Analysis Of `` Shades, By Olubowale Akintimehin Essay

999 Words Dec 5th, 2016 4 Pages
Olubowale Akintimehin, more commonly known by his stage name “Wale,” is a rapper who rose to prominence in Washington D.C. in 2006. He has deep ties to this area, and routinely gives performances in the area as well as talks at universities including Georgetown about the future of rap in terms of race. As an African American of Nigerian descent, Wale addresses racial and ethnical issues in many of his songs. In his album, Attention: Deficit, Wale burst out onto the radars of many listeners, as the album reached 21 on the U.S. Billboard 200 list. One of the songs on this album, titled “Shades,” Wale specifically describes his former distrust and resentment of light-skinned African Americans. This introspective song addresses many issues of inequality, racism, ethnicity, and identity in the African American community. Wale begins his song by declaring that he still has a chip on his shoulder due to the quotas of many major labels that doubted him and only look for someone to boost their profits with pop singles. This is a case of institutional racism, in which minority groups are at a severe disadvantage. “There’s not a lot of ethnicity in the industry, as far as the higher ups go, and those guys are great at marketing and doing what they do, but a lot of times, [there were] records [about race] that I wanted to get on the album, but I couldn’t,” Wale said in an interview with Peace Magazine. “‘Shades’ was one where it had to and I was going to refuse to do anything if it…

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