"Leading record labels will mark "Black Out Tuesday" this week, suspending business and working with communities to fight racial inequality after protests erupted in the United States and beyond following the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody."
I saw this on June 1st, and my question to this is a pretty simple: Why?
Obviously, what started all of this was pretty awful but why are music companies trying to ride on the coat-tails of a tragedy now? Record labels haven't been relevant for a while so I don't understand the all-of-a-sudden virtue signaling.
It is a pretty fair question to ask. Music is that thing you listen to with your ears and doesn't care about your appearance. So why are almost-dead record labels pretending they care about social issues? It looks as though they believe they have some kind of influence on social matters to the point where one of them actually had the balls to consider themselves "gatekeepers of the culture". The music industry is not the "gatekeepers of the culture". They wouldn't know culture if they tripped over a perti dish. In actual fact, they should be kissing everyone else's ass for still being around when they should have been tits-up years ago from poor business decisions.
So what are all of these benevolent record labels going to do on June 2nd?
From Warners: "While this is only one day, we are committed to continuing the fight for real change. We will be using this day to collectively reflect on what we as a company can do to put action towards change and we will be taking steps in the coming weeks and months."
Warners Music basically said they're just going to take the day off and sit around and do nothing.
Universal's was more vague: "This Tuesday, June 2, the Universal Music Group family will observe "Black Out Tuesday" - A day to contemplate, connect and organize."
"A day to contemplate, connect and organize," tells me nothing. Are they shutting the radio down for a day? Is the entire UMG catalogue on sale? We may never know the answers.
Capitol Records was poor as well. They're going to donate to Color of Change: A progressive, non-profit civil rights advocacy organization. You lost me at progressive, since the term has been its opposite meaning for the last 5 years.
Interscope/Geffen/A&M (I had a laugh because I thought all three companies died years ago) are going so far as to not release any music for the week. Holy shit. I sense real change coming on even though I doubt they had any releases planned since everyone's releases have been pushed back because of the Flu.
You have to remember that these are the same people that will take a cut of an artist's tour gross so they can stay afloat, so I highly doubt their sincerity. Actually, I think it's funny that they're trying to pander to the audience that almost broke them from illegal downloading.
I guess I'll have to wait to see what happens tomorrow since it's obvious that none of the record labels know what they're going to do.