In every society, colorism plays an unfortunate role in how people view and treat others.
Black people of a darker complexion have always been undervalued, stolen from, abused, and subjugated under racist stereotypes. The music, film, and media industries have all played major roles in perpetuating that treatment.
The topic of colorism was discussed on Meghan James’ “The Hollywood Group Chat” podcast featuring female rapper Monaleo. Various parts of the discussion weren’t articulated well with regard to what is classified as colorism and the fact that “reverse” colorism isn’t real.
Focusing more on the Rap music industry, a black woman has always had a harder time being supported. It is prevalent when you look at female rappers in this generation like Megan Thee Stallion, Monaleo, Nicki Minaj, Kash Doll, Latto, Dreezy, Tink, The City Girls, Glorilla, Saweetie, Flo Milli, Doja Cat, Bree Runway and more.
Talent, stage presence, charisma, beauty, and commercial appeal have always been major factors in boosting artists into the mainstream market. But the discussion of how women with darker skin tones must possess those qualities and more often swept under the rug.
It’s only recently that we’re seeing some females of darker complexions after Missy Elliot and Foxy Brown receive some form of notoriety. Artists like Bree Runway, Flo Milli, and the City Girls are either slowly gaining attention or are maintaining what they already have. But they’re not being pushed nearly as strongly as other females who have lighter skin tones.
Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat, Latto, Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie, and Glorilla are just a few black women who tend to be at the forefront of all rap conversations. Granted all of them have worked extremely hard to be in their positions, but we can’t hide the fact that had they been darker toned they would be in more sensitive positions in their careers.
One often questions why extremely talented artists like Kash Doll, Dreezy, and Tink aren’t as prevalent in the mainstream industry as they have the potential to be. They are all talented, but they did not have the same powerful support behind them no matter what went on with them career-wise.
Kash Doll was positioned to enter the mainstream market, but it faded due to mid-level controversy, a one-sided and short-lived beef with Nicki Minaj. Tink was being pushed by Timbaland but unfortunately, her support wasn’t consistent enough. But when you have major artists like Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat who have faced back-to-back controversies over the recent years but their backing has not stopped.
Megan James’ view and opinion on colorism are questionable but still valid. Light skin black women still face ignorance in the black community, they still face the fact that their blackness is questioned, and they often grow up feeling ostracized from their own community meanwhile having two black parents.
“…I stand by what I said about colorism still being a very real and prevalent issue. There is no such thing as ‘reverse colorism.’”Monaleo responds to Meghan James
Colorism is extremely present within the black community, much like any other. The source of it is racist indoctrination that was and still is taught to the community at large. For real change to happen, we must be accountable and teach healthier behaviors to combat colorism. The support for black women of all shades, especially deeper tones, is crucial for them to be successful.
What is your opinion on colorism in the music industry? Do you feel that it is prevalent today?