Dominican rapper DaniLeigh, 26, took to Instagram last week to promote her new song “Yellow Bone” and quickly incited criticism from her followers who picked up on the very obvious colorism in the song’s lyrics. The Instagram clip featured the musician who hails from Miami, Florida, dressed in a cream-colored bodysuit, with her hair colored to match, dancing to snippet of the song in which she can be heard singing, “Yellow Bone is what he wants,” over and over again. Believe it or not, even fellow rapper Cardi B got dragged into the mess.
The comments calling her out for perpetuating colorism, which is the idea that people with lighter skintones are more beautiful or in some way better or more valuable than individuals with darker complexions are, and something the Latinx community continues to struggle deeply with. DaniLeigh’s anti-Black lyrics did not at all sit well with her followers, with many accusing her of directing the song toward her boyfriend rapper DaBaby’s ex, who is a dark-skinned Black woman and the mother of his children.
“Yall still makin songs that enforce colorism and fetishization of light skinned ppl in 2021?” asked Twitter user Uri_mercury, along with the hashtag #DoBetter, summing up the thoughts of scores of the rapper’s social media followers.
Dani Leigh lost me with that "Yellow Bone" song. Yall still makin songs that enforce colorism and fetishization of light skinned ppl in 2021? Being Light Skinned is NOT a personality trait, and sad to say, it's honestly all some of yall got, which is tragic. #DoBetter
— Missy was on the LIIIVE JaQuel!!🙄🥒 (@Uri_Mercury) January 21, 2021
Another Twitter user asserted that while some of DaniLeigh’s fans have pointed out that as a mixed Dominican woman, she is also Black, that the rapper did not seem to identify that way during the protests after George Floyd was killed in 2020, and even went so far as to condemn protestors.
— All Tea All Shade (@TeaTimeTips2) January 21, 2021
Initially, DaniLeigh took a defensive stance against the accusations of colorism, saying “Why I can’t make a song for my light skinned baddies??” in a since-deleted Instagram comment. “Why y’all so sensitive and take it personal….” she continued.
However, DaniLeigh later issued an apology and denied any mal-intent. She took to her Instagram story, saying “I’m not a colorist. I’m not a racist. I date a whole chocolate man. I have beautiful dark-skinned friends,” while simultaneously defending herself and mis-stepping yet again by claiming not to see “skin.” “It’s not something that I look at,” she said.
Even megastar Latinx rapper Cardi B who has been widely accepted as Black, got in on the controversy when some individuals claimed that she is no different racially than DaniLeigh and that she also exploits Black culture for her gain. Cardi tweeted a slew of old family photos seemingly showing off her Afro-Latinx family members, and reminding people that she has always said she is “half.” “It’s time for ya to pick up a book. Your ignorance at this point is a choice,” Cardi tweeted.
Cardi B of course, has been incredibly open about her efforts to inform herself about issues involving race, and has been activist for equal rights and justice for Black and brown communities for years, further differentiating her from DaniLeigh whom to many seems quite content to continue claiming innocence without putting in the work to inform herself about issues that matter to her Black and Latinx fans.
We’ll end here with an important message to DaniLeigh from Tandeka Marie who created a video to discuss the topic saying, “You chose to use colorism out of your insecurity, how unfortunate.”
Can we please normalize not DISRESPECTING DARKSKINNED/ BROWNSKINNED out of your INSECURITIES 👏🏾👏🏾‼️‼️‼️‼️ NO SHOT 👏🏾👏🏾#Danileigh #DaBaby #yellowbone #Trending #BlackWomen #BlackTwitter pic.twitter.com/LGvsYeRfua
— Tandeka Marie (@tandekamarie) January 22, 2021