India Arie criticizes Megan Thee Stallion and Janelle Monáe ‘Essence’ Fest dance session

Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for ESSENCE

India Arie isn’t holding back — especially when it comes to a recent performance at the 2023 Essence Festival of Culture. 

Taking to Instagram Tuesday, July 4, the neo-soul singer explained why she doesn’t approve of Megan Thee Stallion‘s “Hot girl bootcamp,” citing “the lack of discretion [and] discernment.”

“The issue is what is CONTEXT,” she wrote in the comment section of the video shared by Essence. “Humanity does EVERYTHING. But does EVERYTHING BELONG IN A STAGE. No. is everything for KIDS? No. is everything for EVERY BODY? NO.”

The now-viral clip shows a group of Black women twerking on stage as Megan and Janelle Monáe encouraged the dance session.

“So when we as a culture make something like this main stream ~ it shows a lack of discretion [and] discernment,” Arie said.

She continued, “To those in the comments who laugh at anyone who wants these things for out culture you certainly have that right. Just as many folks have the right to want our MAINSTREAM International export – out Music – to show us in a respectful light.”

Arie added, “Id like to go on the record saying : this wont age well and thats my issue.”

The 47-year-old singer admitted, “i LOVE Janelle AND Meg the way i love us all ~ AND i dont like this moment.”

She encouraged fans not to “bother debating me,” saying, “I DO this. for 25 yrs i’ve done THIS. so. read ponder or dont.” 

India’s opinion garnered mixed reviews by fans, with some agreeing with the star and others saying she overreacted. 

A few days before, Janelle Monáe caught backlash for exposing her breasts during her performance of “Yoga.”

“You cannot police me, so get off my areola,” the song’s lyrics read.

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