Wale believes his dark skin prevents him from having success in rap

Wale recently touched on the issue of colorism in entertainment. During an episode of “The Breakfast Club,” Wale was asked if his dark complexion has prevented his success in rap.

He responded by saying, “Racial ambiguity helps in anything. That’s just what it is, probably except for sports. Racial ambiguity helps at some level. Racial ambiguity just helps. Even in acting, you can play Italian, Greek, this, that. If you’re Black you’re just Black, Jamaican, African, maybe. Racial ambiguity just helps. It could be for a lot of reasons. ‘Hey I’m Middle Eastern with curly hair and when I cut it I look like Drake so I can relate.’ ‘I’m biracial I look like this guy or whatever.’ ‘I’m white, I relate to some of him and what he’s saying.’”

In hip-hop, Drake and J. Cole are two bi-racial artists who have gained mainstream success. However, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Migos, and Meek Mill are rappers with darker complexions who have gained success.

Early in his career, Wale also achieved success in music. He has released five solo albums and two that placed as No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

Following the “Breakfast Club” interview, Wale faced backlash on social media by those who believed he was making an excuse for not having recent success. But singer V. Bozeman agreed with Wale and his statement.

“I’m gonna say it and I’m gonna agree with Wale,” she said. “I’m gonna say this one time and I’m gonna say it one time only and I’m not gonna say it again: racial ambiguity does help. Stop acting like y’all don’t know what’s going on in these streets. The light skin, the dark skin, that’s a whole situation. Stop acting like y’all don’t know. It’s a whole different experience with that situation with the light skin and the dark skin, it’s been going on since the beginning of time, okay. So stop. Stop acting like y’all don’t know what’s going on in these streets. Stop. Let’s be real for two seconds, two seconds. Stop! It’s real, stop. Stop. It’s real.”


A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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