Burna Boy Recalls A Time When African Boys Were Viewed As Ugly, ‘The Whole Narrative Has Changed’
Burna Boy is noting the change in how embraced Black African men are compared to when he was growing up and made to feel “ugly” for not being light-skinned.
The Grammy Award-winning Afrobeats star was recently a guest on Kiss Fresh radio, where he was asked about the intro to his song “City Boys.” Burna opens the new track with a clip from British rapper J Hus’ Instagram Story, who took back his power after being called “ugly” many times.
“I’m not even an ugly yout’. I’m a sexy yout’ you understand,” J Hus can be heard saying at the start of Burna’s new song. Speaking with host Henri Viii, Burna explained why he chose that clip as the intro to his latest single.
“Because I feel like he was speaking for all of us. Black African boys. There was a time in life when we were not popping,” he explained. “You had to be light-skinned boy.”
View this post on Instagram
He went on to ask Henri if she had posters of Chris Brown on her wall as a child, and she admitted that she did. That proved Burna’s point.
“We weren’t popping. We were getting called all types of names. It is what it is because now,” Burna said before trailing off.
“Gyal all over da globe,” Henri chimed in.
Burna can see the shift where Black African men like himself are now lusted after just as much as their light-skinned counterparts. With more awareness and conversations around colorism, times have changed, and Burna can understand why J Hus reclaimed his power by referring to himself as “Mr. Ugly.”
“That was the view society had of us. The whole narrative has changed and now it’s like ‘hmmm, so the whole time they were trying to finesse us,'” he explained.
“We’ve always known our worth; it’s everyone else that didn’t.”
His words rang true for many who sounded off in the comments section.
“They just caught on but black has and will always be beautiful ❤️,” one fan wrote.
“Internalized racism really had us out here thinking we were mid 👎🏾,” added someone else.