Van Lathan is displeased by Akon’s sentiments that Africans are better performers than Black Americans. On Tuesday (Dec. 27), the former TMZ cohost and senior producer took to Instagram to unload on the Konvicted musician and his “clown sh*t” that Lathan claims he’s engaged in “for years now.”
“First off, Akon has been on his clown sh*t for years now, but that’s another topic,” Van expressed. “God Bless him. I wanna say something, though. I’m Black. Like Black American Black. Like South Louisiana bayou bondage Black.”
He asserts his pride in his Black American culture and pushes back on the idea that it’s less than African culture. Lathan then analyzed the intention behind the opinionated artist’s comments accusing him of “sh*tting” on an “entire experience I feel connected to by birthright.”
Lathan continued, speaking directly to the St. Louis-born, Senegalese-American’s remarks discussing American performers and their “bored as hell,” half-spirited performances.
“The type of Black where you understand the beauty and the danger of your skin from the beginning, because the old people want you [to] know what they been through. Real talk, I’m sick of seeing people shit on that.
“And make no mistake, when you single out Black Americans for criticism, the ones who have culturally empowered the entire diaspora, you’re sh*tting an entire experience I feel connected to by birthright. Why do people who’ve like Akon, who’ve made millions of dollars cosplaying like brothers from Atlanta or Miami feel the need to tear into us specifically?”
Lathan then poses a question of whether or not Black Americans are connected to the greater cultural milieu of the diaspora. The Higher Learning co-host admits that he’s “insecure” about Black Americans’ standing in the diaspora and worries that Akon’s comments don’t exist in a vacuum.
“There’s this fear that I have, that fear is that there is no diaspora. That fear is that Black Americans are to other Black people worldwide what we’ve always been here, workhorses used to plow through and build something for someone else, who then eats off it, before turning around and shooting the horse in the head. That might be irrational, but I’m insecure. I’m as insecure as Akon must be to have strapped a PS5 to his head and called it hair.”
The multimedia personality’s response arrives on the heels of the Konvict Muzik head honcho’s statements on The Zeze Millz Show. In the viral clip, the singer, legally known as Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, spoke about the differences between African and Black American entertainers. Thiam, 49, explained that Africans are “a little different when it comes to stage presence.”
He continued, stating that Black Americans would be onstage “wobbling, pants hanging half down, bored as hell, half asleep ’cause they high as hell on stage. But [in] Africa, we wake up in the morning, like, look at these YouTube clips of all these kids from Uganda. Like these kids are performers. So for us, it comes [naturally].”