Rina Sawayama

"If we are looking at the charts as a barometer for nationwide popularity, non-English-language music rarely features... Yes, Despacito reached No 1 here, but it was only after Justin Bieber appeared on it" - the Guardian analyzes UK music taste. First of all, the British are the third least likely nation in Europe to speak a foreign language. That's not all, people of color like Samm Henshaw, and women that don't fit the norm (white complexion) like Rina Sawayama, won't have the same success as their white counterparts. Guardian argues it's due to "so much systemic hostility, xenophobia and outright racism in this sector".

Black is the color of my true identity
July 10, 2020

Tom Morello: Racism is as American as apple pie and baseball

Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine has spoken of his experiences with racism and encounters with the KKK - “In Los Angeles, dozens of times, I was pulled over when driving, going on official band business but in my old Chevy Astro van when I was driving through Beverly Hills. ‘Why is there a thirty-something-year-old black man in this neighbourhood?’", Radio X reports. While he was growing up, in Libertyville in Illinois, he was "the only black person. Once, there was a noose in my family\s garage, there was the occasional burned cross on the lawn", and then, “I was in a popular band that had songs that were predominantly played on white, rock-oriented stations, the way I speak is not typically urban vernacular, and there’s a large part of my fan base that freaks the fuck out when I say that I’m black".

“Pop music tends to smuggle in a lot of contraband lyrically. Words that would cause outrage if spoken often get a pass or go unnoticed when sung" - Record producer Ian Brennan told Rolling Stone about racially violent songs. He pointed out 'Brown Sugar' by The Rolling Stones - "almost undoubtedly, the majority of their audience would claim to be ‘liberal’ and ‘not racist,’ but 60,000 people singing along to those words is not an entirely innocent act. That it is tolerated or dismissed is yet another smaller, but nonetheless meaningful example of systemic racism”. Brennan, who’s written several books about racism and inequity, says The Rolling Stones’ well-known track glorifies slavery, rape, torture and pedophilia.

Serj Tankian / Axl Rose

There are numerous examples of metal bands supporting #BlackLivesMatter and the fight for good in general: Black Sabbath have printed T-shirts altering the logo from their 'Master of Reality' album to read Black Lives Matter; Serj Tankian of System of a Down took a very clear stand: “Coordinate online and block every street everywhere and force the regime to resign. The time has come. Your time has come @realdonaldtrump”; Guns N’ Roses gave support to BLM on Instagram and Axl Rose unequivocally took a side against Donald Trump. But, there are black sheep: John Dolmayan, System of a Down’s drummer, used Instagram to offer his support for Trump’s claim to be the greatest friend to minorities America has ever had; Sandra Araya, the wife of Slayer’s Tom Araya, has been posting racist memes to Instagram. Guardian reports on the clearly dividing issue.

The past stops, and the future starts here
June 01, 2020

Jay-Z: Justice for George Floyd is a first step for healing America

Jay-Z has called on Attorney General Keith Ellison to prosecute those responsible for the killing of George Floyd to the “fullest extent of the law”, after reaching out directly to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to talk about the state’s handling of the crime. Jay-Z wrote Justice for Floyd is “just a first step” for healing the country, adding - “I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have”.

Rapper Killer Mike made an impassioned plea to residents of Atlanta asking them to not vandalize their city while also expressing rage over the murder of George Floyd. “We have to be better than burning down our own homes because if we lose Atlanta, what else we got?” - Killer Mike asked. “It is your duty to not burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. And now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize”. He condemned the murder of Floyd, calling for a better system - "we don’t want to see targets burning, we want to see the system that sets up systemic racism, burn to the ground”. Bon Iver's Justin Vernon has shared a similar sentiment: "A police state cannot fix what a police state has broken. Only equal freedom and protection of all citizens can begin to reset the scales of justice”.

Numerous musicians - including Justin Bieber, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Common, Ariana Grande, Snoop Dogg, Madonna - have spoken out after a video of yet another incident of the US police brutality against the American black community surfaced on social media. Family attorney George Floyd was arrested on Monday (May 25) on suspicion of forgery. In the viral clip, Floyd was unarmed and cried out that he couldn't breathe as an officer kneeled on his neck. He later died at the hospital.

Atlanta country band Confederate Railroad were supposed to perform at the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois, as part of “90s Country ReLoaded Day,” but after people started to question their name they were removed from the lineup, Brooklyn Vegan reports. Du Quoin State Fair manager Josh Gross said - "While every artist has a right to […]

Cave likes Morrissey's music, doesn't like his political views, but he should still have the right to express those. Just separate the two, in order not to ruin the music. "He has written a vast and extraordinary catalogue... original and distinctive works of unparalleled beauty", Nick Cave writes in a new blog post at The […]

"In the music industry, there’s still segregation. There used to be the black division, race records. Programmers, especially at Pop radio, has this imagery of what beauty looks like. They wanted that imagery to be the same that’s singing those records", Matthew Knowles, Beyoncé father said while on SiriusXM's The Clay Cane Show. The former manager […]