Skip to main content

Patrice Rushen Reminds Me...What Skin Is In?

While sorting through and updating music crates (both real and virtual), I came across my favorite track by Patrice Rushen titled "Remind Me".  Listening to the track instantly took my mind back to the post-pubescent, statutory Leon years.  I remember my boyhood fantasies of marrying Patrice Rushen while I would sit and listen to her records on vinyl.  This fantasy would lead to me chasing a girl that looked a lot like Patrice Rushen as she appeared on the album cover of Straight From the Heart.  I can't remember the girl's name and the only reason I remember her at all is because of her unique (at the time) rejection.  As I desperately threw out more game than Xbox 360, the girl broke it down in a quick and simple way.  I was the polar opposite of her type.  She liked tall, chocolate, athletic boys.  I was short, light-skinned and a band geek that neither liked or played sports.  I joked with her, "So...if I were taller and played basketball would you date me?"

Girl - Nope.

Me - Why not?

Girl - I told you...I don't like light-skinned guys.

Me - Would you date a Mexican?

Girl - What?  Why, you Mexican?

Me - Nah, I'm just curious.

Girl - Boy, you stupid.  Get away from me.

This girl stuck in my memory for being the first girl to not give me her number because of my skin tone.  I figured that my height was the main issue because I was used to girls not being interested because I was short, but she told me that my skin tone was a bigger deal than my height.  She even went as far to say, "If you were darker, you might be able to win me over but you a lil' too high yellow for my taste."

This girl was surely no Patrice Rushen.  What made Patrice Rushen hot to me as a kid wasn't just her face, it was her talent.  She was the real deal...could play multiple instruments, compose, sing... the whole nine yards.  Fantasizing about dating Rushen was raising the bar insanely high.  At the end of the day, I wound up shifting my energy to a hi-yella female Saxophone player that lived down the street.  Below is the track Remind Me.

What Skin Is In?

Finding the Patrice  Rushen  track also reminded me of an element of growing up that I thought faded with age...light or dark skin being "in" or "out" amongst other black people.  I wrongfully assumed that this was a kid's thing and that adults didn't participate in such self-loathing silliness.  I was wrong.

Last night, I was watching a reality show that featured two black men in a verbal confrontation.  When the lighter skinned black man half-jokingly implied that he was handsome to the darker skinned black man, the darker man commented, "Naw, light skin ain't in right now".

Huh?  Where is this information coming from?  Is there a self-loathing black person e-mail list that you get on and they tell you which skin tone to hate on via e-mail?  I've been hearing the "verdict" (as I like to call it) a lot lately.  I often hear it on TV and in conversations on the street and on Facebook.

I don't understand what happens when your skin tone is "not in".  Am I not allowed to go to certain clubs?  Will women find me less desirable?  Will I have the hours adjusted on my ghetto pass?  Will the police "catch and release" when I get pulled over?  Will I not get invited to the coolest parties?

Of course, I'm joking.  I'm far removed from the world of skin being "in" or "out".  My world is all good  people and bad people.  Every now and then I will meet someone that insists that I'm "not black enough"    for their taste, but I'm always quick to note that they probably don't have any taste to begin with if it's an issue.  



Popular posts from this blog

Treacherous Human Underdogs LIVE @ Shlafly Tap Room

DJ Leon Lamon't s Crate Confessions #6

Dear followers,
It’s literally been a month since my last Crate Confession.  I make no apologies because life happens and MFs get busy.  I’m not hating or being salty, I’m just saying.  Anyway, children, uncle Leo is going to take you way back and, since it’s been a minute, do more than one track for this confession session.
1. Reflections - Diana Ross & The Supremes

I grew up on Motown music because my parents are huge fans and my dad is straight up borderline fanatical when it comes to Motown music.  My dad has the popular Motown stuff and the obscure Motown stuff.  Example: If it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t have known that Tommy Chong of the famous Cheech & Chong was a musician that put out a record on Motown before becoming a famous comedian.  That being said, I’ve yet to hear a Motown track that I didn’t like.  Reflections, like so many other Motown songs, has amazing song structure and chord choices (things I knew nothing about when I first heard the song as a kid). …

Beginner DJs and Buying Gear

A question I am asked often by beginner DJs is, “What gear should I start off with?”  This is a tough question because the answer depends on what type of DJ-ing you are doing and where you have visually projected yourself in the future.  The first question I have is, “Are you DJ-ing for fun or for money?”

If you are DJ-ing just for fun, then your choice of gear is irrelevant.If fun truly is the name of your game the options are many.There exists facial recognition software that enables you to use your face as a MIDI controller, there are ways to hack into your Xbox Kinect so that your whole body can be used as a MIDI controller, and there are countless new desktop controllers coming out everyday for computer DJ software.Then there are the practically outmoded CD players.Of course there is also the wagon wheel of DJ technology…the turntable.It’s really just a matter of preference and what level of frustration you want to experience while learning to DJ.The quick of it is: Software = fas…