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"Black Artists: Your Services Are No Longer Needed" - Open Letter Gets Industry Talking

handDear Black Artists,

We regret to inform you that the need for your services will soon come to an end as we enter a critical restructuring period. Fortunately, after having spent nearly a century meticulously studying your art, language, fashion, and lifestyle, we have learned enough to confidently move forward without your assistance. 

Thus begins a satirical and yet sadly accurate open letter addressing the lack of black music and dominance of pop across radio formats that has set industry tongues wagging.

"While 2013 marked the first time in Billboard’s 55 year history that there were no black artists on top of 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," wrote Sebastien Elkouby on RapRehab, the day before the Grammys. "Consequently, in the next few months, we will be gradually phasing out your positions as we finalize this reorganization. In the meantime, we ask you to continue with business as usual, training your replacements Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber until instructed otherwise." 

"This letter is sad because it’s not far from the truth,” a co-founder of indie R&B label told Billboard. It’s “killing our culture,” says. “We’re hitting a glass ceiling with such limited exposure.”

“With radio all playing the same songs by the same artists it’s difficult to break through,” says former Alica Keys manager  Jeff Robinson. “Even top producers are reluctant to work with new artists, preferring to take the easier way out to work with more established ones.” 

"BLACK LABOR = WHITE WEALTH," wrote on commenter on Raprehab. "Black artists do all the work, white culture vultures get all the credit. Are Black people ready to protect their craft and stop sharing yet? Or do you want another Elvis?" 

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