By now, you’ve either heard about the #BrownGirlChallenge, you’ve participated in it-- or both!
Since Beyoncé dropped her 27-song soundtrack titled, The Lion King: The Gift, Black women all over the world have been rejoicing and flaunting their beautiful sun-kissed skin on social media along with the hashtag #BlackGirlChallenge.
For those living under a rock, “Brown Skin Girl,” a four-minute song included on the soundtrack featuring Beyoncé and her 7-year-old daughter with rapper husband Jay-Z, Blue Ivy. Naturally, the song has become an anthem for Black women, particularly women of darker complexions thanks to lyrics that pay homage to women like Naomi Campbell, Kelly Rowland and Lupita Nyong’o who are breaking down barriers with their beautifully melanated skin.
Besides selfies surfacing on our timelines with the trending hashtag, BeyHive members hopped on the opportunity to show off their singing chops. While many are getting loads of praises, one Twitter user is receiving loads of attention and some serious backlash.
“Had to do it for the light skinned beauties. Brown Skin Girls Cover,” @therealmaj captioned a video of herself remixing Beyoncé’s song, before questioning the Twitterverse. “ What do you think??”
With the swiftness, #BlackTwitter began to respond with many wondering why the “Light Skinned” remix was necessary.
Yikes! We’re sure this wasn’t the response she was expecting.
In efforts to get insight on Maj’s decision to remix “Brown Skin Girl”, BET Digital spoke with the Nigerian songwriter and recording artist, who openly expressed she meant no harm by giving the lyrics her own personal twist.
“My inspiration for remaking Brown Skin Girl was to connect all of us black women through this song by including our more fair skinned sisters,” Maj shared with BET exclusively. “My intent was all about inclusion. I have great respect for Beyoncé and the message that she conveyed through the lyrics of this song, and I just wanted to feel more connected to the message and wanted others to feel the same.”
She continued, “I truly feel we all should be proud of ourselves as melanated women and my goal was to share the spirit of that pride.”
According to Maj, she was simply trying to send a message of love and affirmation.
“My intention was simply to spread love. It's all about love. The original song has a beautiful positive message about self-love and acceptance. In the spirit of that, I created my version...really talking to myself and affirming myself in Beyoncé’s message,” Maj expressed.
“At the end of it all, we are all black women. We face the same struggles and have to overcome the same obstacles. Changing the lyrics to Light Skin Girl was never meant to be divisive...it was all about my desire to see myself in the celebration of melanated beauty.”
When asked what her thoughts were about the negative responses she received on Twitter, she expressed her disappointment that changing the lyrics came off as disrespect.
“I'm most disappointed that me changing the lyrics was seen as disrespect to the overall message of self-love and pride in one's complexion,” she said.
She added, “However, I am an artist, and if nothing else, this has blasted open the doors on the conversations about colorism and inclusion; self-hate and self-love. If I can ever be a part of something that brings dialogue to the forefront, I'm for it.”
Whether you agree or disagree with Maj, can we get back to flaunting our #BlackGirlMagic, because we all know that Bey wouldn’t approve of the unexpected conflict.
In the words of the Carters: “Everything is Love.”
(Photo: K20 Entertainment / Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)
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