While Eric Benet’s album “The One” is a certified fan favorite, there are some who are finding fault with a certain song on the compilation called “Redbone Girl” featuring Lil Wayne. The song plays on the term to describe light-skinned women, and some think the song promotes a racist standard of beauty.
Addressing the controversy, Benet told CBS Local, “I did a song called “Chocolate Legs’ about my experience with a dark skin lady. There was no anger or uproar of ‘How dare you.’ So “Redbone Gir” is one song about one experience about a girl who happens to be light complected but there was quite an uproar.” In his defense, the first thing said in the song is “I love all women.”
But some people and bloggers alike aren’t trying to hear it. Blogger for Colorlines.com Akiba Solomon weighs in, “I’m not a big fan of songs that fetishize dark skin either. But you could argue that [the ‘dark-skin’ devoted songs] offer some sort of resistance to the prevailing beauty standards. He’s attempting to be provocative. He’s pretending that he’s never heard about light skin preferences. Let’s not pretend that it doesn’t exist,” she stated.
Benet says it’s artistic expression in songwriting. “It’s just the songwriter talking about one experience. When people look into it much deeper than that, it’s on them,” he said.
For Benet, though, the fact that people are talking about such a heated issue is fine, for we need to address these issues in order to get to the bottom of the issue.
“Now it makes me, on my next record, want to talk about an experience with an Asian girl. What I was trying to do as a songwriter is talk about the beauty of all. One at a time,” he stated. The fact that it’s so sensitive, we need to talk about it.”
In other news, look out for the video for “Harriett Jones,” the next single from “The One,” which Benet recently wrapped on filming.