Kendrick Lamar is one of the rap game’s latest sensations, and he’s already using his fame and influence to tackle a major issue – colorism.
Today’s hip hop industry is all about the age old debate of light skin vs. dark skin and Kendrick Lamar is sick of it.
Everywhere you look, the hottest music videos always have a bad habit of casting the hottest light skin girl to be the star of their video.
Many rappers even integrate their love of light skinned women and distaste for women with darker skin in their lyrics.
Lil Wayne raps, “Beautiful black woman, I bet that b**** look better red.”
Soulja Boy raps, “I’m looking for a yellow bone long haired star…”
Even Cyhi the Prince raps, “She a redbone but her cousin is dark…” in a song titled “Take One for the Team” which suggests he has to be the one person in his clique who has to sleep with the unattractive female – in this case, the dark skinned friend.
Colorism has plagued hip hop, but Kendrick Lamar refused to let it creep into his music video for “Poetic Justice.”
The hip hop newcomer made a last minute change to his music video that went against the rest of the crew’s decision. He switched out the lead woman in the video with a darker woman.
He told the music blogger, Miss Info, just how important it was to him that the dark skinned woman had the lead.
“We have another girl for the lead but I had an idea where I just wanted a little bit of a darker tone [girl] in the video,” he explained. “It’s almost like a color blind industry where there’s only one type of appeal to the camera. It was a girl on set and I said, ‘Ask her.’”
To clarify his comment, however, Lamar took to Twitter to explain that he doesn’t prefer any color over the other he just feels like there needs to be more equality between different tones of black women.
“Not Light “Vs” Dark tho,” he wrote. “More about “BALANCE”… Givn every shade of woman life, not just what da industry thinks is “Hott” 4 camera. When u put the term light “Vs” dark continues it as a BATTLE. My point 4 poetic was to spark the idea of making it an EQUAL.”
We couldn’t agree more. At the end of the day it’s important that we realize we are all beautiful black women and whether or not we are light skinned, brown skinned, dark skinned, red bone, caramel, dark chocolate or WHATEVER other term you want to use there shouldn’t be a competition between us.
The industry’s standard for what beautiful is has caused many women to become prejudice towards one another simply because of skin color and that’s just as bad as racism.
It’s not fair that every woman with a light complexion is labeled as being a narcissistic, shallow wannabe video vixen and every woman with a darker complexion is labeled as a rude, finger snapping, eye rolling jerk who is ready to fight anyone who even looks at her the wrong way.
We can’t control what we see in the media, but we can control how it socializes us. Even while the media is busy perpetuating the stereotype that light skin women are more desirable than darker women, it is up to us as women to treat each other equally and fairly and as sisters – because that is after all what we are.
Once we decided to stop fighting the battle of light skin vs dark skin, perhaps the media will catch on and follow in our footsteps instead of things happening the other way around.