Spice shook up the world yesterday with a single image: a photo of the legendary deejay with porcelain skin and blonde hair, which immediately caused many to question whether the cocoa-hued Queen of Dancehall had ‘bleached out’ her skin. The caption read:
“Nothing wrong with a fresh start.”
…with a hashtag for her upcoming mixtape “Captured”, which is available for now for pre-order on iTunes / Apple Music.
Considering how prominent skin bleaching is in the Caribbean & Africa — and how Spice’s hip hop peers such as Lil Kim have made their own shocking transformations — many were led to believe that she may have actually become quite a few shades lighter while on hiatus.
Reactions ranged from ‘ah wah dis?’ to ‘this cya be spice, a mus flour’, and sparked discussions about why someone of her caliber and beauty would even feel the need to lighten up her skin. While some reacted with an enthusiastic ‘yas goodie!’, others were in a state of disbelief, brushing it off as ‘a joke ting’, pointing out that it would take years for her to reach that complexion.
Yet and still, the conversations continued throughout the day, reaching global mainstream media outlets in the Caribbean & America — where she achieved international visibility by joining the “Love and Hip Hop” cast this past year.
Spice, who is no stranger to controversy or theatrics, continued to toy with her audience by going on Instagram Live with Billboard to answer questions from fans, and make declarations about how she was “giving the fans what they wanted” in reference to her newly debuted skintone. It was very thought out, as she even cleared her Instagram days prior to posting the photo, skipping out on promo of her show in Toronto on Friday, alongside Shenseea, where she performed in a full Batman costume complete with mask.
It turns out that it was all part of the campaign for her new single, “Black Hypocrisy” which debuted with a powerful video, directed by Spice & Xtreme Arts, in which she breaks down the catch-22s of colorism, with lyrics like:
“cause the same Black people them say I’m too black, and if yuh bleach out yuh skin them same one come a chat.”
The entire song and video calls out the hypocrisy in the Black community around skintone, and empowers Black women while encouraging critics to cut the foolery to preserve the self-esteem of the girls dem, especially those of a darker complexion.
Some even claimed it was one of the most brilliant marketing schemes of a Jamaican’ as her single quickly shot to #1 and the video racked up over 150K views in the first few hours.
American talk-show host Wendy Williams admitted that the campaign was indeed successful, admitting she personally didn’t know Spice before the controversial image yet fully supported her message.
The mixtape will be released on … and some are speculating that the title ‘Captured’ references the long-standing complications with her VP Records deal. Either way, the fans dem can rest assured that Spice still loves her Black skin, with pro-melanin visuals and positive images to accompany.
Watch Spice ‘bun racism’ and ‘demolish colourism’ below: