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Propaganda Shakes Loose The 'Shackles' Of Beauty Standards With 'Darkie' Video: Premiere

Propaganda
Ashton Trujillo 

Propaganda

"I used to wish I was Puerto Rican / That type a black was different," admits Christian rapper and poet Propaganda on the opening line of his single "Darkie." It's becoming the Los Angeles artist's trademark to spit strikingly honest, reflective verses that signal it's time to pay attention -- and it's working.

The song off the former Tunnel Rats hip-hop collective member's fifth solo album Crooked, "Darkie" is a politically-driven, masterfully-written analysis of cultural beauty standards. And the song's music video, dropping today (July 21) on Billboard, is just as raw and emotive.

Here, we're met face-to-face with a black man in handcuffs, nearby police sirens washing red and blue hues over his face. As Prop lists off appearance-based racial slurs like the one in the song's title, the figure begins to dance down the street with moves so graceful, you almost don't realize his wrists are still cuffed.

"The idea is that we are often shackled to constructions of beauty. But when we realize it's all in our heads, we can dance," the rapper born Jason Emmanuel Petty tells Billboard. "You are already beautiful and we can't let our oppression control our narrative."

Crooked, which debuted at No. 4 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart, may be Propaganda's most political album yet, addressing everything from white supremacy to Standing Rock, the patriarchy, self-hate within the black community and the need for intersectionality across social movements.

But it's certainly not his only work to address similar issues. (And it's not surprising that Prop was once a high school teacher, given his ability to take listeners to school on these topics.) His 2014 Crimson Cord hit number two on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums charts with its socially-conscious tracks, and he's spread those messages on tour with De La Soul and at festivals like Warped Tour, Rock The Bells and Smokeout Festival. 

Watch the full, compelling video, below: