From rap to viral web tales, the destruction of Keisha is prevalent so i ask you, please: keep my name out of her mouth.

You are watching: Songs with the name keisha in it

Lakeisha Goedluck

27 Mar 2020

Illustration through Hannah Buckman

Over the course of my life, ns have end up being accustomed to the truth that as soon as I introduce myself to people, most will answer with: “That’s a beautiful name.” It’s Lakeisha, Keisha because that short and pop society has demonised it. I have learned the this lukewarm compliment is regularly just a polite method of disguising what lock really desire to say: “That’s a really black name.”

Before the work of TikTok and also Vine, YouTube reigned supreme as the go-to location for viral video content. In 2009, a homemade lay out titled “A Hilarious compilation that funny black girl names” was uploaded come the website. 2 young boys are presented taking it in transforms to make their means through the list: fabled surname such as “Obamaniqua”, “Elephantisha” and “Fri’Chickenisha” are pointed out for cheap laughs. Yet it’s the consist of of genuine names like “Shaniqua”, “Latoya” and my own, “La’Kisha”, that make the video clip seem like much less of a hoax and more of a jibe. 

Where music is concerned, Keisha has served together a long-running motif in hip hop much more often than many black women’s names. Because its inception, the genre has commonly come under fire because that championing misogyny – and my name has actually cropped increase routinely. Take it Russ & Tion Wayne’s recent chart-topper Keisha & Becky. Including lyrics prefer “Very sexy, Keisha, Becky” and also “Oh my God, look at that bumper, what the bomba?” The overarching design template of the song is to sexualise and also trivialise the women mentioned. Similarly, J Hus claims that he “Might traction up on Keisha, I perform it simply to furious her” in his song Leave Me Alone, if Dave East’s track Keisha is a lyrical exposition the his will to bed a licentious mrs of that name. “I think in ~ the genre, Keisha is supplied as a device to unpack the various narratives that exist in stories… a superficiality in recommendation to ‘her’ attributes,” says music writer Nicolas Tyrell, who specialises in i know well hop discourse. “This will always place Keisha together an accomplice – the journey, no the destination.”


Elsewhere in rap, Keisha is beguiling. In YG’s Keshia had a Baby, “Pretty Keshia” who “so fly, for this reason diva” is originally lauded as an ambitious, preferable woman – until she betrays a man who loves her and receives she comeuppance towards the end of the track. Kendrick Lamar’s Keisha’s tune (Her Pain) is a profound record i m sorry utilises Keisha together an illuminating metaphor: “She’s employed as a car of societal woes and also institutional demons,” defines Tyrell. A “beautiful” teenager who has actually lead a life plagued by misfortune, Keisha turns to prostitution come survive yet winds up dead. Aside from the obvious lasciviousness, whether depicted as villains or victims, there’s likewise usually a ruinous aspect at play once a Keisha crops up in hip hop. 


My surname has discovered its method into the black color film canon too. Keisha has tendency to be treated through the exact same concoction that fascination and contempt on-screen as they room in music. Hype Williams’ 1998 crime drama Belly stars rapper DMX together street criminal Tommy, while his girl friend Keisha is play by Taral Hicks. In one emotional sequence, the pair are seen shouting at every other: Keisha is in she underwear gift manhandled by Tommy prior to the situation dissipates and they have sex. Throughout the food of the film, Keisha is effectively used through Tommy as a sex-related object and also a scapegoat – she is jailed because that his illegal dealings and rather 보다 helping her, the flees.

Keisha in the TV collection Power is not dissimilar come Taral’s character. Played by LaLa Anthony, she presented together a man-eater who enters a corrupt connection with a character coincidentally dubbed Tommy – but her story ends as soon as she’s murdered the end of convenience by her close friend. “It is increasingly easy to discover black women, specifically young ones, illustrated as Jezebels whose just value is as sexual commodities,” write Dr David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology at Ferris State University. Popularised by the Blaxploitation genre the was dominated by white directors, both personas ascribe to this humiliating stereotype of a black woman that’s historically been portrayed on film.

Outside the kingdom of an international popular culture, the name has also been demeaned ~ above a much more local level in Britain. Throughout the beforehand 00s once social media to be still very much in that infancy, MSN and regular text message reigned supreme. It to be by these channels that inner-city teens were left titillated by the episodic written tale of “Kiesha da Sket” – a promiscuous city legend. “I took of ma optimal an he began feelin increase ma breasts;” “he had actually sum pine tree wardrobes one a workdesk full of condoms .” composed in first-person broken English, the story further pushes the idea the Keisha is naive, lust-ridden and perpetually up to no good. Transparent my teenage years, when boys heard mine name, they’d cheekily referral the chronicle. This was due to the fact that they held a preconception of me gift “easy”, largely thanks to the deterioration of Keisha in popular music culture.

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In western society, names the aren’t of European origin are regularly subject come discrimination in some type or another. Whether it’s the propensity to be regularly mispronounced there is no attempted self-correction or being offered as an chance for bald mockery as the above example suggests. The no wonder, then, that some ethnic parents simply give their youngsters Anglicised names because that ease. However, because that those of us who hold very first names that relate come our racial background, being stereotyped is a popular experience: you’d be hard-pressed to find a Mohammad the hasn’t end up being the target of a terrorism-related joke.

It’s an issue that has been flagged in recruitment circles, as something that even works versus people trying to find work. In 2017, BBC’s Inside out London found that an applications from “Adam” received three time as many interview invitations 보다 a “Mohamed” – even with the specific same experience. Similarly, back in 2015, research scientist Dr. Colin Holbrook who works at the UCLA center for Behavior, Evolution, and society found that guys with black-sounding name such together “Jamal” and “Darnell” to be presumed come be an ext dangerous in to compare to guys with white names. Students with these details black-sounding names also face discrimination in schools. A Stanford college study performed in the exact same year discovered that kids with stereotypically black color names were presumed to be an ext troublesome and also deserving that harsher penalty in relationship to their peers with white names. 


“In western society, names the aren’t of European origin are regularly subject to discrimination in some kind or another”

A huge proportion of black women know this plight of gift pigeonholed all as well well. Throughout the board, it’s regularly the so-called black color names that end in “-isha” that get flack and also ridicule. From an etymological standpoint, the source of a many them is “Aisha”, obtained from an Arabic adjective that means “alive” or “well”. “Some have specifically meeting the popularity of this female provided name among black american to the influence of the nation of Islam throughout the polite Rights activity in the 1960s,” states John Kelly, a senior Research Editor for Dictionary.com. “ helped make distinct given names more valuable, more desirable – an ext empowered together names unshackled through the experience and legacy of enslavement which stripped and also replaced initial names.” 

Aisha and also other monikers that its ilk have actually been adjusted to incorporate prefixes, suffixes and also apostrophes to give rise to black color American forenames. John notes that these additions are sometimes credited to either Louisianan French, afri denomination, or room simply consisted of for the pleasant method that they sound. In particular, the black color American different “Keisha” has actually been besmirched beyond its major definition. As a child, having the name Lakeisha offered to reason me a the majority of anxiety and also upset. Even now, I’ll be unjustly judged because that my claimed “ghetto name”. People who have read my name an initial and met me after that will say things like: “Of course you’re black color – I intended you come be less well-spoken, though.” Kelly defines that details black American names are regarded to “sound black” so space subject to racial prejudice. “White human being might surname their children ‘Ajax’ or ‘Trigger’ and, while occasionally a punchline, they room not subject to the very same level the racialised venom – this, come me, clearly points come an concern of power,” he concludes. 

But how has the degradation of black American names become so standardised in contemporary society? together is the situation with most worries rooted in racism, the discrimination targeted in the direction of ethnic names isn’t arbitrary. Social influence and entrenched social beliefs go hand in hand to fuel the belief that particular names carry more merit 보다 others – and also this is sadly perpetuated both in ~ the black community and also beyond it. While traditional white English names may be mocked for your banality, the Emilys and Bens that the people are generally spared from being tied to negative connotations.


Keisha no a wanton woman, a human to it is in pitied or a throwaway plot device; Keisha is merely a surname steeped in cultural pride that’s mainly given to black color girls. So, at a time when human being like me still struggle to land project interviews as result of our ethnic-sounding names, it’s the misguided perspectives held versus them that need to be rubbish instead.


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