Spraying money means a whole different thing in Nigeria.
Wale gave birth to a baby girl Zyla Moon Oluwakemi last year and on her first birthday, the rapper decided to splash the cash. The Maybach Music rapper shared a video of his daughter in a heap of American dollar bills on Instagram. He even captioned it "My fine girl at her Bday Party the way."
Surprisingly Wale got some backlash for the video. Some people who watched the video insinuated that Wale was getting his daughter ready to become a stripper.
In case you are confused here is some context for you. Within the African-American community, the art of spraying is known as making it rain. You can reference the famous Hip Hop video 'Make It Rain' by Fat Joe featuring Lil Wayne and the remix that featured a bunch of other rappers.
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Making it rain is the act of spraying money on strippers. It's a well known, time honoured tradition. If you are a fan of Hip-Hop then you should be familiar with strip clubs such as King of Diamonds and Magic City. In these flesh and sweat parlours, rappers, athletes and ballers throw insane amounts of cash on strippers.
To an African-American, making it rain might belong to the strip club but to Nigerians, it is another thing entirely. In Nigeria, it is called spraying money. Unlike in America, Nigerians spray money at parties and celebrations.
The sight of crisp Naira notes in the air is a common feature in most wedding receptions. This also applies to birthday ceremonies of older people. It is a way to celebrate life and has nothing to do with strippers dancing on a pole.
Strip clubs are new to Nigeria with the first one opening in Lagos circa 2008. You don't see people tossing Naira notes on a naked woman over here. The act (and art) of spraying money is exclusively reserved for birthday and wedding parties. Of course lately, spraying money has also been introduced to night clubs as well.
Wale hit back at the criticisms and said most Americans are ignorant on what happens outside their country.
"That's just a little bit of that ignorance you get in this country [the US] sometimes, for other cultures. I'm used to it" he told TMZ.
"You've just got to respect other people's traditions on all levels before you speak on it. I'm proud of where I come from. That's just what we do, that's all I knew from when I was growing up" he further said.
Without understanding cultural context, many people thought Wale was promoting stripper culture while not knowing that it means something else in Nigeria where it comes from.
One act can have two different meanings depending on cultural context. For example twerking. In the African-American context twerking is a dance move popularized by strippers.
In Africa, and in the Caribbean twerking is a normal way of dancing and it is totally different from naked woman dancing on a stage.
It is easy to judge an act based on one's experience and cultural context but what might seem wrong to you, is just harmless fun for others.