Posts Tagged ‘music industry’

Logic’s verbal stick-up of the wannabe gangstas

Nice to finally see Logic on SBTV, with this Warm-up Session where he addresses himself to all the young rappers trying to build a career by fronting as gangsters.

“If every gangsta rapper really was a gangsta, all you’re doing is making it easier for the feds to catch ya”.

There’s a lot to be said on this topic, so it’s positive that Logic is helping to open up the discussion and is holding rappers responsible for their actions. It’s also important to remember that young rappers are playing in to an image that is perfectly acceptable to the music industry – and the racist power structure in general. This image is glamourised, glorified, distorted and then sold to us so forcefully that many of us start to actually accept and expect it (and this is a process controlled overwhelmingly by rich white men, not poor black boys). MK Asante’s excellent book It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop explores these issues in detail.

We have to fight the music industry by continuing to develop an alternative, independent, positive, resistant, radical culture that meets the needs of the communities that make it, rather than serving the interests of corporate profit and the political/economic/social status quo.

Follow Logic on Twitter

Akala chats pure sense about the state of the music industry

10 minutes of great insight from Akala, without a doubt one of the leading cultural figures in the scene. Akala exposes some of the major problems in the UK underground/black music scene, addressing in particular the issue of cultural colonialism, whereby the corporate power structure uses its economic domination to shape the music towards its own agenda.



Great interview with Fusion

Legendary hip-hop, garage and grime producer/mentor Fusion makes some great points about the music industry in this interview

“Music is a good vehicle for social change… In the times we’re living in right now, i feel that we need to say more things than ever before about what’s going on.”

“We have some of the finest lyricists in the English language – Skinnyman, Ghetts, Wretch32, Lowkey, Mic Righteous, Devlin… Many artists are talking about major issues and are trying to be heard, but we also have to eat. A lot of lyrical artists are facing pressure to dumb down their content to get paid. That’s coming from the corporations. We need to encourage those artists, support them, and challenge the status quo.”

Talking about the time when people like Fallacy, Rodney P and Skinnyman dominated UK rap, he says: “There was less money in the industry, and the artists stood for more. Now that there’s more money in the industry, it doesn’t mean you should stand for less. You need to educate your followers and yourself. Artists come and go, but the messages they put out there stay forever if they’re potent and powerful messages.”

“While you get a chance to use certain platforms (social networking etc), be sure to say something that actually matters. All these platforms are in a way exploiting you. You don’t really own those platforms.”

At the end he also makes a very deep point about the history of black music as freedom music.

Check this classic track with Fallacy:

Lowkey ft Klashnekoff – Blood, Sweat and Tears [video and lyrics]

‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ sees two UK hip-hop legends, Klashnekoff and Lowkey, reflecting on their careers and their roles within the music industry.

Everybody around the scene knows that these two brothers could be living large off music right now if only they were willing to give up control of their minds and bodies to the major label puppet-masters. Both have opted instead to stay true to what they believe in over the course of their careers.

K-Lash breaks down his role as a cultural leader who has never given in to the industry:

As lightning strikes and thunder pounds
Over the grey skies of London town
Prophesy K returns from the underground
Signified by the people’s trumpet sounds cry
Yeah the system it tried to shut me down
But I’ve been on my ting before Onyx was flinging guns around
Blood, sweat and tears for years
Feels like my career’s been in the dumping ground
Yeah this is how hunger sounds
And I’m the hunter now – Lash the lionheart
AKA the man behind the iron mask
For ten years straight I’ve been raising the iron bar
Trying to breathe the life back into this dying art
So why try and par when you’ll meet the same fate as the lion scar
This game’s fake, full of two-faced lying raas
Who would sell their soul and arse just to climb the charts
But me, I put in too much time in the graft
Refining my craft, for majors to sign me for a minor advance
Picture K-Lash miming on trance
Now picture Dr Dre beats, Lash rhyming with Starks
It’s all fate, and I’ve got mine in my grasp
They’re all snakes, let them die in the past
Who knows what the future holds
These NWO soldiers will probably shoot me cold
All because the truth was told
You should know I did it from the heart

Lowkey’s verse focuses on his mission to give voice to the voiceless:

I don’t do this for the happy ravers or the aggy haters
I do this for the warriors and the gladiators
Do this for those whose lives you never cared about
Can’t pronounce their names, their origins or their whereabouts
Those brought up around tragedy and sadness
Who adjusted and found normality in the madness
Fight the power, til I’m out of breath like Malcolm X
You empower the powerful, I empower the powerless
They’ll play you on the radio if you rap about a Gucci belt
But rap about the government and you might as well shoot yourself
Industry fairies say I rap about conspiracy theories
Just to hide the fact they lyrically fear me
Got the eye of a tiger, the heart of a lion
The mind of a lifer, my stance is defiant
I rise like a phoenix, immediate from the ashes
My existence is inconvenient for the masses
Though we are equal I despise an imitation
I live for my people and die for liberation
I stand as a visionary, some have got plans of killing me
To literally vanish me physically like Aborigines
Hannibal with the mask, an animal with the bars
I’m grappling with my shackles, I channel it through my art
Feel it in the ambience, champion, heavyweight
My life is nothing, but my pride is something you can never take
They think I’m elusive or think I’m a nuisance
I swear these major labels must think that I’m stupid
Keep your 360s you’re convincing these dudes with
Like I’ll give you the blueprint for pimping my music
I say that like K-Lash, he’s another lion
Every hardship from getting scarred to my brother dying
I spit all of it, with or without a big audience
Through the blood, sweat and tears I stand victorious

And the chorus brings it together nicely.

I’m still here, pushing after several years
I’m still here, standing strong, never in fear
I’ll be still here after the dust settles and clears
I’ll be still here after the blood, sweat and the tears

A huge track from these guys. Spread the word!

Follow Klashnekoff on Twitter
Follow Lowkey on Twitter

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