Kodak Black shows Hip Hop has a Colorism Problem

By: Olivia Zimmerman

Kodak Black, photo via  XXL

Kodak Black, photo via XXL

Kodak Black, famed coon and mumble rapper, is back on his game of disrespecting women and saying dumb shit. In a recently surfaced video, Kodak talks about how he “prefers” light skinned women to dark skinned women, stating that women of his complexion are “too gutter” and light skinned women are “easier to break down”. Kodak was rightfully trolled on the internet for his comments.


And the best part is, Kodak made all of his comments to a black woman. The disrespect is too real. 

I love African American women, but I just don’t like my skin complexion. We too gutter, light-skinned women are more sensitive.
— Kodak Black


So is the self hatred. Within the hip-hop/rap community, colorism is all too real. Rappers date the same five racially ambiguous light skinned girls, like Karrueche and Amber Rose, parading around “yellowbone” trophies as if dating a lighter skinned woman signifies wealth. Chris Brown rapped in "Look at me Now" about his "yellowbone chick". They praise Latinas for having “attitudes” and light skinned girls for being “sensitive” all the while bashing darker skinned women for being “too combative”. But the gag is, half of these rappers have dark skinned mamas that they love so much. This isn't just about "preference", this issue clearly stems to issues much deeper. So what’s the truth?

photo via  Affinity Magazine

photo via Affinity Magazine

 Dark skinned women have always taken a beating in the rap industry. Kodak is only the most recent case of black male rappers showing their true colors. You’ve got A$AP Rocky’s all-lives-matter behind saying that dark skinned women shouldn’t wear red lipstick. You’ve got Kanye talking about how “If it wasn’t for race mixing there’d be no video girls”. Even Kendrick, the conscious rap king, is complicit in this colorist system. In the Humble video, as he says “I'm so fuckin' sick and tired of the Photoshop, Show me somethin' natural like afro on Richard Pryor”, a clearly mixed light skinned girl appears while during “Show me somethin' natural like ass with some stretch marks” the only isolated depiction of a dark skinned woman is of her booty.

Where does it end? Dark skinned women can hardly catch a break. Amber Rose talked about how there are barely any darker skinned video girls or selective numbers of dark skinned strippers. And even then, dark skinned women are only seen as beautiful when they’re naked and drenched in baby oil. This structure, equating light skin to wealth and prosperity must be intentionally dismantled, by the same people who built it. It’s not enough to blame it on preference, it’s systemic. Clearly when you have Kodak Black calling dark skinned women “gutter” and Kanye holding multiracial only model calls, there’s a bigger issue than personal preference. And it needs to end. So whether they all need therapy like Jay Z suggested, or they need to have a nice long conversation. I want to see some change. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m about sick and tired of seeing fellow black women torn down by people like Kodak Black who still has his baby teeth stuck in his mouth.