“It’s Almost Like A Color Blind Industry Where There’s Only One Type”: Kendrick Lamar Talks “Poetic Justice” Video

44 comments
March 2, 2013 ‐ By Drenna Armstrong
"PoeticJustice"

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Kendrick Lamar has been hailed as one of hip-hop’s latest “saviors” with his razor sharp skills and ability to make the listener visualize the story he’s trying to tell. He seems keenly aware that he’s doing great things for the state of music.

K-dot, as he’s affectionately known, recently released a video for his latest song “Poetic Justice” and it featured a beautiful young lady named Brittany Sky.  Ironically enough, she was not the original lead chosen but when Kendrick was finally involved with the process, he revealed a different vision. As he told Miss Info:

“We had another girl for the lead but I had an idea where I just wanted a little bit of a darker tone [girl] in the video. It’s almost like a color blind industry where there’s only one type of appeal to the camera.

“I give [Brittany] the credit, too, for just being there, and being a natural, genuine young lady. She wasn’t  all in the open, trying to jump in [front] of the camera. She was cool, just chilling. I always kept in the back of my mind  like ‘you don’t ever see this tone of a woman in videos.  No disrespect, I love all women, period. But at the same time, I still feels like it needs that balance.”

Kendrick wanted to be clear that he wasn’t trying to add to the whole “light-skinned vs. dark-skinned” argument that often happens so he tweeted to Miss Info, who originally alluded to it being a “light vs. dark” issue:

“Not Light “Vs” Dark tho. More about “BALANCE”..Givn every shade of woman life, not jus what da industry thinks is “Hott” 4 camera. When u put the term light “Vs” dark continues it as a BATTLE. My point 4 poetic was to spark the idea of making it an EQUAL.”

He went on in his interview with Miss Info saying that he knows his video is just a drop in the bucket and he was just glad he could do his part to counteract colorism in the music industry.

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  • Prettychoc215

    I love seeing a woman with a darker skin tone taking the lead in a video. Not only is it refreshing but she was giving the option to be herself and bring her style to the set. Awesomeness !! It should happen more often.

  • Yah

    Pretty sad that nowadays we jump up and claps for joy just to see a dark brown to dark-skinned Black women in videos made by Black male artists, as if it’s some kind of an accomplishment when the videos of the 80s and 90s represented the full hue of Black women in balance.

    If Black women are stupid enough to keep supporting male artists who see no value in their image, although the artists are Black and dark-skinned themselves, then Black women deserve their mistreatment. In my opinion, any Black man who feels he deserves a pat on the back just for selecting a dark girl for his video is as bad as the red-bone/light-skin-only promoters.

    • MissRealuminatti

      Right! I stop buying music from these racist artist. Where the bootlegs at? lol

  • http://twitter.com/T_Musiclove Songbird

    Makes me respect him more….

  • Keisha Samoht

    The first thing i noticed about Brittany was that she had on clothes, not tight fitting or showing off her assets, she was just there being regular. the fact that she was brown skinned came after realizing that she had on clothes because i was surprised as a dark brown girl to see such a pretty girl that had on clothes and wasn’t trying to be seen.
    I’m glad he put her i and did it because he wasn’t pressured to (unlike Wale, Lotus Flower Bomb) so like i said under the pass or play post, it makes me like him even more as an artist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.jacksonking.5 Lisa Jackson-King

    Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, tones and colors. Thank you Kendrick! Much Respect!!

  • AllyCat

    Are’nt there two “darker” skinned girls in this video? The girl with Drake is darkker AND has a wide/flat nose. Where are his applause?

    • Natasha T

      I was thinking the same. I watched it yesterday and I was like hey, Drake got a dark skinned woman in his bed too, where’s his shout out at?

      • you madd

        Kendrick OBVIOUSLY RELEASED A STATEMENT about his choice and Drake did not…any more questions. If his statement made you look at the video WHO CARES.

        • chanela

          right go ahead and look at drake’s “started from the bottom” video. it’s nothing but chicks that look like they can be his siblings. LMAO

    • Kenedy

      But its Kendrick’s video…maybe he had a say about Drake’s girl too…and btw, if you listen to Drake’s part, he mentions a gorgeous east african girl…so it would have been weird if they contradicted that

    • Yah

      NONE of these people deserve applause or a cookie! These “artists” didn’t do anything special by having a dark-skinned woman (the same dark skinned shade as the artist themself, by the way) in a video. Putting one dark skinned woman in a video is nothing special when the artist is dark himself – it should be natural!

      Black men are not some separate, special beings from Black women.The majority of the
      Black male artists in these videos are dark themselves. If they hate
      dark skin, then they hate their own skin too, so why emulate them?Who cares? They still have a f*cked up mentality

      • MissRealuminatti

        I agee. Lately, black men are walking around like they are the more desirable sex…as if the ish don’t stink. It should be a natural thing for a black man to put a woman in his video that looks just like his mama.

  • Bubbles

    I am glad that Kendrick did this. I believe that all black women should be represented and not just a certain type. I hope that we can do more to diversifying and adding more shades of chocolate into the mainstream media/music/movies etc. I love being a black woman and I love every shade that we have! We are a truly unique ethnicity we have all shades of colors and we should let mainstream media know that this is only the beginning!!!! Way to represent Kendrick!!!

  • SexNdaCity

    Isn’t it a shame that we are often shocked to see a woman of a darker skin tone in videos now? You’re more likely to see a latina in a black male’s video than a dark skinned black woman nowadays. So it is refreshing to see a darker skinned woman in a video, particularly as the principle. And no it’s not necessarily an accomplishment to be a video vixen or whatever, but it’s still a form of media that is viewed especially by our impressionable young black men and women who are constantly being fed the message that lighter skin or other races of women is the only form of beauty.

  • Carmen

    im just glad she had clothes on…..

  • CHANELLE

    please please stop with all the advertisements, this will be the last time I will go on this website bc about 4 pop ups were popping up in a row…ridiculously greedy MN!

  • L-Boogie

    Interesting.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/thesapphireempress96?feature=results_main A.J.

    It’s nice to see that someone, especially a brother, is using his influence and fighting for better representation of all types of Black women. She’s so pretty. But it takes more people like K-Dot not going along with the status quo.

  • IllyPhilly

    Loved his comeback for the trouble starter.

  • chanela

    hmm i’m torn! it’s great that someone is finally standing up and trying to put darkskinned women on the pedestal, but is it REALLY an accomplishment to be bussin it wide open in music videos anyway? i know the girl in this particular video wasn’t in a bikini shaking her stuff, but most rap videos feature women doing that and sitting around being called a b*tch. is that really what we’re gonna fight hard for?

    • MissRealuminatti

      I thinks it’s more than just being a sex object. It’s about keeping up with the Joneses and young black men are very impressional when it comes to hip hop and videos. They tend to monkey see and monkey do, so if they notice that light skinned girls are usually in the video (trashy or not), they think they need to get a red bone, latina, or white girl. Just like how young guys jumped on the band wagon when big spinning rims was the trend.

      • chanela

        why would you encourage young people to “keep up with the joneses” and strive to have what rappers have (everything is rented in rap videos) they need to be taught that all of that mess is fake. all keeping up with rappers is gonna do is get you shot and broke!

        • MissRealuminatti

          No offense, but you are having trouble comprehending. My point was not about encouraging “keeping up with the Joneses” it was describing the state of mind that SOME young black men have. I’m not glorifying that nonsense at all.

          • chanela

            LOL

            for a minute i thought you were. i’m not offended

        • Yah

          thank you, chanela!

      • Yah

        well, then that’s a problem with the young Black men, then, and not yours. I wouldn’t allow men with that ignorant mentality to decide how I’ll feel about being or not being represented.

        • MissRealuminatti

          Who said that was the case? Those fools don’t make or break my self-esteem. lol I guess there are some insecure women out there that feel less because of their skin color, but there are also some confident ones that don’t give a hoot what some color-struck guy prefers.

          • http://twitter.com/MMAtheGreat Greg Maxson

            Why white men videos are not flooded with Black women?

            • MissRealuminatti

              Why white women videos are not flooded with black men???

    • anonymouse

      i don’t think that people are talking about rap videos, but more r&b type sounding songs where the love interest is not a mixed or white looking girl

  • Mahalia Logan

    When I first saw the video it was the first thing I noticed. She was gorgeous and I was excited lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000186247181 Jaime Slim Goody Johnson

    I love this youngin!!! He reminds me of a time in Hip Hop were the West Coast was dominating and making good music. I love his album! One of the few hip hop albums I actually purchased! I appreciate his awareness. The first time I saw the video, I thought through the whole thing;How awesome is it that this chocolate beauty got this Principal role! We are often looked over for principles these days

    • Reese

      I can listen to his album from beginning to end. His album is definitely the new Illmatic.

  • Sagittarius81

    This is one of the modern day rappers I truly have respect for. He made the perfect choice to pick her as the lead in his video. As a light skinned woman with many dark skinned friends I grew up with, I’ve seen them get disrespected, put down and made fun of. Thank you Kendrick for not discriminating against skin tone.

    • brooklynarcher

      I just wanna thank you for that comment because a lot of light skin ppl witness the discrimination and bullying of dark skin ppl but act like they don’t kno wat someone talking about or act like ppl making it up. Also vice versa it’s not a walk in the park for light skin either

      • chanela

        right! i know a few girls who actually feel flattered and are AWARE that they are preferred. it gets to their head big time and they don’t defend darker women, they sit back and giggle and agree. i’m not saying that ALL light skinned women are like this, but i know a few who are like this. smh

    • MissRealuminatti

      You must’ve hung ou with the less than cute ones. The dark skinned girls I know are banging and gets just as much attention as the light ones.

      • Sagittarius81

        No, they’re not ugly and never were ugly, just shallow people had put them. Plus most of them are married now and have beautiful children. I never cared about looks, they’re cool people who would give you a plate of food when you’re hungry and clothes off their backs when you’re cold.

        • Keisha Samoht

          Thank you girl! Say it again, please.

      • Natasha T

        Does it matter how they looked? Yes there are dark-skinned people who are more attractive than light-skinned people and other people of different races, but when it comes to friendship, looks should be the last thing to worry about. As a dark skinned sista myself and married to a light skinned man, when we first met his friends were shallow towards me because I didn’t look like a Halle Berry or Tyra Banks, but my niceness and support for my husband wanting to be a lawyer won them over and now they respect me.

        • MissRealuminatti

          My point was that people assumed dark skin sistahs are ugly, but ugly comes in all shades. There’s beauty in all shades too.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/thesapphireempress96?feature=results_main A.J.

      You’re a good friend. I agree that it’s nice to see a light-skinned sister understand what our darker sisters go through, and who didn’t just go along with it.

  • Reese

    The first time I saw this video I was like OMG she is gorgeous. It’s so shocking and refreshing to see a dark skinned girl in a video let alone as the principle. Shoutout to K. Dot! That song goes too.