Sabrina Claudio’s career took an unexpected and ugly turn when fans uncovered old tweets from the 21-year-old singer making disparaging comments about women of color.
After facing backlash on social media, Claudio, who is of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent, issued an apology via Twitter for her “past ignorance.” “I am deeply sorry for the insensitive words I’ve used,” she tweeted in April. “Some of the things you are seeing are true while others aren’t.”
The derogatory tweets came from Claudio’s old Twitter account @ODamnYoureUgly. Fans posted screenshots of the racist comments, where she used the n-word and called one Instagram user a “sweaty chonga.”
During an intimate listening event in Los Angeles late last month, Claudio once again apologized for her offensive words. “I want to apologize to you guys individually,” she told a group of journalists including Rap-Up. “Even sitting in front of you today, I’m shaking ’cause I’m embarrassed, humiliated, and shocked because when everything resurfaced, it’s almost like I read that and I got a sick feeling in my stomach because I didn’t recognize that person. And I didn’t know how to explain that.”
She reflected on her upbringing and what may have led to her behavior. “Growing up, I was a very miserable person for no reason,” said Claudio. “I think what was the most difficult part for me was I couldn’t figure out why I was living on this Earth. I didn’t know my purpose. Before getting into music, I was trying to do dancing, I was trying to do modeling, I was just trying to be a kid, I was trying to fit in in school and nothing seemed to be working out. I was just really sad all the time. And I think that clearly I just was never thinking and would say things that I didn’t mean just because I was angry with myself and my situation in my life.”
As she grew older, she was able to find purpose. “I started finding happiness in myself. I started finding happiness in my surroundings and my growth was so prominent that when I saw these tweets resurface, I was disgusted with myself.”
While she admits wrongdoing, she also sees it as a lesson. “It’s incredibly shameful of me to even have to sit here and apologize for it because I can’t believe that I did that. But I do want to apologize ’cause I’m sorry. I take full responsibility,” she said. “I have a lot of work to do and I recognize that. I’m willing to do everything that I have to do because I’m so passionate about this world and what I do and my new faith in everything. This is my reality now.”
Inspired by her journey, Claudio is now readying a new project called No Rain, No Flowers for release on Aug. 15 via SC Entertainment/Atlantic Records. She has debuted two tracks so far, the emotional “Messages From Her” and “Numb,” produced by Sad Money and Afterhrs.
“No Rain, No Flowers is an inside look into my journey of healing and growth,” she explained in a statement. “Rain symbolizes darkness but also represents an essential part of rebirth. If there is no rain, there are no flowers.”