The topic of colorism hasn’t always been A$AP Rocky‘s strong suit. In 2013, the Harlem rapper caught flak for giving out some ill-informed beauty advice, saying that Black women shouldn’t wear red lipstick.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, the Grammy Award-nominated rapper released an untitled song that appeared on the soundtrack for the highly anticipated video game Cyberpunk2077.
On the track, the 32-year-old artist raps about his frequent use of drugs, his impeccable fashion sense, his wealth, and once again leans into the subject of colorism. This time around, the “Babushka Boi” rapper talks about his struggles with self-hatred and reveals that he wished he was lighter at one point in his life.
“Man, when I was younger, I wished that I was light-skinned; now wouldn’t trade the world for my skin,” Rocky rapped. “I surpassed what you could do inside your lifespan, so just give me a little credit like a white man.”
Fans showed the rapper sympathy as most understood where his issue with his skin color might have stemmed from, including one Instagram user who commented underneath a post shared by blog site The Neighborhood Talk, stating, “I’m sure he was teased horribly for being dark…smh kids were really cruel to darker kids…so don’t act like y’all so shocked 🙄.”
Another person wrote, “I honestly completely understand this and I feel like every dark skin person has felt this way at some point in their lives whether it was sometime throughout your childhood or somewhere in your adult life.” They added, “Imagine seeing someone get approval and special privileges just because their skin color is lighter then yours. It hurts.”
Previously, the self-proclaimed “Fashion Killa” gave some ill-advised beauty tips during an interview with The Coveteur when talking about his skin regimen. “But for real, for me, I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on the pair of complexion. I’m just being for real,” the rapper said at the time. “You have to be fair skinned to get away with that. Just like if you were to wear like — f—king for instance, what do dark skin girls have that you know fair-skinned girls cant do… Purple lipstick? Naw, that looks stupid on all girls! Purple lipstick, guys! Like, what the f–k.”
Shortly afterward, the star attempted to clear up his statement, but some felt the effort was a bit lackluster. “I’m sorry if it hurt any dark-skinned girls’ feelings,” Rocky told listeners during an interview with radio station 93.9 WKYS , located in the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. “Black girls just, ah man, went crazy. They just took it how they took it. This is actually my second time talking about it ’cause I really don’t really look at it as an issue. If people get upset at that, I think it’s petty at the same time.”
He added, “Black girls, you know how sensitive they are, but they our sisters, man. It is what is man. I come from a black home, so I know how sensitive black women can be, especially when you talking about they looks or something like that. You can’t say nothing about they glasses, they nails, none of that because then you’re a womanizer, or you’re a racist. I don’t know how I’m going to be racist. I have to wake up and look at my black ass in the mirror every day. It’s like, what are you talking about? But it is what it is, man. I’m proud to be black.”