P.M. #1 RECORD COMPANIES AND RADIO STATIONS PROMOTE MUSIC DRENCHED IN NEGATIVITY BECAUSE “THAT’S WHAT SELLS.”
REALITY: Of course that’s what sells. That’s all they’re selling.
In my neighborhood Tropical Fantasy Sodas sell. You think that’s what sells on the Upper West Side? Hell no. In the Upper West Side Whole Foods is what sells. Why aren’t there any Whole Foods in my neighborhood and why aren’t there any Tropical Fantasy Sodas on the Upper West Side? Not because either one of them “sells” any more than the other. It’s because they don’t give a shit what we drink, and they do give a shit what they drink. (Who is “they?” They is them.)
They decide what everybody drinks, just like they decide what everybody hears. That’s because they own everything. It’s well within their power to see to it that nothing but Tropical Fantasy Hip Hop plays on Hot 97, on Power 105. They own those stations. Of course we listen, we want to hear music, and this is the only music that we hear, but the claim that there is something about us that intrinsically favors debasing, demeaning, degrading music, well, that claim is as ridiculous as saying that we prefer eating McDonalds, Burger King, Kennedy’s Fried Chicken, Popeye’s, and rib tips, (much of which is actually delicious) instead of eating delicious healthy food; That we fundamentally prefer poor health, obesity, and heart disease.
No. We don’t prefer that. That isn’t what sells. It is simply all that’s given to provide for a necessity. Food is a necessity, so if you keep people from getting good food, you can be certain that bad food will sell. Entertainment is a necessity, (not to the extent that food is, but see how long you can go without it), so if you keep people from getting good entertainment, you can be certain that bad entertainment will sell.
Now, they eat McDonalds sometimes too. That’s true. The difference is they have a Whole Foods across the street. They can choose. Choice is a very important thing. Try to have a philosophical discussion about the meaning of life without discussing choice, and how it may very well lie at the very essence of makes life worth living. They have access to Whole Foods and Mickey D’s. They can make a choice. We lack that access. We lack that choice. We’re forced to consume cheap shit, through our mouths and our ears, and duped into believing we prefer it.
POINT: Things are not kept off the radio because they don’t sell. They don’t sell because they’re kept off the radio.
WHAT CAN WE DO?: You will die if you don’t eat, but you won’t die if you refuse to listen to shitty music! The people who purposely misshape and deform our minds and our children’s minds by way of the media images they depict of us are made infinitely stronger by the fact that we support them! We listen to their stations! We buy their CD’s!
If you think that Hot 97 is killing children and you listen to it anyway, you’re being hypocritical. But if you listen to, own, or promote music that you feel is killing children, don’t stop just because you don’t want to be a hypocrite, stop because if we all stop, we’ll be much closer to being able to choose for ourselves the images of us that will be glorified. This is serious. Please stop. Please stop right now. This is a serious thing. This is life and death. I know you’re just one person, but each one of us will always be just one person, even when there are millions of us. The only way to get there is one by one.
And if you find you have nothing to listen to, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will lace you with all the dope MP3’s. Mos Def. Lupe Fiasco. Old school. Whatever you want. Get at me, I got everything, all for absolutely free.
WATCH FOR NEXT WEEK’S ISSUE: People Just Want Something They Can Dance To? How Come We Used to be Able to Dance to Good Stuff?