Lil’ Wayne’s back in the hot seat. The lyrics from his new single “Right Above” have pissed off some of his fans, a few of whom are vowing to boycott the artist.
In the song Lil’ Wayne rhymes “beautiful black woman, I bet that b*tch look better red.” That would have been enough to elicit some eye rolls, but insult got added to injury when a female fan shared an alleged incident she experienced with the rapper. The self-described dark-skinned fan took to gossip website Bossip, claiming that when she asked the rapper why he would use the above lyric when his daughter is brown-skinned, Lil’ Wayne replied “my daughter is a dark skinned millionaire, that’s the difference between her and you.” He then supposedly went on to say that he made sure that all his other baby mommas were light-skinned.
Whether or not this story is true, it doesn’t exactly seem far-fetched. This just in from Captain Obvious: rappers show preference to light-skinned women. It appears to be some universal law applied to all up and coming rappers’ contracts. Just take a look at the music video chronology of the average aspiring hip hop star: the first debut video takes place on the block. They’ve got people from the hood they grew up with, average folk dancing in a street party with some caddies and broads from the local strip club. A few videos and maybe an album later, you’ve got the club video — glossy, celebrity friends, video girls who have gotten noticeably more attractive and better dressed, not to mention lighter skinned.
Finally, once a rapper has really arrived, you get the exotic travel video — Brazil, Bahamas, St. Tropez, and not a black girl to be seen. Kanye West, another guy known for his light-skinned preferences, rapped it best — “but when you get on, he leave yo’ ass for a white girl.”
Nevertheless, some people cease to be amazed when their favorite rapper abandons their brown-skinned brethren for lighter pastures. If this fan is in fact telling the truth, she has every right to be hurt, disgusted, and disappointed. But should everyone else should jump on the boycott Lil’ Wayne wagon? I think not.
Boycotting Lil’ Wayne because he’s colorstruck is like boycotting Rush Limbaugh because you heard the guy doesn’t like kids. Seriously, there are so many other reasons to be mad at Wayne, such as his misogynistic and violent lyrics. He’s never been hailed as a bastion of moral righteousness, so should we really be surprised he that he’s not culturally sensitive and informed? Sure it’s annoying and disappointing that he’s unaware of the roots of his bias, perpetuating the “white is right” slave logic to his fans. It even makes me feel sorry for the guy — have you taken a look in the mirror Lil’ Wayne? Looks like you wouldn’t pass your own test.
But I suppose Lil’ Wayne has a right to his baby momma preferences, and some would argue skin color bias is no different from a height or weight bias in dating. If nothing else, as an artist who’s never set himself up to be a moral leader, expectations of his conduct should be low enough to encompass this ignorance. If someone looks up to Lil’ Wayne as a role model, that unfortunately is going to have to be handled as a personal problem, because he very clearly doesn’t want the responsibility.
You can either reject him as trash or respect him as a rapper, but if you are a fan you really can’t go putting strident moral parameters on Lil’ Wayne. As long as he’s not hurting anybody, you got to let the man live, albeit in ignorance and self-hatred.