Hip Hop has erased racial lines for many, however, cultural lines still exist within the the marketing of music by race. Look no further than Eminem’s recent admission that white people are guests in hip hop culture.
Still, there are those artists who are walking a tight rope within the culture or straight jumping off the line.
Bhad Bhabie is one of them. The teenage rap artist is striking back at critics who slammed her for darkening her skin by pointing to Lil Kim.
Wait, how does that work you ask?
The 17-year-old rapper did an Instagram Live session recently to air out her frustrations with people who claim she is black fishing. She pointed to Lil Kim’s light appearance and reported plastic surgery in her defense to critics of her darkening her own skin.
“I used darker foundation,” Bhad Bhabie said. “Lil Kim uses foundation that … no disrespect toward Lil Kim. I’m actually a fan of hers. No disrespect to her, but the girl wears foundation that’s too light for her face. The girl went and got a nose job to have a smaller nose like white people. Like y’all don’t see that? She turned herself into … like I said, no disrespect toward her. I don’t have no problem with it. She can do what she do and make her happy.”
She wasn’t done.
“That’s all her. But I’m saying she literally got surgery to make herself look like a white person. She’s wearing makeup that’s light and y’all don’t say a g*dd*mn word about her. Y’all don’t say a g*dd*mn f*ckin’ word about her, but I put on a foundation that makes me look tan…”
The artist, whose birth name is Danielle Bregoli, posted a Instagram video of herself with a style that is clearly Black Girl magic inspired. Bregoli intentionally added that “Ion even need no wig” to questions about the length of her hair.
Bhad Bhabie also said her darker skin was for a photo-shoot. She faux defended her own sense of culture by asking, “Who wants to be Black? I don’t understand that. I just really can’t comprehend it.”
Queen Bee Responds From The Throne
Lil’ Kim aka “The Queen Bee” caught wind of the comments and responded on her Instagram Live Stories.
“Millions of people sick, thousands dying every day and y’all worried about me getting makeup done for a photoshoot? said Lil’ Kim in her Instagram Stories. “I’m usually the wild one but y’all need to chill and focus on what’s important right now.”
Aside from letting Bhad Bhabie know that as soon as quarantine was over she is coming for her, assuming lyrically, Kim was relatively tame in response.
However, there is an interesting dichotomy occurring in hip hop. With its increased popularity as the music genre of choice, the cultural lines are blurred even more.
Look no further than Tekashi 6ix9ine and how his testifying against former co-conspirators created a chasm between older hip hop heads and younger. The once omerta like code of silence practiced by hip hop adherents is erased with many youngsters in the culture scratching their heads as to why it is a big deal.
Similarly, Bhad Bhabie’s quest for relevance and inclusion has her doing the most for black people’s respect. However, in her haste she forgot one thing: being a rap artist or follower of hip hop culture doesn’t make you Black. It also doesn’t absolve you from following cultural rules of black people when visiting as a guest of sub-genres of Black culture.
Until Hip Hop is willing to delineate the confusion among its “principled” older followers and the younger rule breakers, Bhad Bhabie and millions of other guests will never know why the culture is tripping on their self-expression.