Flo Milli

Flo Milli's Response to Colorism Narratives


Aug. 9 2023, Updated 5:25 p.m. ET

Known for her unwavering “tough girl” attitude, Flo Milli has always stood firmly against being victimized, especially based on her skin color. The Alabama-born rapper often asserts that she’s anything but a charity case, pushing away talks about being underrated like she needs a public outcry to garner more recognition and appreciation. She uses her social media platforms to call out her fans whenever they set on debates about such demeaning topics, and she has openly condemned it in her interviews.

Colorism and the Underdog Narrative

In an interview with RollingStone, she harshly called out talks that she’s underrated due to colorism, saying that such discussions are geared towards making her feel insecure about herself and her skin color. There have been conversations online where people think she lags in progress and recognition due to her skin color. This debate intensified after Billboard named Ice Spice the new “Princess of Rap”in April 2023.

Most feel that Ice Spice doesn't deserve the fame and accolades she gets, referring to her as an industry plant who’s only there due to her looks, especially her lighter skin complexion, and not talent and merit. But Flo Milli doesn't bend to such retrogressive comparisons. In a tweet,Milli went on to say she wants people to support her, but not at the expense of another woman. Using her name to degrade and discredit other artists is off the conversation, terming it as weird.

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The Reason Behind the Callouts

Throughout her career, Flo Milli has constantly talked about her background, having risen from rugs to roses through her music. Most people talking about her being underrated have only found out about her after rising to fame, with no idea where she came from and how she got there. They want to turn her into a rock of pity, with the “ Oh my God, I feel bad for her” without proper context of her career curve.

She feels her effort and talent should fuel her career, not pity and favors. She knows her journey and where she’s headed, given that she’s been on a steady rise for the past five years, with tracks like “ Flo Milli and “In the Party” Helping put her name on the rap scene.

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Owning Her Career’s Progress

Flo MiIli is not here for the reductive narratives. Even in her lyrics, she refuses to be silenced and victimized. She unapologetically celebrates her Blackness, Southern roots, and dark skin. Tracks like “Queens of Queens” and “Pussycat Doll” are anthems of self-love, reminding listeners that Black Women, in all shades, are worthy of respect and admiration.

Her resentment of degrading narratives is not out of anger but rather self-assurance and defiance, owning her progress and refusing anyone to define her success. And it’s fair to wonder why anyone would see her as unsuccessful. She’s only 23, with only five years in the game, and already making headlines and shaping online and offline conversations. Her music has also attracted much-deserved recognition, given that her album “You Still Here, Ho?” which debuted in 2022, peaked at number 78 on the US Billboard 200.

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Its debut was followed by a nationwide storm with the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Tour,” which sent waves nationwide. Moreover, in 2023, she has taken over multiple stages, including at “Something In The Water” and her mesmerizing performance at Coachella. If that doesn't equate to success, then what does?

No Room to Play Victim

Female rappers face many hurdles in their career and journey to the top, and conversations like these are, unfortunately, a part of it. Yes, colorism exists, and it’s so easy to fall victim to narratives around it, believing that you can not make it because the odds are way against you. You’ve got to give props to artists like Flo, who, despite being aware of the fact, have no time for sob stories but believe in working their way to the top through her talent and hard work but not handouts in the form of pity. And she’s right with that approach. As a fan, if you feel that an artist isn't at the level they ought to be, the best you can do is play your part to support their work rather than creating unnecessary narratives trying to bring others down.

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