Kai Cenat denies mocking Jamaican culture during carnival Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

United States-based online streamer and YouTuber Kai Cenat has denied accusations that he was mocking aspects of the Jamaican culture during his recent trip to the island for carnival celebrations. 

Critics on social media platform, X, formerly Twitter, said Cenat was purportedly “mocking” locals and acting inappropriately while dancing with female revellers during the carnival street parade on Sunday. 

Additionally, some persons have gone as far as accusing the American of cultural appropriation. 

In response to the backlash, which apparently began with an American X user accusing him of “mocking Jamaica”, Cenat, whose real name is Kai Carlo Cenat III, defended his connection to the Caribbean in a live stream on Monday.

In fact, he said his mother is from Trinidad and Tobago while his father hails from Haiti. 

“[Someone] that’s not from Jamaica gonna make a tweet, and everybody right, everybody under it and s$%@ was agreeing and saying that, ‘What I was doing in Jamaica was not culture’,” said the clearly incensed social media personality. 

Continuing, he said: “Bro, you’re talking to… a son of a mother who is from Trinidad and Tobago… the Caribbean. 

“My pops is Haitian, okay. I grew up eating straight roti, rice and peas…, curry goat, oxtail, jerk chicken. I grew up eating all that, you feel me,” Cenat declared.

The 22-year-old said he went to school with a group of six persons who were from Jamaica. 

“Why you think I keep saying I’m from Spanish Town (St Catherine). I had friends growing up that were strictly from Spanish Town, Kingston, Portmore, okay,” Cenat pointed out. 

“I was rushing home after school with my Jamaican friends to go play dominoes, ‘loodi’. I was playing ‘loodi’ everyday after school,” insisted the American while quoting lyrics from the dancehall song ‘Loodi’ by Vybz Kartel.

A screen recording from Kai Cenat’s stream addressing the issue.

Despite the stark defence by Cenat of his Caribbean roots, some X users hammered the American for his display during carnival. 

“Close your eyes and listen. Then tell me this isn’t the same rhetoric white ppl (people) use when they’re called out for disrespecting/appropriating a particular culture,” a man wrote on X.

Added X user: “He (Cenat) saying whole lot of nth (nothing) because 

1. He is not Jamaican.2. Never grow up in Jamaica 3. He using the “grow up with black people” white man code. 

“If the people who live here say u (you) mocking us then u mocking us. Debate is over. U cyah tell a countryman how they feel,” said the user.

Commented a man: “None of this negates the fact that what he (Cenat) and his squad was doing was bafoonery. In fact, it makes it worse. You’re Haitian and Trini, why you keep trying to do a Jamaican accent? Where’s yours?” 

A woman commented that, “Jamaica is going to become the go-to tourist destination for weird degenerates who will only go there to be overly sexual and disgusting.” 

Other individuals have, however, disagreed with those who view Cenat’s behaviour as being disrespectful to Jamaica, or being acts of cultural appropriation. 

“He (Cenat) wasn’t mocking the culture, but everything he is describing is irrelevant. That’s like when white people get accused of racism and say they have black friends,” said an X user.

Shared a woman: “I’m going to have to disagree with all those who saying Kai (Cenat) appropriates Jamaican culture. What I have a problem with was him being being utterly disrespectful to women while dancing.

“A mean, why are ‘stabbing’ the women like is dancehall? It’s carnival, move with your waistline sir and move with the rhythms,” she further commented. 

Another woman pointed out that carnivals are, by nature, exuberant and sensual celebrations, and Cenat’s behaviour was in line with the carnival spirit — a “sentiment” that is “often misrepresented when taken out of context”. 

She added: “Kai is just being like any other tourist; excited about the culture and entertaining in their own way. If he was white would we be having this discussion on Elon Musk’s app?” 

Still, the comments disagreeing with perspectives such as those flooded X.

“So not only is he (Cenat) not Jamaican, he’s conflating Caribbean culture. Being of Trini-Haitian descent does not make you any kind of authority on Caribbean culture. 

“He (Cenat) coulda grow up eating all the oxtail and roti in the world idc (I don’t care),” another woman stated.