Music

Kehlani Responds To A Radio Host Who Disrespected Them During Their Interview

Over the past few months — perhaps even years, really — there has been a disturbing trend of ostensible music journalists outright disrespecting interview subjects for content. These podcast and radio hosts have crossed boundaries, making artists — especially women or femme-presenting ones — visibly uncomfortable during interviews. Fortunately, with social media, those artists have the capacity to stand up for themselves, which is what Kehlani did when Morning Hustle Show hosts Lore’l and Headkrack misgendered and insulted them during an interview they called “cringy and invasive.”

While on their press tour to promote their new album, Blue Water Road, Kehlani appeared on the show but became visibly agitated after the hosts seemed to mock their pronouns, folding their arms and offering short, clipped responses to questions like whether they were “scissoring with SZA.” Afterward, Kehlani responded to the interview on Instagram, writing, “This is why your favorite artists always stop doing interviews or people don’t want to speak anymore. I’m only speaking to [a] select few folks anymore who really care about me deeply and have always been in my corner.”

In a video on social media, the host called out Kehlani for being “rude” and not having respect for urban media. “You feel like you don’t have to come to platforms like this and do interviews because you have Cosmopolitan and MTV and Vanity Fair that will feature you,” Lore’l said — accurately, I might add. “Good luck with your album, I heard it only sold 21K copies,” she added, spitefully. No artist is obligated to give any platform an interview, even if they are ostensibly “for the culture” — especially if they can’t be bothered to treat their interviewees with the bare minimum of human dignity.

Kehlani shot back on Instagram, pointing out, “I have kept it calm, collected, mature in the face of blatant disrespect when I could’ve went off. I finished interviews strong while being poked and prodded at. I JOYFULLY met thousands and thousands of fans this week, joyfully did many interviews very much available on youtube. if you know me you know I’m HIGH BRIGHT ENERGY until F*CKED WITH! stretching this situation for clout when it’s evident i was energetically RESPONDING to what was being thrown at me, and still at it was quiet, short & protective of my energy. y’all need this tho i get it.”

For what it’s worth, there has been an ongoing discussion about artists in Black music foregoing Black outlets when it comes time to promote their work, preferring outsider outlets like those mentioned above for glowing profiles and uncritical reviews. However, it’s also understandable; artists are people too and are entitled to their legitimate feelings. No one wants to feel disrespected by invasive questions or mocked for their missteps. Obviously, there’s a balance to be found in which outlets can ask intimate questions in a much more empathetic way. Plenty of folks on Twitter seem to agree, as you can see below.

You can watch the full interview above.

Kehlani is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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