Kunta Kinte Who? The Dream Says ‘Artists Are Treated Like Slaves’

| June 23, 2015 | 0 Comments


In an interview with Billboard, The Dream spoke on race in the music industry and how being white gives you an upper hand. He recently started a partnership through Capitol to create Contra-Paris records.

Dream says that it was in response to the evil corporations that record labels have become. When asked what the root of the evil was, The Dream replied, “When the Atlanta Braves were owned by Ted Turner, he was very passionate and did whatever it took to do something good — and eventually he made money. Labels used to be the same way. Now they’re corporations, and it’s only about their stock. For me, that’s where the evil started.”

He went one further by saying that, “…artists are treated like slaves. We have terrible contracts, we have streaming services that pay one-tenth of a cent per play, we have no laws to protect us.” The Dream would also unionize the artists allowing them the power to not doing certain things.”

Possibly the most poignant comments to come out the interview have to deal with race. Of course the music industry is not the same for everyone and The Dream is very aware of that. He states:

“If you got a hit and you’re white, there are no limits to what you can do. If you’re black and you have a hit today but can’t do it again tomorrow, then your ass is out of here. When the industry uses you up, that’s it. You’re gone. It’s a constant battle for our culture. We can’t say no to radio, we can’t say no to Spotify, and we can’t have a concert because nobody will come. And the whole time, everybody is taking from our culture to enhance the pop side of things. By the way, the pop side doesn’t mean you have to be white. Bruno Mars is pop. Nobody listens to Bruno Mars like he’s a black artist. Which I’m sure for him, he’s like, “Thank God.” There are urban artists and then there are pop artists, and urban artists get things taken from them. We create the swag, and everybody knows it.

Dr. Luke has been remaking Rihanna’s “Umbrella” since we made “Umbrella”! I tell him that to his face! He has been making it over and over, and pop radio loves it every time.

There is a valid point to his comments. The urban culture has had its music taken mainstream but is not allowed to be what it is without being diluted. Example would be Nicki Minaj and that song ‘Starships’. While it did very well on the pop charts it was a whole flip from the Nicki the urban world knows and even how she was presented in media was different.

Should Dream Shut it or shout it? While the points are fair, is he just another rich celebrity complaining about not being richer?

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