“Why Are Major Black Music Divisions Run By Non-Blacks?”
On the Rap Music side of business in the United States, it has always amazed me that all the REAL power at the major labels is in the hands of people who are not Black. Atlantic Records comes to mind. Even Black Music dominated radio stations have program directors who are not Black. There might be a DJ or two at the station who has a big name, but in reality, they have no monetary movement clout within the corporation. All Black folks at radio stations and at major
labels are what we in business call “TITULAR LEADERS”.

Let me break that down for you. This term means holding a position or title without any real authority. That, my friends lays out the plight of ALL Black Music executives. Don’t believe me… Ask a Black executive to generate a check for you from a major label with just his/her signature. It always must go through legal levels of bureaucracy that are non-Black.
What the major labels usually do is hire a Black man to head a publishing division that the major music company owns to deflect any racism issues. They may even give that executive monetary signing power to sign writers and producers that fall under a certain monetary guideline. However, do not be fooled that these Black executives can sign off on any seven figure payouts. They have to go to their bosses to get their approval. The other slick major label move is to put a Black man/woman at the head of one of their distributed labels where they control all the real cash flow.


How did all this happen when in the 1980s all of the major labels tried everything in their power to keep Rap and the Black folks associated with it out of their offices? Now fast forward to June 2020 and the cash cow that keeps the major labels pockets filled to the brim are Rap Music songs, streaming videos, and Rap Music artists pushing non-Black owned businesses worldwide. And please Rappers, stop all the crap about “I own my own label and all my own masters”. All you own is a figment of your limited imagination. Think for a moment Rap artists and label owners… where do you get your money from for all of your musical endeavors? I will tell you; from a major company that you have no control over! So, shut up talking BS!

My personal take on the whole issue is that Black folks in Rap Music at the highest levels sanctioned this BS for decades and most of them did not have the backbone to stand up to these corporate bullies who took
away their power. I know most of these men personally and they have never shown any type of Black unity in the past, and most of these frauds behind the Rap Music desks will sell their souls to keep their paychecks
coming in. It is absolutely sickening.

I have worked in the Music Industry for over 40 years and I have worked with every major record label in the industry at the highest levels. I can truly say that this music industry is worse than any type of street activities you can imagine. Liars and snake-oil sales people are everywhere and they are extremely good at their craft. Don’t believe the words that I have written here? Well then, check with the numerous successful Rap artists that have exited the major labels hallways screaming at the top of their lungs about their mistreatment. It’s not just me talking about this issue. Believe that. I ask you young successful Rap artists and label owners one question? “How were you as a collective unit unable to come together to amass more power for Black people in the music industry when you have Billions of dollars at your disposal and Black music is the cash cow for the majors?” Why haven’t the power players such as Jay Z, Beyonce, Puffy,
Rick Ross, Drake, and all the other Rap power brokers sat down at a table and pooled their financial resources to better the situation for Black folks nationwide? In my opinion… ”No Black Unity”.


In closing, the message I wanted to convey via this article is the fact that Black people in the United States have so much to offer to society in many ways, but in business circles that power seems to be diluted for many reasons. Real power is rooted in mass numbers and cash movements. In my opinion there should not be a Black music dominated radio station that is programmed by non-Blacks. You mean to tell me that the ONLY qualified candidates to decide what Black listeners listen to at Black dominated stations are non-Black people? You mean to tell me that only
non-Black people at major labels control the real purse strings for signing Black Music artists? What a travesty… but what a reality. Shame on you.

Inquiries: stansheppard2020@gmail.com

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