Doubling down on Damon Dash and the music industry
by Dr. Samori Swygert
I wrote an article back in May about the very same thing Damon Dash discussed about the music industry, but I never published it. I think this is the perfect time to publish it, so here it is.
We’re far too familiar with the character assassination strategies of the American media. Black males are regularly propagandized as thugs, gang members, drug dealers, pimps, and more. You can turn on Fox News and watch Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity lambast rappers ad nauseam infinitum. You’ll also see Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh throw in their cheap convenient jabs from time to time.
However, there is a unique dynamic that you won’t see on these news networks. Why?
We’ve seen how Trayvon Martin was minding his business and was harassed and killed by George Zimmerman. The media made it their business to criminalize him as a weed smoking thug. We’ve seen how Richard Sherman was transformed into a “thug” under the media microscope for having an opinion. DeSean Jackson was dismissed because of “alleged gang affiliation.”
However, the media won’t ever publicly come out and ask the following questions to their contemporary media partners in the entertainment industry: Why are you funding, subsidizing, and promoting a culture of crime, drugs, and sëxual promiscuity by luring young black men with million dollar contracts? Why are you promoting the very thing we fear, hate, and criminalize about thugs and drug dealers? Why are you endorsing and supporting this lifestyle, instead of providing million-dollar deals to music artists with a positive message?
Have you ever seen a 60 Minutes or Fox News interview about this with record executives?
The American citizenry will say that they’re scared and fearful of these gangsters, thugs, and menaces to society. Let’s be clear: The heads of these major record labels and distribution companies are not black. Instead of calling Lil Wayne a thug, why hasn’t Bill O’Reilly invited record label heads on his show to interrogate them? Why not interview them, and ask why they would give million dollar deals to individuals to rap about killing, pimping, and drug dealing?
No, you never ever see the news stations have this discussion.
The “scary black thug” that the American citizenry fears and complains about is financed and funded by white record label and radio executives. We can’t have it both ways.
Many of these “gangsta thugs” wouldn’t even have a voice to exert their national influence had it not been for major labels and radio executives giving them million dollar contracts, publicity, and airplay. So in essence, the media hates the bread but never criticizes the baker. We all know how hard it is for positive rappers to get a record deal, publicity, and radio play.
The following example is strictly for illustration, because America is familiar with terrοrism.
EXAMPLE: America has waged an all-out war on terrοrism. The media has clearly defined who America’s enemy is. The media has many American citizens fearful and resentful of terrοrists. What actions would America take if they were able to identify who was financing terrοrist groups? They would cripple their finances, charge them with supporting, aiding, and abetting terrorism.
Now that was only to illustrate an example of how America would handle groups that fund terrοrism. I don’t believe African American young men are terrοrists. I believe many of our young men are deprived of positive role models, parents, economically depressed, lack support and opportunity in many cases. Thus, many of them look to pseudo role models of rappers, gangs, and etc. for relevance, recognition, and respect.
However, the American news media never ever calls the record and radio station execs on the carpet for funding and profiteering off propagandizing young black males. No, the news media would rather conduct a 24 hour news cycle smear campaign against the puppet but remain mute about the funding from the puppeteer. The record executives are just as liable, culpable, complicit, and responsible for the proliferation of drugs, viοlence, and misogyny, but they’re never taken to task by the news.
Here’s one more example for the road:
This is also like your mother complaining about how she’s scared of these masked pocketbook snatchers, but your dad is paying you to go out and snatch pocketbooks at night to finance his gambling habit. Your mother chastises and scolds you when she finds out you’re doing it but knows your father is paying you to rοb people, and says nothing at all to your father.
I would love to see a debate between news outlets and record/radio execs. I want to see them explain on live TV why they pump millions of dollars into the promotion of the very thing Americans say they’re afraid of and the justice system criminalizes. The media’s attention and target is misdirected, and young black men are the convenient scapegoat. If you think I’m lying, look up the CEOs of all the major record labels, radio execs, and the private equity fund managers that own them. This is a duplicitous hypocrisy between the American news media and the American entertainment industry. Furthermore, many of the news agencies are under the same umbrella as the record labels. Is this deliberate? What say you?