Top Ten Bleaching Songs: Part Twice Featured

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One876 presents the Part Twice to our feature, Top Ten Bleaching Songs.

1. Dem a Bleach – Nardo Ranks
This is the granddaddy of all the bleaching songs. Nardo Ranks’
beautifully delivered declaration of the practice of young women using
bleaching cream to achieve a lighter complexion is a dancehall
classic. Voiced on the Bam Bam riddim, Nardo Ranks’ hauntingly
derisive ‘Dem a Bleach’ sums up the sentiments of the non-bleachers
who can’t believe that anyone would be so damaged as to willfully harm
themselves in such a way. But boy, were they wrong! Bleaching is more
popular than ever now.

Image2. Gal Dem Love Off Mi Bleach Out Face – Vybz Kartel featuring Russian

Vybz Kartel has flipped the double standard of the "brown skin"
culture in Jamaica on its ear with his admission of bleaching and his
self-deprecating lyrics about what he has been doing to his skin to
alter his appearance. This single, Gal Love Off Mi Bleach Out Face
featuring Russian, a brown-skinned producer who looks to be of a mixed
heritage, is controversial on different levels because it is the first
time that Kartel actually admits that he bleaches with the line “the
gal dem love off mi bleached out face (feminine laugh)” . Further,
Russian’s declaration that the girls want unprotected sex because they
want a “pretty son” just adds fuel to the fire.
Kartel is the Giant Gadfly of Our Times, willing to tackle tops most
believe to be taboo. Most people are loathe to admit that so-called
"brownings" are revered in Jamaican culture, it is a culture where
light-skinned women appear to be the ones who are more socially
mobile, who seem to earn more money, and who, through images in
commercials and even music videos, attract richer males who see them
as "trophy wives". Light-skinned males are also sought after because
their offspring are more likely to have fairer skin and perhaps stand
a better chance to survive in Jamaica's brutally enforced skin
prejudiced social culture. Kartel is the first deejay to tackle these
issues head-on and in an unorthodox way that makes most people

3. Browning - Buju Banton /Black Woman – Buju Banton
Buju Banton was forced to do a followup to his breakout “Browning”
hit after there was a backlash in the society over his celebration of
the light-skinned female. "I love my car I love my house I love my money and ting, but most of all I love my browning."
Buju Banton merely articulated the sentiments of most males that “brownings” were the ultimate catch, and even Banton’s Black Woman, although technically a superior song to Browning, will always be remembered as an after thought.

Some accused Banton of promoting a colonialist mindset and denigrating the beauty of dark skinned black women. In response, he released "Love Black Woman" which spoke of his love for dark-skinned beauties: "Mi nuh Stop cry, fi all black women, respect all the girls dem with dark complexion"

But it will always be remembered that he did ‘Browning’ first.

The song gave life to the the germ of an idea
already in the black DNA that their black skin was something to be
reviled and hated. And that idea festers still. While some people
might disagree with the placement of this song on the list, this
famous pair of songs reinforces social ideas about race, class and
social mobility that remain relevant to this day.

4. Proud Ah Mi Bleaching - Lisa Hype
How Jamaica has changed! There used to be a time when no one admitted
that they were using bleaching cream and that a magical combination of
a “foreign trip” and the “AC from work” had given them a cooler
complexion. But this is a new era where Lisa Hyper, the poster girl
for extreme behavior, can admit to the practice and not lose her
legion of young fans. It is indeed a new age for dancehall.

Image5. Nuh Bleach Wid Cream – Mavado
Mavado’s “Nuh Bleach Wid Cream”, voiced at the height of the
animosities with Vybz Kartel, is another street classic which draws a
pun on the “bleach” word. Bleaching is also a slang for the practice
of staying up late and not sleeping. The song was also a thinly
disguised jab at his lyrical nemesis Vybz Kartel who had just begun
experimenting with “bleaching”.

Read 3986 times Last modified on Friday, 11 March 2011 00:12

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