In 2009 rapper Flo Rida released his single “Right Round,” a song which heavily sampled Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” in its hook. On top of shooting to number one on the charts in just three weeks, the track also featured Ke$ha on guest vocals. The following is the music video for the song:
You may notice that Ke$ha, an artist known for being Caucasian, blonde, and very into glitter does not appear in the video. Adding apparent insult to injury, she was only credited for her part outside of the US. To slightly amend the former, the artist said in an interview with Esquire Magazine that “[Flo Rida’s team] wanted me in the video, and I said, ‘Nah, I want to make my own name for myself.'”
Just today I was watching MuchMusic and saw a video for one of Flo Rida’s newer singles, “Wild Ones.” It features Australian recording artist Sia, whose presence on the track received a good amount of attention. Billboard.com described her as having a “bell-clear, campfire voice,” and noted her appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 was a deserved one. Below is the music video for that song:
The woman mouthing the lyrics to the song and accompanying Flo Rida is not Sia, but actually model Analicia Chaves. The implication in both this video and the last is that the artist whose vocals are featured are both a) present, and b) Black non-white [Chaves is Portuguese/Cape Verdean]. When “Right Round” was released everyone was asking themselves who Ke$ha was, and many assumed that she was simply the woman in the video.
I don’t believe that there’s any sort of racial conspiracy going on here, and the quirky similarity I noticed is more than likely only that. At this point neither Ke$ha nor Sia are doing badly for themselves, so it hasn’t harmed their image in the least. Still, it’s interesting to think about the fact that this has cropped up twice with the same rapper. If it happens a third time I think we’ll all know something’s up.