"Black Artists: Your Services Are No Longer Needed" - Open Letter Gets Industry Talking - hypebot

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GimmeABreak

I'm African-American and I work in the music business at a major label, and I can tell you this...the labels and radio stations are all about their BOTTOM LINE! It's business. They don't care what race or gender a person is...as long as it makes them money.

So, going back to slavery and saying that BLACK LABOR = WHITE WEALTH is way out of line. What about all the black execs who have amassed fortunes off of both black and white artists (i.e. LA Reid, Babyface, Sylvia Rhone, P Diddy, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, etc)? Or how about in Usher's (Justin Bieber) and Akon's (Lady Gaga) cases...White Labor = Black Wealth.

I'm not making a case for greedy people or any racial group, I'm just pointing out the wholes in the letter's argument. Music is not about race...it's about expression for the artists, and money for the labels/broadcasters.

mason

protect your craft and stop sharing? are you serious? that was the whole basis for hip hop getting off the ground in the first place...there is a long history of sharing or sampling in african-american music. it's a ridiculous article. blacks have more prominence and wealth in the music industry than ever before! jay-z, beyonce, usher, la reid, p-diddy, rhianna, and many more are dominating.

Christian

What I don't like are the lines that have been drawn. Like I have been writing songs and playing guitar since adolescence, something that as a black male is seen as a "white" thing to do. People think that if you do play and sing it should be something along the lines of R&B, Soul, hip-hop or other commonly "black" genres. It sucks because that's not how I play and that's not why I started playing. So trying to find a niche in the industry so someone can identify with me and my sound is almost impossible. The influences might be there (as with most guitar and vocal-based music) but as far as classification purposes are concerned that's not what I sound like. I do more "white" singer-songwriter type material and feel like I'm overlooked or passed over because it's too bizarre for a black guy from Southern California to try and croon like Dallas Green or Glen Hansard and then play like John Mayer. Everybody expects Gary Clark Jr or Prince out of me and while they're good - like I said the influences are there - I kinda 'blur the lines' and feel that people do not want or are not ready for that...Which sucks, you know.

aondoe

It's just race-baiting to cause hysteria and dissension for the sake of blog hits. I first saw it on rap rehab. I saw some funny responses, but posts like this often lack substance and/or benefit to anyone.

ArrangerSince1970

Hey Christian, just be you, it's OK. There will always be naysayers, whatever you do. Keep on keeping on!


Hold your ground, and you not only blur the line... you become the new line.

pschase

Yeah, that article is missing a few important points. 2013, and the last few years, has seen the rise of Black people behind the scenes of the music, which is arguably the money making side, if you want to be crass.

How many times has Pharrell ( and his hat ) shown up behind a project this year? And good for him - he's a creative guy who stuck to his guns and came up in the music world.

As for the Grammy's, and Billboards of the world...same as it ever was. I can't remember a year where I couldn't dispute one of their awards, or whoever was topping the charts. Music needs an audience, but I would never say the mass of people have "taste" when it comes to making something popular.

Lastly, no worries Christian! You seem young from the video on your page, under 25. Go deep with your music and ignore the rest. Squeeze out some new songs, work on performance, and when you look up again in a year, the crowds will be bigger. Black rock roots are deep.

Steve Pina

The point of the article is not that numerous Black execs and artists have not prospered in the music business... the point is that ownership of the integral platforms that make up the core of the industry have been co-opted! ie. radio , retail, performance venues, Black Music divisions of major labels, promotion & marketing personnel,artist development... and on...and on.. Now that Major Labels have mainstreamed everything for mass consumption they have no need to implement niche marketing, staff specialists and/or multi-ethnic strategies.

Christian

Thanks for the kindness and good vibes! I most definitely won't be stopping writing and performing...Even though I'm 25 now and without my release yet...Feels like I'm getting to be an old man and still learning the basics!

Danelle

Ditto. Christian, I can relate. Keep on shining, we humans are all unique. There is no box. Those lines are only as valid as you let them be. Don't try to fit in. Croon however you croon. Be the change.

Shirwee

I agree with you.

Good Read!

I agree!
This is indeed a bitter truth that black labor is equal to white wealth :/

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