Celebrating Brown Beauty, Hip-Hop Artists Ambush & Kareem Ali’s ‘Love In My Heart’

Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

It’s challenging being a brown girl in a world where lightness is synonymous with beauty. Some of us feel invisible at times, ignored and marginalized. Often, when we are acknowledged it’s through the prism of stifling stereotypes, from gold digger to gum poppin’ baby mama.

Ambush & Kareem Ali, a DMV-based hip-hop duo, are out to change all of that. Their latest track, “Love In My Heart” is an ode to everything commercial rap refutes, authentic black beauty. The video, shot by Keystone Productions (yes, full disclosure, that’s my hubby’s company) follows one woman’s journey to self love.

We watch as she struggles with a boyfriend who refuses to see her, even as she acquiesces to his notions of Eurocentric femininity. But Kareem Ali reminds us with a confident grin, his voice steady over the vibrant beat, “…when chocolate looks good, baby, nothing looks better.”

In a world where singers and rappers extol “yellow model chicks” without hesitation, it’s refreshing to hear and see a brother admiring skin tones the color of rich mahogany. Images matter immensely; this visual essay, these rhymes, stand as a testament to the power of resistance, and a willingness to define ourselves for ourselves. It’s all rooted in love; Ambush & Kareem Ali didn’t have to work to convince me.

Enjoy more of their music on SoundCloud.

Live In Color! – Emelda

Emelda De Coteau
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