>I don't agree with that... >Black folks can still "crossover" >to white audiences. On >the indy scene, I think >Local H gets some love, >as does P.O.D. Both >of whom have black members >but play for a largely >white fan base.
But seeing how "crossing over" is often a necessity to survival in the white-corporate-controlled music world, it does deserve some attention. I'd say those you list are exceptions to the rule (there are others - Lenny Kravitz comes to mind). My biggest problem is with the concept of "alternative rock" radio. Seems like at its core the term really means "music for whites" - it's a genre without any clear musical definition. And these white bands often use hip hop to get over. This is really what I'm refering to, and I think it does hurt black hip hop artists who CANNOT get played on the same station that plays Eminem, Everlast, the Beasties, etc. all the time. I'll leave it at that.
>My concern is how come a >black punk/rock/jazz/blues/experimental noise group can't >get love in their own >community.
I can see how this is a bigger issue to you. Ultimately, the walls that divide these genres, whether they are created by the listeners (as you have argued) or the "system" (as I put forth), are causing harm to the artistry and integrity of modern music. That won't be an easy problem to tackle as we look to the future.
>Every city west of the Hudson >has 2 undergrounds. One, >the "true" heads, the 4 >element folks, and the second, >the "real" heads, as in >what the community really listens to.
This is a good point. I've never thought of it in these terms. It makes me question some of the underlying reasons behind why I listen to the music I do. I tend to support "true" hip hop, though I would never put that label on it myself. This is actually a good way of understanding the racial divisions that exist within "underground" hip hop. Kind of hard to swallow on a personal level, but ultimately, I think you're right. Helps me understand a little better what you were saying over on the lesson about your disappointment with "underground" heads.
>White corporate control will push whatever >sells. Remember all the >popular conscious music from back >in the day was on >white record labels.
Popular in a relative sense. Those guys were lucky to go gold. When gangsta rap took over the sales figures tripled, didn't they? The big labels didn't keep the conscious artists around too long once G-funk hit. I think the labels seemed more interested in taking chances in the late 80's - early 90s. There was a lot more diversity in what they were promoting.
But I think their business practices were shady to say the least. A lot of times, they didn't give these artists time or space to grow, and this helped killed that era of hip hop just as much as the changing tastes of the audiences. Show me a conscious rapper from that era, and I'll show you someone who's bitter towards a record label. Maybe that's all sour grapes, but I suspect there's something to it.
>Cash money represents a solution. >black businessmen.
Granted, that's true. And, I think with my background I tend to take for granted the importance of business in this context. I tend to have an immediate negative reaction to materialism, largely because it was so rampant in MY community growing up. I can actually see how valuable their example would be to black folks who are used to seeing whites in a position of financial power.
But, are Cash Money laying out a GOOD framework for other black businessmen to follow? For instance, what does buying platinum jewelry and having diamonds set in your teeth tell young people about money management? What does buying (ok, renting) expensive European sports cars say to their audience about putting money back into their own community? I can see that they have a value, but it seems like a limited one (no offense to master p).
I appreciate being able to have an open discussion about race here on okayplayer with people who know more than I do about these issues. I freely admit my limitations and my ignorance on some of these matters. I want to learn. That's pretty much the point of being here (not just on okayactivist, but on planet earth). Thanks again for the conversation
Oh, and that's funny that I heard your show in Austin. You know what they say, six degrees or whatever.