Sydney N. Sweeney

Introducing ‘Brown butter’: a playlist spotlighting dark-skinned women in R&B

Colorism is well and alive in one of Black music’s most popular genres. Everyone who listens to R&B needs to help combat it.

Colorism (n): prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

“Being manifestly mixed race, ethnically ambiguous, or simply lighter in complexion than brown- or dark-skinned Black women will get you farther in Black music than being, quite physically, closer to black/brownness.”

“For me, in the context of music, the foremost way I can be anti-colorist as a consumer is to simply listen differently…making a conscious effort to stream, hype up, share, and outwardly support brown (like, actually brown) women in R&B is necessary.”

At the moment, Brown butter. is available on Spotify only — unless someone wanna pay for my Apple Music and Tidal subscriptions?

Sydney N. Sweeney is a writer, editor, and critic based in Los Angeles. Her work focuses on culture, music, identity, and pop nostalgia.