Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Volume Two show last week was praised for its inclusive, body-positive celebration, which featured Lizzo, Normani, Indya Moore and Shea Couleé. But following the spectacle airing in full online, the singer was met with a barrage of criticism from Muslim fans, who called her out for using a song featuring sacred Islamic verses from a Hadith.
During one part of the show, Coucou Chloe’s 2017 song “Doom” played, which samples a remix of a Hadith, a sacred text in Islam believed to be a record of the sayings and actions of the prophet Muhammad. In short, not something you’d get models to dance to in lingerie, which is exactly what was happening while the song aired.
“I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x fenty show,” Rihanna wrote on her Instagram Story following the backlash. “I would more importantly like to apologise to you for this honest, yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this! I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible!”
She finished by pledging she’d learnt from the mistake and that, “Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” signing off with, “Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.”
The singer Chloe also took to Twitter to apologise for sampling the sacred text, writing, “I want to deeply apologise for the offence caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘DOOM’. The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith,” she wrote. “I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me. We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms.”
I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me. We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms. 2/2
— COUCOU CHLOE (@coucou_chloe) October 5, 2020