The Dream is defending himself against social media users who are questioning his stance on colorism and his complicitness in a resurfaced clip from his stint as a judge on Rick Ross’ “Signed” television show.
The 2017 competition series saw aspiring entertainers partaking in different challenges for their chance to get signed to a record label. In the viral video, the artists were tasked with creating a song and casually performing it in front of judges Ross, Lenny S. and The Dream.
Just Brittany — a light-skinned artist — captured Ross’ attention when she sang over his “Aston Martin Music” beat, but upon receiving praise, she quickly pointed out that Kaila, who is of a darker skin tone, used the same beat for her song. The Teflon Don rapper called Kaila to the floor, but despite a more impressive performance, she was sent home on the spot. Twitter users attributed the elimination to Ross’ alleged colorism, and the accompanying judges were slammed for siding with him.
On Tuesday (Jan. 26), the “Falsetto” singer denied the colorism accusations, noting he’s built a reputation on helping women advance in their careers and being pro-Black.
“I’m completely surprised by even the smallest amount of people that would ever test my Blackness and my love for my people and my culture in every shade esp. the darkest of u,” he began. “I’m not overly surprised, but as much as I’ve done to move women forward through songs and always being the one that make sure shit looks a certain way. I’m sure every director and every artist or person who have saw me work and been around me know exactly how I prefer things. Black ass fuck all the time. With all I’ve done this is what y’all have for me. Makes you think diff.”
Both singers featured in the clip also responded to the resurfaced video clip and its surrounding controversy. “The resurfacing of the video is so surreal,” Kaiya previously said. “I’m humbled that a lot of people have come out in support of my journey. Colorism is a topic that needs to be discussed wholly and not summed up in one response, but it’s very disheartening to know so many go through this male or female. To pin Black women and men against one another, or make it where some are seen superior, is sad. As the years go on, I hope it’s being addressed and rectified in the future.”
Just Brittany also gave her two cents on the viral clip. “That’s me in the orange hair,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’m happy this video is making its rounds, and I want to say that colorism definitely plays a role in lighter skinned women, like myself, having more access in the industry. Kaiya is extremely talented, and I wish darker women were seen more.”