Whiter Shade Of Pop: Pharrell Williams' "Happy" Becomes First #1 By Black Artist In 14 Months - hypebot

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TJR

Re: Kanye: Some people will see racism through anything

"Happy" deserves to be number 1. The song is infecteous and catchy as hell and the production/arrangment: Instead of burying the song helps to acentuate it and make it even more catchy and infectous.

I describe the production on Happy as "What George Martin would do if he where working today".

Seth Keller

Is the Music Industry Racist?

In the context of black artists being #1? Hell no. Pop music's trends change all the time. The current trend with pop is EDM production. Hip-Hop/R&B is out of favor on the pop charts.

The current trend in R&B/Hip-Hop is to go pop/dance. Black and White artists are trying to do it. Robin Thicke happened to remake a Marvin Gaye, er, have a really catchy single. Macklamore filled the suburban rap void vacated by Emimem (who went totally pop) and there hasn't been a larger than life black MC with catchy radio tracks in the last few years to take the mantle back--Flo Rida is a pop artist, not a rap artist.

There is certainly prejudice in the music industry. But the prejudice is more about money than race. What labels think will sell is what they push. They don't think a black rock artist will sell, so they don't sign many. They aren't sure a black Bieber would sell to little white girls, so they don't look for one.

In the history of rock and pop music, white artists have on a whole sold more units than black artists and had bigger audiences. That's a society problem, not a music industry problem.

pschase

Johnny Legend? That might be racist: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=johnny+legend&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Just kidding, but I've never heard him called that. Are there racists in the music industry and music buying public? Sure, probably. Not to sound jaded, but I'd be
surprised at any Black artist being shocked by that. The Elvis syndrome is real and nothing to be particularly upset about. There are simply more White people, with
more disposable income, buying recordings. This will effect chart placment to a degree. When hasn't it?

"Happy" as a single is highly relatable. It's an actual song, as well. Black artist's at the pop level right now are kinda niche - look at the public reaction to Beyonce's Grammy performance - people treated her acting sexy as if it were a new thing. Dance routines in a leotard are relatable for singing "Single Ladies" but shocking
with your husband for "Drunk in Love"

And Seth Keller above brings up a good point about EDM production styles - there is a deep shift in music right now, where something essentially underground like electronic dance, is seeping into mainstream listening space. This is causing turbulence on many levels - look at the Artic Monkeys, a great white rock band from England - beloved by other artists but ignored at the Grammy's this year. I hear lots of rock guys complaining that electronic and dance is pushing them out of the limelight...

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