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Are IHOP’s Tweets the Latest Example of Black Culture Being Appropriated for Profit?

In the strange fad of fast-food and other restaurant chains tweeting rap lyrics to entice customers, IHOP is the most recent to play this game of cultural appropriation.

Over the last few months, this new trend has become a popular way to gain attention on Twitter. By tweeting rap lyrics, corporations have seen an increase in their retweets and responses. Some twitter users deem this approach to gain retweets as funny and harmless, others see it as a cultural appropriation and even find it patronizing.

On October 24th, IHOP tweeted “When was the last time you had pancakes? **about a week ago**” playing on the popular Bobby Shmurda song “Hot Boy.” This tweet goes alongside others with lyrics from artists like Trinidad James and Drake.

It didn’t take long for users to respond.

@elTrock7 tweeted “These tweets count as cultural appropriation or nah?”

On November 4th, IHOP tested the waters again tweeting “Pancakes goin’ up on a Tuesday,” mimicking ILoveMakkonen’s “Tuesday.”

@Meeting_aJERNed retweeted and commented  “Gonna ask politely. Can y’all please stop this? Please? For America?”

Denny’s and Taco Bell have also sent out similar tweets.

Black people are no strangers to cultural appropriation as they commonly see things that have been part of their daily lives for years taken and deemed as “new trends” when mainstream America decides it wants to use them.

Black women across the land exploded in outrage when Vogue and the New York Times wrote pieces implying that big butts are popular now because of stars like Kim Kardashian.

Another popular cases of modern day appropriation came about when model and reality television star Kendall Jenner rocked cornrows, a hairstyle black women have been wearing for centuries, and Marie Claire tweeted that she was taking braids to “a new, epic level.”

The magazine received immediate backlash as both Black and white people commented that African Americans had been wearing cornrows for what seemed like forever.

User @ohitsbarbara tweeted back at Marie Claire “Why don’t you go to an elementary school with black girls & tell me once again how Kendall Jenner started cornrows as a trend? ”

Marie Claire eventually apologized saying  “We didn’t mean to offend or imply that cornrows were new. Our tweet was poorly worded. We thought her hair looked great and recognize women have been styling their hair like this for ages.”

IHOP, Denny’s and Taco Bell have yet to apologize.


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