‘So Racist You Had to Go See a Therapist’: Camila Cabello Gets Shut Down with Reminders of Her Racist Past After Hopping Into Drake’s Beef

Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar’s explosive diss track, “Not Like Us,” has taken summer 2024 by storm, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in under a week. Most people can’t get enough of it, except for a few folks close to Drake, like former Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello. She thinks there is nothing valid in the diss because Kung Fu Kenny doesn’t really know him.

At the core of Kendrick Lamar’s diss track are lyrical bullets aimed at his rap rival Drake. Kendrick labels him a “colonizer” — not only because of his proximity to whiteness but also for culturally appropriating the identity of rappers from the hood for clout. He accuses Drake of exploiting deceased hip-hop legends like Tupac for personal gain and labels him a pedophile, alleging that he is into messing with young girls.

While most people can’t get enough of the infectious viral hit, singer Camila Cabello, a friend and collaborator of Drake, wants scrutiny aimed at her pal to go away. Cabello expressed that she wishes people would understand the “God’s Plan” chart-topper as she does rather than criticize him.

Camila Cabello rushes to the defense of Drake and quickly gets reminded of her past issues with racism.
Camila Cabello rushes to the defense of Drake and quickly gets reminded of her past issues with racism. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

While addressing Drake and the rap battle in an interview with The Times of London, the 27-year-old said, “[Drake] is such a delight. It’s so frustrating to see people talk about someone you know in a way that is negative. You’re like, ‘Dang, if only you guys could just have dinner or something.’” 

Cabello is currently pushing her new songs with Drake, “Hot Uptown” and “Uuugly,” off her new “C, XOXO” album.

While Cabello was defending her friend’s character and denying the “colonizer” allegations against him, she was quickly given a not-so-gentle reminder of her past instances of racism and alleged nasty behavior toward her former Fifth Harmony bandmate Normani.

“She the one that called Normani a big greasy cotton headed ni— ger, yes? She might wanna shut the f— up,” an X user insinuated while another social media fan posted screenshots of an old Tumbler account that allegedly belonged to Cabello.

The Tumblr screenshots from 2012 initially resurfaced in December 2019. They feature anti-Black language and racist tropes about Black people loving KFC’s fried chicken and several memes using the N-word. The screenshots also include images depicting the words “ching chong language” in reference to Asians.

Along with the Tumblr posts that resurfaced in 2019 were screenshots of tweets from November 2012, months after the Fifth Harmony group would have been formed for The X Factor reality show in July. The tweets showed Cabello allegedly referring to Normani and her other bandmates as “n—gers.”

The validity of the tweets come into question, as Camila Cabello fans insist the screenshots are fake. However, despite not confirming whether the tweets themselves were real, Cabello took to Instagram in December 2019 to apologize for the racist language she used as a teen.

“When I was younger, I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever. I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible and hurtful language,” Cabello wrote in her apology. “I was deeply embarrassed i ever used it. I apologized then and I apologize again now. I would never intentionally hurt anyone and I regret it from the bottom of my heart. As much as I wish I could, I can’t go back in time and change things I said in the past. But once you know better, you do better and that’s all I can do.”

Her apology continued, “I’m 22 now, I’m an adult and I’ve grown and learned and am conscious and aware of the history and the pain it carries in a way I wasn’t before. Those mistakes don’t represent the person I am or a person I’ve ever been. I only stand and have ever stood for love and inclusivity, and my heart has never, even then, had any ounce of hate or divisiveness. The truth is I was embarrassingly ignorant and unaware. I use my platform to speak out about injustice and inequality and I’ll continue doing that. I can’t say enough how deeply sorry and ashamed I feel, and I apologize again from the bottom of my heart.”

In February 2020, Normani shared that she was hurt by Cabello’s history of racist behavior on social media and bothered by the times Cabello refused to “defend” her against racist attacks she received online from people upset she was in the multiracial group.

“I want to be very clear about what I’m going to say on this uncomfortable subject and figured it would be best to write out my thoughts to avoid being misconstrued, as I have been in the past,” Normani told Rolling Stone via email. “I struggled with talking about this because I didn’t want it to be a part of my narrative, but I am a black woman, who is a part of an entire generation that has a similar story.”

Her letter continued, “I face senseless attacks daily, as does the rest of my community. This represents a day in the life for us. I have been tolerating discrimination far before I could even comprehend what exactly was happening. Direct and subliminal hatred has been geared towards me for many years solely because of the color of my skin. It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me. It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood, because I knew that if the tables were turned I would defend each of them in a single heartbeat. It took days for her to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced. Whether or not it was her intention, this made me feel like I was second to the relationship that she had with her fans.”

She ended her email by saying,  “I really hope that an important lesson was learned in this. I hope there is genuine understanding about why this was absolutely unacceptable.”

Another person said this is the exact reason why she should not be poking around in the Kendrick and Drake beef, posting a 2021 Teen Vogue article where Cabello, who is of Cuban and Mexican descent, revealed she had to undergo “weekly racial healing sessions” to reconcile her past racist behavior.

“You were so racist you had to go see a therapist. Maybe shut up and stay out grown folk business,” the fan tweeted.

In March 2021, Cabello revealed to People that following her apology for the racist Tumblr posts, she reached out to the racial equity group National Compadres Network to partake in weekly racial healing sessions.

“It created a space where I was held accountable,” said Cabello of her experience. “You get corrected, you have homework, and you learn. That’s how you move forward. Now I know better, so I can do better.”

She continued, “As I learned more about other people’s experiences in the world, I was like, ‘How do I help the people who are on the frontlines of dismantling systems that create oppression? And how do I bridge that with my own personal journey with mental health and healing?” 

Given her history with race, many fans have stuck to their guns, standing firm in the belief that she doesn’t have a place to speak on Kendrick Lamar’s issues with Drake.

“@Camila_Cabello girl your opinion is literally the last thing people wanna hear,” one tweet read, with the fan declaring, “You are racist. And colorist.  Drake not even African American and does and still won’t speak for the black community both yall need to stay in a colonizers place HAVE A GOOD DAY.”

On June 30, it was announced Camila and Drake’s “Uuugly” debuted at No. 130 on the US Spotify chart with 461K streams, while “Hot Uptown” debuted at No. 149 on the global Spotify chart with 1.518 million streams.

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