*sits and waits for Katy Perry to go back to Christian music for her next album*

The robot was terrible. The dab looking thingy was worse. The attempt at a “thug” picture backstage was just…girl stop. All in all, Katy Perry’s performance of her newest song, “Bon Appétit,” was mad weird and probably made you as uncomfortable as a train wreck happening before your eyes – you couldn’t not look.

Upon the twelfth or so time watching the WTF of all WTFs, I realized why I was so…magoobwa (for lack of an accurate word) about the whole performance. At first, I thought it had something racial. But I don’t even think it was that deep. I think she was acting very appropriately for a stereotypical white girl from suburbia listening to rap music, and I was embarrassed for her.

Black people have had love for Katy since she did “ET” with Kanye. We were on her side when she split from Russell Brand. Then our love for her grew even more when big, bad Taylor Swift made a (really good, jammin’) song about their “Bad Blood.” Every now and then Perry would pop up on the scene with a tweet where she’d stand up for the little guy or say something about womanhood. But lately, Katy been effin up.

First, it was the snide little comment about “Oh, do you miss Obama, too?” that felt a little bit like a “yo mama” joke; it just stung too much. Was it racially charged? Doubtful. But when the guy who replaced Obama is living, breathing, racial tension, one couldn’t help but feel like the comment was in a no-fly zone for the caucasian persuasion.

Then this mess of a Saturday Night Live set that began with what is purported to be a Taylor Swift diss track. Now, Swift is the reigning queen of diss tracks, so I don’t even know why Katy tried. But let’s pretend that part isn’t a complete fail and talk about the performance. We’re not even talking about the snapping drag queens. I actually thought that was very Perry of her. It was the 45-second mark of “Swish Swish” where Katy turned gangsta(?) that raised my brow. And then, she kept it up for the rest of the song, bringing out lil’ dude from the IG videos (OK, that was kinda cool). What didn’t sit well with me, and probably most other viewers, was how she looked serious the whole time. It was about that time that I realized none of this was intended to be ironic.

The hottest of this mess occurred when I looked up and Migos were staring at a buffet á la Katy. I was prepared for weird, but nothing could prepare me for the apple-eating dancers, dabbing, weird “Offset” hand callout business, and general goofiness that ensued. It wasn’t specifically “racist,” and she didn’t necessarily appropriate anything, but it was that cloudiness of offense that made me so uncomfortable. The underlying question was, “Katy, what are you trying to do here?”

It’s as if she was very blatantly saying, “I’m never going to specifically root for black people, but I’m gonna use the hell out of their culture when necessary.” Super Miley-esque. To restate as if this wasn’t an issue in current news, it seems like whenever an artist needs to establish his or her independence and make a shift in styles, hip hop is the first genre they choose, whether or not it particularly suits that artist well. Maybe it’s the defiance that is a part of hip hop culture. Maybe it’s the hardness with which hip hop lyrics hit. Maybe it’s a “Hey mom and dad, these are the exact people you would never want me to hang out with!” Either way, whenever it happens, it’s hella uncomfortable for everyone and generally symbolizes a return to the artist’s roots for the next album.

I don’t think Perry means any harm, I just think she hasn’t realized the road that’s she’s on, while well-traveled, always leads back home.

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