Rihanna’s hairstyle at the 2013 American Music Awards caused quite a stir on social media and across the Internet. Folks raced to see how many memes they could make in reference to Rih’s unusual hair choice and others simply couldn’t wrap their minds (pun intended) around the fact that Rihanna accepted the first-ever ICON award with her hair in a doobie.
The YBF received an interesting email from the former manager of a rapper who claims her artist, a rapper named Patwa, started this look and Roc Nation & Rihanna stole it after initially deeming it ‘too ghetto’.
Read her letter below.
I am writing to express my extreme frustration and anger over the blatant theft of a image that my former artist and I cultivated. A few years ago I worked with an up and coming female rapper named Patwa. She’s a Bronx born 2nd generation Jamerican who fused hip hop, reggae and culture into her music. During 2010 we began generating a buzz in the underground hip hop community. This lead to a couple of meeting with some big wigs at def jam, Geffen, Atlantic and yes Roc nation who manages Rihanna. While meeting with A&Rs with these labels we were continuously told that the imagery we were trying to brand was not “lady like” was “to street”, “to hood” and “to ghetto” we were told that “white America would never get behind such ignorance”. Ratchetness had yet to become an accepted house hold term. The image we were trying to run with was what Patwa knew from the streets which was the doobie wrap. She wore it proudly with jeweled pins to signify she was a Queen and this was her ghetto crown. Something that many females coming from where she came from could relate to. You know when you get that hair wrapped you feel like the Bomb You just got your hair did no one could tell you nothing. After putting a couple of videos up we met with a certain head honcho in roc nation who will remain nameless. We were offered what amounts to a development deal if we softened image and sound. Sticking to our guns we declined because we really believed in the look and knew with a proper push it would catch. So we left that office with our respect. Unfortunately offers started to dry up. Maybe we were too hard and middle America would never understand the doobie wrap. Eventually Patwa and I stopped working together and she returned to school and I to a less then glamorous 9 to 5. I’ve never told her but i always wondered what if we had softened up and changed that hair.
Fast forward to 11/24/13 and who do I see grace my flat screen while sitting in my modest one bedroom apartment wearing a doobie wrap with jeweled pins at the AMA’s. Roc nations own Ri Ri. I honestly felt violated. You see during 2011 Patwa and I crossed paths with Rihanna at a Roc Nation event. Rihanna who on that evening was wearing a hairstyle that she “borrowed” from Cassie, complimented the jeweled pin wrap said it looked nice and even inquired as to who did it? We of course were flattered out of our socks and felt almost validated. Two years later it appears middle America is ready and Rihanna really liked what she saw. By no means did we invent the doobie wrap or name. However prior to the AMA’s no one had attempted to wear the doobie as a hairstyle in public. No one!!!!!! I just find it very insulting that something we brought to those people was to “ghetto”. But now Rihanna can accept awards while proudly displaying it. I am really hurt by this and wanted to scream. But I wrote to you guys. Wanted to let someone else know that she stole that look from Patwa.
Last we checked, Black women have been wearing these wraps since childhood. This seems like a bit of a stretch…but hey, we don’t think we really have to worry about this trend becoming too popular. Or do we….?
[via The YBF]