''You're Not Marketable...''
6:00AM ET March 10th, 2011
Contributor : Erica Moore
A Rocky Williform Company
Dirty Money's Kalenna Harper recently opened up to "Scene and Heard TV" about her difficulty in landing a solo record deal when she was just beginning her musical journey. Harper says the fact that she was dark-skinned proved to be a major hurdle and several doors were shut to her as an artist just because of her complexion.
"I kind of started off as a solo artist, and I was doing that for a very long time," Harper says. "And you know, just coming up against obstacles; they was like, you know, ‘you too black,’ or ‘you’re not marketable.’ Whatever they came up with in their minds to say that I wasn’t artist material, you know. I just said I’m going to be a businesswoman, and I’m going to be like the Missy Elliotts, and the R. Kellys, and the Keith Sweats. I’m going to write for other artists, and they’re not going to have no other choice but to hear me, and to buy my music, and to respect me as an artist."
"That was complexion wise," she continues. "It was complexion, and you know something, it’s a difference between chocolate and brown and peanut butter and even Snicker bar, you know what I’m saying. Chocolate is something different, you know. And so the way they made it seem was, you black as night girl;
you crispy, burnt black, and that’s just not marketable right now. And it wasn’t at the time to be totally honest with you."