Top 40 radio will never be what it used to be, and it has nothing to do with money. It’s all about selective conditioning.
Most artists out today on major labels don’t write their own songs. Most record labels employ teams of songwriters to write songs. The record label pays people to come together and write songs to beats they’ve selected, and they choose the one they want. After they’ve picked the one they want to hear created, it’s created. Now that it’s created, the record label decides which songs to place on the album, and which songs to release as singles. Then once they’ve picked singles, they decide how they want to wine and dine the radio station execs to get their songs played all day long
If you’re spending all of that money, why would you invest all of that money into creating something that will empower people? If you’re spending millions of dollars creating inspirational anthems, that could inspire millions of people to create change. This society is capitalistic at its source, so once you’ve gained financial freedom you don’t want to inspire people to be where you are. You want the class divide to remain because you benefit from that. Anything else is detrimental to you. It’s much better to use your millions to subliminally get in the minds of people all over the country to dissuade them from achieving change
If people heard 4 times an hour a song like Big KRIT’s “Hometown Hero” that could pose significant problems to the current class structure. It doesn’t benefit record label execs to have people singing that the rap game is high school and life’s a hallway.
If people realized just how insignificant the material things they cherish really are, that would change spending habits, voting habits, etc. Basically, music that contains messages are invaluable. Therefore, the music industry pays a premium to dissuade those messages getting out. It’s more valuable to major label execs and their other affluent friends to have people singing “Gucci Gucci Louie Louie Fendi Fendi Prada”. These songwriters try to keep jobs, so they keep providing these songs that are dumbing down others. They have families to feed. So, instead of actually putting real topics into their songs, they try to think of different ways to put Moscato in the song
Sure, a radio exec could really like a song, and it could be commercially fine, but will that song garner them the most payola money? It’s one huge cycle that’s put in place to economically benefit everyone who contributes to aspiring people to not aspire to be anything.
“Did you know that record execs have people rate every song on an album and will only play those rated in the middle?” - @MTrible
I want artists like J. Cole and Big KRIT and Kendrick Lamar to prosper but it’s deeper than rap. It’s about mental conditioning. There’s absolutely no way that Def Jam or Roc Nation will be able to justify putting huge advertising dollars behind a inspirational project. Saigon’s album was delayed over 3 years and after listening to it it’s obvious why it was delayed so long, if released at all.
Every song on Saigon’s album has a different inspirational message in it. To saving our kids, to crooked preachers, to believing in yourself. You know how dangerous it is to have people singing “I’m on my way up. I don’t think yall hear me”?
It’s all about playing the game. And I would rather artists not play the game if they have to sacrifice integrity. At the same time, I realize that integrity doesn’t pay the bills. And fans don’t reward integrity.
The average fan will pay money to buy the “Racks on racks on racks” ringtone off iTunes but will wait for a free download link for J. Cole. So what is J. Cole to do? The fans have placed a value on his work that he creates in the realm he’s in now. It has no value. It’s free. So, if he wants to begin to gain some type of economic gains from his music, he must change his music & enter a new realm. So that’s why you get J. Cole re-interpolating Paula Abdul songs. Integrity doesn’t pay bills and is not rewarded in the grand scheme of things. And as long as J. Cole is signed to a 360 major label deal, nothing will change.
In 2011 there’s really no way for an artist to win unless their musical strengths coincide with major label’s mission and vision. It coincides with a major label’s mission and vision for Drake to be singing “All I care about is money and the city that I’m from”.
And that conditioning goes past most people’s heads, daily. Subliminal messages.
It is what it is.