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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Couldn't Have Said It Any Better......SoulBounce Tells Us Why The Music is Dying!

I want to give a shout out to Nova Slim of the Soul Bounce blog for perfectly encapsulating (and enumerating) why our current musical culture is degrading, specifically Black music. I also provided a clip (above) of a truly necessary documentary from a few years ago, entitled Before the Music Dies. This film successfully bolsters Slim's argument that corporate greed and apathy are ruining the potential for creative and different music from being exposed-at the listener's expense. Here are a few (out of the 25 listed) reasons (again, according to Soul Bounce) why urban music is at death's door:

Courtesy of Soul Bounce:

8. Thugs: Not only do we have "Studio Thugs" that use de Palma films to inform their image (see above) but there's the "Corporate Thug" (robs an artist of his publishing and signs him to a hellified contract he could never fulfill) and the questionable "R&B Thug", which happened somewhere between R. Kelly and Jodeci and continues to this day. Along the way, labels got the bright idea that the way to a woman's heart was by selling drugs and beating up people. Sexy! This trend has also given rise to something else we'll never understand: "R&B Beef", in which two singers talk trash about each other to the media. Unfortunately, this doesn't result in a "sing-off" but pretty much makes everyone involved look kind of retarded.

9. Crime: Between violating probation, not paying child support, being pulled over and caught with an ounce of weed or cocaine, assaulting nail technicians, shooting people, tossing concertgoers off the stage, committing perjury, tax evasion, and urinating on minors, we have to wonder if being a good artist means being a bad citizen.

10. Ringtones: "Real Music Ringtones" were created as a way to distinguish your ringing cellular from someone else's while also bringing you closer to your favorite artist. Unfortunately, the labels realized this was the only way to generate revenue and started making music for the sole purpose of selling ringtones. Now, we have stripped-down keyboard beats and grunts and "yaahhs" instead of lyrics. Is that my cellphone ringing or yours? We'll never know, because we both downloaded Soulja Boy.

11. Lack of Music Programs in Schools: Programs like Garage Band have not only made producers lazy, but undercut the importance of immersing young would-be musicians in music history as well as basic composition. Unless a popular musician was trained in the church, they probably lucked into a contract without knowing how to write, play an instrument, or worse, sing a note.

12. BET (and by extension its corporate owner) is on a mission to not only destroy urban music, but poison the perception of Black people in the process. If we were to use this network as a guide (and people unfortunately do), we would believe that "drug dealer > rapper > pimp" is a logical career path, alcoholic beverages can be used as bodysplash, women of exotic or indeterminate race are the standard of beauty, darker-skinned women are only valuable if they have a big ass and a tiny waist, a person's worth can only be determined by what they drive and what they wear, you ain't sh*t if you're over 30, and a week's worth of debauchery and decadence can be undone with a Sunday marathon of religious programming. It's funny because it's true.

Click on the link below for the rest of Nova Slim's insightful piece:

25 Things That Killed (and are Still Killing) Urban Music

And let's take a look at just one more YouTube clip from Before the Music:

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