Filmmaker - Musician - Photographer

my rant on why music sucks....

Everyday, during my morning trek to work and in between swtiching CD's, I listen to the entertainment news on two radio stations. Today was interesting because both news reports mentioned the changing environment of the music industry. Naturally, since I'm in the music industry (to some degree), I became a bit more attentive. The news reports highlighted some facts about recent album releases and how no one is selling. Apparently, Jennifer Lopez (I refuse to call her 'J.Lo') and Britteny Spears are on the brink of being dropped from their label because of sour album sales.

Album sales across the board are dropping. There are a number of valid theories as to why this is happening, but if you ask me I'll say one thing: Albums aren't selling beacuse albums suck.

A label executive will pin the decline of record sales to the internet; complaining that everyone is downloading music for free. This argument is expected from label executives because it takes the heat of off them. If they blame the nasty ol' internet, then they don't have to admit that they made any mistakes in signing an artist with no talent. It makes no sense to me.

If I may compare the logic to a bland and uninventive metaphor:

Its like going outside in a snow storm with shorts and a tank top and being angry with the weather for making you catch the flu.

As a fan of music I want to hear music that inspires me. I'm not saying the music has to be conscious or very introspective at all. All I'm saying is I want the music to make me feel something. Make me want to dance! Make me want to think! Make me want to hear about you for more than a year.

Part of the problem is that artists are unable to do anything extraordinary. Sure Soulja Boy came up with some silly minstrel dance, but who CAN'T do that? Soulja Boy came up with his dance and now if you go on YouTube, there are a zillion other little kids doing the same exact thing to the same exact track. How can you expect an artist to sell if they're not doing anything that no one else can do.

Look at producers like Timbaland. That guy has been a prominant figure in the industry for a little over a decade. Why? Because no one makes music like he does and before him, no one even came close to being on the same level. The same goes for The Neptunes, DJ Premier, The RZA, etc.

Look at artists like Alicia Keys, John Mayer, The Flamming Lips, Bright Eyes, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, etc....who is doing what these artists are doing?! They're playing a totally different ball game, yet...not all of them are selling. Why?

Good artists don't sell because 85% of the label executives in the industry are idiots. I've met some of these people. I'm a good producer (don't care what you say....I'm nice with it). I have sat in A&R offices and watched executives not even listen to my music. Sadly, no one who matters is really listening to good music. I have been asked a zillion times to make my music more "gangsta....'cause thats whats hot right now."

Did you catch that? "Thats whats hot right now...." There is another problem. Everyone is fooled into thinking that all they have to do is make that one hit and they're good to go. Even music moguls who have been in the industry for a long ass time will tell you, "We need a single. We need that one hit!" Bullshit. You need good music. You get artists like Bow Wow or YoungBloods who come out with one hot single and the rest of the album is kinda....."eh."

I'm ranting. I'm sorry. At least I chose not to put in the 2-3 paragraphs about The Beatles and why they're so great. I think I've done enough of that this month.

I'm gonna end this now, because I'm making too much sense and fact of the matter is that when people start to make too much sense they get assassinanted.

Dr. Martin Luther King
Malcom X
John Lennon
et cetera.

Quincy Ledbetter1 Comment