Shade doesn’t matter!

“All my light skinned girls to my dark skinned brothers, shades doesn’t matter, heart makes the lover”.  When Chrisette Michelle sang that in the song ‘Shade’, not only did it spark controversy in the music industry it also brought up a topic which a lot of people shy away from.

In the same song Wale pointed out how tough it was for him growing up as a dark skinned boy, how he felt as though people with a lighter shade had first preference.  We are constantly bombarded with different messages from the media. When it comes to beauty in the music industry in terms of music videos, there has always been a certain skin tone that has been used in most of the videos that rappers produce.

With terms like yellow bones, brownies, thick females and bad ****** it seems as though looks and body image are factors which are constantly evolving. Kendrick Lamar released a song with Drake called “Poetic Justice’’ which depicts a young beautiful model by the name of Brittany Sky who is featured as the female lead in the music video. “We had 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,” Kendrick told Mickey Fresh from It seems as though Lamar himself noticed the trend. He has chosen to stray away from the norm and has decided to liberate the idea of true diversity.

Could it be that more and more hip hop artists will also follow in the same footsteps? Will they also start using more dark skinned females as leads, thereby showing different angles of what beauty is? When every kind of shade is expressed and shown as being beautiful it truly highlights the purpose of what music represents: unity.

Nomsa Motale

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