Etana receives backlash for calling Nikki Z ‘industry mattress’

Reggae singer Etana
Reggae singer Etana (Photo: Contributed)

The ‘Strong One’ Etana has come under much fire for a squabble she had on Twitter with media personality Nikki Z.

Earlier this week Nikki Z posted a photo of her and Etana with the hashtag #loclife. The hashtag was created by Ava Duvernay after an incident in Chicago where black men’s dreadlocks were being cut so that they could live a better life, according to Sally Havelgrove, the founder and executive director of Chicago-based Crushers Club. 

“Let’s replace those images of a Trump supporter gleefully cutting a young black man’s locs to give him a “better life” … with the beauty and majesty of life with locs. If you adorn yourself with natural locs, share your pictures with the hashtag #loclife. I’ll start. xo,” DuVernay tweeted.

Nikki Z wanted to support the hashtag, so she posted a photo of her and Etana. Etana quickly responded, saying: “Leave me out of your political Tweets. I will talk about and get involved in what I choose.”

Nikki Z (right) posted this photo of her and Etana to show support for #loclife.
Nikki Z (right) posted this photo of herself and Etana to show support for #loclife.

Surprised by the response, Nikki calmly defended herself. “Did not even think of it in any offensive way… just grabbed the first cute pic with my locs. No offense was meant, but I get you,” she said on Twitter.

The matter escalated when Etana referred to called Nikki Z as an “industry mattress” in her response.

“I see the industry mattress coming at me but I know enough about such a character to know they just need a hug,” Etana said.

That response did not go down well with several social media users, who said that Etana had gone too far.

“I thought Etana was a conscious woman, but when she said she voted for Trump I knew she lost her mind,” one social media user said. Another user commented: “Etana too much… Smh”

“She has apologised for what she said and I for the misunderstanding.”

— Nikki Z

Later Saturday evening, Etana sounded her truth in a voice note on the matter, noting that Nikki Z explained she had no recent “cute” photo, and the one they took at Reggae Sumfest in July was the only one. She added that she is all for togetherness and love among women. 

In putting the matter behind her, Nikki Z took to Instagram where she made a post about the incident.  

“I posted a pic because that picture is beautiful and showed power #melanin Power… the big puffy afro, the locs. There was no other thought behind it,” she said. “We spoke, we understood, and we are both past it. I forgive and forget. She has apologised for what she said and I for the misunderstanding.”