Rapper and Love and Hip-Hop reality star Remy Ma's latest single "Melanin Magic" is all about getting black women to celebrate their unique skin tones. Now, Rapper Anye Elite is doing the same for men.
In an obvious tribute to the "shEther" artist, Rapper and gay rights activist just released a remix of Remy's Ma's latest Melanin Magic. Both songs are available on Apple Music and Spotify. Remy's Melanin Magic features Chris Brown and samples Mint Conditions's 1991 hit "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)". In the absence of Chris Brown's vocals Anye pulls double duty rapping and singing. Elite's rap verses also preaches self-love, not before name checking some of Hollywood's most notable African-American leading men including Emmy award winning "This Is Us" actor Sterling K. Brown. Check the song out below.
Elite also references a number of other pop stars in an attempt to illustrate the wider range of skin pigments around the country. In a recent interview with Georgia Voice magazine, Elite announced that he'd be releasing one song a month. Since his latest track "Real Reasons' debuted at the beginning of the month there's no word on rather or not fans should expect a new track in February.
As casual listeners are coming across the track, many are not sure how to interpret the underlying romantic messages of the the openly gay rapper. Perhaps Elite's decision to replace "pretty brown" with "pretty brown boy" caused the confusion. Is he saying that Sterling K. Brown is sexy or just a cool dark skin brother? Is it ok for a gay black man to objectify a heterosexual man? If the man is a public figure, does that make a difference? Anye Elite also references other handsome dark skinned men Tyson Beckford, Idris Elba, and Frank Ocean.
As LGBT people become more visible in urban media what are the rules of engagement? Luckily, Anye Elite is no stranger to controversy as earlier songs "Yass Lawt" and "FGM" for mixing homo-erotic images with religious ones. Musically, Melanin Magic (Pretty Brown) is more a descendant of "Ode To Baldwin", a tribute to author and civil rights activist James Baldwin who like Anye Elite created work that spoke to black gay pride and the issues the surround it.
While colorism (discrimination based on color regardless of race) is sometimes discussed in the African-American community writ large; black gay people rarely have the opportunity to address the issue in media, especially hip-hop. Oftentimes racism which is different than colorism receives greater discussion. Remy apparently approves posting a link on her instagram page
Anye Elite and Remy Ma are both set to head out on tour later this year, so we're sure their audiences will give them an earful.