It looks like Rick Ross made a “poor decision” back in 2017, and it’s coming back to haunt him. That year, Ross appeared on VH1’s talent search reality TV series “Signed” alongside industry music executive Lenny S and singer/producer, The-Dream, looking for artists to sign to one of their record labels.
While the show consisted of active workshops that gave artists the chance to prove themselves to the three judges, one clip rubbed Black Twitter the wrong way. The episode shows contestant Just Brittany, who has appeared on “Love & Hip Hop,” and Kaiya auditioning.
Both ladies sang over an instrumental of former prison guard Ross’ “Aston Martin Music.” Brittany, a fair-skinned woman, received favorable feedback from all three judges, with Lenny S., who works for ROC Nation, saying it was the “smartest move of her life.”
However, Kaiya, a dark-skinned woman, was auditioning when the “BOSS” cut her audition short.
“That wasn’t the best platform for your voice. You have a unique voice. And Brit did sound better than yours.”
Many people felt the 44-year-old rapper based his opinion on looks instead of talent. It didn’t help that Ross was seen taking Just Brittany shopping in another clip, confirming to some observers that there was a bias.
The clip made its rounds on Twitter, and it didn’t sit well with social media users.
“The first woman sounded HORRIBLE. She was awful. I’m still annoyed about this because the industry nowadays is really like this. The second girl sounded BEAUTIFUL,” someone said on Twitter.
“It makes me wonder how many dark-skinned Black women were stopped from accomplishing their dream because of kneegrows like this,” someone else said on Twitter.
Kaiya did an exclusive interview with The Shade Room and said that the support she’s receiving is “humbling.”
“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,” Kaiya said.
“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,” the songstress added.
Just Brittany finally stepped into The Shade Room comments in support of Kaiya.
“I’m happy that 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,” Just Brittany wrote. “Kaiya is extremely talented, and I wish darker women were seen more.”
While some believed that Just Brittany speaking out was commendable, many thought that she should have said something at the moment.
“She’s speaking up now & stuff like you should’ve said something at the moment, girl.”
On the other hand, Kaiya said she has met some fantastic people from the show and is still recording and writing.
For now, Kaiya hasn’t heard from either Lenny S, The-Dream, or Ross.
“The men are super busy, and that it will be awesome to work with them again!”
The controversy follows after singer DaniLeigh played a snippet of her controversial song “Yellow Bone.” She has since issued an apology to those she’s offended.