VV Brown Received Racist Comments for Unveiling the Controversial Artwork: The Journey Behind “Black British”
In a surprising turn of events, the artwork for VV Brown’s single, “Black British,” became the epicenter of a raging firestorm, attracting thousands of racist comments and igniting a heated debate.
Little did the artist anticipate the extent of the reaction from right-wing trolls and racists when she created the thought-provoking image. This journalistic piece delves into the reasons behind the creation of the artwork and the profound personal journey that inspired VV Brown’s musical resurgence.
Having left the music industry six years ago, VV Brown initially embraced the role of a homemaker, finding solace in her husband’s steady income. However, as time went on, she began to feel stifled by the conventional domestic role. Juggling two young children, constant nursing, and an endless school run, she sensed herself losing sight of her own identity.
It was during those moments in the kitchen, whipping up broccoli muffins for her family, that VV Brown rediscovered her connection to music.
She would immerse herself in the soulful tunes of artists like Erykah Badu, J Dilla, Common, Kim Burrell, and Thug Village, transported back to her teenage self, when she would spend hours absorbed in their music on her Walkman.
This rediscovery reminded her of how music had always been a vessel for exploring the multifaceted aspects of her identity.
While grappling with postnatal depression and a compromised emotional state, VV Brown began to create music again, oscillating between producing her own tracks on her laptop and experimenting with melodies over preexisting music.
There was no initial intention of making a new album; it was simply a matter of survival. Music became an essential outlet, far removed from the commercial trappings and vanity that once consumed her life.
Fate intervened when VV Brown was introduced to J Sensible, an exceptional producer who shared her love for old-school hip-hop and neo-soul. Despite the geographical distance that separated them, the connection was instantaneous.
Their shared passion was evident when they coincidentally recited the same favorite hip-hop album title as if they were in the same room together. Sensible J sent VV Brown 40 tracks, which she eagerly played in her car, dancing with abandon as she awaited her daughter at the school gates, blissfully oblivious to the judgmental gazes of the perfect, middle-class parents passing by.
As VV Brown continued to listen, a deep stirring took hold of her. Memories flooded back, evoking images of her grandparents’ Jamaican blues parties, the aromas of fried fish and curry goat, and the vibrant cultural tapestry of her roots. It was at this precise moment that the melody and lyrics for “Black British” poured out onto her dining table, reigniting her passion for creating music.
Amid her artistic renaissance, VV Brown realized the intricate balance she needed to strike as both a creative individual and a devoted wife and mother. This uncharted territory required her to open her laptop, ready to immerse herself in the world of music once again. Time seemed to dissolve as she delved deeper into this profound rediscovery as if tapping into unexplored dimensions of her identity.
Though “Black British” was written and vocalized within a mere hour, VV Brown found herself unsure of what to do with it.
The allure of tranquility led me to leave the cutthroat music industry and seek solace in the countryside, driven by my battle with ADHD and anxiety. However, amidst the serenity and the love I had cultivated within my family, I realized a void that needed filling: the profound power of music.
As I embarked on creating the artwork for the “Black British” single, I could feel the rebellious spirit within me roar like an untamed lion. Inevitably, this fiery spark ignited a chilling realization that I had delved into treacherous depths, for I was crafting something distinct, raw, and confrontational, unlike anything I had ever created before.
As we unleashed “Black British” upon the world, it evoked stirring emotions from the depths of my past. Yet, it was a new era, and I, as an artist, had transformed since my last musical endeavor. Fear no longer held me captive, and I no longer felt compelled to suppress my voice or withhold my truth.
The “Black British” artwork swiftly garnered attention, amassing millions of views on Twitter. Unfortunately, it also attracted a barrage of racist comments, further affirming why I had previously hesitated to express myself fully.
Drawing strength from my newfound resolve, I finally understood that my fear had been rooted in hiding. Emboldened, I felt prepared to unflinchingly unleash my fire, my truth, upon the world.
Little did I anticipate that this image would serve as a stark reflection of the profound social divisions permeating our nation. The internet, in its wondrous manner, beautifully and informatively presented the data.
While I expected attention, I never foresaw that it would ignite a furious firestorm among right-wing trolls and racists. This single image, shared through my modest Twitter account, became the catalyst for a multitude of narrow-minded perspectives.
Initially, I encountered an immediate reaction that vilified me, as a Black woman, for allegedly harboring disdain towards Britain, with some even suggesting that I wished to vomit on it. While there have been instances when I struggled to comprehend this nation—such as when my father was subjected to unwarranted police searches or when two Black men faced racist abuse for the World Cup loss—I also recognize the many admirable aspects of this land, including our humor, positive charm, and, of course, fish and chips.
So, to the countless individuals who have pondered the meaning behind the “Black British” artwork, allow me to elucidate:
Being Black British is akin to embarking on a captivating roller coaster of emotions, which compelled me to convey this disruption, conflict, and sentiment through visual means.
The image depicts a Black woman plunging into the tempestuous ocean of her political reality, encircled by a sea of red, blue, and white. Her heart is laden with trepidation, while her mind grapples with an expansive unknown filled with mysteries and horrors.
Ultimately, the artwork encapsulates my profound discontent towards the Union Jack. It symbolizes my endeavor to absorb the culture—to immerse myself fully in its history, traditions, enriching facets, and flavorful nuances—as if voraciously feasting on a cornucopia of knowledge. It represents an earnest attempt to genuinely comprehend and appreciate my country from all angles.
However, no matter how captivating this endeavor may be, I find myself unable to fully ingest what it offers people like me. Despite yearning for acceptance, visibility, and recognition within the very fabric of British society, I am compelled to regurgitate out of necessity rather than choice.
For many, comprehending the turmoil inflicted upon Black individuals by this nation proves nearly impossible. We constantly straddle the precarious divide between acceptance and contempt.
In the face of exclusion, prejudice, self-hatred, and subjugation, we are confronted with a harrowing ordeal, one that demands our unwavering resilience. It is through this crucible of suffering that I firmly believe our strength will be forged, but the toll it exacts is undeniably steep.
Within the folds of this flag lies a societal paradox, burdened with a heavy weight of responsibility. The paths we tread are stained crimson with the blood of countless individuals.
Atop a mountain of bodies, the invisible smoke of colonialism lingers, ensnaring the victims who remain trapped in various forms of servitude, their pleas for justice dissipating into thin air.
As a Black woman residing in the United Kingdom, the struggle to find a sense of belonging has been an enduring battle, despite being born within these borders.
The recent coronation of King Charles held no significance for me. On that night, tears streamed down my face as my husband held me close. While Britain’s future unfolded before us, I grappled with the decision of charting my own path.
It seemed I had to choose between pursuing a greater purpose, actively engaging with society through art and music that challenged, unsettled, and even endangered its listeners, or surrendering to the allure of domestic comfort and security.
Ultimately, my thoughts guided me towards my own lyrical expressions, encapsulating the entirety of my Black British experience. It is a treacherous voyage, yet one filled with moments of grace, discovery, and profound significance.
As I croon on “Black British,” I navigate through the exquisite and the terrifying, realizing that there is immense value in embracing both facets.
Author VV Brown and Children
I yearn to bake broccoli muffins, embark on idyllic countryside strolls with my family, and create artwork that ignites curiosity and introspection. Although the path ahead may be arduous, marked by controversy and strife, I have come to realize that I have finally discovered my most authentic self: to be Black, to be British, and to unapologetically be me.
After a six-year hiatus from the music scene, VV Brown resurfaces with her latest masterpiece, “Black British.” This album stands as a testament to her relentless pursuit of self-discovery as a storyteller, deftly navigating the obstacles of an industry that often lacks benevolence.
Delving into the complexities of racial pressures, conflicts of identity, and the triumphant joys of her multi-platinum artistry, this sociological opus showcases Brown at her most resolute—a stark departure from the moment when she teetered on the brink of surrender. For more information, please visit her official website, or connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
This essay represents a compelling excerpt from an extensive study delving into the genesis of VV Brown’s forthcoming album, “Black British.” It offers profound insights into the meanings embedded within her songs and artwork, as well as chronicling the transformative journey of her present life. Scheduled for release alongside her new album in October, it promises to provide a captivating exploration of her artistic evolution.