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16-year-old New Zealand singing sensation Lorde is facing accusations that her chart-topping hit "Royals" is racist. According to Consequence Of Sound, Veronica Bayetti Flores of the feminist blog feministing.com published a scathing commentary on the song in which Flores says that Lorde's anti-consumerism lyrics focus only on excesses associated with hip-hop culture. Flores illustrated her point with these lyrics: "But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, tripping in the bathroom . . . But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece."
Flores wrote in part, "While I love a good critique of wealth accumulation and inequity, this song is not one; in fact, it is deeply racist. Because we all know who she's thinking when we're talking gold teeth, Cristal and Maybachs. So why s*** on black folks? Why s*** on rappers? Why aren't we critiquing wealth by taking hits at golf or polo or Central Park East? Why not take to task the bankers and old-money folks who actually have a hand in perpetuating and increasing wealth inequality? I'm gonna take a guess: racism."
Lorde has not yet responded to Flores' accusations, but New Zealand journalist Lynda Brendish came to her defense, saying, "Not everything in this world is an instrument of oppression and not everything in this world should be viewed through the lens of Americans, particularly when it comes to race and cultures of other countries. To insist otherwise is ignorant at best and imperialistic at worst."
Flores stood by her remarks, telling CNN that the song is offensive because it directs "a critique of excessive consumption to a genre both created and currently dominated by black Americans, particularly when the vast majority of excess consumption is done by white people."
The seven-week run of "Royals" at Number One on the Modern Rock chart marked the longest reign atop that list by a female artist.
Last week Lorde became the youngest solo artist to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in two decades, while her debut album Pure Heroine sold 129,000 copies in its first week to debut at Number Three on the Billboard album survey.