Hotep dialogue isn’t too atypical of VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop series. But the reality show’s new Miami franchise took some viewers by pleasant surprise when a music producer’s misogynoir was met by the wrong one.
One of the ways exuberant music artist Amara La Negra wears her Afro-Latina pride is in, well, her Afro. So when Elijah “Young Hollywood” Sarraga told Amara she’d need to tone down the unapologetically thick ‘fro she had to get his mind right real quick.
Sarraga, who dons several tattoos on just one side of his face, advised the singer to have a look more palatable for mainstream audiences. In the series’ first episode, he asked the stunning songstress how she would react upon being advised to be “a little bit more Beyonce, a little less Macy Gray.”
“The afro thing’s cool [for] a video here and there…it’s a seasonal thing,” he said. “You have to be more sensual. You could see Beyoncé just like this soul sista, the same way you could see her come in a beautiful gown, elegant, breathtaking.”
Amara then asks if the producer is implying that elegance and Afros are mutually exclusive. To which the producer responded, “Yeah, I guess so.”
Oh, buddy. Before storming out of the studio, Amara schools Sarraga.
“Not all Latinas look like J.Lo or Sofía Vergara or Shakira, so where are the women that look like myself?” she asks.
Sarraga, who is Latino, then shows he’s at a loss as to what makes one Afro-Latina.
“Are you African? Or is that just because you have an Afro?” he asks in what may be the most lamentable scene in the episode. He then accuses her of being “intense about this whole African thing.”
But the rising star proved she wouldn’t be needing Sarraga’s approval to flourish in her career anyway on Tuesday when Billboard reported Amara secured a multi-album record deal with Fast Life Entertainment Worldwide and BMG Recordings.
Amara’s Afro-Latina pride is absolutely titillating given the under-representation of Black Latinas in mainstream entertainment. Will she continue inviting cultural conversations with her presence on the show? We actually kind of hope so. If Love and Hip-Hop gets conscious, 2018 may actually hold an inkling of hope.
Watch the full clip here.