Dirty Money member Kalenna recently interviewed with “Scene & Heard TV” where she disclosed to the host her struggles of trying to break into the music business – namely, overcoming the obstacle of being “too black.”
“I kind of started off as a solo artist, and I was doing that for a very long time. And you know, just coming up against obstacles; they was like, you know, ‘you too black,’ or ‘you’re not marketable.’ Whatever they came up with in their minds to say that I wasn’t artist material, you know. I just said I’m going to be a businesswoman, and I’m going to be like the Missy Elliotts, and the R. Kellys, and the Keith Sweats. I’m going to write for other artists, and they’re not going to have no other choice but to hear me, and to buy my music, and to respect me as an artist.”
“It’s a difference between chocolate and brown and peanut butter and even Snicker bar, you know what I’m saying. Chocolate is something different, you know. And so the way they made it seem was, ‘You black as night girl; you crispy, burnt black, and that’s just not marketable right now.’ And it wasn’t at the time to be totally honest with you. It was around that time that Mya was out and the Christina Milian’s and they were definitely setting the bar for what the industry standard was. It was just like, ‘You know, you’re not marketable, you’re a little too brown.’ It was a little challenging but here I am. I’m excited to be in this position and give hope to all the little brown skin girls that’s out there, and they’re beautiful, too.”
Begins at the 3:15 mark.