Always Hope That You Remember…If You Don’t Know Shit About Sade, Shut Up

Nigerian-British singer Sade performs on stage in Nice, southeastern France, on April 29, 2011.
Nigerian-British singer Sade performs on stage in Nice, southeastern France, on April 29, 2011.
Photo: Valery Hache (Getty Images)

You know, as a rule, I tend not to curse a lot in my posts here at The Root, despite having free rein to do so, as do all of our staff. That’s mainly because I like to consider myself something of a lady—and, as the editor of all things lifestyle here at the site, tend not to find profanity terribly necessary. Also, because my parents read much of my work, and I’d rather spare myself the grief.


That said, there is some shit that irks the ever-loving fuck out of me, and I’ve got time today. Avert your eyes, Mom and Dad (though I have a feeling you’ll both back me up on this one).

You see, as we speak, some poor, unfortunate, clearly uninformed soul has got Sade—she of the love deluxe and lover’s rock—trending on Twitter by making an absolutely asinine comparison between the 61-year-old singer and (of all people) Jhene Aiko.


I know: Make it make sense.

First of all, it is 2020, the year of COVID and our antichrist, Donald Trump, and we just unexpectedly lost our beloved Chadwick Boseman on Friday. Please stop making folks trend without cause—and definitely not for no bullshit like this. I have no doubt both of these lovely, talented women were somewhere minding their own damned musical business when their names were unceremoniously brought up by someone who has likely never set foot in a recording booth in her life (and before you try to come for me, yes I have, with a Grammy nod to prove it). But in case you were wondering why you need to teach the children well before you let them lead the way (miss you, Nippy), dumb shit like this is why.

Illustration for article titled Always Hope That You Remember…If You Don’t Know Shit About Sade, Shut Up
Screenshot: @KammyTaughtYou (Twitter

Girl, what? And why? This is the epitome of “nobody asked for this.” Literally nobody. Not even Aretha, who likely also doesn’t want her name brought into this slanderous mess.


And that’s all it is; mess for the sake of being messy because you’re bored (which I must be too, since I’m entertaining this nonsense). But clearly, you’re not bored enough to fire up Spotify and see why your entire premise is flawed. Kids, it’s okay to not like things. To try to delegitimize a career that has likely outdated your existence on this earth? Not so much, Sis. Sade’s voice and stylings may not be common; but since we’re making unnecessary comparisons, neither were Billie Holiday or Nina Simone’s. Arguably, that’s what makes each of them iconic, inimitable, and instantly recognizable. Is this what happens when they cut arts education in schools?


In fact, I’m not sure which part was wilder; the part where the OP acted like Sade doesn’t have albums’ worth of highly recognizable hits, or the part where she credited the woman’s success to the fact that she is “thin & light skinned” and “humming”—while comparing her to the equally thin, light-skinned (both women are biracial), and hum-adjacent Aiko.

Again, please make it make sense. Nope, still won’t.

As a result, not only is this comparison insulting to Sade and everyone who has adored her music for the last 35-plus years, but if I’m Jhene Aiko, I’m cussing you out for even bringing my name into this shit—especially in the name of so-called fandom. Beloved, if your idea of supporting a perfectly good artist is setting her up to be dragged by inexplicably comparing her to a beloved icon, you are neither a friend nor a fan. You are simply a fool.


But sometimes, when you seek dumb attention, that’s exactly what you get. (Thankfully, I get paid for my opinions. What’s your excuse?)


Sade’s exhaustive bona fides are readily available to anyone with internet access, so I won’t list them here—besides, we already did that in part last year, when the eternal muse turned 60. Apparently, her detractor has an e-book of keto recipes to sell, so, there’s that. (I don’t know about the light-skinned part, but those make you thin, right?) But for the rest of you, please think before you tweet—and Google before you come out here looking goofy.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, an avid eyeshadow enthusiast and always her own muse. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



So this gonna be a little bear with me. I’m with Nicky. All.Day.Long. I see posts from youngin’s like this and I think, got damn, your elders did you absolutely no favors.

I listened to the Blues with my maternal grandfather, Jazz and big band with my dad, paternal grandfather and uncle. R&B (and a little Rock) from my parents, and from my grandmothers, classical.

Because of their schooling I was able to recognize that the best rock (in my opinion) is at it’s core the blues/r&b. My grandad talked to me about Ella and Sarah’s phrasing, and the Count’s arrangements and on and on.

My dad talked to me about studio musicians. Remember studio musicians?!? I miss them. I miss liner notes. Damn youngins...y’all should at least know the names of songs being sampled.

Aaaaaaand DON’T eeeeeeeven get me started on learning new (and old) dance moves from the aunties and older cousins.

Rant over...switching subjects, one of THE BEST concert moments I’ve ever had was going to see Sade at the SF Civic in 1985 (Jeezus). It was her first concert tour and she had stage fright.

At one point she left the stage and she was gone so long that folks went into the lobby and started socializing...errybody was there. I was already bummed cuz I had broken up with my boyfriend, now it seemed that they weren’t going to be able to get her back onstage. I was done. So I’m socializing with my peoples and I look up and there’s the ex!!!

WELL we got back together that night (insert wink emoji here), and we listened to Diamond Life and Slave to Love (Bryan Ferry) well into the next day. We stayed together for almost three years. That was a gooooood Christmas. Good times.

My ticket and backstage pass are in storage but I came across this. And yes it cost 17 bucks (not including service charge).