Are white artists really taking over rap and R&B or are we just acting like narrow-minded paranoids? Back in May, the Billboard Music Awards awarded Justin Timberlake as best R&B artist, Eminem as best rapper, Robin Thicke with best R&B song, and Macklemore for best rap song.
What many journalists will never be able to admit, is rappers like Boosie, in his prime, would talk to us through their lyrics. One reason could be because those who come from situations, and bad choices like me, dancing with the devils of poverty and hood politics, hardly ever make it to become journalists.
We’re in a period where it’s cooler to be independent than a major label ‘product’ to many artists. Predictably, this major-indie concept has extended to artists (*cough Macklemore) and culminated in a reevaluated appreciation of labels, leading to partnerships and joint ventures.
‘Notice to Black Artists’: Behind R&B’s Struggle at Radio & The Letter That Has the Industry Buzzing
While 2013 marked the first time in Billboard’s 55 year history that there were no black artists on the Hot 100 chart, this was a great year for us with Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Macklemore claiming the #1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, proving that market demands are shifting.
What if rappers decided to use their music like Pussy Riot has and called attention to situations such as Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Rekia Boyd and the numerous other examples of atrocities that seem to primarily afflict Black people, poor people, and, especially, poor Black people?