Bree Runway, born Brenda Wireko Mensah, is a 28 year old musician skilled in both singing and rapping. Originally hailing from Ghana, the artist grew up in Hackney (a borough in London), and quickly developed a love for music. Being a dark-skinned woman, she experienced the harmful effects of colorism first-hand. Constant bullying over the shade of her skin drove her to try skin bleaching creams at the age of nine. Unfortunately, these creams left her with chemical burns but they also prompted a change in her behavior. Bree Runway leaned on her Ghanaian roots and found a safe haven in highlife music. The music and artists inspired her to not only accept, but love herself as a dark-skinned woman. She was signed to EMI Records in 2018 and has since released two projects (one of which contains a Missy Elliott collab) that reflect her appreciation for Black women.
The picture featured above is from the Be Runway EP (released in 2019) cover shoot. It symbolizes the struggle that colorism presents. Given how popular skin bleaching creams are in African and Afro Caribbean communities, Black women throughout the diaspora are faced with the decision to either be themselves or try to change to become more socially palatable (lighter). Bree Runway’s second project, 2000and4eva, was released in 2020 and continues to push themes of confidence, self-love, not caring about the opinions of others. “APESHIT” is just one of her songs that embodies these feelings.
“APESHIT,” like many of Bree Runway’s other videos, features her being fearless and bold. She is very free in her expression of herself and doesn’t hesitate to act on her desires, whether it be in how she dresses or how she dances in the video. The song and video are basically an affirmation of love for anyone who has been made to feel as if they are wrong for being themselves. By being her authentic self (dark, Ghanaian, English, and everything else), Bree Runway demonstrates the magic that can take place when we fully embrace every part of ourselves.