Tory Lanez emerged from his troll/rapper cave last week to expose what seemed like colourism against dark skin models at his video shoot for “Good Love”, a Nafe Smallz song he is featured on. I actually think Lanez is talented, and makes great music, but it often gets overshadowed by him being dragged on the internet. This time, it’s because this story is allegedly not true. A day after it broke, one of the models, Sultry Shen, spoke out and suggested that he’s not being straightforward

I  believed Tory’s original grievance because it was on behalf of Black women, and he has spoken on racism in the past (like Drake last November, he had issues of discrimination in Vancouver, when he accused Holt Renfrew of racially profiling him, back in 2017).

So here’s what we know: 

Tory spoke on the issue on Instagram, with a heartfelt post, saying in part, “This is an On -Going problem in our community of entertainment that needs to stop . As a black man , Sometimes I’m going to joke about the black community just like we all do . BUT WHAT IM NOT GOING TO DO IS ALLOW ANY OF THESE DIRECTORS TO DE-VALUE OUR BLACK WOMEN ... countless times I’ve seen directors swap out our women of color for women of lighter complexion, or women with straighter hair ETC . ..”

Then things took a turn, and not just because of Sultry Shen’s input. One of the directors of "Good Love", Capone of Capone x Guise aired him out, telling TMZ the model swap was either orchestrated or not ordered by the directing team. 

“Capone insists it wasn't anyone on his team, adding most of the people present on the set during that particular scene were from Tory's camp ... insinuating the attempted swap came from there.
Further proof, according to Capone, is that he and Guise are heavily involved in the Afrobeats scene, and the majority of their work features dark-skinned women. On top of that, "Good Love" is highlighted by all types of beautiful black women ... including the darker-skinned model in question, who is seen several times in the music vid.”

This forced Tory to refute the accusations that he staged the whole thing, with a rant on his Instagram stories:


A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

So now, we are forced to reckon with the fact that Tory Lanez is either a sinister liar, willing to do anything for more clout in his already successful career, on the backs of Black women, or this is a huge misunderstanding. If it’s the former, we have been here before. It’s not just white people who can weaponize social justice language to appear more woke, attract better allies, or gain access to Black people. It can be Black men too, well aware of the pain and division colorism has impressed on our community. Tory Lanez’s colorism critique was spot on – but we don’t know if he truly believes it. For benefit, mostly men listen to his music; I do but it’s embarrassing. A lot of people don’t respect his behavior outside of the music. If Tory wants more of a progressive Black fan base (like Common or Wale fans), especially Black women, this could benefit him… if, that is, he genuinely means it. 

You can check out the video here

Attached - Tory Lanez performing during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals earlier this month.