:

        Yes Lorde song is racist just like Thicke’s song is about rape.
        People please go find another target.

        I don’t know enough about this young lady to know if she’s full of it or not but I heard her entire CD and think some of the songs are quite good. She may turn out to be an amazing person or insufferable and full of herself like Gaga. Only time will tell. But she deserves a chance to let her music speak for itself. She’s also entitled to her opinions but she should expect some criticism just like everyone else in the business.

      • phillykatt says:

        I am black and I never heard of this girl, but I did read the lyrics and I don’t think they’re racist. I am speaking for myself, not all black people, but I think she’s telling the truth. Most rap music sickens me, especially the way they degrade women, in particular black women. My daughter had some friends who went to Egypt on a semester abroad. Egyptian men were grabbing their behinds and breasts. They later found out that these men thought black women were “hoes” from watching rap videos! I know that things like this happen to white women too, but white women are “allowed” to be other things in videos besides sex objects (there are a few exceptions, but I don’t want to make this post too long). These rappers are responsible for promoting negative images of black women, and black people in general, around the world. They are descendants of the “coons” in minstrel shows in the late 19th and early twentieth century that made black folks look like clowns. The black actors back then didn’t have a choice, but these rappers do. The sad thing is I remember when rap wasn’t like that. I am old enough to recall songs like “Fight the Power.” Every song doesn’t have to have a message but all this designer name dropping, glorification of conspicuous consumption and violence, and degradation of women is distressing. (BTW, Elvis still doesn’t mean S***T to me)!

      • bluhare says:

        Feebee: Agree.

      • Kiddo says:

        Somewhat OT, but someone please kill the word “hater”, and “slut-shamer”, while you’re at it. They have morphed into terminology intended to shut down conversion via ad hominem attacks. I’m not saying that usage is always directed that way, or that they aren’t used appropriately sometimes, it just seems like most of the time it is the former intention, to tag and discredit opposing opinions.

      • Leila in Wunderland says:

        @Kiddo: Yeah, I too wish that there was a different english word for slut-shaming other than ‘slut-shaming’, but other than ‘scarlet-lettering’, I don’t think there’s any other English word that we could use for this form of bigotry. Some feminists say just call it misogyny, but I think it should have a specific name because it’s a very specific type of misogyny- one that even women will perpetuate.

        In order for slut-shaming to not be taken as an attack to shut down debate, it’s meaning has to be clear. In addition to it being calling someone a slut/skank/whore/ho/tamp/trash/ and other slurs, basically slut-shaming is whenever female worth, respectability, self-respect, goodness, badness, e.tc., is determined by the skin she has shown, the dance moves she has done, the sex she has had, or her opinions about sex-related topics. Whenever prostitution or sexual violence are used as a tool in conversation to police women’s clothing, dance, or sexual choices, that is also slut-shaming.

        Unless a person does any of those things, they’re not slut-shaming.

    • johnnybadboytapia says:

      I love this girl and think for her age she is very insightful. I don’t think she is racist I do feel she is specifically calling out one particular genre( rightly so) but i do agree with the writer of the article if you have a angst against the 1%
      then target that group! not just those who make it into the 1% by rapping singing.
      That being said I now listen to majority 80′s pop and classical because i refuse to support any artist that brags about their wealth while I have to take a bus to my two part time jobs.

      • phillykatt says:

        If you like classical, check out “Imani Winds.” They are a wind ensemble consisting of AA musicians who play classic pieces as well as more modern ones. They’re very good!

      • Tara says:

        Ita. @phil I couldnt respond to your OP ^ but I loved your observations. Well, at least until it came to the Elvis part. Black people see em programmed to hate him but usually have no real reason to.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Exactly! @Tiffany & Kitten.

    • mia girl says:

      Did this Feministing person ever stop to think that maybe Lorde’s real target was Johnny Depp? Exhibit A:

      gold teeth
      trippin’ in the bathroom (clearly a reference to Fear and Loathing)
      trashin’ the hotel room
      jet planes
      diamonds on your time piece

      He did just drop $50K on diamonds for Amber. Plus he loves timepieces – Exhibit B:


      Lorde, why do you hate Johnny Depp???!!!!

    • Lucy Goosey says:

      To Kiddo: It gets much more disturbing when you read about American citizens who are shut down for “racism” any time they dare to disagree with our President. Which is our Constitutional right and one of the many civil rights that should always exist regardless of race.

      We may think of celeb gossip as mindless escapism but, if you look close enough, all of these Hollywood “scandals” tend to reflect something much more important going on somewhere in the world.

      • Kimble says:

        I spend a lot of time “discussing” politics online and while I don’t find a lot of people being overtly racist towards the President, I do find the disrespect towards him and the office offensive.

        I also think there is an element of open racism towards him and his family in personal attacks, which are sickening.

        I have NO problem with people who argue the issues but unfortunately your average person with an opinion doesn’t really understand that – which is why I get called names a lot!!!

    • cs says:

      I’m sorry but I’m sickened by people commenting that all Rap music is about Gold Chains, Fancy Cars, and Big Houses. It’s Not.. Some are very inspiring.

      I happen to like B.O.B, Lupe Fiasco, Wale,.. But, I recognize that not all music genre’s are alike.
      I happen to like to B.O.B collaborations with pop/indie stars.


  4. Dinah says:

    Oh, jeezus chrysler. Did anyone consider that she may be referencing images from hip-hop videos because that’s what a shit ton of kids in her age group listen to incessantly? Familiarity and all of that?

    • rtms says:

      +1, this exactly what I think is happening. Youth today are different from 30 or 40 yrs ago. Today the people they see that are wealthy are the rap and hip hop stars like Kanye, Chris Brown etc, all of whom are flashing gold etc around like it’s water. She and others her age associate that with wealth and it doesn’t matter whether they are black, white, or purple this is what she grown up with. Everyone is getting so PC territorial now.I find it both hilarious and disturbing that PC has led this fracturing instead of the mingle cohesiveness it was suppose to bring about.

  5. layla says:

    Heaven forbid one actually have opinions these days.

    • Eleonor says:

      actually if you have an opinion you are labeled as a hater.

      • layla says:

        I know right?! So ridiculous.

        Must continue to make non thinking drones……

      • bob says:

        Well that makes us bitchies hating haters who’ve hated hating before hating haters hating on other haters was a thing.

      • bluhare says:

        bob, if hating haters is a thing, what did the hating haters do before hating haters became a thing?

      • Tara says:

        They hated onthe fact that they had to hate on haters solo because with haters hatred not being a thing yet they felt the haters were out there hating everything there is to hate, hate-free. Which is sad.

  6. I Choose Me says:

    So giving your honest opinion now is considered being a hater? Well then I’m a hater to the core. I agree with most of what she says and I’m glad she’s on my radar now. I like her songs and I like her.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      +1 and I loved what she had to say.

      Materialism is not solely specific to hip-hop. Many genres of music are a reflection of our society and we live in an object-oriented, greedy-ass culture.

      Also, I have to say that the essayist does a huge disservice to hip-hop in general by perpetuating the idea that the focus on the object-oriented somehow belongs exclusively to rap. Way to overlook all the talented rhyme-spitters who have made thoughtful and enlightening words a focus of their music for decades.

      Speaking of, I saw Deltron 3030 live last night and honestly, Del is the anti-Kanye. No ego on that guy whatsoever and he’s arguably the best rapper of our generation, definitely the best rapper I’ve seen live (and I’ve seen some of the best). Dude didn’t take a breath and didn’t miss a rhyme the whole time.

  7. Maria says:

    she calls Lorde racist but pratically says that black culture = hip hop videos?

    and calls hip hop a “distinctly black art form”

    wow. what would she say if someone calls motions pictures, classic music or paintings “a distincly white art form”?

    • Cecilia says:


    • bluhare says:

      maria, if hip hop was not considered a “black art form” why did Miley get so much crap for co opting it?

    • Lucy Goosey says:

      Yes it is an ignorant statement but it is hardly shocking. After all, much of this is being generated by the same news and entertainment reporters who can lambast someone for racism and prejudiced words and then, two sentences later, call them out on their “switch-hitter” girlfriend.

  8. Hrefna says:

    I think she is doing exactly what she ought to be doing as an intelligent 16 year old – thinking about the world around her and critiquing it, deciding how she is going to be, who she wants to be like and whose behavior she wants to avoid.

    I love her album, can’t stop playing it over and over, even though I’m many decades past her mid teens. What she writes about is so authentic and real that I can picture it in my mind anyway.

  9. Feebee says:

    The truth hurts and it’s worse when it comes from a 16 year old newbie who appears to be pretty grounded and level headed. She’s not saying anything ground breaking, just her take on what has been out there for a number of years.

    But of course she’s going to be criticized for it because the music industry just wants another money maker on the same page, not with an opposing view. Let’s just ignore the number of comments I’ve seen expressing almost relief that we have a female artist at #1 who did it without appearing half naked.

    • Camille (TheOriginal) says:

      +1. Great comment Feebee.

    • Tara says:

      You hit the nail exactly on its vapid, mass-marketed little head. The only thing that bothers me us that Lord should allow for the fact that music is escapism for some people and doesnt owe everyone an apology for not being more cerebral or articulate. She should call out the industry, not necessarily other artists because then your whole platform gets hijacked. Mack Lemore understood this and it was good for him and his messages.

      I love Lord’s music and want to look forward to more of her. This is all a tempest in a teapot.

  10. AlmondJoy says:

    I think I like this kid. Never heard of her but I’ll pay attention from now on.

    This statement though: “… Baby Biebs does think he’s black.” Most of his behavior can be associated with being a jerk, not being black.

  11. KatieKat says:

    I heard an interview with her on NPR radio, and loved what she had to offer. She was very clear that it’s a song that was meant to represent what was considered coveted within the music she and her friends listen to- rock, hip hop, and rap. Racist? Really? It was supposed to be a blend of reality (the train/subway reference) and then the fantasy. I hated the song until I heard the interview. I’m rather impressed with her now and even looked up the other songs on the record after I heard it.

  12. Becca says:

    She is obviously very insightful and bright for a 16 yr old. I am totally impressed with her remarks on the whole. Racism? Heck no!
    wish more artists would embrace her opinions…the world would be a better place!

  13. Runs with Scissors says:

    Oh great, FINALLY a young woman who has opinions, isn’t selling sex, is an unrepentant feminist and, big surprise, there’s a massive WITCH HUNT to take her down.

    Just look at the language MTV uses to describe her: she “accused” Justin Beiber; “berated” Taylor Swift; gave “tongue lashings” – they are totally trying to paint her as a feminist shrew because she’s said things like:

    “I feel like the influences that are there in the industry for people my age, like Justin Bieber or whatever, are just maybe not a very real depiction of what it’s like to be a young person.” WOW, what a huge dis! What a total bitch for saying this!

    or in reference to Photoshop culture: “Taylor Swift is so flawless, and so unattainable, and I don’t think it’s breeding anything good in young girls.” Duh, she’s absolutely right. Does this seem like she’s “Berating” Taylor Swift? Really?

    Also, she’s not calling Gomez a slut, she’s talking about the song and how it relates to her as a listener.

    Young woman with opinions = Witch hunt until we manage to turn her into a tepid, apologetic weakling afraid to have an opinion at all lest she be labelled a bitch. Sigh.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      Runs with Scissors: I absolutely LOVE your comment!

    • layla says:

      + 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

      Thank you.

    • Lee says:

      THANK YOU for this!! Perfect, perfect comment.

    • blue marie says:

      ah come on, didn’t you know that feminism = witch hunt?

    • littlestar says:

      Great comment, THANK YOU!!!

    • cs says:

      I never heard of this girl before last week. But don’t you think by saying Taylor is so “flawless and unattainable” she’s also saying that a very pretty girl with a slim body shouldn’t become a singer/songwriter because it’s not good for young girls?

      Yes, she’s entitled to her opinion but people also have the right to speak out about her opinions and how they interpret her songs. This isn’t the first article I read about this song having racist lyrics. I haven’t listen to it so I won’t comment.

      Her song is #1, her album did ok, not a flop but I wouldn’t say 129,000 sold the first week in the US is phenomenal. Better than Selena’s first week but no where near Taylor’s 1.2 million or Taylor’s debut album at 16.. that sold a total 5 Million plus albums in the US alone.
      Hopefully, it will build sales in coming weeks/months. She’s sure getting the PR. I’ve read that many foreign artists say their biggest goal is to break through the US market. I wonder why the US market is so important to artists? Is it to make more money to buy fancy cars and homes.

      She looks like a young Amy Irving.

    • Cazzee says:

      RWS, thank you so much for this comment. Well said!

      I am in my forties and I consider myself a lifelong feminist. I’m struck by just how much obedience is demanded of young women nowadays. They have to obey every one of society’s dictates – regarding their looks, their bodies, and their behavior…even down to the notion of always ‘being nice’.

      Whatever happened to young people speaking truth to power?

      I like this girl and I agree with her.

  14. missmerry says:

    “I think there’s a funny culture in music that’s only happened over the last 15 years

    …she’s 16, how would she know about the last 15 years of pop music culture enough to comment on it?

    I think people are thrown for a loop that a newcomer to the pop music scene has something negative to say about it.

    She wants it to change, and to be a part of that change, not just latch on and do what stars are doing now that is making them money now.

    While I think she should have an opinion and say what she wants to say, she might burn herself out and overshadow her music career with her opinions. She’s only been in the pop music eye for a few months and I think more people know her opinions than her songs, which isn’t a good thing I don’t think…

    and while she says “bieber isn’t representing what it’s like to be a real young person’…is he even pretending to be? I think everyone is very aware that his lifestyle is not what a typical young person is doing or going through, and if young people would say (with their ticket and album and merchandise purchases) that they want to support artists who sing about and represent something more ‘real’, like Lorde does with her lyrics, then they should do that.

    But they’re not. They’re still buying him and Selena and Miley and Rihanna…

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      “…she’s 16, how would she know about the last 15 years of pop music culture enough to comment on it?” – missmerry

      She reads. By all accounts, she’s familiarized herself with history and culture because it interests her.

    • Eleonor says:

      At 15 I was able to tell you all the line-up of the major rnr band of the 70′s because I used to be crazy about them. And It was around 1996. And I didn’t have internet.

  15. eliza says:

    I like her and I love her music.

    Ppl always have to find something offensive in everything. Just enjoy the music.

  16. Lucy says:

    Kinda off-topic but since we’re talking about young people speaking their minds about such issues/subjects, I was wondering if you could cover Josh Hutcherson’s interview for OUT Magazine, please? Much appreciated!

  17. littlestar says:

    What?! Royals is a fantastic song and in no way racist! Where do people come up with this sh*t? Honestly, it’s just stupid. And good for her for having the guts to say what so many of us on here think, that crap music that Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus put out does nothing but sexualize women in the wrong way. After reading her Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez comments, I am now an even bigger fan of Lorde than I was before.

  18. Overmind says:

    As a kind of Korean who believes that the vulgar display of wealth is a cardinal sin, I actually like Lorde’s song.

  19. janie says:

    Never heard of her or any music.. I thank God everyday that I don’t have teenagers. No matter what anyone says or does… Someone else takes issue with it.

    • Jayna says:

      She is a young teenager indie artist who is a strong lyricist, who has exploded onto the scene because of her music speaking to teens. She put out a little EP, but this is her debut album. She is from a small town in New Zealand and is a surprise hit over here almost from word of mouth about her music that gained momentum because of the buzz about her and the internet and social media.

      Royals – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFasFq4GJYM

      • Kiwi says:

        I hate to be painful but while Auckland would be a “small town” by most of the world’s standards with under 2 million people, it is the largest city in New Zealand :-)

  20. Walt Jr! says:

    LOVE the curly hair! Ladies throw away those heat damaging flat irons! Let your waves be free :) Embrace the frizz!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I LOVE that she hasn’t given into the flat iron. Her hair is fierce, just like her.

    • phillykatt says:

      I agree that her hair is beautiful. I’m not “shading” women that straighten their hair, but I wish more women with “textured” hair would realize that there’s nothing wrong with it. I have a friend with hair like that, though, and she says its hard to take care of (tangles easily).

  21. Jayna says:

    People are taking statements and turning it into she is calling out popstars left and right. She says a lot of great things about young popstars. Royals is an amazing song, different, in the sea of generic pop.

  22. June says:

    Does anyone else find it interesting that Lorde is being accused of being a racist by a group of people who associates Hip Hop with only black people? I might have read the article wrong. I maybe am confused…to make the generizarion that Lorde is calling out Hip Hop = calling out black people in itself is racist because Hip Hop is represented by all types of people. To assume that only black people represent a genre of music is a generalization. If I’m understanding thier argument right I just don’t get thier rational.

    • June says:

      Sorry for the misspellings. My iPhone is hard to type on when on these boards.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I think your interpretation is accurate and that was one of my first thoughts as well. But to be fair, hip-hop WAS invented by black people–along with many other musical genres–and in my opinion, they do it best (no offense to the Mackelmores or the Eminems).

      What is more disconcerting to me is the blogger’s mischaracterization that the obsession with Cristal, Cadillacs, diamonds, and the other symbols of opulence mentioned in the song are somehow only sought-after by black people. The insinuation being that black people are generally poor folk, obsessed with the hedonistic pursuit of decadence, when really the lyrics could apply to the Biebers and Mileys or the Snookis of this generation.

      Just turn on MTV for 15 minutes and you see the kind of culture that is being sold to America’s youth.
      It has nothing to do with race, period.

  23. Luce says:

    I think she’s fantastic and completely refreshing and dead on in criticizing bling culture. Bling culture is revolting and that is in no way a comment on race. Bling isn’t exclusive to black people now is it? For god’s sake there was a movie called The Bling Ring and it was about a number of non-black kids being materialistic and shallow in the worst kinds of ways, and I’m imagining this is what Lorde is criticizing, not the origins of the culture itself. In fact, bling is the kind of manufactured culture that puts itself out there to be appropriated and scrutinized. That’s the whole point!! It’s polarizing!

    She doesn’t have to apologize to anyone and for a girl as young as her to have a confident, rational and unsuppressed voice, that in itself is a striking accomplishment and should be encouraged instead of condemned. Not making negative comments about other artists is commendable behaviour but it is in my opinion that it is these Selena Gomez and Katy Perry types are not real artists as much as they are puppets for the elitists that control the recording industry. You always hear them say “It’s really about the music,” but you know that’s garbage if you listen to the lyrics of a Katy Perry song. So embarrassingly bad.

    And Lorde’s a proud feminist! Unlike Katy Perry and I’m guessing Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift who would rather not stir up any real controversy or say something or look a way that’s going to make them unpopular. These are weak women who barely write on their own tracks, where Lorde is a true thinker and writer. Sorry for going on but it makes me so mad that she’s getting called out for something so trivial when there is utter trash being shoved in our ears every day from Katy Perry. “I stood for nothing so I fell for everything”… That lyric from Roar says it all…

  24. Runs with Scissors says:

    I bought her CD a couple of weeks ago, only cost $10 bucks and came with a free download.

    I LOVE that she came out of nowhere, dropped an album with a single that hit #1 without stripping down and shaking her ass in our faces. Take that Miley.

    The industry is freaking out because she’s challenging their formula. We can expect more attempts to shut her up in the future since there’s a LOT of money at stake and she’s making them all look like the exploitative assholes they are.

    $10 bucks + great album + sending a message to the music industry that exploiting women is not necessary = win.

  25. LadyJane says:

    I would be proud to have her as a daughter. I bet her parents are so proud of her thoughtful, intelligent discourse. And she is beautiful. And talented. And she dosen’t need to flash her cootchie to get people to talk about her. Revolutionary.

  26. mzizkrizten says:

    I agree with her about Selena’s song. In fact most songs portray women that way, llikeI’m waiting by the phone for you, come take me I’m yyours, my body is for your ogling and grappling. Young women today think they’re expressing freedom and sexual power by portraying themselves this way when in reality it puts women as a whole right where men have wanted us for basicallly EVER.

  27. nancypants says:

    I just recently heard the song, “Royals”.
    It’s a pretty good song.
    I think the background vocals are what make it good AND she is entitled to her opinion(s) but…she’s only 16?

    She looks and sounds at least 8 or 10 years older and is that a lot of hair or what?

    Her hair is a MESS but she has a lot of it and it has a some natural curl and I wish I even had half of it but I don’t think she’s 16.

  28. Lisa says:

    Yes, thank you. Let’s stop the obsession with haters. You’ll hear some nobody 14 year old who has an enemy at school talk about “having my haters,” Jesus Christ on a crutch. It’s so self-serving.

  29. paranormalgirl says:

    Can’t stand the song “Royals” but it’s the song I can’t stand, not the singer. She has opinions, she speaks them, it’s all good, let her do it. Having an opinion doesn’t make someone a hater for crying out loud.

  30. RobN says:

    I think most artists would be a lot better off speaking about their own music and letting the rest of it speak for itself. If yours strikes a note with people, that’s good enough. You don’t have to explain what’s wrong with an entire industry, you certainly don’t have to call out individuals, just do your thing and, if it’s good enough, it will make the point for you.

    People get sick of teenagers who think they know everything. Even if what you think is fairly positive, people do tire of the 16 year old know it all with no actual life experience but lots of opinions.

  31. Rie526 says:

    I was reading the article that CNN put up to cover the original blog trying to create an issue with Lorde. 100% of the commenters disagree with the blogger (just as they’re doing on this site) and are calling out CNN for even spending time on writing about that garbage. It makes me hopeful to see that many people refuse what the media tries shoving down our throats.

  32. Walt Jr! says:

    Oh yeees, those poor millionaires might get their feewings hurt. Let’s defend them. I know they have my deepest sympathy! Who does she think she is calling out people who shamelessly flaunt their wealth and throw away their money by pouring Cristal champagne down the toilet. What a brat!

  33. Jess says:

    Wow, I am quickly becoming a huge fan of hers (more so for her opinions and willingness to speak up then her music – I like Royals but I’m not obsessed with it). Stay strong!

  34. Bread and Circuses says:

    She’s only 16 and she’s so darned smart and eloquent. HOW CAN ANYONE BE CRITICIZING THIS?

    Oh, yeah. Because insecurity makes people attack those who speak truth to them.

  35. DB says:

    Make the talentless fools hate you, Lorde. You’re doing a lot right.

  36. TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

    I just came here to say that it gives me hope that a sixteen year old saw straight through “Come and Get It” and isn’t afraid to call out Selena Gomez on it either.

    Despite their ages, I’d say Selena Gomez is the little girl to Lorde’s young woman.

  37. Mandy says:

    Whatevs. I like this girl and I dig the song.

  38. nj says:

    I really like her music but no way this girl is 16!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Denise says:

    Racist? Utterly ridiculous, and I don’t even believe whoever wrote that even believes it. As discussed above, it’s the media creating crap to talk about for the sake of it. She is referencing pop culture to make her point because people will understand her message. I hope she’s tough and trudges on through these hits because the world needs someone like her. Our daughters need her.

  40. GeeMoney says:

    Ugh. Can we (aka black folk) go one day without thinking that the universe rotates around us?!?!? Why is it that everytime that someone sings about, talks about or makes reference to something that sounds “remotely” like something a black person did or said, that they are automatically being racist?!?!?!? Geez.

    Somedays I want to throw myself out of a window, due to the hypocrisy of blackdom. We can make references about your race (and not be called racist), but the second you say something about our culture/race/whatever, you are a racist.

    Absolute BS.

    • .... says:

      Hey there!
      Black person here!
      This was ONE person, who happened to be black, who called this girl racist. Most of us do not think this is racist.
      I am sick and tired of being lumped in with a small (but very vocal) minority!
      Most black people do not identify with hiphop “culture” and/or “bling bling” ratchet “culture”.
      Quite frankly, we want nothing to do with it but people keeping dragging us in to something we have nothing to do with!
      So please take your rant to the appropriate individual. Thank you!

    • MonicaQ says:

      @… preach. Give me comic books over Cristal any day. Shit tastes awful.

  41. Lucy Goosey says:

    I like this girl. She is one of my new favorites. I think her music is new and refreshing and her attitude is awesome. I hope she continues being a “hater” long after Miley has self-destructed and gone away.

  42. G says:

    CURLY GIRLS RULE! That is all…

  43. paranormalgirl says:

    incidentally, if she’s an unrepentant Bieber hater, she’s OK in my book!

  44. Jayna says:

    She’s on Ellen right now. I have to say she looks 30. The photo above makes her look younger, but live her face is literally the face of a 30-year-old. I love her hair. I think she gave her best live vocal yet. She’s becoming more comfortable I think in her live appearances. At 16, it had to be daunting to be thrown into her first live performances in the States on such a big scale, millions of people watching her on TV.

  45. homegrrl says:

    Is is only a matter of time before she sux too? I mean, TW was a country girl too, with messy hair and an acoustic guitar. Now she’s Target barbie. And the list goes on for the young and the auto tuned. I suppose I’m an hater too, just dawned on me last wk. Video killed the radio star, we all know that…
    But her lyrics seem to be about how we put the behavior of the elite on pedestals, their designer clothes covered in blood and stale booze etc.
    As my jr high yearbooks are signed over&over, let me say to her:
    “stay cool and have a bitchin summer”

  46. mollination says:

    Yeah, she’d be wise at this point to learn how people take things and just refrain from saying specific names. But so far, everything she’s said has been in response to a question, and it’s all been spot-on. I guess I’m in the minority finding this refreshing and helpful for young people.

    Also, Royals being racist against black people in hip hop? Aye yae yae….give me a break. If you try to use elements of hip hop, you’re racist for misappropriating culture. If you are honest about your humble background and try to say that not everyone has tons of bling and money (Macklemore, Lorde), you’re racist against black people (and I really hope the author of feministing realizes the hypocrisy there….considering how those specific overly wealthy elements of hip hop stemmed from black people reappropriating materialism that was previously traditionally consumed by mostly WHITE people …but…ok … whatever..)

  47. Allie says:

    Isnt that what Taylor Swift wants as her persona, “flawless and unattainable”?

  48. Mhmm says:

    Oh, how dare she express that she’s happy with her life and doesn’t aspire to live a glorified but superficial one. That must make her racist, right? Because obviously all black people are materialistic and to not want to be means you hate them.

    …are you kidding me? The implication that this song is racist is a pretty effin racist.

    • queenb says:

      Here here!
      That person sounds like the worst feminist ever. PICK ON MILEY AND LEAVE LORDE ALONE!

      Madonna has a gold tooth – is she BLACK?, hip hop = pop in the U.S. and its all about the Benjamins and the drank, etc. The lil lady is spot on. Geez.

  49. Naddie says:

    She’s damn right at everything. It’s a relief to have a young singer who thinks and says what she does. Good that a young girl won’t sing about “the party tonight” and “the money I make”. Keep on, Lorde!

  50. Leila in Wunderland says:

    Could she have been a little more sympathetic toward people in hip-hop who grew up really poor? Perhaps. But her song isn’t racist at all.

    That whole “I have pretty strong morals” comment did make me cringe, but that’s not her fault. I’m so used to ‘morality’ speak being co-opted by prudes and homophobes to shame people who don’t fit in with their narrow idea with what’s ‘right’, ‘appropriate’, or ‘acceptable’ that I get on the defensive when I hear people talk about morals, but I’m sure that’s not what she means.

    Yeah, she may come off as a teensy bit self-righteous or know-it-all-ish. But Miley Cyrus comes off as a bit “I’m so cool and legendary’ when talking about her fashion and music. Both of those traits are traits I can give another young person a pass on. Some people used to call me a know-it all drama queen, and I’m in the same generation as they are.

    I like her. (and as long as she doesn’t become the next female Hollywood tool used to bully other women, it will stay that way) She’s young and opinionated. She can sing (she’s not amazing, but she does have talent). And it’s great to see a pop star who was born in the same decade as me who also embraces feminism. :)

    I do get why a lot of young female pop stars and women in general don’t call themselves feminists: There’s a lot of ignorance about feminism in society. A lot of people think it’s about policing women’s physical appearance choices and portraying men in a bad way, so these girls reject it. Plus, some think feminism means there’s something wrong with a woman being a stay-at-home mom.

    I grew up in a home with a feminist mom, and I didn’t even fully embrace the movement until I was 16 or 17. Even though I always agreed with males and females being equal, couldn’t stand discrimination, and was against homophobia, body-shaming, transphobia, and rape apologism, I had this belief that being feminist meant being anti-nudity, demonizing males for being sexual, and bullying females who don’t conform to a certain dress code or an anti-nudity stance. I was like, “But sexuality fascinates me, I like both male and female nudity, I don’t think nakedness or revealing clothes hurt or victimize females, I do believe that females are 100% capable of making their own choices when it comes to that, and I don’t think sexual desire is bad, whether it’s coming from a male or a female.”
    I think a lot of the young women in Hollywood who we see rejecting or staying silent about feminism are in that place right now. They don’t want to be a part of something that they think is portraying nudity as bad or that says they can’t make whatever decision that they want about their clothes and looks, and they don’t want to be a part of something that they think is teaching that heterosexual men are slimy perverted predators for being sexual. I was in that place once; to me the feminist outlook on nudity and sexuality sounded way too much like that of the far, far right: women are fragile child-like things who are victimized and defiled by nudity and ‘sexual impurity’, and the men are the beastlike defilers of women. But once I started really researching feminism on my own, it was really eye-opening.

  51. Jo says:

    love her. major girl crush.

  52. Gian says:

    Refreshing! Sounds mature for her age based on her speaking and writing, plus she calls it like she seems em. More power to her. Give em hell.

  53. soulsister says:

    Racist?? Please, why does everything have to be turned into a controversy? I liked this song immediately when I heard it. It’s refreshing toice to hear a young lady sing without an overproduced sound. Go Lorde!

  54. john says:

    So now, if you are against hard core materialsm as being the end all and be all of our mortal life on this planet, then youre a racist. Black people are so much more than what the white people portray them as being,Entertainment,athletes.and comedy.
    They are hello FREE to be human and dignified as all humans are with a voice and a unique perspective.
    Gansta rap was created by white 1 percenters to silence the black cry for equality.
    Wake up

  55. Kosmos says:

    I like her. It’s great that she’s calling out things for what they are. Young people are all about change, and they use their music to send a message, so what’s wrong with that? Nothing is set in stone, so other singers like Swifty, Gomez, Bieber, just have to put up with it. Out with the old, in with the new. Stir up the pot and if people like it and go for it, it’s great.

  56. Tails says:

    Wow that article was really grasping at straws. I don’t think Lorde is racist.. >.<

  57. Caroline says:

    I don’t think her song is racist, but I don’t like her music either =.=

  58. Mew says:

    Racist? By saying that Bieber isn’t realistic image of how average teenage life is? Racist how? Jeez, ppl.

  59. MonicaQ says:

    Give it time–eventually everyone will not like her too because she’s going to “explore her sexuality” and come out in a tank top with side boob and OMG. And we’ll have the same discussion like we did about Miley and Britney and Christina and Madonna and and and…

    I don’t think the song is racist (as a black person but the song bores me a bit), I don’t care for Beiber or Gomez at all, relatively indifferent to T. Swift but I love how if an opinion someone agrees with it’s, “YOU GO GURL WHY PEOPLE HATIN’ ON YOU FOR HAVING AN OPINION?!” and if they don’t agree with it it’s, “YOU JUDGMENTAL ASS HOW DARE YOU EXPRESS SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!”.

    • Leila in Wunderland says:

      “Give it time- eventually everyone will not like her too because she’s going to ‘explore her sexuality’ and come out in a tank top with sideboob and OMG. And we’ll have the same discussion like we did about Miley and Britney and Christina and Madonna and and and…”

      Ah, yes. I can see it now. Lorde poses nude, or does a taboo dance move or two, or starts wearing costumes deemed ‘too revealing’. Suddenly everyone’s all: “How could she! What a trashy white trash skank! Doesn’t she know that she’s Hurting The Children?!!”

      Maybe Sinead O’Connor will then write Lorde a public letter about how celebrities showing skin is exploitation, how she’s being a woman-and-girl-corrupting Prostitute, and how her skin baring is a danger to young women everywhere because there are predators with penises out there.

      Can’t wait! Grabbing my popcorn. :)

  60. juliebear75 says:

    so their reasoning for calling “royals” racist is that she refers to gold teeth, cristal and maybachs & those are all “black people” things?

    Ke$ha, Madonna, and Miley all have gold grills. Incidentally, also all rich as f–k white b—–s

    And isnt it RACIST AS HELL to say that only black people drink those drinks?

    Lorde is saying that this culture of bragging and flaunting wealth is totally pointless for the rest of us. As a teenager in this world, the Hip Hop world IS the culture. It’s not “black” culture. It’s POP motherf—-g culture. She has enough of a head on her shoulders at 16 to write a song that expresses realistic expectations and dismisses the ridiculous culture perpetuated in todays music (actually, on a side note, welcome to that life sweetie. you’re a star)

    Which is honestly how i feel. You think you’ve made it because you drink a $1000 of alcohol in half an hour? Funny. That makes me think you’re a huge f—–g idiot.

    You spend money on pointless bs because you used to be broke and living in the projects?
    Funny. Why not help other people GTFO instead of literally throwing money away until you’re on a VH1 washed up reality show?

    And anyway, the poor girl is SIXTEEN &&&& not from the US so to accuse her of being racist is kind of insane. She’s young. She’s speaking honestly about the culture she sees. Has nothing to do with skin pigment.

    People make my head hurt with their racist accusations of racism .

  61. juliebear75 says:

    Oh and RE: Selena

    Home girl threw no shade on Selena. Only those song lyrics. And from a feminist POV she is definitely not wrong.

    Not to say Selena’s song isn’t catchy, but… she is legit saying “my legs are open when you decide you want some of this”

    selling ourselves short there, ladies.