From rap come viral internet tales, the degradation of Keisha is widespread so ns ask you, please: keep my name the end of your mouth.

You are watching: Songs with the name keisha in it

Lakeisha Goedluck

27 Mar 2020

Illustration by Hannah Buckman

Over the food of my life, ns have become accustomed to the reality that as soon as I introduce myself come people, most will reply 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 often just a polite way of disguising what they really want to say: “That’s a an extremely black name.”

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

Where music is concerned, Keisha has served as a long-running motif in i know good hop an ext often than many black women’s names. Since its inception, the genre has generally come under fire for championing misogyny – and my name has cropped increase routinely. Take it Russ & Tion Wayne’s recent chart-topper Keisha & Becky. Consisting of lyrics choose “Very sexy, Keisha, Becky” and also “Oh my God, look at at that bumper, what the bomba?” The overarching design template of the song is to sexualise and trivialise the ladies mentioned. Similarly, J Hus says that he “Might pull up on Keisha, I execute it just to enraged her” in his song Leave Me Alone, if Dave East’s track Keisha is a lyrical exposition that his will to bed a licentious woman of that name. “I think within the genre, Keisha is supplied as a device to unpack the assorted narratives that exist in stories… a superficiality in referral to ‘her’ attributes,” claims music writer Nicolas Tyrell, that specialises in i know well hop discourse. “This will always place Keisha together an accomplice – the journey, not the destination.”


Elsewhere in rap, Keisha is beguiling. In YG’s Keshia had a Baby, “Pretty Keshia” who’s “so fly, therefore diva” is initially lauded as an ambitious, desirable woman – until she betrays a male who loves her and receives she comeuppance towards the finish of the track. Kendrick Lamar’s Keisha’s song (Her Pain) is a profound record which utilises Keisha as an illuminating metaphor: “She’s employed together a automobile of societal woes and also institutional demons,” explains Tyrell. A “beautiful” teenager who has lead a life plagued through misfortune, Keisha transforms to prostitution come survive yet winds up dead. Aside from the noticeable lasciviousness, whether shown as villains or victims, there’s likewise usually a ruinous aspect at play when a Keisha crops up in i know good hop. 


My surname has uncovered its method into the black color film canon too. Keisha often tends to be treated v the very same concoction of fascination and contempt on-screen together they space in music. Exaggeration Williams’ 1998 crime drama Belly stars rapper DMX together street criminal Tommy, while his girlfriend Keisha is played by Taral Hicks. In one emotional sequence, the couple are seen shouting at every other: Keisha is in she underwear gift manhandled through Tommy prior to the case dissipates and also they have sex. Throughout the course of the film, Keisha is successfully used by Tommy as a sexual object and a scapegoat – she is jailed for his illegal dealings and rather than helping her, he flees.

Keisha in the TV collection Power is not dissimilar come Taral’s character. Play by LaLa Anthony, she presented as a man-eater that enters a corrupt relationship with a personality coincidentally called Tommy – however her story ends once she’s murdered the end of convenience by her close friend. “It is increasingly easy to uncover black women, particularly young ones, shown as Jezebels whose only value is as sex-related commodities,” to write Dr David Pilgrim, Professor the Sociology at Ferris State University. Popularised by the Blaxploitation genre that was conquered by white directors, both personas ascribe come this humiliating stereotype of a black color woman that’s historically been depicted on film.

Outside the kingdom of an international popular culture, the name has likewise been demeaned on a much more local level in Britain. During the early on 00s once social media was still an extremely much in that infancy, MSN and also regular text post reigned supreme. It to be by these networks that inner-city teenagers were left titillated through the episodic written tale of “Kiesha da Sket” – a promiscuous urban legend. “I take it of ma optimal an he started feelin increase ma breasts;” “he had actually sum jaw wardrobes one a desk full of condoms .” created in first-person broken English, the story more pushes the idea that Keisha is naive, lust-ridden and also perpetually as much as no good. Throughout my teenage years, once boys heard mine name, they will do cheekily recommendation the chronicle. This was because they hosted a preconception that me gift “easy”, mostly thanks to the degradation of Keisha in popular music culture.

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In west society, names that aren’t the European origin are often subject to discrimination in some kind or another. Even if it is it’s the propensity to be routinely mispronounced there is no attempted self-correction or being used as an chance for fully mockery as the above example suggests. The no wonder, then, that part ethnic parents simply give their children Anglicised names because that ease. However, for those of united state who hold very first names the relate to our racial background, being stereotyped is a commonplace 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 concern that has been flagged in recruitment circles, as something that also works versus people looking for work. In 2017, BBC’s Inside the end London discovered that an applications from “Adam” obtained three time as many interview invitations 보다 a “Mohamed” – even with the precise same experience. Similarly, back in 2015, study scientist Dr. Colin Holbrook that works at the UCLA center for Behavior, Evolution, and society found that guys with black-sounding names such as “Jamal” and “Darnell” were presumed to be more dangerous in to compare to guys with white names. Students v these particular black-sounding names also face discrimination in schools. A Stanford university study carried out in the same year found that kids with stereotypically black color names were presumed come be more troublesome and also deserving that harsher penalty in relation to your peers v white names. 


“In western society, names that aren’t of European origin are often subject come discrimination in some form or another”

A large proportion of black color women understand this plight of being pigeonholed all too well. Throughout the board, it’s often the so-called black names that finish in “-isha” that receive flack and also ridicule. Native an etymological standpoint, the root of a many them is “Aisha”, acquired from one Arabic adjective that means “alive” or “well”. “Some have specifically deadline the popularity of this female offered name amongst black american to the influence of the nation of Islam throughout the polite Rights movement in the 1960s,” states John Kelly, a an elderly Research Editor because that Dictionary.com. “ aided make distinctive given names more valuable, more desirable – an ext empowered as names unshackled through the experience and legacy of enslavement which stripped and replaced initial names.” 

Aisha and also other monikers that its ilk have been adapted to include prefixes, suffixes and apostrophes to provide rise to black color American forenames. John notes the these additions are sometimes credited to one of two people Louisianan French, afri denomination, or room simply contained for the pleasant way that lock sound. In particular, the black color American variant “Keisha” has actually been besmirched beyond its main definition. As a child, having actually the name Lakeisha used to cause me a the majority of anxiety and upset. Also now, I’ll it is in unjustly judged because that my supposed “ghetto name”. Human being who have read mine name very first and met me after that will say things like: “Of food you’re black – I intended you come be less well-spoken, though.” Kelly defines that specific black American surname are regarded to “sound black” so are subject to gyeongju prejudice. “White human being might name their children ‘Ajax’ or ‘Trigger’ and, while periodically a punchline, they room not topic to the exact same level the racialised venom – this, to me, plainly points to an problem of power,” he concludes. 

But how has actually the degradation of black American names become so standardised in modern-day society? together is the situation with most issues rooted in racism, the discrimination targeted towards ethnic names isn’t arbitrary. Cultural influence and entrenched social beliefs go hand in hand to fuel the belief that details names carry more merit than others – and also this is sadly perpetuated both within the black community and also beyond it. While classic white English names may be mocked for their banality, the Emilys and also Bens of the people are generally spared from gift tied to an unfavorable connotations.


Keisha isn’t a wanton woman, a human to be pitied or a throwaway plot device; Keisha is merely a name steeped in cultural pride that’s mainly given to black color girls. So, in ~ a time when civilization like me still struggle to land task interviews due to our ethnic-sounding names, it’s the misguided mindsets held against them that need to be rubbish instead.


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