Sunday, 13 December 2009

disso part 2 of Music Industry & Racism

--- Power and Under-Representation ---

Leading on from part 1… What Tyson suggests in this last statement is that Britain is concerns itself over who is in control and who ultimately has power.
In democratic nations like Britain, the majority rules; strength lies in numbers. Minority ethnic groups make up 7.9% of the UK’s population.

The majority of people interviewed felt that there was an underrepresentation of black executives and managers working in the industry. The statistics may explain why, as industry numbers arguably reflect total population numbers
However what Tyson touched on was that the UK has a conscious or subconscious belief about where power and ownership should lie. He provides an example highlighting his own A&R Manager Lincoln Elias (then working for Sony) who sold over 80 million records and who Sony held in high regard but axed once his imprint label ‘S2’ became powerful and began bringing more black artists through like Terence Trent Darby and Des’ree.

Negus in his Corporate Cultures book details a similar scenario where EMI closed its urban divisions during the 90’s to “concentrate on its stars”, despite urban music accounting for 21% of total sales in the US at the time.

Former Radio 1xtra DJ Nesha Welch commented that because of this imbalance of power at high levels across the industry (meaning labels, venues and media), separation is occurring which she believes could lead to black music being excluded completely. Mercury A&R Manager Joe Kentish commented that under-representation of black staff could be to do with how a person enters the industry suggesting that there is a bias towards middle class people who can afford to work for free for a while or know the right people to get them in.

Bringing it back for December - Kano vs Wiley on Lord Of The Mics

Back in the day...

Top 10 tracks from my Ipod for December

J2K – Step

New Boyz – You’re A Jerk

Daisy Dares You – Daisy Dares You

Jack Splash feat Lupe Fiasco

Darkside Fam – Kidnapping the Music Game

T2 & H Boogie - Better Off As Friends

Magnetic Man – Eclipse

Monarchy – Gold in the Fire

Dot Rotten – Ride for Me

Lowdeep feat Ruff Squad – Tell Me

December album in focus: 50 Cent "Before I Self-Destruct

Good album but I’m a bit bored listening to it. It feels like the same old - how he's going to pop some gangster because he fucked with him. 1 day he's going to end up saying how he's about to pop his Walmart delivery man… "I said green cap milk not blue, motherfucker"… If he's so far up his own arse, sorry, up the industry, how are the 'minnows' from the streets still getting to him?

Its a proper album though; its got the right formula, mix of tracks, flow and production only Dr. Dre can bring to the desk but with this being his 4th album (on Aftermath) I think I would have been more impressed if he had come with something totally left field like Kanye West did with 808’s… Although I don't think 50 has the same freedom to express himself as he's pigeon holed himself (all be it in a very large and successful 1) too much as this gun-slinging-my-pecs-are-made-of-teflon gangster rapper.

Tracks to watch: “Baby By Me” featuring Ne-Yo. Naturally smooth vocals from Ne-Yo that in my opinion no current singer can replicate or get near to, with 50 flowing perfectly over an R&B style beat that would make the most hardcore 50 fan nod and try something sweet in a club instead of the usual “oi oi my side, my side, I’m tryna chat to you babe, what you sayin?”.
“Do You Think About Me”. This is prob my favourite, think 21 questions from his Get Rich album but less romantic.
“Psycho”. This is the 5th track on the album and I had to reload again and again, I nearly forgot there was the rest of the album to listen to. Anything featuring Eminem is bound to be big (as Drake should know… if 'Forever' was a clash Eminem would have destroyed Weazy's, Kanye's and Drake's careers).

Lyric that caught me: on “Disrespectful”… “I'm international I'm never home maynn, I've been gone so long my accent's changed, you better watch who you fuck with mate" (all this in an English/cockney accent)


December update: Gig of the Month - Liverpool

I’m down and out after a big night out the previous day, nursing a hangover and licking my wounds after Man City beat Chelsea 2:1.
I give Purple a call and he’s heading up with G Double to Liverpool and Leeds for a night of dubstep so they de-tour to pick me up and we head on our way.
(I’m on this dubstep thing now, I went to a couple of nights but mainly to see what the hype was behind this expanding genre).

After a 5 hour car journey we get to Masque Theatre in the centre of Liverpool; such a cool venue, looks like a theatre with levels combined a certain level of grime that makes you think charm rather dirt.
Silkie, Heny G and Quest from Anti Social Entertainment were amongst a load of DJ’s playing dubstep from the atmospheric to the hard in a setting that rivals anything we have down in London when it comes to the underground sound.
The smoking area was jokes. Being a Southerner I fully expected some harsh treatment but instead I educated the scousers in some London lingo which included definitions and uses for the words “cotch” and “bounce”.

My lasting memory of the city will be standing in the rain at 4am with everyone waiting for kebabs and taxis and thinking, woah, it’s like being in an episode of Brookside…

We got to Leeds at about 5 minutes before the rave ended so we mingled outside on the hunt for an after party to make our journey worthwhile.

Big night with the lads. Dubstep is ours. It’s here to stay... Keep locked to Rinse FM Mondays 1-3am.

December update: News

--- EMI Publishing sign JLS to mega deal ---

EMI Music Publishing is looking to create writing collaborations between JLS and some of its key talents such as Stargate after signing the X Factor runners-up in one of the biggest publishing deals of the year.

--- Myspace Music arrives in UK by Ben Cardew 03/12/09 in Music Week ---

MySpace Music finally goes live in the UK today, some 14 months after launching in the US.
The service offers UK consumers ad-supported streaming, downloads via iTunes, video content, charts and personal playlists from music fans including Katie Price and The Vatican.

All of the majors are on board, as well as a number of independent aggregators, including Merlin, The Orchard, IODA and Nettwerk Music Group.
The service also includes the MySpace Artist dashboard, a free tool that gives artists access to demographic, social and activity data of their core fans.
MySpace also announced today that it has signed a licence deal with PRS for Music, allowing songwriters to be paid for their work featuring on the new service.

“We’re excited to be launching MySpace Music in the UK, a genuinely innovative service that brings artists and fans closer than ever before” says MySpace Music president Courtney Holt.
“MySpace has always had an unrivalled reputation for encouraging the enjoyment, discovery and sharing of music, and this launch concentrates and expands on that distinctive character. The way people are consuming music has changed dramatically, and we’re aiming to develop a next-generation platform that builds a sustainable business for MySpace Music, content licensors and artists, while serving fans in a completely unique way.”

The launch was marked by a Kasabian gig in London last night, while 50 Cent, Pixie Lott, Florence & the Machine, Alicia Keys, Chipmunk, David Guetta, Lost Prophets and Nelly Furtado are all taking part in the launch, either starring in interactive films that can be personalised by users to mark the occasion, or creating playlists.
Meanwhile, digital label RCRD LBL has teamed up with MySpace Music to launch RCRD of the Day, a free daily music download. The first wave will include downloads from Kid Sister, Cold War Kids, Major Lazer, Wale, Santigold, Miike Snow and Peter, Bjorn & John.
“RCRD LBL is the one of industry’s more compelling music sites and we are very excited to match their editorial team with ours to curate cutting edge new music for the MySpace community,” says Holt.

“By offering free daily downloads from the hottest new acts via the RCRD of the Day, MySpace Music will continue to be at the forefront of introducing fresh talent to our users.”

December update: Just for Jokes

Funky House is a movement that carries a feel good vibe that makes it accessible to everyone but I find this hilarious…

Dj Hotsteppa & The Funky All Stars - Take It Higher

Madness from Jamaica... (sorry couldn't find the embeded version)