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MuBiz with Dr. Kenneth Love
“Today’s False Ideologies of Both Major & Indie Artists”
By: Dr. Kenneth Love
Though the title of this article readily explains what it is about, I would like to
open it with a personal experience… personal to the point that the subject of
this opening paragraph is my cousin, but not just any cousin. He is, otherwise, a
Hollywood actor who has appeared as a major guest star for hour-long dramatic television series, made
numerous guest appearances on comedy sitcoms, has appeared in major blockbuster
films, and the list goes on and on and on. He is also a formidable stage actor.
And if you are an avid television viewer of a major film buff, I cannot
only assure you, but I can GUARANTEE that you have seen him, as he was a
prominent celluloid fixture from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. In short, the
video screen couldn’t get enough of him and his presence. There…there’s the opening set-up.
Since my cousin is also formally educated in theatrical arts and, until recently,
spent over twenty-five years in Hollywood, during one of our conversations, I inquired
if he ever considered writing or directing, as this is a natural segue in the
interest of survival and competitiveness for many actors when demand for their
acting skills, for whatever reason, begins to wane.
His response was along the line of, “No, Kenny, I’m an actor…I prefer to leave the writing to YOU guys.” Some time later,
surprisingly, he decided to relocate from Hollywood at quite a distance to the South, with his proclaiming
that “the South is the new Hollywood.”
The sad part is that since I’m not in the Film industry in a major way, he believes
I believe his reason for relocation. For the record, pardon the pun, I don’t believe it…at least, not wholeheartedly, as
I feel that 99% of his reason for relocation was a combination of his receiving less roles as well as his need to return to care for extensive family real
estate. I’ve wanted to reveal to him how I’m not buying his story, but why ruin the upcoming family reunion with the distinct
possibilities of loud screaming and furniture moving? To be clear, and to utilize
an already overly used cliché, both action as well as inaction speaks volumes that are louder than words.
Similarly to my cousin’s attempted presentational status to the public, both major and
independent musicians and recording artists attempt to hold on to ideologies of
yesteryear’s version of the Music industry albeit quite differently in their
reasoning in their ongoing pursuit of maintaining relevance of their careers
within the Music industry.
Firstly, let’s look at how major-label artists attempt to present and maintain their
false ideologies. Major artists attempt to maintain a hierarchy level in appearance to both their public audience as
well as to their competing independent artists in their effort to thwart what has now become a social reality. As an
example, when visiting most major label artists’ social network pages, I have found that directly “friending” or “connecting” with them is not possible or is disallowed.
However, they are readily accepting of as many “likes” as their pages can receive and
hold. Again, this gatekeeping act is from a page straight out of the past “old school” playbook of doing things in
the Entertainment industry at large, whereby, the general public had very limited access to entertainers. However,
the wise ones among this particular crop of today’s musicians and recording artists readily understand that the Music industry has evolved, is evolving, and will continue to evolve in the future. And if artists are to continue maintaining both relevance and presence,
they will, indeed, need to graduate from “Old School” in this particular aspect.
And to graduate from this particular aspect of the “Old School” mindset, they will
also need to first pass the “Deceit Unwarranted 101” course before receiving
their proverbial diploma, whereby, they continue to pretend they are selling
millions upon millions of compact discs weekly, as opposed to, in reality,
their only selling simple downloads in their effort to convince (translated
“hoodwink”) the public at large.
I watched the words come out of singer/dancer Beyonce’s own mouth (clearly, one
of the biggest-selling and most popular artists of all time) when she herself
revealed the fact that CDs (compact discs) are not only selling slowly, but
lowly, and are on their way out…permanently. While this fact has been tossed around
now for several years by music industry corporate types, music journalists, music “talking heads,” etc. and while
largely ignored by artists, Beyonce’s revelation as a compelling major artist did
my business “heart” good to hear it from someone of her immense stature.
Secondly, let’s visit how independent artists also attempt to present, maintain, and hold
on to their false ideologies, if only to and for themselves. A handful, believe it
or not, still believes in the bygone era of the now broken down and, practically nonexistent major
label system, and is ever actively still pursuing it. Again, unbelievable. The remaining majority, however, has allowed
itself to be fooled by the online presence affectionately known as the Internet.
As opposed to seeking professional business assistance in the forms of promoters and publicists to
help market, promote, publicize, and advertise their music, independent artists
have falsely ideologized that they can save a ton of money by doing it all themselves,
which could not be further from the truth.
Again, the old adage, “Action or inaction speaks louder than words,” rears its ugly
head once again to force them to quickly realize that not only does their attempted
do-it-yourself approach now requires a lot of additional work for which they
had not planned or self-educated, but their embarking on the D-I-Y execution
also requires a lot of different types of efforts that must be executed
simultaneously for both effectiveness and success. Additionally, they are forced to
face, yet, another staunch reality…that the Internet does not readily extend its
do-it-yourself cultural courtesy to artists. When delving in proverbial unchartered
business waters of the Music industry, independents are, eventually, forced into accepting that they are
proverbial fish swimming upstream and against the grain, particularly, on
national and international geographical levels and scale. As with major artists,
wise independent artists will elect to seek out professional promoters and publicists who are
familiar with the aforementioned areas of the Music industry in which artists are not.
In summary, false ideologies are counterproductive to anyone who chooses to
embrace them and forego truth, but especially to creative artists. Because in the
end, while creative art can be and is often enjoyable and pleasurable, it does not fall in most categories of
“need” in the interest of public consumption, whether physically or psychologically.
Creative art is not a life-saving product, service, or resource that the public must have in order to survive.
And any artist who chooses to become and remain encased in the false ideology bubble of creative art will, at some point
and assuredly, experience firsthand, its burst.
This Triforce of awesome individuals has just released the video for the “Hero’s Theme” track.
An Ugly Hero is considered a myth. Growing up, the heroes we saw in cartoons and movies were perfectly chiseled, intelligent, and had senses none of us possess. An UGLY HERO is the everyday blue collar individual that makes the world go ’round. These are the heroes that work hard all day, everyday to help ensure that the lives around them are taken care of, and do it all without recognition. They wear themselves into the ground and sacrifice vanity for family.
Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent, and Red Pill are UGLY HEROES.
released 21 May 2013
produced by Apollo Brown
vocals by Verbal Kent & Red Pill
Stream the whole album below.
Legendary MC Masta Ace finally releases the visuals for one of the tracks of hist last album, MA Doom: Son of Yvonne.
Reminiscing about his career with a great classic flow and complemented by a soulful MF Doom production.
VOTE HERE: http://mobo.com/voting
Friends and fans of Femi have come together to support his recent MOBO Best Jazz Act 2012 nomination.
In this video, Simon Cooke (Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club Managing Director); Soweto Kinch (MOBO Best Jazz Act 2003, 2007); Muyiwa Olarewaju (singer, songwriter, broadcaster); and Darcus Besse (Co-president of Island Records) share their experiences of working with Femi, and tell us why they think he should win.
You have until the end of October to vote. SHARE this video, SPREAD the word, and VOTE for Femi! www.mobo.com/voting
Producer/Director: Silkie Carlo
Filmed and edited by Alexander Rollings