The more I’ve started writing, and been involved in media sort of, the more I’ve tried to learn more and more about the industry. Whilst learning about the industry, I’ve learnt about the problems within the industry at the same time. I wrote a post some time ago about my problems with the British music scene, but there’s an issue that covers both the UK and US scene; discrimination, but specifically, colorism.
I think it’s good that in the last year, colourism has come more and more into the public eye, and awareness has been spread about it. I think before, it was an issue that maybe people knew about, but no one had the gumption to come out and talk about. Normally, I don’t pay attention to stuff people are talking about on Twitter, because more times than not, they’re chatting complete wass, but this time, Twitter is actually doing some good for once.
Yesterday, some old tweets made by Steff London came to light, where she was saying some really offensive stuff about darkskin women. Although what she said was terrible, what made it worse was the fact that she didn’t even apologise properly. And what makes it worse is that, despite these comments, despite the half hearted apologies, and despite the incessant amount of times people have gone on about colourism in the industry, this will not affect Steff London’s career in any shape or form. She will continue to get her money up, and things will kinda just roll over in the next week or so.
But beyond that, this incident once again brought the issue of discrimination to light, and how darker skin was, and still is, seen as inferior. Now, this is a music blog, so I’m not going to go on a tirade about how we should all be treated equally etc etc. But I’d be lying if I said that this attitude isn’t shown in the industry. When I say that, I mean, although I don’t think there isn’t a outright, direct movement AGAINST dark skin women in the industry, there is definitely a stigma surrounding them.
I saw a clip on Twitter last week, where someone was talking about the current wave of afroswing artists collaborating with light skin singers, and no one else. And it really got me to thinking, ‘rah, that is so true’. Deep it, Not3s & Mabel, Kojo Funds & Mabel, Lotto Boyz & M.O etc etc. And that is nothing on these female artists; they are all talented in their own way, and deserve to be blowing up, and getting features and festival call ups and all that. But what about the dark skin women who are equally, or maybe even more, talented? The guy in the clip spoke about Nao, but there are literally so many more examples of talented singers with darker skin whose careers haven’t hit the heights that they should have. Can’t tell me it’s because they’re not talented enough, and this whole ‘they’re not marketable’ malarkey is just more discriminatory dialect. Why aren’t they getting their fair share of the spotlight?
This isn’t an issue limited to the UK scene too. It is equally, probably even more, prevalent within the US scene. And people are only realising it now, when people have been saying it for ages. Artists like Tinashe have spoke on colourism before, but because she doesn’t have the star or pull power as say a Rihanna, we kind of just glossed over it. When Azealia Banks spoke on Cardi B’s fame being built on the fact that she is light skin, she was heckled and branded a hater, but now suddenly, everyone wants to wise up now? It’s only recently when the Latina singer, Amara Le Negra, spoke about the issue that people wanted to jump on the bandwagon, and fake that they were agreeing with Azealia Banks back then. No you weren’t lol. I think it’s this ‘bandwagon’ attitude that has delayed this movement, because people literally don’t care about these issues until your favourite rappers or singers are talking about it. But if it’s someone who has been ostracised from the music circle, like Azealia Banks, they’re branded bitter, or as a hater, and the topic gets swept under the carpet. Although I’m grateful that we are finally talking and discussing it now, we could have been talking about it so much earlier.
So much untapped talent in both scenes, both coming from people with dark and light skin, but you’re a liar if you can’t see that the fairer skinned artists have a better chance of blowing up. Hopefully, we wise up soon, and shine an actual light on the issue, rather than just debating and talking about it on Twitter, because it’s stopping a lot of talented artists blowing up.