Posts Tagged ‘aspiring artists’

On the 3rd episode of Take No Prisoners Radio, hosts Seb and Camille H discuss the rise of socially conscious mainstream rap, “ratchet rap” and cultural misappropriation. For the second half, Paul Porter, entertainment industry veteran & founder of RapRehab joins the show to reveal the music industry’s dirty secrets. Also, check out new music by Open Mike Eagle, De La Soul ft. Chuck D, RA the Rugged Man and Sa-Roc.


Consisting of Spirituals, Gospel, Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll, R&B, Hip Hop, House, and so many other genres, Black music birthed most popular music today.  A matter of fact, Black music is so powerful that it has literally changed the world. Enslaved Africans sang Spirituals, not only as a source of strength, but as a way to pass on secret information about the Underground Railroad right under the slave master’s nose. The Blues gave people the means to channel their deepest sorrows. Rhythm & Blues drew from its predecessors to create Rock & Roll as well as the soulful sound of the 60’s and 70’s, epitomized by Motown, Stax, and other iconic labels. Legends like James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin provided the soundtrack of both the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement.  Hip Hop culture and Rap music evolved from these rich traditions to become the voice of the voiceless and disenfranchised. In the 80’s and early 90’s, the likes of Public Enemy, Rakim, KRS-One, Queen Latifah, Poor Righteous Teachers, and X-Clan inspired teenagers around the world to wear African medallions, learn Black history, and become activists.  The powers-that-be couldn’t possibly risk losing their much-coveted social status to a growing movement of highly-motivated, educated, and empowered young Black Hip Hop fans who stood on the shoulders of those heroes that came before them.  Something had to be done.

The truth is, Black music’s erosion had begun years ago.

In 1972, a Harvard report titled “A Study of the Soul Music Environment” outlined how the music industry could market Black music to a broader, i.e. whiter audience.  As a result, executives with no personal stake or interest in the preservation of Black music’s rich history and social significance were brought in to make decisions about its direction. While the music didn’t transform overnight, the seeds of change had undoubtedly been planted, starting with popularizing the term R&B over Rhythm and Blues to tone down the music’s southern roots and risk alienating white listeners.

In the late 70’s, the term “Black Music” was slowly being replaced with “Urban Music”. Going further, Black Music Departments at various labels across the nation were renamed Urban Music Departments. The industry, focusing on profit over culture, reasoned that this name-change would make Black music easier to market to mainstream audiences. Many suspected that this was done to disassociate Urban music from its African-American roots in order to make white consumers feel more comfortable. Today, it’s almost politically incorrect to use the term Black music for fear of excluding multi-cultural audiences. Ironically, the term Latin Music is embraced wholeheartedly. Could the word “Black” just be too much for mainstream audiences to digest? And what does “Urban” music mean anyway – city music?

Then, Hip Hop culture and Rap music emerged. Bold, groundbreaking, and rebellious, its do-it-yourself ethos shut out the mainstream industry, relying instead on independent and underground channels to grow and blossom. Eventually, major labels weaseled their way in and surprisingly allowed rap to flourish virtually untainted, probably because their inexperience with this new phenomenon had created an opportune moment for rap’s development. However, by the late 80’s/early 90’s, Hip Hop culture’s influence over Black youth had managed to put more fear than ever into the hearts and minds of the so-called “ruling party”. The music industry was no longer going to allow messages of unapologetic Black pride and rebellion to filter through its airwaves and distribution channels. Executive shot callers would make sure of that.

Urban Music, i.e. rap music, was used to sell anything ranging from Chicken McNuggets to Barbie dolls. With advertisers trying to appeal to younger demographics, rap was increasingly associated with branding, marketing, and consumerism, and decreasingly synonymous with culturally-affirming, rebel music. If rap music that celebrates Malcolm X and the Black Panthers was perceived as a threat by the powers-that-be, using rap to sell Fruity Pebbles in commercials would surely weaken the music’s potency in the public eye. Hip Hop’s new generation of critical thinkers couldn’t be allowed to grow and risk challenging the ruling order of the day.

Record labels began aggressively promoting gangsta rap during the peak of Hip Hop’s Afrocentric and Pro-Black era. While acts like NWA, Compton’s Most Wanted, and DJ Quik had comfortably coexisted with culturally-conscious rap, a more celebratory form of gangsta music was about to hit the world by storm. African medallions and X hats were replaced by marijuana chains and logos. Songs about Black Unity and Nubian Queens were being obscured by titles like “Murder Was the Case” and “Bitches Ain’t Shit”. Although such topics had always been part of rap (see Too Short, 2 Live Crew, Schooly D, etc), the climate that had once provided a balance for both messages had now been tipped in favor of guns, weed, sex, and crime. In the 1992 hit “Let Me Ride”, Dre raps, “No medallions, dreadlocks, or Black fists”. It couldn’t have been said any plainer. But Dre, Snoop, and the entire Death Row family were pawns, backed by an industry that had a bigger agenda than just making a few rappers rich.

Gangsta Rap had successfully changed the direction of music, inspiring the East Coast and Down South to become more thugged-out, and even forcing R&B to adopt the rising gangsta trend. 80’s favorites like Anita Baker, Regina Bell, Surface, and Alexander O’Neil couldn’t compete. Although artists like Digable Planets, Toni Braxton, The Fugees, TLC, Gang Starr, and Babyface would go on to experience success in their own right, rap music’s empowering Pro-Black messages and R&B’s clear-cut romance and sophistication had been overshadowed by wannabe pimps, players, boss bitches, and thugs. As long as weed, sex, alcohol, and violence distracted the masses, the powers-that-be no longer felt threatened by the former movement of musically-empowered critical thinkers.  After all, who could possible feel threatened by a Young Thug?

During that time, former R&B artists such as Usher and Beyonce became pop stars, the term Hip Hop went on to include folks like Future and Chris Brown, and Iggy Azalea was crowned princess of rap. Traditional R&B is now considered alternative. Hip Hop music with a message is mostly underground.  Today’s generation couldn’t distinguish Blues and Jazz from Country and Classical.  And the term Black music is seen as offensive, if not flat-out racist.

Someone please tell me – where do we go from here?

This article also appears on RapRehab at

Divine, Nas, Ben edit1
Racism comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s blatant and in-your-face, other times, it’s nuanced and cloaked in sarcasm, like ValleyWag’s latest article taking subtle shots at Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz’s friendship with underground rapper Divine. It isn’t the first time that the tech-gossip blog (yes, there’s such a thing, courtesy of Gawker Media) has mocked Horowitz’s passion for Hip Hop culture. Editor Sam Biddle has practically made it his personal mission to attack Ben every chance he gets. However, RapRehab’s recent article, “How an Underground Rapper Befriended a Billionaire Venture Capitalist”, featuring Divine who shares his incredible journey from running Brooklyn streets with criminals to dining with Ben in Silicon Valley, seems to have rekindled ValleyWag’s penchant for ridiculing the billionaire rap fan.

Blog co-editor Nitasha Tiku bases her entire piece, “Why Does Andreessen Horowitz Have an Official Rapper”, on but a mere fragment of Divine’s uplifting story. Whereas she could have written a stirring article about the unlikely but inspirational tale of how the formerly incarcerated young artist turned his life around, Ms. Tiku opted to focus on a minor chapter in the rapper’s amazing journey: a song Divine wrote for Andreessen Horowitz’s company podcast. Drenched in condescending undertones, Tiku extracts quotes from various online interviews and strategically manages to only include the rapper’s most colloquial expressions in a cheap and obvious attempt at trivializing the nature of Ben and Divine’s relationship. Painting the artist in a negative light, Tiku excludes the majority of Divine’s heartfelt words, in favor of exploiting typical rap stereotypes and playing to an elitist readership who already buys into the “rappers-are-idiots” mentality. Just check the comment section for confirmation.

Throughout the article, Tiku incorporates pictures of Ben and Divine, including one of the pair both sporting shirts that read “VC Life – Inspired by Ben Horowitz”, a slogan created by Divine. This also appears to be fodder for jokes as the author and commenters imply, directly and indirectly, that Divine is a kiss-ass and Ben has found a new pet in the rapper. The implications here reek of classism and a healthy dose of good old racism. But from the looks of it, Tiku’s veiled jabs parrot her editor’s obsessive hatred for Horowitz as well as her readers’ sycophantic sentiments. Birds of a feather really do flock together.

Is it just too uncomfortable for some to see a Black man on his rise to success? Does it go against the narrative that ValleyWag writers and readers subscribe to? The fact that Ben is being scoffed at for his love of Hip Hop and association with rappers says a lot about the general public’s notion that Black and White, rich and poor, hood and suburbs, just shouldn’t mix. This form of “harmless” mockery conceals the belief that the disenfranchised and disadvantaged should stay in their place, unable to dream, unable to hope, unable to taste success. It says that the idea of a Black man, a rapper, socializing with a wealthy White man is so bizarre and in contrast with popular perception that it is worthy of belittlement and a disparaging article on a blog whose very popularity is predicated on sensationalism, unsubstantiated reporting, and the notorious click-baiting tactics of its otherwise mediocre writers. Ms. Tiku can poke fun at Divine and Ben all she wants. At the end of the day, she’s just a blogger who gets underpaid to write about billionaires. Oh, the irony.

Here’s Divine’s open letter to ValleyWag and Nitasha Tiku:

Ms. Tiku:

Peace Queen! Great morning.

This is Divine. I just recently came across an article you wrote where I was a co-subject.

I was trying to figure out the angle of the article and purpose you had in writing it…I felt the undertones of it were based in sarcasm and an attempt to undermine the positive essence of my story relative to Ben Horowitz beyond the mere trivial aspect of me being told by Ben that I was now the official a16z rapper once I co-wrote a song for the firm’s podcast.

My real life story of my criminal past and life struggles to eventually get the opportunity to be amongst a man of Ben’s stature is much more deeper than simply Andreessen Horowitz having an official rapper. To highlight that minimal and irrelevant point of a mere statement Ben made to me is ridiculous.

I’m not an employee of Andreessen Horowitz, nor am I a paid in-house rapper. I’m simply a friend of Ben’s and a friend of the firm, a real life flesh and blood human being who had an unfortunate life that put me on a negative path and who used spirituality and the love of Hip-Hop music as a means to persevere through a lengthy federal prison sentence while still a teenager, who only completed the 8th grade and got my GED to become self-taught, and so many other positive accomplishments I’ve made against the odds and won.

I’m a true and living inspiration and my relationship with Ben serves as a reminder that some of the greatest gifts of the human spirit are that of faith, hope, kindness, forgiveness and compassion. My life is no joking matter to be undermined and presented in media as mere sensational gossip with no deeper value beyond entertainment.

There are so many positive stories and social ills that can be addressed and brought out for dialog from my story. This isn’t about Ben having billions of dollars and what that can afford him like he “bought” himself a rapper.  This is about the dynamics of life on a higher level where the authentic love of Hip-Hop brought two totally different individuals together who would have never crossed paths otherwise, who were from two different walks of life and ends of the socio-economic spectrum.

And let’s not forget that Ben is self-made. He worked and leveraged his intelligence, education and opportunities to be where he is today.  Nothing was handed to him. He wasn’t born rich. He understands poverty and furthermore the plight of black people, their culture and history, etc. and it’s not because his wife is black either. He’s authentic in who he is. He doesn’t have to reach for acceptance.  He naturally embraces the black experience ’cause that’s what he naturally feels. To be criticized for being successful and true to oneself is insanity on the part of the critical. Why? Because it’s unfounded…but that’s just what haters do. The written and spoken word affect and direct the people who affect the world around ‘em.  It’s wise to be ever mindful of the ideas we manifest to give life in the written and/or spoken word and in deed.

No ill feelings, I just wanted to share some deeper insight on your article since I was a co-subject and my story was the foundation of it. I close how I opened.

Bless! Peace!
Exhausted with the music industry’s shenanigans, I left the world of PR in early 2013 with the intent of never looking back. But as fate would have it, it wouldn’t be long before I found myself helping artists once again, this time not as a publicist but as a consultant. The role was perfect for me and much more rewarding as it allowed me to assist artists in ways that my job as a publicist wouldn’t permit. Sebastien Elkouby, the creative consultant was born.

Being a creative consultant has given me the opportunity to be much more hands-on with artists than ever before. Depending on the client’s needs, my services range from critiquing content and production to outlining unique marketing strategies. I love what I do because I see my clients truly evolve as a result of our collaboration.  On the downside, my job also shows me how absolutely clueless some aspiring artists can be. And sometimes, I have to be tough and tell them things they’re not always happy to hear. Fortunately, they’re in good hands as there aren’t too many other Hip Hop creative consultants who understand both the music industry and Hip Hop culture.

So if you’re an aspiring rapper looking to pursue a career in the music industry, here are 3 reasons why you need a creative consultant.

1. Honest Constructive Criticism:
Let me start by being brutally honest. Most aspiring rappers are mildly to severely delusional. Some believe they’re much more talented than they really are.  Others are flat out convinced that they’re the best thing to come out since the wheel was invented, never mind the fact that they can barely spit two cohesive bars. And because they’re surrounded by equally delusional yes-men (and women), they never get to hear the truth about their talent…or lack thereof.

Every week I still receive emails from artists looking for PR who are unaware that I’ve transitioned to consulting. I listen to their music, watch their videos, and visit their websites before informing them of my new role. What is shocking to me is the number of artists who don’t realize that before they reach out to a publicist, their material has to meet certain basic standards. You cannot have subpar material and expect a publicist, or any other professional, to represent you…unless they’re scamming you out of your money. Secondly, the project needs to possess some type of artistic merit. The rapper who still thinks that rapping about sex, cars, drugs, and violence in 2014 will get them noticed is fooling himself. There are hundreds of interesting and unique things to rap about that can actually help an artist set them apart from other dime-a-dozen rappers. Contrary to popular belief, originality and skills still matter. A creative consultant can help you identify areas of improvement to increase your odds of success but you have to come to the table ready to learn and willing to grow.

2. Learning about the latest music business trends:
The music industry is an ever-changing field. Yet, many artists are holding on to erroneous or outdated beliefs about how today’s business works. The game is already much more different than it was just a couple of years ago. Many aspiring rappers are still under the impression that social media and getting popular blogs to review their music are the end-all, be-all strategies for self-promoting. While it might have appeared that simple in the recent past, it’s going to take much more to make an impact nowadays.

Everything from how music is marketed to how artists make money is evolving to adapt to the newest technology and how audiences consume entertainment. Sometimes, all it takes is for one trend to take off and cause a ground-breaking chain reaction throughout the industry, forcing everyone to readjust or risk becoming irrelevant. Of course, most aspiring artists aren’t privy to the inner workings of the music business and end up missing out on valuable information that could otherwise give them a leg up over their less-knowledgeable competitors. A creative consultant can give you the edge you need to move forward in your career.

3. Mapping out a realistic plan of action:
Once you’ve gained a greater understanding of how the game is played, you can begin mapping out a 3 to 6 months plan of action that will help you go from point A to B, C, and D.  It’ll keep you on track and help you achieve your desired short term goals. However, the plan must be realistic. It has to be within your budget, timeline, and realm of expertise. If your entire team is involved, all parties must agree on the plan and remain committed to the mission.  All successful businesses have a plan so if you’re serious about your career, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have one as well.

Make no mistake, no creative consultant can make you a star overnight.  However, they can help you get closer to your goals. I’ve worked with many artists, some famous, some up-and-coming, and regardless of how talented they are, they’ve all benefited from the services of a creative consultant.
In an industry flooded with thousands of rappers competing for exposure, isn’t it about time you put the odds in your favor and get the right person on your team?
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Billionaire Donald Sterling won’t see his bank account shrink anytime soon since he’s still the owner of the Clippers…for now. But at the very least, his racist ass is exposed. Of course, there’s plenty more of exposing to do. I’m hoping that the same level of outrage which led to Sterling’s $2.5 million fine and lifetime ban from the NBA can extend to the entertainment industry’s sexual exploitation of children. Am I asking too much?

It’s no secret that for decades, the entertainment industry has used sex to sell music, movies, TV shows, products, and even lifestyles. However, recent events point to something much more disturbing…and sinister.

The Disturbing:
While “Love & Hip Hop” star Mimi Faust is being dragged through the mud for having released a sex video, both Vivid Entertainment, the company distributing Mimi’s video, and VH1 are working collaboratively to ensure that the extra publicity will attract maximum viewers to Love & Hip Hop’s 3rd season beginning early May 2014. A couple of weeks ago, the movie’s unedited trailer (I didn’t even know they existed for porn) flooded social media, making it the most preordered adult film in Vivid’s history. Good job VH1. I think the cable network has also broken records by being the first “non-adult entertainment” channel to blatantly use pornography to promote a TV show watched by both adults and young people. I’m sure many horny teenagers were overjoyed to get a free glimpse of the film’s action scenes conveniently accessible on their Facebook timeline. How this didn’t violate Facebook’s “community standards”, while just a couple of months ago, a racist/sexist picture of First Lady Michelle Obama was allowed to circulate across FB land, is beyond me. But that’s another story.

I’m confident that Love & Hip Hop’s new season will kick off with huge numbers, thanks to VH1′s genius marketing campaign. Viacom must be proud of their baby. After all, we may be witnessing the beginning of a new era in marketing. How exciting! Mainstream porn for everybody!

The Sinister:
I few weeks ago, X-Men director Bryan Singer was accused of drugging and sexually abusing a teenage boy back in 1999. While Mr. Singer categorically denies these allegations, the issue has opened a can of worms and uncovered a much larger network of Hollywood big wigs who have been sexually exploiting children for decades. The truth is, these allegations are nothing new. For years, many industry insiders, including former child star Corey Feldman, have spoken publicly about pedophilia being Hollywood’s biggest problem. Feldman explained that over the years, the FBI had been notified on several occasions but failed to take action. According to sources, this Hollywood “sex ring” has been around for a long time and consists of agents, directors, and executives who use their power and influence to drug and molest children who are trying to break into the business. To make matters worse, many industry folks know who the culprits are but remain silent because it may jeopardize their careers and bank accounts. Singer’s recent accusations have once again placed the spotlight on this “Hollywood secret” which will hopefully result in the prosecution of every single monster involved in this tragedy, including those who know about it but keep their mouths shut. Anyone who believes that a career in the entertainment industry is more important than exposing a pedophile sex ring needs to be locked up immediately. Sadly, I’m sure many of the guilty parties are well-respected Hollywood power houses we’d never suspect.

Are these two seemingly unrelated examples connected in some way? Have the entertainment industry and sexual exploitation always been so disturbingly intertwined or are we witnessing the next level in depravity?  Have we reached the point where people will happily sacrifice their humanity for a spot in the entertainment industry?

What I do know is that money and power are at the root of this sickness. In one case, a major network is selling sex to increase their show’s viewership and advertising dollars; in another case, the rich and famous turn a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of children because it could affect their social status. This is absolutely insane and no one is holding anybody accountable.  In the meantime, our daughters are watching music videos that glorify strippers and our sons dream of making it rain on them.
And here I am, an educator and eyewitnesses to the damage this is inflicting on our kids, listening to these children dream of a lifestyle promoted by an industry that wants nothing but to suck the life out of them.


Worried About The Future of Hip Hop and R&B? What Are You Gonna Do About It?

After decades of watching Rap and R&B music suffocate itself under the tightening grip of narrow-minded content, the 2013 Billboard charts and 2014 Grammy Awards have proven that the Rap and R&B landscape seems to be taking a final fatal turn towards gentrification.  In the last few weeks, countless articles have been written about Rap and R&B’s cultural appropriation.  Social media was on fire with posts about the music being hijacked, repackaged, and diluted to appeal to shifting demographics.  Understandably so, people don’t want to see the music they love morph into a watered-down pop/rock/techno hybrid.  More importantly, people don’t want to see those artists who create it, brushed to the side in favor of a “new flavor”.  Think it can’t happen? Do Jazz, Blues, and Rock & Roll ring a bell? 

So folks talk about what needs to happen to take back the music.

“We need to have our own labels and distribution!”

“We need to boycott these award shows!”

“We need to put pressure on the industry!”

“We need to…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!”

We ain’t gonna do shit.

And as usual, after the passionate arguments die down, everything returns to normal and the fire that once was is replaced by the latest hot button issue.  Amidst all the heated discussions and the shoulda/woulda/coulda complaints, very little is done to offer practical solutions that don’t involve investing imaginary millions we don’t have to change an industry that doesn’t want to change.  And the initial problem continues to grow…until it’s too late.

But fear not, ladies and gentlemen.  There is a solution.  And the good news is that it’s inexpensive, easy to implement, and can potentially change the face of Hip Hop and R&B. It’s called…… (drum roll please!)…….”supporting independent artists with your dollars!”  For the low price of $5 to $10, you can support the kind of quality music whose future you claim to be worried about.  For less than what it costs you to buy chips, salsa, soda, guacamole, and chicken wings for your Super Bowl party, you can download some of the greatest music the world has never heard.  For less than the price of a Valentine’s Day box of chocolate, you can give your loved one the gift of music.  If only a fraction of the billions spent on sports and holidays went to supporting quality music, we’d be able to create a thriving independent music scene that doesn’t need the mainstream industry’s validation to exist.  And it can start right now…with you.  Don’t know where to begin? Allow me to start you off with the following Hip Hop and R&B artists, some you may already know, others you’ll be glad to meet.


Rochelle Jordan

Devine Carama


Truck North

Leela James



Algebra Blesset

Foreign Exchange


Sure, you’re going to have to do a little bit of digging on your own since you won’t find these types of artists in the mainstream but isn’t that what the internet is for?

So, are you ready to take the music back and put your money where your mouth is or will you be the one still complaining about the state of Rap and R&B when Riff Raff wins the 2015 Grammy award for best Hip Hop album? Only time will tell.

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While I have a hard time accepting Macklemore as the best rapper in the universe or Justin Timberlake for supposedly having last year’s best R&B song, there’s something about Lorde’s Grammy win that irks me even more.

It’s not that I have anything against Lorde. She’s unique, talented, and she’s still a kid after all. “Royals”, her chart-topping ode to those who will never live the life of pop music royalty, sounds like the musings of a typical, newly self-aware 17 year-old girl just coming into herself. When I first heard the song last summer, I was taken back by the idea of a pop singer taking shots at mainstream rap’s addiction to materialism, not because she was wrong in her criticism, but because the teenage pop vocalist didn’t strike me as the ideal spokesperson of the “anti-bling movement”.  Still, part of me found it slightly refreshing that a song with substance was climbing the charts.

As Royals rose in popularity, Lorde faced accusations of racism as some took issue with her lyrics that were believed to target African American artists.  She denied it, proclaimed her love of rap music, and said the song was merely a commentary on pop culture’s obsession with riches and fame.  Drama averted.  All was well again and the song continued to gain momentum.  I generally hop all over this type of story but for some reason, this one just didn’t pique my interest.  Being a Hip Hop head, heated discussions about excessive materialism in rap are old news and the pop tune wasn’t breaking any new grounds in my world.

Then the song shot to #1 on various urban radio stations across the nation, the same ones that promote the kind of music Royals trashes. Well alrighty then.  Welcome to Bizarro World! With Justin, Robin, and Macklemore holding top chart positions as well, Lorde was in good company.  Coincidentally, Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” poked fun at rappers’ obsession with the finer things in life a few months before Lorde did.  Do I detect a pattern here or am I just imagining things?

So the song’s playing all over the place.  The video has three quadrillion views on YouTube.  Young and old people are singing it.  Rappers like Rick Ross and Wale are hopping on official and unofficial remixes. It’s annoying as hell but Lorde deserves her 15 minutes of fame.  Then out of nowhere, the Go Go version drops.  WHAT THE? Well….good for you Lorde.  Keep rising to the top.

Man…this music business is something else.

With all this success, her Grammy win was inevitable.  But my problem isn’t with sweet little Lorde who’s just living out her dream.  My problem is with this manipulative industry that plays artists like pieces on a chessboard. It ignores the talents of some and promotes that of others to fulfill God-knows-what agenda. It took a 17 year-old girl from New Zealand to bring attention to a problem that’s been plaguing rap music for years while a 1000 rappers who have tried to do the very same thing for the last two decades have been overlooked, silenced, and even mocked for being relics of a bygone Hip Hop era.  Even the mainstream rap industry who’s quick to ridicule conscious rappers for being too preachy welcomed Lorde and her “positive” message with open arms. The moral of the story is that the only way to make music with substance acceptable to the masses is to deliver it in a delicate little package over sparse kick drums and finger snaps. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Taylor Swift drops an anti-police brutality song.  Lorde knows we need it.

But then again, Darius Rucker won a Grammy for best Country Solo Performance so I guess we’re even.

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