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Unaware of Jamaican Patois, Critics Blast Rihanna For Speaking “Gibberish” On Her New Single ‘Work’

• Feb 4, 2016

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Some Americans are not at all happy with Rihanna’s new single Work. The futuristic Caribbean song has gotten generally great reviews, but some have blasted the singer for speaking “gibberish.” Here is a sampling of reviews:

From The Gizzle Review;

Either way, her singing voice isn’t doing much work on this new single, the latest to be taken from her highly anticipated new album ‘Anti’. What begins as slurring soon just devolves into gibberish, “work work work work work” becoming “wor wer waa wahhhhh wa”. Repeated listening is genuinely hilarious.

Trying to decipher exactly what the song is about, then, is a futile effort. But if Max Martin has taught us anything, it’s that great pop music doesn’t have to have great lyrics – often a melodic hook is enough. And after only one listen, that nagging “wor wer waa wahhhhh wa” hook is thoroughly cemented in the mind.”

From Music Times;

And “Work” just works, in all its gibberish filled madness.”

From MishMash

“Work” has already gotten a lot of attention, not because it came out of the blue or the fact that it features Drake or even the fact that it was the most‐heard song on the more than 1,200 radio stations on its first day, but because it is literal gibberish.

I thought there must be some hidden meaning in there somewhere, so I looked it up online, and apparently it’s “a lust filled narrative of two lovers.” What I heard, however, was something completely different.”

Twitter feedback wasn’t so diplomatic.

rih1

rih2

rih3

rih4

Rihanna is not speaking gibberish, but Jamaican patois.

Jamaican Patois… is an English‐based creole language with West African influences (a majority of loan words of Akan origin) spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora. The language developed in the 17th century, when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by their masters: British English, Scots and Hiberno‐English.”

And this is not the first time Jamaican patois has been featured on a hit American song. You can hear it on Kendrick Lamar’s Blacker the Berry (spoken by Jamaican Dancehall DJ Agent Sasco), on Kanye West and GOOD Music’s Mercy (in a sample from Super Beagle’s ‘Dust a Sound Boy’) and on Damian Marley’s Road to Zion which features rapper Nas. Rihanna is perhaps the highest profile musician to bring patois to the American mainstream since Bob Marley. Although Shaggy, Beenie Man and Sean Paul had respectable runs in the 90s and 2000s.

Rihanna hails from the island of Barbados, but has incorporated patois heavily into many of her hits, including Rude Boy and Man Down.

For those curious, here is a break down of the song’s lyrics from Genius.com. I’ve included a loose translation in italics and parentheses.

[Hook: Rihanna]
Work, work, work, work, work, work
He said me haffi (He said I have to)
Work, work, work, work, work, work!
He see me do mi (He saw me do my)
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
So me put in (So I put in)
Work, work, work, work, work, work
When you ah guh (When are you going to)
Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn
Meh nuh cyar if him (I don’t care if he’s)
Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting

[Verse 1: Rihanna]
Dry! …Me a desert him (Dry, I’m going to desert him)
Nuh time to have you lurking (No time to have you lurking)
Him ah go act like he nuh like it (He will act like he doesn’t like it)
You know I dealt with you the nicest (I dealt with you nicely)
Nuh body touch me you nuh righteous (Don’t touch me, you’re not righteous)
Nuh badda, text me in a crisis (Don’t bother to text me in a crisis)
I believed all of your dreams, adoration
You took my heart and my keys and my patience
You took my heart on my sleeve for decoration
You mistaken my love I brought for you for foundation
All that I wanted from you was to give me
Something that I never had
Something that you’ve never seen
Something that you’ve never been!
Mmmmm!
But I wake up and act like nothing’s wrong
Just get ready fi…

[Hook: Rihanna]
Work, work, work, work, work, work
He said me haffi
Work, work, work, work, work, work!
He see me do mi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
So me put in
Work, work, work, work, work, work
Ner ner ner ner ner ner!
When yuh ago learn learn learn learn learn learn! (When will you learn)
Before the tables turn turn turn turn turn turn!

Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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Essequibo
Guest
Essequibo

I appreciate this and all, but Rihanna is not Jamaican and therefore wouldn’t be speaking Jamaican patois. They speak similarly in Barbados, where she’s actually from.

Doug M
Guest
Doug M

Okay I’ve sufficiently educated everyone on this post to date, but I’ll do it one more time here… Dancehall = Jamaican music. “Work” = Dancehall song. In order to make it really feel like dancehall, she changed her voice and sang in JAMAICAN PATOIS. Bajan sounds absolutely NOTHING like patois. Like, not even close. Commenters down here are only slightly less uneducated about this than the folks who called it “gibberish”.

Paul Nefer
Guest
Paul Nefer

Please Google. No, Bajans do not speak ‘similarly’ to Jamaicans. We Jamaicans have a creole language, and Barbados just has another accent. Their vernacular is not distinctive enough to be another language.

jon
Guest
jon

and Nicki Minaj who is Trinidadian and not Jamaican wouldnt either right.… lol

Claudette UK
Guest
Claudette UK

Bajan patois is very different to Jamaican.

cryssi
Guest
cryssi

People love to shoot first and aim later. Before you blast something make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Ev
Guest
Ev

The Jamaican singer on ‘The Blacker the Berry’ was actually Assassin.

Monique
Guest
Monique

Assassin and Agent Sasco are the same person.

Krys
Guest
Krys

Assassin changed his name to Agent Sasco ages ago.

KayKay
Guest
KayKay

He now goes by Agent Sasco. Same guy. Great voice.

Valence Jordan
Guest
Valence Jordan

Assassin changed his name to Agent Sasco some years back

Parry
Guest

Is how I didn’t even know that. I’ve been calling him Assassin all now.

Janet Holmes
Guest
Janet Holmes

Who are these ignorant cave beast who are clueless to accent..She is freaking Bajans you stupid fucktart

Chana Jamison-Strickland
Guest
Chana Jamison-Strickland

But that’s not a Bajan accent. They sound very different from Jamaicans. She was channeling a Jamaican Dancehall sound so she used Jamaican patois…which has actually become quite commercialized at this point…

DontBelieveTheHype
Guest
DontBelieveTheHype

Rihanna is not Jamaican. She’s Bajan. She’s speaking Bajan dialect.

Bianca Camp
Guest

Is it Jamaican patois, really? Because she’s Bajan and the dialects between the islands are distinctly different and Carib folks hate being all lumped in together. Juuust wanna double check. Don’t want to try to correct one news source with the wrong info. Anyway, love your work! AND! Thank you for standing up and putting these folks on blast! <3 <3 <3

Isabelle Dalrymple
Guest
Isabelle Dalrymple

Yes!! Thank you! When I saw this I was like really? Jamaican patois? I understand the content of the article, but it grinds my gears when people lump all Caribbean people to being Jamacain. She is Bajan speaking a Bajan dialect or Bajan “slang”

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Except for the small thing called “The facts”. And the fact is, she is singing JAMAICAN DANCEHALL lyrics over a JAMAICAN DANCEHALL riddim. Irrefutably.

Bi Camp
Guest

Here’s a refute: No, it’s not dancehall, though many people think anything post‐2001 from the Caribbean is dancehall these days. This is modern pop with someone using a non‐English dialect.

For the record, just because someone who is Jamaican made a song, doesn’t mean they made a dancehall song… We’re a pretty diverse people who can make all types of music, lol

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Are you kidding me? It’s dancehall. The riddim is dancehall, it is originally from Richie Stephens “Sail Away”, a song which I still have the original vinyl 45. The people WHO WROTE THE LYRICS are Jamaican and have outright talked about it being a direct nod to the dancehall scene they love. Dancehall is just like pop music: it’s not a specific sound or style. One might even say, it’s the pop music of Jamaican youth.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Well thanks for that, except for one small fact: it was written by writers with obvious ties to dancehall, and the riddim they decided to choose to have her sing over IS DANCEHALL!! Like, there is no question about it! Why is it that people are trying to reduce this to another musical style when the very creators fully intended it to sound like the dancehall influenced track that it is? You keep making this point but guess what? It’s not a song that sounds like Jamaican soul, country, disco…of which there are many. It’s a song that sounds exactly… Read more »

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Im still shaking my head laughing at you trying to school me on Jamaican music and informing me that not all Jamaicans making music make dancehall songs. Yuh bright! lol. But it’s not my fault you wouldn’t be able to recognize a PRE‐2001 dancehall chune if it ran you over in the road lmaooo

Doug M
Guest
Doug M

Dancehall is Jamaican music. Rihanna wants the song to sound authentic… therefore she broke out a Jamaican patois accent in her lyrics. It doesn’t matter where she was born. It’s about the sound of the song which is clearly DANCEHALL.

Bi Camp
Guest

Right. I know that Caribbean folks can honor and celebrate each other through music and enunciation. The comment still stands. Apple Music, the original article that BGLH is critiquing, and other platforms continue to erase the distinct sounds and dialect from different parts of the Caribbean and make Jamaica synonymous with an entire region. And within that, they often also over‐simplify the distinctly different sounds of Jamaican music. Not every song a Jamaican sings or a person with a Jamaican accent sings is a dancehall track, or a reggae track. Pop, opera, rock, can be sung in any dialect and… Read more »

lis
Guest
lis

Dope.…love rhi.

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

But Rihanna is Bajan…just because it’s patios or creole doesn’t mean it’s Jamaican. Just because it sound the same doesn’t mean that it is

MsSueT
Guest
MsSueT

Also sounds a lot like Belizean kriol.…but whatever, it’s certainly not gibberish.

Doug M
Guest
Doug M

Bajan and Jamaican patois don’t sound a like at all. Not in the slightest. And this is indeed Jamaican Patois. She’s channeling Jamaican DANCEHALL music, hence the reason for the JA accent. It’s not rocket science, everyone.

Bi Camp
Guest

This isn’t dancehall. Dancehall is a very distinct type of music, though many people think anything post‐2001 from the Caribbean is dancehall these days. This is modern pop with someone using a non‐English dialect.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Are you nuts? Or under the age of 30? No person with any background in dancehall doesn’t recognize this riddim. It is the Sail Away riddim. And it IS dancehall.

chosen_one1
Guest
chosen_one1

WTH are you talking about .. the sample is from a dancehall track by richie stevens

So yeah dancehall origins

LegendInMyOwnMind
Guest
LegendInMyOwnMind

It doesn’t sound the same

JahMekMi
Guest
JahMekMi

It’s def not creole and def is Jamaican patois. Barbadian patois doesn’t sound like this.

Mishmash
Guest

Thank you for this article. I was misinformed and revised my post on Mishmash. I appreciate your bringing this to attention. -mishmash author

JahMekMi
Guest
JahMekMi

This article is also misinformed.

Elle P.
Guest
Elle P.

I was looking for the song and I found it on YouTube. In the comments it says it’s not her singing it, it’s Tinashe…I really don’t listen to anything of the pop stars of today, smh. I suppose writing good song lyrics takes #workworkwork

Hmm
Guest
Hmm

I don’t think Tinashe is from the Caribbean. She has roots in Zimbabwe.

K
Guest
K

Actually she’s from Barbados so she’s not speaking Jamaican patois, but Bajan. It’s another english‐based creole we speak in the Caribbean. But good points about calling out those calling it “gibberish”. Lol it’s the same language spoken by the native people of the islands half of these ignorants tweeting love to visit…sigh.

Monique
Guest
Monique

Yes, she is from Barbados but that doesn’t mean she’s not speaking Jamaican patois. That is patois.

Valence Jordan
Guest
Valence Jordan

Actually as someone of Bajan descent and living in Jamaica I think it’s feasible to say Rihanna is speaking Jamaican patois since this entire album is an homage to Jamaica

Wizero
Guest
Wizero

lol bye.

Doug M
Guest
Doug M

We all know she’s bajan… but she is indeed speaking Jamaican patois. Bajan broken english is completely different. Nicky Minaj does the same all the time… her background is Trinidadian and she’s from NY, yet she spits patois from time to time on tracks like Busta’s “Twerk it”

Isabelle Dalrymple
Guest
Isabelle Dalrymple

Lol!! They love to visit but wanna bash the culture!

Pinchez
Guest
Pinchez

Coming from the island right next to Barbados, Saint Lucia, they(Bajans) don’t speak similar to Jamaicans. Rihanna chooses to use Jamaican patois as within the region it is quite popular to use Jamaican vernacular because of the popularity of Jamaican music in the region. We are either big reggae or dancehall or soca(originating from Trinidad) fans. Rihanna sings in the style of dancehall music

WE DO NOT ALL SOUND THE SAME. and we tend to appreciate each others artforms

Arte Maria Benn
Guest
Arte Maria Benn

here’s thing I noticed in this article.

I grew up in the dancehall era when songs like “Peppa Seed” and ” Rich Girl” were blasting …

Rihanna’s sound for this track directly channels that era…

It’s now being heralded as “futuristic”

* giggles uncontrollably *

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

99% of the people commenting here have no idea about the 2 songs you just mentioned lol

Ashlei Mayadia
Guest
Ashlei Mayadia

the producer of the song is Jamaican, so she JUST MIGHT be speaking Jamaican Patois http://zipfm.net/news/jamaican-producer-behind-rihannas-work-single-talks-project-success

NotEvenMad
Guest
NotEvenMad

Maybe, but this is also how Rihanna (the performer) actually speaks. The point is, this dialect is not exclusive to Jamaica.

Nikki Miller
Guest

All the islands have their own dialect aka “patois” so she’s actually speaking Bajan dialect not Jamaican patois

PEEKAY
Guest
PEEKAY

BUT YOU KNOW THEY THINK WE ARE ALL THE SAME .….….….….SMH

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

LOL try again.

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

thank God because I was saying that’s some shitty patwa she reading.…since it didn’t sound like singing or deejaying.….wtf?

Nikki Miller
Guest

Iggy, Katy, or Miley will sing something very similar soon and it’ll be a HIT, just give it time ! Smdh

Rose
Guest
Rose

Seriously. Don’t think they won’t try it.

agman
Guest
agman

Thanks for speaking it into existence hater. Bow down to your queen Iggy and worship!

Philly Jawn
Guest
Philly Jawn

She is bajan no Jamaican

Missy Piper
Guest
Missy Piper

What is this argument that people keep making? She’s from Barbados, so it can’t be Patois? So a person cannot communicate in a dialect other than their own? ???

NotEvenMad
Guest
NotEvenMad

They’re pointing out that not all patois is Jamaican. Patois dialects exist on all Caribbean islands.

Missy Piper
Guest
Missy Piper

No, what people keep saying is that she’s Bajan, and therefore she’s not speaking Patois, which is what is ridiculous to me.

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

her words were not bajan and her accent was a bad imitation at reading not even trying to dj.……

Kelvin Njuguna
Guest
Kelvin Njuguna

Fools and Ignorance walk hand in hand!!!

Milos Mom
Guest
Milos Mom

If your PROFESSION is to critique music and you do not research said music before sounding like an ignorant ass, then you need another profession because clearly you failed.

As for people just throwing in their 2cents on twitter, who cares.… I don’t know a wide variety to languages/dialects so I might say that about some Norwegian pop tune. But I do think that this is a great example of how some people are just sheep and repeat what they hear in the media.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Oh another great piece of commentary. Tell us, for all the research you did, what nationality wrote the lyrics for “Work”? And where is the music that carries the song from? Please don’t give up your day job as a career in music is not on your horizon.

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

scroll up for the answer.…and it doesn’t matter who wrote the lyrics, she did a choppy job with it.…..her patwa is wacked.

Anthony Taurus
Guest

hmmmm.… how about a new title UNAWARE OF CARIBBEAN PATOIS, THIS AUTHOR THINKS EVERY ONE WITH A SLIGHT CARIBBEAN ACCENT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SPEAKING “JAMAICAN PATOIS”.. HELLO.. ANYONE HOME.. ok pay attention there are more islands in the Caribbean besides Jamaica.. because of that the patois is going to be slightly different from island to island. just because rhianna doesn’t sound like beenie man doesn’t mean she’s faking her language. and to you jamaicans.. stop being so damn self‐centered.. you think you the only ones that talk dat talk, do reggae, soca, calypso, and so on. if so, you… Read more »

Makeda
Guest
Makeda

Maryland isn’t landlocked.

Sharon Huxford
Guest
Sharon Huxford

Right?

Roje Facey
Guest
Roje Facey

she is using jamaican patois tho.….

YOU WILL FUCKING LEARN TODAY
Guest
YOU WILL FUCKING LEARN TODAY

YOU DON’T LIVE IN THE CARIBBEAN, I DO, SO SHUT UP!!! YOU DUMB FUCK!!!!! YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING!!!! WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU SPEAKING?????DROP IN A HOLE AND DON’T COME BACK OUT!!!! JAMAICA RULES THE WORLD TO ALL YOU APPROPRIATING BASTARDS !!!! NO OTHER CARIB ISLAND SAYS “FI” OR “FI GO” INSTEAD OF “SUPPOSED TO” OR “SHOULD” SO RIHANNA IS CLEARLY COPYING JAM CREOLE (NO PROBLEM TO ME SHE CARIBBEAN).…example of “FI” in a sentence “YOU FI GO CHUCK THROUGH YOUR BIG HOLE MOTHER ” .THIS CAN BE MADE UNDERSTANDABLE BY YOUR DUMB ASS IN THE QUEEN’S FUCKERY LANGUAGE WITH… Read more »

JahMekMi
Guest
JahMekMi

You really take that personally aye?! I’ll go choke on my delicious ackee** and salt fish. Yum

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Lol Maryland isn’t landlocked

aja
Guest
aja

Who said Jamaicans had any debate about this? If you read the article and the texts, there was no reference to Jamaicans debating anything. Why blame Jamaicans for a trivial argument. You must have something against Jamaicans. Jamaicans hate that every West Indian is thought to be a Jamaican, good or bad. Read the article again. No yardie weighed in on this “debate.” Maybe Jamaicans are NOT so self‐centered after all, eh?

dwntomars
Guest
dwntomars

LMAO

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Im guessing researching who actually wrote the lyrics for and provided the music for “Work” was harder than typing that shit that came out both your mouth and keyboard? JAMAICANS. Nice try.

freds
Guest
freds

Your attitude is ridiculous. I don’t know from where in the article you got the impression that Jamaicans are self‐centered — no Jamaican person is quoted in the article…at all. Not the mention “stateside Black folk”? You could have acknowledged Bajan patois without projecting your own embarrassing personal bias into your comment.

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

he’s speaking from experience.…we can be a little self centered.…..come on .…why not? people love our accents and our beaches, our music and our food, also, we have the fastest man and woman in the world from our country. our beauty queens outnumber them.….dem just jealous…at least when we open our mouths, we have the data to back it up.…..no empty barrell here

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

You called? I’m here for the choking job.…..saltfish…come eeennn nuh?

l moore
Guest
l moore

I love that she’s tapping into her Bajan roots after being in the industry for so long. It’s nice to see her comfortable in her own skin and not feeling the need to conform. I’d like to point out that not all patois is of jamaican origin. There are a great number of islands that use their own unique derivative of patois.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

No, not all patois is of Jamaican origin…except, of course, when it’s actually Jamaicans that, you know, write said patois. Duh

Ippoletta
Guest
Ippoletta

Except it’s Jamaican roots.

LegendInMyOwnMind
Guest
LegendInMyOwnMind

Wtf does Jamaica have to do with Barbados? We are separated by over 1200 miles of ocean and have a totally different accents. Jamaican patois my ass. Rihanna is BAJAN and has a BAJAN accent which sounds nothing like a Jamaican accent (not that there is anything wrong with it)

Sharon Huxford
Guest
Sharon Huxford

True

Timothy
Guest
Timothy

THANK YOU. Jamaica is not the only island in the Caribbean and it’s NOT the only one with its own “patois” / Creole. So irritating. WHY would a Bajan speak Jamaican patois?

Nelle
Guest
Nelle

Agreed! That is not Jamaican patois!

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

WTF does Barbados have to do with Rihanna’s clearly Jamaican dancehall tune “Work”, written by Jamaicans and performed by her over a clearly JAMAICAN DANCEHALL riddim? Man your ass must be pretty sore. lmao

LegendInMyOwnMind
Guest
LegendInMyOwnMind

WTF does the rhythm have to do with her accent? And wunna watching my backside? Fuh wha?

Fiya!!!”

~De Rass

Doug M
Guest
Doug M

For those of you who are severely uninitiated in these matters:

All the Bajan Accent you can handle:

vs

Jamaican Patois:

i land
Guest
i land

As a person of bajan decent and living in Barbados for almost all my life and currently living in Barbados and literally hear “de raww bajan dialect all de rasshole time” she is not speaking Bajan here. It has Jamaican patois, nothing bajan sounding at all in this song. I suppose she catering to the notion that to everyone outside, Caribbean, Jamaica is all they know.

The song isn’t bad though. Its cool.
Just disappointed she didn’t use her own island’s dialect, that would be cool.

Timothy
Guest
Timothy

LMAOOO you can tell all the Bajan here vex

LJG22
Guest
LJG22

Well, perhaps if Rihanna were actually JAMAICAN people would put 2 and 2 together.

Lisa-Marie Ambersley
Guest
Lisa-Marie Ambersley

She isn’t speaking Jamaican patios but bajan creole.. They’re pretty close but there is a difference. Americans obviously think anything apart from the glorified “American accent” is gibberish.

Superman
Guest
Superman

The Bajans here are ridiculous. If you really are a fan of Rihanna you would know her influences in music and would appreciate the fact that she loves REGGAE and REGGAE sounds and this song has a touch of dancehall which is supported by the Jamaican Patois in the song. Not Bajan Creole, Not Soca, Not crop over. We ALL know how Rihanna sounds on a normal day and in the song she doesn’t sound like that.

I bet if ‘Man Down’ wasn’t shot in Jamaica you all would say its Bajan influenced too LOL

Nat
Guest
Nat

She is speaking Jamaican patois because it is dancehall music that she’s making and it’s hot but not futuristic cause it’s dancehall. Your translation is so off, for example, I dealt with you the nicest does not mean I dealt with you nicely it means I’m the best, which a Caribbean person would use to say I’m the best in bed, so your translation looses the meaning, you should research before putting information out to the masses.

YOU WILL FUCKING LEARN TODAY
Guest
YOU WILL FUCKING LEARN TODAY

“Rihanna is Bajan not jamaican” ““what does jamaica have to do with barbados”, “she is speaking bajan not jamaican” BLAH BLAH BLAH FUCKERY! I MEET CARIBBEAN PEOPLE EVERY FUCKING DAY; BAJANS BELIZEANS, JAMAICANS, TRINIS, VINCENTIANS ETC. I AM A JAMAICAN AND OUR MUSIC IS PROLIFIC AS FUCK ALONG WITH SOCA, YOU STUPID CUNTS. SHE IS COPYING JAMAICAN PATOIS/CREOLE SIMPLE AS THAT. THERE IS NO BOMBOCLAAT PROBLEM WITH SHARING SO YOU SHOULD ALL GO FUCK YOURSELVES AND SUCK YOUR RESPECTIVE MOTHER’S CUNT FOR BEING SO BLOODCLAAT IGNORANT AND TALKING SHIT AS WELL. BE IGNORANT IN SILENCE NEXT TIME OR ASK SOMEBODY… Read more »

Rose
Guest
Rose

I love the new song Work. Most Drake and Rihanna collaborations have a great vibe to them

Virgin Islander
Guest
Virgin Islander

Welcome to the MODERN Caribbean where accents from OTHER Caribbean islands can sound like that of, well, another Caribbean islands’ accent. For example, Rihanna ALREADY has her own natural accent as she hails from Barbados. Her natural accent, like mine, is ALREADY within the vicinity of something similar to that of Jamaicans and vice versa which is why when we Caribbean folks speak, to the untrained ear and the ignorant, we “All sound like Jamaicans” or to others, “you are FAKING a Jamaican accent” as someone told me about my Virgin Islands accent recently. *sigh* For example, just yesterday, I… Read more »

JahMekMi
Guest
JahMekMi

I’m Jamaican. She does start speaking gibberish. Not patois. This article is misinforming ppl. Yes, she is from Barbados, but she is still clearly using a Jamaican accent as well as patois. “Man Down” was also Jamaican patois (not gibberish might I add)

Jacky
Guest
Jacky

I think that the main problem is that people love to relate to the lyrics and feel the mood of the songs that they listen to eg. Break‐up songs make people feel sad or hope‐filled depending on the themes and lyrics that they convey. It’s easy to understand why people taught that Rihanna was speaking gibberish when they couldn’t understand what she was saying and hence (they) didn’t know how they felt about they song. I also didn’t understand the song before I saw the interpretation written in this article. Now that it has been established that it’s patois and… Read more »

KoffDropVI
Guest
KoffDropVI

You realize with this article, you only made it worse and became no better than the ones you’re going after right?

CareFreeKinksandCoils
Guest
CareFreeKinksandCoils

Uh it’s not “Jamaican Patois” nor is it “gibberish” -__‐ It’s Bajan dialect. I speak it. I live in Barbados. I know.

Syn
Guest
Syn

Either way, it’s ugly. Hate talking to Jamaicans with heavy accent.

Pawkypenguin
Guest
Pawkypenguin

Well at least two of the three articles edited their articles, not that they owned up to actually editing them. But now they talk about how the song is ‘wonderful’ and a ‘unique blend of English and patrois’ blah blah. Man, twirled those reviews fast, suddenly they love them.

Olympia Sherron
Guest
Olympia Sherron

Since Rihanna is from Barbados (and therefore not Jamaican) I still don’t understand why she put Jamaican patois in her song. That’s like an American music artist speaking in an Irish accent in their music or an Australian “rapper” using a Southern African‐American accent in her songs. It just not a good fit because it’s not the person’s real, natural accent.

your local opp boy
Guest

Lool jokeman it’s not juss used in Jamaica, it’s used all around the Carribean

Mvumikazi
Guest

jibberish? I can just imagine what these “critics” would say if a South Arica Xhosa or Ncu taal speaking American based rapper would decide to do something in vernacular…ayayay.

Mvumikazi ~ Urban Mnguni ~

MartiniMc
Guest
MartiniMc

Regardless of where she’s from and how you guys feel about her, Rihanna is bringing overlooked cultures to the airwaves! Can people stop being petty for one second to appreciate this? Name someone else on the current Billboard top 100 list serving you Caribbean languages that will now be heard around the world…I’ll wait.

jon
Guest
jon

WHOA look at the Bajans go crazy! lol Rihanna is Bajan and as such speaks Bajan as expected. I heard this song the minute it dropped and undoubtedly its a dancehall track and as we say in Jamaica she a deejay. Dont see what the fuss is about. Its a dancehall song, which she chooses to do in patois (for the most part, but can hear where it interchages to bajan for some parts when she says him ah guh act like HE nuh like it) regardless of which island she’s from. What everyone should have taken away is the… Read more »

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Noone in their right mind who is older than say 30 and has a basic understanding of dancehall will mistake this song for anything other than Jamaican dancehall. Written by a Jamaican lyricist and produced over the dancehall Sail Away riddim. If there’s any slip up into Bajan dialect, it’s because yes, she’s Bajan. But it’s dancehall. Plain and simple.

Lolalao
Guest
Lolalao

Yes!!!

RaCin à rOch ????
Guest
RaCin à rOch ????

there are several patois in caribbean islands…and you know Jamaica isnt the only land of CI

Robert Tucker
Guest
Robert Tucker

I am a REAL Jamaican, and I heard 99% of what she said quite easily! I’ll just quickly type it out, with quick translations in brackets: ============================ CHORUS/HOOK ============================ Work, work, work, work, work, work, A suh mi haffi work, (This is how hard I have to work) Work, work, work, work, work, Yuh see me doing dirt, (This is the dirt I have to do as I do my job) Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, A suh mi bad a’ work, (Look at how professional at it I am!) Work, work, work, work, work, When yuh aggo learn, (When… Read more »

Kesi
Guest
Kesi

YES!!!!

Andrew Beverley
Guest
Andrew Beverley

I understood everything she said too. But she sounds like somebody from a different Caribbean island trying to use a Jamaican accent. She sounds like she’s mumbling because she doesn’t wake up in the morning with a Jamaican accent. She wakes up with a Bajan accent. Anything else is forced and unnatural

Robert Tucker
Guest
Robert Tucker

Jamaica is the only island that most people recognize from the Caribbean. The rest of the islands are just not as popular. Jamaica has contributed much more to capture the world’s attention. This is why you have a Trini like Nicky Minaj, or a Bajan Rihanna trying to speak with a Jamaican accent. They know nobody knows their islands, so they culture appropriate our stuff and output a generic Caribbean version.

Andrew Beverley
Guest
Andrew Beverley

Adf

Robert Tucker
Guest
Robert Tucker

Them willing to tolerate “FUTURE” and the members of “Mumble Corp.” but can’t understand Patois? Nope. You cannot catch me dead with music from “Future”.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Every person who wrote that because she is Bajan she can’t be speaking Jamaican patois is a f@#$ing IDIAT. The lyrics were written by Jamaicans and given to her to sing. And sing it in patois she does, over the blatantly Jamaican dancehall riddim from 1998 Richie Stephens “Sail Away”. Get a clue people.

Chevanne
Guest

+10 for the spelling “idiat”

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

HHEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYDIAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT ting! 😉

akatsukihana
Guest
akatsukihana

With an with an H lol

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Guess what the song is written by JAMAICANS and performed on a classic JAMAICAN dancehall riddim. Look it up.

Sistaaaws
Guest
Sistaaaws

What do they know? Rihanna has been doing whatever the label wanted and in this album she literally said ‘f*ck it’, people are only listening to work and not the rest of the album. I love her and ANTI was the best yet.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Why is it that Bajans can come in here and chat every kind of fuckre against Jamaicans like “go choke on yuh aki (fool, it’s ackee) and saltfish” and it gets approved but yet when I point out how stupid they are for assuming that just because she’s Bajan the tune isn’t of Jamaican origin my comment gets deleted by “Black Girl With Long Hair”

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

get off yourself lol

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

I guess you’re pretty wrong eh

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Nope, cause it’s a song written by Jamaicans on a Jamaican riddim. Woops on you lol

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Why don’t you research the background of the song, it’s writers, and the music used? It’s dancehall! There is no question about it.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

You don’t understand why she put Jamaican patois in the song? Maybe because she didn’t actually write the lyrics? Wow. Just wow.

Essequibo
Guest
Essequibo

I know what Bajan patois sounds like, I’m Bajan and Guyanese, (just like Rihanna is, coincidentally) When I said similar, I meant similar in the way that Colombian Spanish and Mexican Spanish are. They’re related, but not the same. When I hear Jamaican patois, I understand it. And no, what Jamaicans speak is not a separate language. It’s a dialect. Languages have distinct vocabularies. Jamaican patois is based off of English and other (African) languages.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

If isn’t some misguidedly proud Bajan puffing up his/her chest, its a wannabee high‐society ex‐pat Jamaican falling over themselves trying to distance from dancehall culture and not give proper credit where due. They don’t want to acknowledge that a really great tune can come out of the dancehall vibes.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Maybe because they’re singing lyrics that were provided to them by, you know, a Jamaican writer who also happened to give them a Jamaican dancehall riddim to sing said lyrics on top of? LOL

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Seeing yourself out? Valence is 100% correct

Wizero
Guest
Wizero

Rihanna’s latest album, ANTi, is not homage to Jamaica. That’s ridiculous delusion. No where did Rihanna say that.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

LMAOOOOOO

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Perhaps if people actually knew dancehall and used their keystrokes to research before posting to see what roles JAMAICANS played in this song (like, all of the roles, except actually singing the track), they’d put 2 and 2 together and not talk crap

chosen_one1
Guest
chosen_one1

Well given the original song was a Jamaican song by Richie Stevens and she was paying homage by using the beat .. she sounded fine to me

chosen_one1
Guest
chosen_one1

because it was done over a dancehall riddim and the song was written by jamaicans and she was paying homage to the original song

Staci Elle
Guest

it’ll be cool when miley does it.…

Lolalao
Guest
Lolalao

Exactly!

Life
Guest
Life

Well Pitchfork gave Miley’s last effort a 3/10, so no.

Staci Elle
Guest

So one mg negates my point? She can’t twerk for ish and she’s the face of twerking for them lol. Don’t be dense all ya life.

Xavier ImsoDope Ewan
Guest
Xavier ImsoDope Ewan

Look at them..Ignorant..

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Society always a try stop dancehall music f*&% them all especially those who call it something other than JAMAICAN DANCEHALL http://www.okayplayer.com/news/rihanna-drake-work-is-dancehall-not-tropical-house.html

Lolalao
Guest
Lolalao

I had to post that on another site. Someone had to bring up “Adele” .

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

Jamaican anything is hot right now so she jumped on the bandwaggon

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

I think she actually likes Jamaican music also. Could be that.

Punkandglamour
Guest
Punkandglamour

It’s not Patois, it’s Baijan as she is from Barbados.

Fully Sideways Rally
Guest
Fully Sideways Rally

that’s not bajan …that is Jamaican…I’m bajan and we don’t speak like that …shes using Jamaican in this!

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Tell them again

Tina
Guest
Tina

Well im jamaican and it’s not all us either. ??

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

try again

River Crossing
Guest
River Crossing

Firstly, the word is “Bajan” not “Baijan”. Secondly, the fact that Rihanna is from Barbados, where Bajan (a dialect of English) is spoken alongside English, does not mean “it” is Bajan. In fact, it is not Bajan!

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

Hate talking to anyone with shallow minds.

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

sorry, but our accents in the caribbean are not the same…I can pick out a jamaican out of the crowd and I bet you can pick out your own countryman when you hear them speak.…..trini, bajan and others have different accents.…we also have our own unique dishes and culture that makes us who we are.….…we mix it up sometimes, but we still know what makes us unique.…jamaican accent is not easy to fake and she tried.…..that’s why they thought it was gibberish…she did not put the accent in it.…she just sing it like an American reading pawa.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Ok Ive read your other comments and understand we are mostly on the same page..but what matter is it if she did or didn’t put the exact right accent into it? Do you really think that matters? As you know, even within the island itself the delivery of patois can range and vary when someone from say, Linstead is talking vs someone from Port Antonio. When Snow butchers patois, or Gentleman does a song, does anyone blink? It’s STILL dancehall. Noone calls Gentleman “Euro dub” or some foolish shit. it’s reggae! Rolling Stone called Work “tropical house”. Wtf is tropical… Read more »

tracienatural
Guest
tracienatural

Lol. You asked why no one has problems with Snow, Gentleman or Rolling Stone mimicking patwa? Same reason black people accept non‐blacks into their culture, but give their own blacks a harder time. You know why lol

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

Sorry, but there are many accents in the Caribbean that are very similar in sound and dialect. It makes a lot of sense since many of us share Ancestors who originated from the same place. Yes there are more distinct accents from Islands such as Barbados, Trinidad, St Lucia and Dominica for example but study the languages and you will find a lot of similarities.

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

we can be.…but we are just making you all fight and get tired before we roll in and start chatting bout bad mind people

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

still waiting for the choking job.….lol

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

true…sounded like she was reading the damn patwa.I know Americans that can do a better Jamaican accent than what she did.….

ackeegrl
Guest
ackeegrl

Jamaican patwa is very distinct and so is trinidad’s. Bajan is also different.….we can tell where people are from amongst ourselves, but Americans think we all sound alike.…dummies.

Wizero
Guest
Wizero

100% Agreed!

Lele215
Guest

Don’t judge me. I’m happy to hear that some in the mainstream don’t understand what she is saying. Why must everything be palatable or to others? Besides, it’s harder to steal what you don’t understand.

katataksrainbow
Guest
katataksrainbow

Ugh, I love this article but hate that its still using the wrong information. Rhianna isn’t speaking “Jamaican Patois”. People from the islands refer to our way of speaking as “dialect” we aren’t all Jamaican, lol!

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

No, Jamaicans — and St. Lucians and Trinbagonians and Domincans and other Caribbean peoples — do have languages refereed to as patois. A patois is different from a dialect.

Esha Fowlin
Guest
Esha Fowlin

Smh she IS in fact speaking Jamaican patios lol you negropeans kill me lol I live on Flatbush aka ground central for all things island and Caribbean so I love with an associate with people from various island as a Bajan they don’t say “fi” lol this is Jamaican patios not Bajan or trini etc lol no biggie if you don’t know this but stop saying that it isn’t true

Tina
Guest
Tina

You associate with people BUT you did not GROW UP in a carribean household. Having carribean friends doesnt make you an expert

Esha Fowlin
Guest
Esha Fowlin

Stop lol try harder I am in fact a Jamaican American with two Jamaican parents one of which is a nyabingi Rasta!!!! Lol I lead with the fact that I was born and live in East Flatbush to show that I am familiar with accents and dialects from different islands.….and I never said I was an expert I just said I am very familiar with different island patios and I know what she is speaking in this song is Jamaican patois. Not trinity not Bajan not gibberish lol ijs

lis
Guest
lis

Wah gwan…

katataksrainbow
Guest
katataksrainbow

I hadn’t realized it was written by a Jamaican, but “negropean”? Really? Thats what you call a complete stranger you know nothing about over a mistake? Wow, what an amazing person you are!

Kathie Daniel
Guest
Kathie Daniel

How about this, then? Can you understand his words????
https://www.facebook.com/onewaytorock/videos/10202110634886583/

Jacky
Guest
Jacky

Thank you so much for sharing the video. It was hilarious!

em1o
Guest
em1o

Yes, some of it is creole but you can’t deny she starts to slur her words a lot, making it sound indeed gibberish. Or is the slurring a fundamental part of the Patois or Baijan or whatever? Don’t think so.

??????si
Guest
??????si

nah. your right, she does slur her words. Patois is very strong, everything is said with a lot of confidence!

JamGal Vic
Guest
JamGal Vic

Jamaican music is not an accent but a genre. Reggae, dancehall is performed globally by artists who do not even speak English much less the dialect of patois. You can see many performances of Jamaican music done by the most unlikely musicians, you can google it on YouTube. Also many artists incorporate reggae and dancehall beats into their music look at UB40 with ‘Red Wine’. They are not ‘Jamaican’ but it was not questioned on authenticity. What is the issue here is ignorance of the genres of Jamaican music. “Ah so me see it”

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Absolutely 100% dancehall and Jamaican music to di worl!!!

Fully Sideways Rally
Guest
Fully Sideways Rally

again…lack of understanding for other cultures…has caused some Americans to appear ignorant…

Kathie Daniel
Guest
Kathie Daniel

And THIS is comprehensible???

https://youtu.be/fxK4iGx_bno

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Cmon, he did some Wonder Loaf, it’s completely comprehensible lol

coodyscoops
Guest
coodyscoops

Lmfao most singers at woodstock during this time were incomprehensible??? even down to janice joplin ???

SPBelin
Guest
SPBelin

I find it almost insulting that anybody from the caribbean who makes a caribbean sounding record, it’s deemed Patois. Not everybody in the Caribbean speaks Patois. And not every Caribbean artist speaks Patois on their record, regardless of the nationality of the writer(s). Ask yourself, why would a woman born and raised in Barbados speak Patois versus her own native Bajan language? They’re close in dialect but they’re not one in the same.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Do you have any clue at all?

SPBelin
Guest
SPBelin

I actually do. I’m of Caribbean descent myself. Haitian to be exact. 🙂 And I’m from South Florida. So yes… I have a very large clue. Thank you!

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

No, you literally do not have a clue. You asked “why would a woman born and raised in Barbados speak Patois versus her own native Bajan language?” BECAUSE SHE’S DELIBERATELY MAKING A DANCEHALL SONG CLUELESS ONE. Why would Snow, born and raised in Canada, attempt Jamaican patois in his songs? Gentleman, born and raised in Germany? Dominic, born and raised in England? The list is literally endless. All examples of NON‐JAMAICANS who have co‐opted Jamaican slang/patois in their music.

Andrew Beverley
Guest
Andrew Beverley

True. I just you tubed Bigga Hatain. Sounds nothing like a Hatian.

SPBelin
Guest
SPBelin

I see my inquiry pressed you. So much so you have to use caps lock. Nice. And there are other artists who have created “dancehall” records and did not speak Patois on the record. So, you’re response is an opinion, sir. A strong opinion but that’s all. And learn how to converse without calling people names on social media. That’s so whack.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Really? Can you name me a single artist that is deliberately creating a Jamaican dancehall inspired track written by Jamaicans using patois on a rhythm that is a classic dancehall tune..and then they deliberately don’t use said patois? And let me just head you off if it’s a singer it doesn’t count, because they’re clearly not deejaying on the track. Rihanna is deliberately paying homage to Jamaican dancehall deejay/singjay style with Work. Anyone who can’t see that has no idea what they’re talking about. And stop with the digressions into my use of caps lock or calling you clueless when… Read more »

Joshua Proud
Guest
Joshua Proud

i like you chris walker explain to them let them understand

ben
Guest
ben

nah thats not how bajan sounds still

NaturallyMe
Guest
NaturallyMe

My thoughts exactly. I’m not from the islands but the idea that a Barbadian speaks a Jamaican dialect is obtuse at best. Kinda boarders that “it’s all the same” philosophy, or the “you’re from an island so you know all the languages and cultures” ideology, which is just as ignorant as the ignorance the writer of this article is accusing the “clearly uniformed” naysayers of having. I’m not familiar with all the island languages, dialects, and sub‐dialects, nor do I pretend to be. But maybe she really is just speaking gibberish? As if that’s a bad thing in an this… Read more »

SPBelin
Guest
SPBelin

I get where you’re coming from. I had similar thoughts as well. When I hear the mentioning of “gibberish”, I’m not so sure it’s as much gibberish as it is her being lazy and choosing just not to enunciate. Our thoughts are definitely on the same track.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Speaking of obtuse…are you being deliberately obtuse here? The writer of the article isn’t ignorant in the least bit, but you are. The PEOPLE WHO WROTE THE SONG are Jamaican. THE MUSIC IN THE SONG is Jamaican. The singer is a Bajan who loves dancehall and has done other dancehall flavoured songs in the past. Beatboxing is gibberish? You’re a patent fool.

lissa_the_cocoa
Guest
lissa_the_cocoa

For artistic reasons? The same reason a dude from Compton would put patois in his song?

Joshua Proud
Guest
Joshua Proud

probably because if she sang in bajan dialect you still wont understand and the same old bs would be said she is singing gibberish…listen to her accent when she speaks and see its strong.…watch her vids ..interviews…etc …when she sings/speaks its that others can understand

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Upvoted not for the profanity but because 90% of the people commenting here won’t understand what you just did there lol

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

BEXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!! lol

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

No it’s not

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Exactly. And it doesn’t matter where in the world an artiste is born/comes from be it Jamaica, Barbados, England, USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, you name it: a DANCEHALL song is a DANCEHALL song, and if the artiste chooses to deejay in the track, they are deliberately copping JAMAICAN PATOIS. Whether or not they do a decent job of it, sure, that can be debated…but not the fact of what it is they are trying to do, which is a Jamaican dancehall tune.

Arielle Nefertiti Peters
Guest
Arielle Nefertiti Peters

Saying she is speaking Jamaican patios is a writer not having all their sources correct, especially if you are correcting other people. I doubt this article would be rewritten for its lack of knowledge of other West Indian islands since I guess we all speak the same, but it was a good effort. If you want to be a resourceful blog to always do it correctly. The excuse that it is to make people have a conversation on misinformation would be false and ignorant.

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

What’s your excuse then, since you think you understand anything about the song? lol

Andrew Beverley
Guest
Andrew Beverley

If you know Caribbean accents, then you know thats not a Bajan accent. She is purposely trying to use a Jamaican accent.

funnyfacects
Guest
funnyfacects

So should we all be pissed at Rihanna for her cultural appropriation? ? I’m Jamaican and as far as I’m concerned, she’s been doing this “put on a Jamaican twang” thing since Day 1 with Pon de Replay, she covered Jamaican songs on her first album and Man Down was another one.

coodyscoops
Guest
coodyscoops

And rude boy

Ippoletta
Guest
Ippoletta

Its not cultural appropriation if you’re from the same culture.

Bajan246
Guest
Bajan246

I am Barbadian. She is not speaking Bajan Creole/Dialect in this song because this is not how Bajan’s speak. Her speech is decidedly Jamaican or at least Trinidadian,

trinialltheway
Guest
trinialltheway

As a trini I am offended that anyone thinks my accent sounds like the literal gibberish she “sings” on this track. That is not trini. She is a Bajan and should stick to her own and stop mocking other islanders which she fails terribly at. As someone else said, from day 1 she has been trying the Jamaican angle. I do not know how Barbados has her as an ambassador when she has not sung one song in Bajan and could barely explain Bajan culture in an interview. The rest of the Caribbean continuously fight to be not lumped as… Read more »

coodyscoops
Guest
coodyscoops

Even down to nicki minaj smfh… I feel like even if you born in a country and leave the next minute, it doesnt make you a complete native of that country because you have no value or even knowledge of that country… Nicki swears she has an accent… Its like what accent? Shes pretty much american in terms of cultural values smfh??

Joshua Proud
Guest
Joshua Proud

trinialltheway dont carr it to far everybody in caribbean know trinis and bajans got political issues …its a song.….sang in jamaican dialect leave it there.focus on nicki minaj let her sing in her native tongue and explain trinidad culture..cuz i sure know some nicki songs got jamaican in them too

Arielle Nefertiti Peters
Guest
Arielle Nefertiti Peters

Regardless what everyone thinks the dialect is, it is a song that’s going to mix the sound. So you are thinking another island and people will still disagree with you. My point is a lot of people when they hear dialects they assume Jamaica. All islands have similar heritage, but there are distinctions in the culture.

akatsukihana
Guest
akatsukihana

definitely not trini

Amethyst
Guest
Amethyst

Either way, It’s still a good song and Rihanna is still a good music artist

Andrew Beverley
Guest
Andrew Beverley

Thats not a Bajan accent.

SoLawRes
Guest
SoLawRes

To a me, an island girl by way of Dom Republic, she sounds exactly like my co‐worker who’s from St Thomas, when she’s speaking to someone back home (or gets pissed). It sounds like english with island sauciness, never knew it was an actual dilect that can differ between islands.

Lisa Slade
Guest
Lisa Slade

I was watching Paul Mooney on Netflix last night.… Hillarious.… He started his routine off with.… How come when it’s Black it’s Bad.… But when white folks do it.… Its Good… For example.… If a Black woman wears cornrows it’s. …Look at that nappy headed jigabooo.… But if a white woman wears cornrows.… Its wow look at Bo Derek.… She looks sexy and exotic.… So Rhianna does her native thing and it’s gibberish.… Let Miley Cyrus attempt to copy Rhiannas style and its.… HAUTE!!!!!! PAUL MOONLY just said what we’ve been thinking!

??????si
Guest
??????si

This isn’t Bajan. & it’s definitely not Trini. It’s like a watered down Jamaican Patois. Like if you had Jamaican parents, but you grew up in America, & you tried to learn the language, but it’s not as strong as back home. So it doesn’t sound 100% patois, but she’s got the basic concept down.

Ameenat Enifeni
Guest
Ameenat Enifeni

this comment deserves more like tbh

Katya
Guest
Katya

Although it honestly seems like 99% of new music consists of incoherent gibberish, and I can’t say I like any of Rihanna’s music past one or two songs, those reviews are so telling as to who wrote them. I expect it from Twitter, but for reviewers, couldn’t someone ask her what she was saying first? The best the last one could do is “look it up online” but I guess I’ll give them one or two props for bothering to look at all. lol Ridiculous.

Sea Island Creole English isn’t very appreciated either, sadly.

Tina
Guest
Tina

This article has to be the most ignorant thing i have read. Probably as bad as the critics being written about for the level of ignorance. Rihanna is speaking her native island tounge. NOT Jamaican patois, im sure it sounds the same to American ears but its not. Whoever wrote this should stick to what they know.

Quez D
Guest
Quez D

Haven’t you learned by now that anyone from the Caribbean is automatically Jamaican?!
Americans just like to lump us all together as though we don’t have our own backgrounds.

Lee McLaurin
Guest
Lee McLaurin

a

Ippoletta
Guest
Ippoletta

Look up the damn lyrics, it’s clear what she is speaking. JAMAICAN!!! The whole damn song is Jamaican.

Johnny
Guest
Johnny

Nooo, Rihanna is speaking Jamaican not Bajan. Just like man‐down she has chosen to use Jamaican influence. Only jamaicans say “haffi” bajans dont say that. (i am caribbean so its pretty clear)

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Askatasun Liberdade
Guest
Askatasun Liberdade

Jajaja do you remember Umbrella? ela elaaaa e e e e? No? Well i always think that with this kind of music the thing was the ritm, you know, but maybe the public of that kind of music has now this need to hear some content too.…

Tonii
Guest
Tonii

Does it matter what accent she used? ?
She’s Caribbean native! ?
Too bad aryu min ha fu point this out. ? (Too bad y’all had to point this out)

Mskiwi Lee
Guest

lol .. u r definitely antiguan

Islandtyme
Guest
Islandtyme

The same subben me ya a say. He/she haffu be Antiguan. Lol

akatsukihana
Guest
akatsukihana

The fact that as a native Jamaican patois speaker I had to make an effort to decipher what u wrote is why it is matters

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

First of all patois is spoken across the Caribbean not just in Jamaica. Accents may differ from Island to Island as with dialect but there are a lot of similarities with the English speaking patois especially as our African Ancestors shared the same African languages. It’s not the first time patois has been used in popular music. Back in the 80’s there were many collaborations with reggae, rap and AA singing artists.

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

It was done back in the 80’s so it’s nothing new.

MartiniMc
Guest
MartiniMc

So that makes it less significant?…And could you name a current top artist doing that?…no, you couldn’t. People want to talk smack when the radio is so whitewashed or cliche, and then roll their eyes when served something different.

Lindah Sutton
Guest
Lindah Sutton

Critics” make my ass itch… Nowadays folks get paid to make uninformed opinions on matters and call themselves experts.…

coodyscoops
Guest
coodyscoops

lmfao.… like stone cold when he said “what really chaps my ass…” ???

coodyscoops
Guest
coodyscoops

sorry, but anyone from any west indian island knows thats not the bajan accent… it barely sounds like jamaican patois… thats not even how work sounds in jamaican patois.… when she says work, after awhile, she really does sound like she’s speaking gibberish… jamaicans dont say “wor” they really do pronounce the whole sound not like they trying to round it off to the nearest number… smfh, she only gets a pass because she is bajan, but as she is not jamaican, still sounds artificial to me… even in her native creolese it pronounced “wuk” and not “wor” smfh the… Read more »

Alicia Cole
Guest
Alicia Cole

thank you for such a beautiful response

Chanti
Guest
Chanti

Thank you!!! We are on the same page. Its sad in 2016 folks still dont get it…and they (white) spend more time on our islands than we do. lol

Ashlei Mayadia
Guest
Ashlei Mayadia

I know pigeon/patois English is not exclusive the Jamaica. Not sure how it is named in other countries.

Jean
Guest
Jean

I don’t know what particular dialect she is singing in, but whether she sounds like exactly where she is from is not really important. For example, when Brits sing rock and roll, they sound American probably because their models are American. So if Rihanna is Bajan but does not “sound” Bajan, that may be an artistic choice and is possibly not even completely a conscious one.

trackback

[…] being thrown around recently. But that fact is that her language is perfectly fine. She’s just using Jamaican Patois, which most American English speakers aren’t familiar with. People claiming that the language […]

NURA GODDEZZ
Guest
NURA GODDEZZ

Get wit di program! Rihanna is from Barbados, she is speaking her NATIVE TONGUE!!! Mi love for reggae and good music has opened up my mind and I ovastand everything she says in ‘WORK’!!! you haters don’t have to like the song, but don’t call herlyrics gibberish! Educate yaselves and learn a little more about other cultures besides this ‘Forced English Dialect’ and traditions.…

You go RI‐RI!!! Well done…Babylin soon BURN FA LACK OF KNOWLWDGE & WISDOM…HA
1LOVE

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker
lilmissmatched
Guest
lilmissmatched

As soon as white ppl can’t relate to something they tear it down…what’s new?? They can’t stand to be left out.

whitebajan
Guest
whitebajan

For what it’s worth: I’m white. I’m from Barbados. I personally don’t like Rihanna’s music but really appreciate that many out there do. SOS is a fairly okay remix. I respect her for how well she has done and for the attention she has brought to BIM when the economy is down. I find it strange that she is singing Jamaican dialect lyrics (which is why I searched for the lyrics in the first place… “When you ah guh” and “He said me haffi” would never be uttered by a Bajan). “When wunnuh gunna learn learn learn learn learn” has… Read more »

lilmissmatched
Guest
lilmissmatched

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But you don’t disrespect one’s culture. It’s where people are from it’s what they know and it’s not something they can change. People should be proud of their heritage and not shamed into feeling like it doesn’t measure up. You’re from the islands…I know you get it. I’ve heard the Jamaican/ Bajan argument against Rhi too. That makes more sense. I agree with you on that 100%. I really wish she would just go all the way Bajan for me on at least one track. I don’t know what she’s waiting for. LOL

akatsukihana
Guest
akatsukihana

I gues because Jamaican influence on music is more pronounced and recognised so she’s capitalising off of it #$$$talks. But I do wish she’d do a popular song in Bajan because I havent a song sung in bajan in a really long time

lilmissmatched
Guest
lilmissmatched

You’re absolutely right.

lilmissmatched
Guest
lilmissmatched

As soon as white ppl can’t relate to something they tear it down…what’s new?? They can’t stand to be left out.

NoApologies
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NoApologies

It just goes to show. We do what we do for us. THEY don’t have to understand. It would be nice if they did, but its not necessary.

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[…] “Formation” is a subtle reminder that black culture is taken for granted. Black culture is constantly being consumed by the larger monster of “pop culture.” Music is where we see this process at its most efficient. That’s how Justin Bieber can be praised for making “tropical house” music that’s really just watered down dancehall, while Rihanna can release a song like “Work” and be criticized for not enunciating properly by white music writers who fail to take into consideration the existence of patois.  […]

Dashara Adams
Guest
Dashara Adams

Great I just lost another brain cell from reading this ignorant bull.…

Ikonovic
Guest
Ikonovic

It is gibberish. If your target market is not known to understand said language, then you must expect them to react as such. Also she’s been smoking too much weed, that it’s easier to sing it gibberishly.

Kayla
Guest
Kayla

did you ever think that she made this for.…not you? it’s not a common concept, but I assure you she does not have to make all of her music for Americans who don’t (want to) understand the language she is speaking.

Chanti
Guest
Chanti

She was def High, I agree 100%

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

who are you to say what her target market is? I cant with this white privilege. While a lot in this systemically racist society is for white people, not everything is. Your comments are ignorant, racist and UNINTELLIGIBLE. You are discounting a language MANY people all over the world speak as gibberish and it is just disgusting. You and your band of morons can react however you like but you don’t speak for the masses, you speak for white privilege. Face the facts.…both Beyonce and Rihanna are…dare I say it…NOT WHITE. and look at that, the world has not ended.… Read more »

DisCourse
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DisCourse

So.…why is/was Macarena such a hit with the English speaking world?! Piss poor point, poignantly put! You you need to get done done and work all over…and OUT OF HERE! FUH SHEEEZEEE!
Do you need any more examples?!

And re: The article…just say ‘native dialect’, cause you ain’t sure!

Brad
Guest
Brad

The version of Macarena that became popular in America was retooled and sung mostly in English, keeping the chorus in Spanish. Spanish being a language spoken by hundreds of millions of people and much more mainstream than patois. Not to mention all the people bickering on this thread about how it’s not “this version of patois, it’s this other version”. If people native to the Carribean can’t even agree on which dialect this is, how can you expect people who’ve never been exposed to it to instantly recognize it? Even though Macarena was sung mostly in English here though, it’s… Read more »

Ippoletta
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Ippoletta

Nope, wrong, growing up in the US back in 1995 or so the Macarena was popular and it was the Spanish version being played on VH1 and MTV.

CatGUnit
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CatGUnit

troll.

Kiaunta Hubbard
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Kiaunta Hubbard

Music is art. I think people are taking this too seriously. Who cares? I like the song. I listen to it while I work out.

JohnnyIlom
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JohnnyIlom

So the native language of Barbados is Jamaican Patois? Surely it must be, lest Rhianna would be appropriating a culture that isn’t hers. Canada must also speak it, for Drake to have a similar accent, and no appropriation concerns.
And you can use Wikipedia as viable academic proof? Wow, you learn something new everyday.

VEE
Guest
VEE

I guess you’ve never heard of snow from Toronto:

Sher
Guest
Sher

pretty sad a bunch of racist white low‐lifes have nothing better to do than to misinterpret lyrics that have roots and origin to her native tongue.
#White people are a virus

Cin
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Cin

not all white people have issue with her song, I think its great.

l@l@l@nd
Guest
l@l@l@nd

I don’t think this has anything to do with racism but with ignorance. I certainly didn’t know Rihanna was singing with a Caribbean accent or dialect since she usually don’t use it. Now that I’m aware of that fact I think it’s pretty cool that she’s actually doing that.

CatGUnit
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CatGUnit

that kind of ignorance *is* racism.

Chivichana
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Chivichana

Not really. If you don’t know the culture or that it’s a language it’s not racism. Racism would be discriminating on Rihanna because she’s black. period. That’s not really the case here.

Robert Tucker
Guest
Robert Tucker

I made this:

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[…] it 5 times in a row on Tidal,  I knew I needed to buy it.  FYI for those who ignorantly thought she was speaking “gibberish”, she wasn’t. She’s also (most likely) not speaking Jamaican patois either. She’s […]

Kenya Davis
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Kenya Davis

Actually, there is cross migration of this language throughout that island chain, so NO, it is not appropriation. Thank you.

JohnnyIlom
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JohnnyIlom

But Barbados is not Jamaica. She is not Jamaican. She’s not singing with a Bajan accent, but, as this article says, in Jamaican Patois. Cross migration, sure. But they’re still independent countries and cultures. South Korea is about half the distance from Japan that Barbados is from Jamaica, but we differentiate between the Japanese and Korean languages. We don’t just say hey, it’s all Asian, it’s okay.
Also, what about Drake? He’s Canadian.

a
Guest
a

Yes there are independent countries and cultures, however Caribbean culture is extremely connected and is shared throughout the entire region. Dancehall is mostly associated with Jamaica and soca with Trinidad, but in reality it is indicative of a broader “Caribbean culture”. It is not cultural appropriation in the slightest bit. Also, Drake is from Toronto. You clearly are not familiar with the city, but it has a massive Caribbean population that has influenced the way a lot of people speak and the slang used in the city. You can easily pick out a Toronto accent from the way it has… Read more »

JohnnyIlom
Guest
JohnnyIlom

Right. So you’re arguing that it doesn’t matter whether a person is from Jamaica or Barbados, they are part of the “extremely connected Caribbean culture”, so it doesn’t really matter. Or, “Are you Jamaican or Barbadian? Ah, doesn’t matter, you’re from the Caribbean, it’s all the same!” Sounds not at all racist. Also, you’re right, I’m not overly familiar with Toronto. So, even assuming that everyone from Toronto, especially Forest Hill where Drake is from, speaks in Jamaican Patios, what about this: Google “Drake interview before he became famous” if you don’t want to click the link. That’s Drake in… Read more »

JohnnyIlom
Guest
JohnnyIlom

I guess my other responses weren’t approved, so I’ll just say, because I cannot believe the bizarre leaps of logic made in this discussion, you’re all right. Rhianna isn’t speaking gibberish, it’s her native tongue, Jamaican Patios, even though she was born 1200 miles from Jamaica, in an entirely different country. You don’t have to be able to differentiate between Jamaicans and Barbadians, because they’re all part of the Caribbean, just like you don’t have to know the difference between Koreans and Japanese, as they’re all Asian. Also, the accent Drake uses in “Work” is obviously Canadian, specifically a Toronto… Read more »

Joshua Proud
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Joshua Proud

no its not we have our own dialect.….(bajan)..but the fact she is not only from Barbados but the caribbean she sings in other dialects.…..

Joshua Proud
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Joshua Proud

i typing in my bajan accent „„„„„,fa all a wanna dat dont like de effing song talking bout rubbish simply do dis dont listen to it …while most a wunna on here talking smack she making her $$$.also if wanna had notice d song co written by a jamaican.….and Ri was probably the most successfull candidate to sing it cuz she can pull it off.……BOOM.…#RIRI #246BIM to de world.….

Chris Walker
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Chris Walker

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL1UzIK-flA Hmm let’s see…shot at a JAMAICAN restaurant, drinking JAMAICAN beer, dancing to a JAMAICAN DANCEHALL RIDDIM, but no, not a JAMAICAN influenced song, right? Every Bajan who posted on this thread is a fool

Donna
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Donna

I’m not Jamaican I’m a vincy . You still don’t understand what the people of Barbados are trying to say . Jamaicans are not the only one that speak patios(broken English ) but to you all it sounds the same . People ask me all the time you sound Jamaican ummmm no I sound like a vincy . Gets your facts straight before you decide to call people fools while talking about their own cultures .

Camille Mckenzie-Reid
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Camille Mckenzie-Reid

Feel like screaming..patois isn’t broken english…I can’t even bother explain

Ippoletta
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Ippoletta

It is broken English..

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

You can’t be this fucking stupid. You just can’t. PS‐ guess where I’m from? Idiat

Brittani
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Brittani

However, this is not one of those cases. It is a song written by a Jamaican. Plus influenced by a Jamaican. I do understand that people can get upset that their culture is mistaken for Jamaican when it definitely is not but in this specific case it is Jamaican although she is a Bajan herself.

G
Guest
G

I agree with some of the views already written de author Black Girl with Long Hair need to do some more research into the island of Barbados, we are not Jamaican we Bajan(local people) have our own dialect called Bajan so sorry not Jamaican dialect happening here.

akatsukihana
Guest
akatsukihana

Rih was trying to sing in Jamaican patois (which she cant 100% do bcuz she’s Bajan). The whole song is Jamaican dancehall inspired. I’ve been around Bajans and you sound waay different than Jamaicans, more like Trinidadians. However its hard to distinguish an Antiguan accent from a Jamaican accent (sometimes guyanese too). Dont be jealous tho Rih loves her Barbados.

Chanti
Guest
Chanti

This is NOT Jamaican Patois. She is not even Jamaican. She may use similar dialect but ya’ll are reaching. There are other islands in the Caribbean including her native BARBADOS! Please educate before you release an article like this. The song is nonsense…period!!! Leave it at that! Caribbean people dont need no more crap associated with them! Always trying to bring down the culture and its like Jamaica is the only island you know…until you bloodclot wanna take cruises to warm places. FOH! Remove the lyrics and we have a hot beat, that.. is… all…

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Seek help. This is clearly a Jamaican Dancehall inspired track on an originally Jamaican dancehall riddim with lyrics that are specific to patois and dancehall. You might want to watch the video, and maybe do some research into the writing and producing.

akatsukihana
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akatsukihana

Its clearly (pseudo) Jamaican patois..don’t be salty. The whole theme is dancehall

amy
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amy

AMEN!!! Thank you, Chanti, for your voice of reason.

Glenise ? ? ?
Guest
Glenise ? ? ?

Right!

Ippoletta
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Ippoletta

It’s Jamaican, these idiots dont know the songs backstory.

Brittani
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Brittani

Written by a Jamaican and therefore is Jamaican patois. The video itself is passa‐passa inspired

Melissa De Freitas
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Melissa De Freitas

not Jamaican Patosis at all! jeez… just call it creole and done na!

from a vex vincy!

Camille Mckenzie-Reid
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Camille Mckenzie-Reid

There are differences just like how you said “done na”! We say “dun nuh”! So the creole lyrics in how it’s said and pronounced is jamaican..also she used Richie Stevens (who is a jamaican)old song to create this one with the same rhythm. .look it up 🙂 I studied linguistics and half the time I see people debating about creole and dialect and english..I only shake my head because most are confused and clueless and h hardly know what constitutes a language..if I was to answer and explain I would have to keep a lecture..why can’t we just have fun… Read more »

akatsukihana
Guest
akatsukihana

its Jamaican patois.… we all know that, even the riddim and setting of the song is purely dancehall

JohnnyIlom
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JohnnyIlom

I have. I’m not talking about him, though, I’m talking about Drake. They’re as different as…Barbados and Jamaica, say.

Dk
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Dk

Expecting Americans to recognize a dialect that many probably had never heard before isn’t fair. When Work played on the radio English was littered throughout, so it’s easy to see why it could be confused as repetitive words especially since that’s a common theme in a lot of her work. As someone who has grown up as part of the American Cajun/Creole community, I have definitely seen how similar dialects recognize similar but outsiders think it’s total gibberish. Too many people are arguing over a misunderstanding. By calmly explaining to people what patois is and its background instead of calling… Read more »

nicole
Guest
nicole

American? I am an American and I recognized it, do you mean white? And if you are a music reviewer isn´t it your job to do some research?

akatsukihana
Guest
akatsukihana

Its the fact that those ignorant ppl are so quick to call another country’s dialect gibberish without doing even basic research (google). No one is obligated to teach you anything…go out and find out. I like J‐pop so I take the time out to find the translation of the lyrics, same thing with reggaeton. Furthermore its no secret Rih is Caribbean so common sense should let them know “oh, maybe she’s singing in her native dialect’ smh

Maya
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Maya

Shakira’s songs, which mix Spanish and English, have never been called gibberish. Somehow “Americans” are expected to recognize languages from “white” countries, but not Africana countries? That’s essentially saying that “Africana” traditions and cultures, once again, are second‐class to“white” ones. It’s not a simple misunderstanding — it’s called selective education. Basically white people get a free pass on cultural appropriation, and making demeaning comments, by pleading ignorance I recognize that the American education system is very much at fault, but their comes an age and their comes a time (like when encyclopaedias are at the tips of your fingers via… Read more »

CatGUnit
Guest
CatGUnit

i like how you put “americans” in quotes, pointing out that the carribbean is part of the americas too — north america at that! i hadn’t even thought of that point. those twitter posts / bloggers you quoted are even MORE disgraceful considering this.

CatGUnit
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CatGUnit

white american here. i can’t believe there are actual adults in america who haven’t heard, or heard of, patois. to make it even worse than simply not knowing what our closest neighbors speak, (some forms of) patois are spoken in parts of the US — so there’s *really* no excuse. some of those blog and twitter comments were jaw‐droppingly childish, as in, i would forgive an 8 year old for not knowing but there is no excuse to be that unaware of the world much further past that age group. SMMFH. personally, i love the song. good for her for… Read more »

Brad
Guest
Brad

Nicely thought out comment! When I first heard the song I definitely thought it was gibberish. Especially given how the hip‐hop genre seems to make up lots of words as they go along (they’re not the only ones). Did a quick search and got educated on this patois language and went from being annoyed to pretty impressed with the song and Rihanna. It’s sad to me that so many people on this thread (including everybody else who replied to you here) is offended that everybody in America doesn’t know about patois. Sure there’s some “selective education” involved, but it’s also… Read more »

Muhammad Cujo A. Hakim II
Guest
Muhammad Cujo A. Hakim II

The same could be said about Americans.. “By calmly asking what’s being said, instead of immediately and ignorantly labeling it gibberish..” Rihanna’s words could have been explained and so could Patois and it’s background. The problem (yet again) is that privilege entitlement, that seemingly allows a “certain” race to make judgements on what should or shouldn’t be deemed normal language. “I” found it disrespectful and offensive that a bunch of Anglo’s where actually calling a sample of a similar dialect to my native tongue, used in a song.. BY a native of the West Indies.. “gibberish”!.. …when there are some… Read more »

Annoyed Bajan
Guest
Annoyed Bajan

How insulting. She’s from Barbados and is speaking Bajan. Everyone in the Caribbean hates when people mistake our individual culture as being Jamaican. Get it right

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Lmao!!!!!!!!

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

haha another jealous Bajan! Too bad she actually loves Jamaica and Jamaican music!

foreveryoung
Guest
foreveryoung

100% Jamaican Patois and style…yeah she/he is jealous

T-anne Price
Guest
T-anne Price

Nothing about that song yells Bajan sorry we notice when yall talk lol no mix up trust me

Brittani
Guest
Brittani

I understand people finding it annoying when their culture is credited as Jamaican however it was written by a Jamaican so this is not one of the cases

Ameenat Enifeni
Guest
Ameenat Enifeni

Rihanna has ALWAYS made it clear that she LOVES Bob Marley and that she is HEAVILY influenced by him ??????si • This isn’t Bajan. & it’s definitely not Trini. It’s like a watered down Jamaican Patois. Like if you had Jamaican parents, but you grew up in America, & you tried to learn the language, but it’s not as strong as back home. So it doesn’t sound 100% patois, but she’s got the basic concept down. ^^ she deserves an award. For the most part, if you weren’t born in a certain place and fraternizing with the locals, then it… Read more »

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

You summed it up perfectly. And that’s exactly what the writers and producers of the song are: children of Jamaican parentage. There is no question that this is a nod to Jamaican dancehall culture. Sorry jealous Bajans and their apologist Vincy friends lmaoo!!

Dominique Duesbury
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Dominique Duesbury

this is creole why the hell Jamaicans always get the credit for creole like Guyanese don’t speak creole? eh

Aydro
Guest
Aydro

Her mums Guyanese so it’s more Guyanese and Barbadian Patois .

Ippoletta
Guest
Ippoletta

Wrong, she’s half Guyanese.

Brittani
Guest
Brittani

It doesn’t matter her heritage. Yes she is Bajan and Guyanese but the song was written and produced by a Jamaican

Ippoletta
Guest
Ippoletta

Because the song was written by a Jamaican, it’s a Jamaican Song. Its obviously patois when you listen.

Kat Scorebook
Guest
Kat Scorebook

If you’re not clear if she’s trying to speak Jamaican patois or Bajan, guyanese or trini creole, then watch the video. Its clearly shows a strong Jamaican influence. And @dominiqueduesbury:disqus, Jamaicans get credit for things like this simply for one reason…we do it better 😉

Chris Walker
Guest
Chris Walker

Not to mention the fact that the riddim is Jamaican in origin, and the lyrics were written by.…oh wow, do I ever sound like a broken record reciting these facts.

Laura Bendayán
Guest
Laura Bendayán

Thank you so much for this! I’ve been trying so hard to translate this song to spanish for my blog but I had no clue about Jamaican Patois. Love this song and love your work! 😛

Romario Aataa Lewis
Guest
Romario Aataa Lewis

Jamaican here. Creole is kinda hard to read, easier to hear and understand what’s said as it’s mostly a spoken language.

Shanice Forbes
Guest
Shanice Forbes

Just to clarify, the entire caribbean speaks patois. I’m Jamaican and i’m gonna be very honest, a nuh we alone chat patois (Trans: We are not the only ones that speak patois). We (the caribbean) have commonalities, we have the same words and phrasing it’s just the pronunciation is different (in most cases) and to be honest its articles like these that divide us. LAWD! I can’t really say that she is speaking Jamaican because he Bajan accent is really strong in this song. But thank you for pointing out that it isn’t gibberish. The song is very striped down… Read more »

Brittani
Guest
Brittani

Well yes she is Bajan but the song was written by a fellow Jamaican and so she is speaking Jamaican patois.

Brad
Guest
Brad

That’s not at all racism… It’s not even xenophobia. It’s ignorance through and through. Also, ignorance isn’t inherently negative.

trackback

[…] devem ter se descabelado por causa da “neguinha texana”? Rihanna faz também, quando se afirma como mulher negra e caribenha que “work, work, work” ou ainda Kendrick Lamar com uma performance digna dos 7 Grammys que levou para casa naquela […]

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[…] ain’t the same. Furthermore, the categorization of Rihanna’s “Work” as gibberish is the result of a habit (rooted in American privilege, White privilege and anti‐Blackness) of […]

kayneisha
Guest

To be clear, Rihanna is Bajan, and she’s not singing Jamaican patois, but rather using her native dialect.

Tt
Guest
Tt

Wrong she is chatting in the song. It was written and sang by a jamaican. The song was given to her thats why she is chatting in it. So yeah she maybe bajan but the song is reggae.

Morgan Dantzie
Guest
Morgan Dantzie

Even this article is incorrect, she’s from Barbados and therefore speaks Bajan patois. Im from St.Lucia we speak St.Lucian patois and we are forever told its Jamaican. If your going to write an article at least get your facts right and do your research. Once again the entire Caribbean gets put into Jamaica dont get me wrong Ive been to Jamaica and I love it but I’m not Jamaican and neither is Rihanna. One of the most irritating articles I’ve read in a while it would have been fine it the author knew what he was talking about. Ignorance is… Read more »

KamJos
Guest
KamJos

The writer of the song is Jamaican.

Ippoletta
Guest
Ippoletta

The entire song and video is Jamaican, 100%.

WhateverYouSay
Guest
WhateverYouSay

So the language is from slavery and the dialect sounds dumb as hell. I think we have an innovator on our hands with this rihanna

trackback

[…] muuurrrderrrr,” in the club. He’s not talking gibberish. Just like Rihanna isn’t speaking gibberish on “Work”. Here’s the […]

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[…] in the lead single off ANTI. While Genius did us the favor of annotating the song on the surface, BlackGirlLongHair gave us deeper linear interpretations. Also, Rihanna’s “Work” is not the first […]

Sarah Morgan
Guest
Sarah Morgan

When I heard her song I understood it completely. I guess I speak patois.…

Steph
Guest
Steph

I love that she rocks her hertitage in this song! Plus, I lived in Belize for 8 years and similiar to all over the Caribbean, they have a very rich cultural identity and patois (or creole culture as they say in Belize) Her video is a scene out of a Belizean night club…and I would think a scene out of any neighborhood nightclub anywhere in the Caribben where there is a strong Patois/Creole culture. Sex and badassness is very much a part of this culture…it´s hot and fun! People forget she is Caribbean and not American. Cheers to her! All… Read more »

shannie4888
Guest
shannie4888

As a Jamaican person who speaks Patois every single day, I could barely understand what Rihanna was saying myself. However, I grew to love the song, but I had to look up the lyrics. Obviously, I know she’s speaking Patois but because she drags the words when she speaks, I wasn’t able to understand. She’s not singing gibberish though.

Nölff
Guest
Nölff

Thanks for translating, but It still doesn’t make any sense.
Maybe you can find some kind of meaning and break it down for everyone.

foreveryoung
Guest
foreveryoung

Thank you. I’m Jamaican and can tell you for a fact this is Jamaiacan Patois. I almost thought Rihanna was trying to portray herself as Jamaican with this song (as well as with the Passa Passa‐inspired music video…*only Yardies know about that).

Thanks for clearing that up, I had a feeling it was by a JA artist (I almost forgot Rihanna is notorious for having ghostwriters anyway)

gameformetoo
Guest
gameformetoo

most of the people in drake circle are Jamaican cause toronto is like a cold jamaica. partynextdoor wrote it (jamaican) . produced by boiwonder(jamaican)

trackback

[…] Critics and Rihanna: Stop Hatin’ […]

Tony Gohagan
Guest
Tony Gohagan

Excellent x

Lucas Cerami
Guest
Lucas Cerami

I am only half Jamaican but half my family speaks in thick patois. I think it’s pretty tough to argue that she is saying anything coherent late in the song when she slurs work so much it turns into “wah wah wah wah wah”. Also what is “ner ner ner ner ner!”. It’s stuff like that which makes her words sound like gibberish.

KamJos
Guest
KamJos

What is “Fa‐la‐la‐la‐la” in the Christmas song “Deck the Halls”? Using vocables is not uncommon in music. I’m West Indian‐ American and it’s pretty clear to me.

Guest
Guest
Guest

At least Deck the Halls isn’t fa-la-la-la-la-la-la’ing the whole song through.

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[…] – it’s gibberish. I fully understand that Rihanna is speaking Jamaican Patois and SOME would say I’m being ‘mean’ by making fun of a cultural language. The same […]

Ippoletta
Guest
Ippoletta

or an Australian “rapper” using a Southern African‐American accent in her songs”.

I see what you did there Hahaha. But seriously Rihanna loves Jamaican culture, maybe a little too much.

Anon Vigil
Guest
Anon Vigil

The word isn’t “cyar”, its just “care”. That has to me a mistake on the closed‐caption. “Cyar” in Patois means “car”.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Perhaps because she’s not Jamaican herself, that can explain why she mangles it badly (a few Jamaicans here have said it’s slurred). Even if it’s not gibberish, it’s still nothing more than a ditty, which is really what people are getting at. Even if “ner ner ner ner ner” means something in patois, the lyrics are *highly* repetitive and annoying. Don’t get me wrong, repetition can be good if done right. But for me, the song is just plain annoying. The chorus is the absolute worst: Work, work, work, work, work, work He say me have to Work, work, work,… Read more »

SkeletonPonies
Guest

She’s not from Jamaica, she’s from Barbados and therefore is speaking Bajan (Barbadian) Creole / Patois. How would I know? I’m bajan. Sounds perfectly normal to me.

Candice Goddard
Guest
Candice Goddard

Unaware of Bajan Creole blogger tries to educate the world on how a Bajan (Barbadian) woman is singing in a completely different language. Nice. So Rihanna is from Barbados, a tiny island in the West Indies where even some Bajans don’t realise that what the speak in informal settings is a different language not just a dialect of broken English. But still somehow as a member of the Bajan diaspora I find this offensive and since Rihanna isn’t actually black one could argue that it’s racist too.

Kay
Guest
Kay

Let me help clair up this misconception. Rihanna is bajan (some ppl saying her moms is guyaneses. If she is then riri half bajan half guy) she is speaking Jamaican patios in her bajan accent. That’s like when beenie man made that soca song he is Jamaican singing a soca song. The soca song was trini inspired. Get it? That’s like a west coast rapper doing a east coast rap, rapping like a east coast rapper using east coast slang and dictation, with a west coast accent. Those on the outside would just think he is a east coast rapper.… Read more »

Jessica Burroughs
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Jessica Burroughs

Love this article, I perfectly understand the song now. At first listen this song seems poorly articulated (mostly the second, and final chorus..) tho now I really love the lyrics and the beat<3

Dan Medzy
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Dan Medzy

I understood right away this was Patois.. Even so the lyrics are still not great.

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[…] narrative of two lovers.” What I heard, however, was something completely different.” – MishMash. […]

Tacita Bastien
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Tacita Bastien

Slow yuh rass! I bet all West Indians understood that! Nuh suh? Cool — suh, if yuh no, yuh on say all ah we speak some patois and de words does sound similar. It nuh necessary for it tuh be Jamaican or Bajan or GT or Trini! De whole heap ah we does be in de same place speaking we own ting and all ah we can understand! Right? Suh, stop wid the foolishness about Jamaican/Bajan. De girl ah sing patois. BGLH — do yuh research propa next time. And for de ediat who say the video Jamaica‐ yuh rass… Read more »

Candice Goddard
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Candice Goddard

No all of the patois and creoles of the West Indies are not mutually intelligible. I’ve lived around Jamaicans all of my life and still I don’t understand 100% of what they’re saying because there are certain cultural references within each language that I do not understand and Jamaican has stronger Indian and Chinese influences than Bajan. Then there’s the fact that even on the various islands and using Barbados as an example different parishes actually have slight variations in their language and a slightly different accent as well.

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[…] in fact, using creolized forms of Jamaican English with West African roots called, Patois. In just one line of the song, “he say mi haffi work work work work work work,” the […]

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[…] biggest pop track of the year schooled raging Twitter know‐it‐trolls and exposed ignorant critics/writers who’ve overloaded on […]

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[…] Critics Blast Rihanna for Speaking “Gibberish” on her New Single “Work”.’ Online at <http://bglh-marketplace.com/ 2016/02/unaware‐of‐jamaican‐patois‐critics‐blast‐ rihanna‐for‐spea… (Accessed April 4, […]

Aaron
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Aaron

Hailing from Jamaican heritage, my best mate is Bajan and I can tell you, the Bajan accent sounds like a cross between West African and Cornwall, UK! Nothing like Jamaican… In England we use a term called ‘Jafaikan’ which is literally a mix of London Cockney with so called Jamaican Patios (a mash up). The issue is that this sounds nothing like a real Jamaican accent, but just uses colloquial basic terms that can be picked up from a Reggae song or artist. for e.g. “wagwaan” We have white, Indian, and African Kids using Jafaikan as a ‘cool dialect’. makes… Read more »

Anon
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Anon

Just because it’s a real language doesn’t mean it isn’t jibberish

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