Ciara has enlisted a star-studded line-up of women for her anthemic new single, “Melanin.” It features hip hop duo City Girls, actress Lupita Nyong’o, singer Ester Dean and rapper Lala.
Over the bouncy Dean production, Cici drops an empowering verse about supporting women of all colors: “CiCi is my name, love is my game / Blue and green’s my color, I stay reppin’ my team / My girls in every shade, mhm, we put that ‘s’ in ‘slay’ / I’m lifting up my queens, fixing crowns, that’s my thing.” Dean jumps in after, delivering strong vocals on the infectious, bass-heavy chorus.
Nyong’o easily holds her own against the seasoned musicians, with bars that reference her Kenyan heritage and Mexican nationality. “It’s Troublemaker back on the scene / Stay getting that green, Wu-Tang called it cream / I ride with the team, my hustle’s a dream / I’m Mexican born, but a Kenyan queen,” she raps.
City Girls wrap things up with verses that shout out women at the top of their game. “Go CiCi go Lala, go Resha, go JT / Go Megan, go Cardi, go Riri, go Layton / C-I-T-Y with it, city girl, I’m light with it / Brown skin, I’m fine with it, go Mary J Blige wid it,” Yung Miami spits.
“This is ultimately an anthem of self-love, which is a journey I’ve been on since my Beauty Marks album,” Ciara said in a press statement. “It celebrates the beautiful shades of culture that comprise the inner and outer beauty of everyone. Embracing the unique nature of our skin tones threads together the tapestry of humankind.”
“Melanin” is Ciara’s first new release since she dropped her Beauty Marks album, which featured the singles “Thinkin Bout You,” “Greatest Love” and “Dose.” She recently collaborated with Todrick Hall on a remix of his tracks, “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels.”
Listen to “Melanin” below: