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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Vibe magazine tackles the DeBarge family & their tragedies......

After picking up the latest Vibe magazine with its disheartening article on the DeBarge family, I was lead to do what I always do-take inventory on our cultural tradition. I am a big fan of the Motown mystique even beyond the seminal Temptations and Supremes eras. My formative years coincided with that 80s period when both the Jackson and DeBarge family were perhaps at the height of their musical powers. And twenty plus years later all that remains (according to Vibe), relating to the DeBarge story are broken dreams, drugs, incarceration stints and charges of sexual abuse claimed against their patriarch. In addition, if anyone has worked in a convenience store, my taking inventory reference definitely corresponds with the job-one must tally what exists and what is missing.

Reading about the DeBarges also reminded me that if such an inventory were to take place in the current year of our Lord-there would be a lot missing. The selfsame article intimated that the DeBarges might make an attempt at a comeback but as alluded to in the last entry about Res-what industry would these artists comeback to? The music industry as we know it does not exist. There literally is no product to buy. Illegal downloading and bootlegging reign supreme. The only thing the public seems to be willing to purchase are ringtones. And to make matters worse, the current Black music scene is teeming with signs of ageism (will there ever be a Black equivalent to the Rolling Stones?), substandard musicianship and limited allowable musical genres.

When Tyrese forsakes R & B for rap, that's a definite sign that the times they are a changing. What do you guys think? Is Black music dead? And why can't we enjoy music in the cross-generational sense like many Whites with respect to Aerosmith or the Stones? While you ponder these questions take a look at the DeBarge videos below-one from the past and the other is symbolic of the present....soul artists resorting to sing hooks for hip hop acts. Truly the end of a generation.

For more of the Vibe article, click on the link below:

The Rise and Fall of the DeBarge Family (Episode 1)

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