Daniel Caesar Instagram

Toronto singer Daniel Caesar slammed for implying black people can't take a joke

One of Toronto's hottest young recording artists is being dragged across the web today for a drunken Instagram live chat in which he told his black fans that "being a victim doesn't get you paid."

Daniel Caesar, 23, hosted a chat on his own Instagram feed Tuesday evening, while drinking and dining with a group of friends. 

"Are there black people in this chat right now?" said the Oshawa-born Grammy award-winner, whose real name is Ashton Simmonds. "Why are we being so mean to white people right now? That's a serious question."

The R&B star was speaking in response to the most recent backlash against controversial online personality Julieanna 'YesJulz' Goddard, a white woman who herself has been accused in recent years of using racist language, exploiting black culture for her own gain and needlessly disparaging black women.

Caesar, apparently, felt it necessary to weigh in on how Twitter users were treating YesJulz after she had publicly bashed two prominent black women in the hip hop industry, Scottie Beam and Karen Civil.

The fact that he would defend such a polarizing (and, well, widely-hated) figure at all was enough to make many of his fans and followers mad.

It was the rant that followed his blurb about Julz, however, that really dropped jaws.

"Why is that we're allowed to be rude and disrespectful to everybody else and when anyone returns any type of energy to us…that's not equality," said Caesar. "I don't wanna be treated like I can't take a joke."

He went on to say that he'd been too "sensitive" in the past, specifically when Dave Chapelle called him "gay" in a live chat on John Meyer's Instagram.

"White people have been mean to us in the past, what are you gonna do about that? Tell me what you're gonna do about that?" he continued.

"Are we winning right now as a culture? Are we popular in society? We're not. And you can't win the game by choosing to not accept the winning team's strategy."

The comments on Caesar's live chat started blowing up with confusion, more than anything, at that point. "Daniel you're from Canada," commented one of the artist's followers. "You don't get it."

"I am black as f*ck," he said in response to a string of comments. "I slept on a park bench to get where I am right now, I went through it. Being a victim doesn't get you paid, that's all I'm saying."

Caesar, who admitted several times throughout the live chat that he was "drunk as f*ck," seemed unfazed by the resulting criticism. He still does, in fact, as of Wednesday morning.

During his chat last night, Caesar encouraged viewers who didn't agree with his beliefs to "cancel" him, noting that he was working on new music and that they didn't have to listen to it. 

"Don't listen to my next sh*t if you think I'm shit,
 he said. "Make me broke. Make me suffer for my opinion. I believe in it."

Some were more than happy to oblige.

Fans of Caesar's work are expressing their disappointment over having to get rid of his music, or to reconcile themselves with the beliefs behind the man who made it. 

Some on Twitter agree with some of what the singer said, though perhaps not the way he said it.

Academics are holding the entire situation up as a jump-off point for discourse and learning.

It remains to be seen how Caesar will handle the backlash moving forward.

Golden voice or not, there's only so much any artist can get away with when it comes to fan support, especially with only one album under their belt. As Uproxx points out, even Kanye backed down from his most controversial political stance in the end.

Lead photo by

Daniel Caesar


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