Rapper J. Cole on Colorism: ‘I Might Not be as Successful If I Was Dark Skinned’

J. Cole-jemblog-dot-com-2Colorism in the African-American community has long been considered a natural outgrowth of living within a white supremacist structure. It is, however, a divisive cultural phenomenon that many within the African-American community have tried to move past in anj. cole effort to build together. But as rapper J. Cole pointed out during an interview with Clay Cane for BET, the impact of colorism lives on.

When asked about the steps he’s taking to include darker skinned women in his music and how colorism impacts men in hip-hop, J. Cole was candid:

“I can’t say it for sure but I just think we’re still in America. We’re still Black Americans. Those mental chains are still in us. That brainwashing that tells us that light skin is better, it’s subconsciously in us, whether we know it or not… still pursuing light skin women. There are some women out there that are like, ‘I don’t even like light skin men’ and that’s fine. But Barack Obama would not be President if he were dark skin. You know what I mean? That’s just the truth. I might not be as successful as I am now if I was dark skin. I’m not saying that for sure, I’m still as talented as I am and Obama is still as smart as he is, but it’s just a sad truth… I don’t even know if this is going to translate well into text and people not hearing what I’m saying, but it’s a sad reality. So I can only naturally assume it’s probably easier for a light skin male rapper than it might be for a dark skin male rapper. It’s all subconscious s***, nobody’s aware — I think that s*** still subconsciously affects us.”

Considering how consumed male hip-hop artists are with “yellow model chicks”, it’s apparent that there’s colorism in hip-hop, but people don’t usually consider how colorism impacts men in the industry. Could this spark a new debate?

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