September 2002   

Volume 4     

 

September 4, 2002

Number Ones, Unofficial Sites, Co-op boards

Artists who pass up songs that go on to be number one hits...that's happened quite a few times in the industry.  

Isn't it ironic when an external web site has more info about an artist than the official site.

Co-op boards...how snobby. If a person can afford the property, how can a board discriminate against them. How can they block the sale, barring them from buying the property because they don't come from the right background or have the right job. Before you ask, no I haven't been turned down by a co-op board, but if they read this, they probably will. People have lost real estate deals where there was a buyer and a seller, but because the co-op board didn't approve of the prospective tenant, they ruined the sale. It's really ironic. People are rejected that can buy the entire building, while some of the people on the board couldn't buy the apartment next door. 

I recently read in the newspaper about a seller that had a clause in their contract that gave them the right to sell their property to whomever they chose. However, the building does not permit pets and the buyer had a dog. This created a problem. The buyer then had to present papers to the co-op board proving his dog's pedigree.

I've heard of people discriminating against people, but never people discriminating  against dogs.

Well, the dog was approved and now lives in the building...yet there were actual human beings that the board rejected who had to find apartments elsewhere. 

 


September 6, 2002

Artist Drug Rehab

Some record company executives do not want certain acts to get sober and get off drugs because if they did, their lyrics and behavior would change. They don't want certain singers rehabilitated because it would be bad for their image. It would affect sales because they wouldn't write the same type of lyrics or behave in that outrageous manner. Artists are high in their music videos and during public appearances and it is viewed as acceptable behavior.

There are even executives that provide drugs for artists when the hangers on don't.

But what if the artist overdoses. You've seen the headlines. It's so sad to read about each time. 

So many singers overdose and many of them at a young age. It's really sad. People struggle with addictions. If you have a drug or alcohol problem I encourage you to get help, even if you have tried to stop many times before, keep trying to stop taking drugs and drinking alcohol and suicide is not the answer.  

It's wrong to put sales over a human life. You need to reevaluate your priorities when apart of your job description becomes providing drugs. That's commonly called drug dealing, but drug dealers get money for supplying people with drugs...then again you do get paid to do your job as a music executive, so you meet the criteria. 

 


September 9, 2002

Interracial Dating

I would marry a person of any color. I feel if you love someone, their color shouldn't even be an issue.

However, what I donít understand is people who exclusively date or marry people of other races for the sake of dating or marrying someone of a race they feel is superior to their own. As though they are trying to get rid of who they are. As though dating or marrying a person of a race they deem more acceptable will nullify their own. It actually draws more attention to your color, by way of contrast. You know how some people rudely stare at inter-racial couples and wrongfully make them feel uncomfortable. When you marry someone of another color because you feel it's a step up, you have issues with your own race and feel that color is better than your own. That's wrong. God created all of us and does not deem our worth based on our color, who are you to do that.

Most people, black and white, can't respect things like that and even though they may not tell you, that's how they view it. Alienating people from your own race poses the question, what do you feel is wrong with your race?

Do not misunderstand what Iím trying to say. I'm not prejudice, never have been. There are inter-racial marriages in my family and they are in love with each other and I think it's beautiful. I  was also the kid in school that got flack from a few other people of my race for having friends who are White, Hispanic, Polish and Asian along with having friends who are black. I never cared about color and I still don't. I was friends with whoever was nice to me. I'm also the kid that listened to music by a lot of white artists when some black people ignorantly felt I should not and had the gall to tell me that. Color is not an issue with me, never has been, but when I see people alienate and quietly scorn their own race, it upsets me.  

Some biracial people do this as well. I have many bi-racial friends and most of them are well adjusted and comfortable in their own skin, but there are some, not all biracial people do not want to date or marry people of the minority side of their heritage, as though they are trying to distance themselves from them. I not only say this of some, not all, biracial people who are mixed with black and white, also people who are mixed with White and Hispanic, Black and Hispanic and other races as well. 

Some people do not even want to acknowledge that they are mixed with a race they deem inferior because of what society has taught them. 

I repeat, most people, black and white, can't respect things like that and even though they may not tell you, that's how they view it. Alienating people from your own race poses the question, what do you feel is wrong with your race?

You need to develop character. I have relatives who do not look black, who could pass for White or Hispanic, but don't. You can't decide you are not going to be the race that some people in society deem inferior and try to pretend you are not mixed, when it is apart of your ancestry.  

What happens when you hear that racial slur that becomes a painful reminder of who you are. It's going to create even more issues and you will still have those older issues that you need to sort out.    

I was born in Jamaica and it is a country filled with mixed people and people of many races. There are many races in Jamaica, much like in Miami where I was raised.


September 10, 2002

Indie

This is a continuation of the June 6, 2002 article above (yes my thoughts can be 3 months apart...kidding) I wrote "Isn't the word 'indie' just another synonym for the phrase 'low budget' "

Well, recently I thought, isnít the word "underground" just a synonym for no "mainstream airplay."

Reduced Priced CDs

I purchased two multi-million selling CDs used for .99 cents each. A few days prior to that, I purchased two new CD singles for a penny each (.01 cent). Was I trying to make a point by writing that...no not really, I was just surprised at how cheap the used ones were considering how successful they were because that's not always the case... still, it is refreshing considering how much I pay for other CDs that I don't like as much. 

Ripping Off Other Artists Styles

Sure, we all have artists that inspired us. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when an artist puts out a CD or performs on stage, do we really want to see them ripping off another artist's style. Do we really want to pay to hear one artist imitate another. That's called Karaoke. Some CDs have other people's styles on it to the point, that once you dissect the CD, looking at what's left, you wonder where the artist performing the CD is musically because you can't find much to attribute to them. 

Ungrateful Singers

Why is it when some singers are doing well they don't remember their audience that bought their products and enabled them to do what they love, but then decide to remember them when their sales are down. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not making fun of people who've had sales declines. That can happen to anyone. That can happen to people who are kind to their audience as well. That's just the way the industry works. Some records are more successful than others for different reasons. 

Still, I've thought about it. Yes singers have busy schedules, but how busy can a singer be that they can't do little things for the people that buy their music. No one is that busy.

When you start thinking you are doing your audience a favor by doing your chosen profession or doing the least little thing for them, that's when you need to reevaluate your priorities.

Think about it this way, if your audience is not there anymore, you wouldn't have a busy schedule anymore and you'd be in the audience again like before you were successful, rather than on stage as a performer. That puts things in perspective doesn't it. 

Still, like I said above, I'm not making fun of people who've experienced sales declines. That can happen to people who are kind to their audience as well. 

 


September 11, 2002

September 11th

My condolences to the families of the victims of September 11th. 

In the year that has passed since the attacks on the World Trade Center and freedom itself, I've learned a lot about human nature. I was touched by some responses to the tragedy, while I was saddened at others. 

There were people who hate America that celebrated when they heard the news. I thought to myself, how could anyone celebrate the loss of human life especially considering children were among the victims. That is reprehensible.

There were people who felt there were more important issues to worry about and that we were overreacting. I kid you not. I just don't want to quote those people and embarrass them on here.

There were people who rhetorically asked in a smug manner, "we need to ask why these people did this," implying America brought this on itself. Even if you believe America did something wrong to deserve this (which I don't), do you really think asking the question why the terrorists killed thousands of innocent people that never did anything to them, somehow makes you a scholar, an intellectual, a thinker, a peacemaker. No, it doesn't. It makes you look like an insensitive, haughty person. 

You weren't in that building so it's easy for you to run your mouth. Would you have went up to the podium and asked that smug question at the funeral of any of the thousands of victims of the World Trade Center bombing. No, I don't think you would have. It takes a coward to ask that question in other, more safe settings. Some people need to be quiet and stop spitting on the graves of the victims with their cruel words.     

People tried to place the blame on a variety of people from the government to the architect and structural engineer of the twin towers. They blamed the government for not doing enough to protect the country. I thought that was unfair. This is a large country and we need to remember that the ratio of civilians to government/federal workers far outnumber each other.

The terrorists lived in South Florida and trained here most likely for the same reasons other people visit and live here. The weather is warm and there are a variety of nationalities here, so it is very easy to blend in. The pictures I saw of the terrorists on television do not look like people who would stand out here. No one stands out here, regardless of how they look or the language they speak because South Florida is a melting pot. It exemplifies the freedom America extends to it's citizens. The government cannot police every person here. Under those circumstances, how was the government to notice them here in South Florida, when we ourselves did not know.  

In an architectural documentary I watched about the design of the buildings, an expert tried to blame the architect of the World Trade Center for constructing the buildings using floor trusses and dry wall (in addition to other materials). I thought that was unfair as well and with all the second guessing and solutions the experts offered for improving buildings to help them withstand attacks, very few of them seem viable at this time. They recommended systems and products that have not yet been invented. It's sad to think that we live in a world where architects have to design buildings that withstand terrorists attacks. Not only do they have to be architects, now they have to be defense secretaries as well.  

My question is, how could the architect anticipate that terrorists would one day fly planes into the buildings in Manhattan that he designed. He designed buildings, not runways. He cannot be blamed for their ungodly deeds.

Someone once crashed into the front door of my house. He did not say to me, how dare the architect that designed your house construct it with a Spanish style wood front door for aesthetic reasons, rather than using a stronger material. Never mind that cars belong on the road at a safe distance from people's front doors. No, he didn't blame my house or the architect, rather the other driver that carelessly swerved and caused his car to do the same, losing control and crashing into my front door. In a small instance like that, how absurd does it sound blaming the architect, let alone in such a horrible tragedy as what occurred at the World Trade Center.

Then there were the people who were kind, merciful, compassionate and giving. They showed genuine concern and grief over what happened. The tragedy opened their eyes to how fleeting life is and that they need to appreciate it. In a tragedy of this magnitude, I don't believe in saying, well let's use this as a learning experience. People died, that's not a learning experience.   

All these different responses that shows each person's character. Which one were you? 

Who we need to remember are the people who died in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington in these terrorist attacks and not dishonor their memories with our insensitive words.   

 


September 13, 2002

Bad Choices

I'm concerned about some people right now that are making some bad choices that are gonna affect them soon. The sad part is they don't realize it. They've been on my mind a lot this week. I've seen other people make these same mistakes and really ended up regretting it. I don't want them to make mistakes that will mess up their lives, but they are at that point now where they are making decisions in their careers that will end up costing them and also in their personal lives with the women they are dating. People should pray and ask God for guidance. 

Sex outside of marriage has it's consequences. God forgives it, but does chastise for it. Some people think Christians are uptight for choosing not to have sex before marriage or refraining from having sex again until they get married once they find out it is a sin if they have committed that sin already, but it's not about being prudish. It brings trouble into your life.

What about sexually transmitted diseases. People talk about using condoms and safe sex, but that's very inaccurate. Doctors are warning people about condoms. They are not guaranteed. I read an article on that yesterday. Condoms have a high failure rate and there are sexually transmitted diseases they can't protect you from. One statistic I read said the failure rate is 36% and that people are misrepresenting facts about their safety ad reliability. The failure rate in preventing the AIDS virus is 31%. They have a failure rate as well in preventing pregnancy. 

Why is the rate so high. That's because Latex condoms have holes called voids that the AIDS virus can get through because the virus is 50 times smaller than these voids. Yet there are all these people promoting condoms and misrepresenting facts, like they can prevent anything and that's just not true.

I endorse abstinence. I believe sex should be between married people. That's what the Bible teaches. I've believed that since I was 11 years old. Having different sex partners is not a good idea. God intended for sex to be reserved for marriage.

I get emails from people about the subject and I encourage them to wait until they are married. If you've already had sex before you are married, I encourage you to ask God for forgiveness and He will forgive you, and wait until you get married to have sex again.

I'm praying for the people I mentioned though. I pray for people all the time. I don't say that being self-righteous, but it's something I've done for most of my life because I believe in Jesus and I know prayer changes thing. I say that to encourage you to pray for people as well. Prayer does work. I've seen God turn people's lives around and deliver them from destructive habits. 

Is there someone you know that is in trouble today or about to make some bad choices, please pray for them that God will guide them into making the right decisions. 


September 27, 2002

Lyrical Content

Yes, music is a great way to express yourself, but why corrupt other people and their children in the process because you are trying to live out your fantasy on record and sell CDs. The excuse everybody else is doing it or it's business is a very poor, unethical excuse for some of the music that is being played on airwaves.

I read an article in Ebony magazine two days ago about lyrical content and the negative effect it is having on society. The article made several good points and included statistics that show the rise in crimes, sexual deviance and social problems that have occurred since this type of music has been introduced to listeners. The article just affirmed what I've been thinking and saying. Lyrics filled with sexual innuendo, double entendres, crude sexual references and or violence does not benefit society and does have a negative effect on people.   

Some entertainers write these lyrics to be popular and fit in. They want to compete with what's on the market, but rather than come up with something original and innovative, they would rather listen to the current top ten hits containing these inappropriate lyrics and duplicate it for their projects, which is why the airwaves are inundated with this type of music.  

Many entertainers make music about violence and sexual promiscuity because they want to make money. It's not about music for them. It's about being famous, making money and groupies. They do not care about their audience, because if they did, they would not give them music like this.

That's not a honorable way to earn a living. Though quite a few singers really don't pay attention to their audience until it's time to promote their music, then they shove it in their faces, kiss up to them and basically manipulate them into buy it, so many people especially kids look to singers for inspiration and direction... and what are they giving them? Music that teaches them how to be immoral. 

When you hear the same lyrics over and over again it becomes conditioning. People do take instruction from entertainers and their music. Why do you think sponsors pay singers millions of dollars to endorse their products, because they like throwing their money away? No! They pay them millions because they know they are influencing millions of people and can entice them to buy their products as well.  

People imitate and wrongfully look up to singers (actually, some singers imitate and wrongfully look up to other singers as well). However, no one wants to take responsibility for this or the effects of it. This makes many singers nervous. You can see the agitation when interviewers pose that question to them. Entertainers like to run from the responsibility that implies, but you cannot get away from that. 

My cousin said something to me that I thought was quite profound. We were talking about music and he said many artists are trying to live the lifestyle they are singing about. He is right and sadly it is destroying many of them. 

With disease like AIDS, it is not wise to encourage people to be promiscuous through your music and then throw in lines about condoms like it makes it all okay. It is still irresponsible. As I said a couple weeks ago, according to statistics, condoms have a high failure rate in preventing AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy even when used correctly according to manufacturer guidelines.

Many of these entertainers telling you, oh just use a condom and do whatever you want to, have children and when you read their interviews, you find out they were not planned pregnancies and many of them from one night stands. 

You as an entertainer and a parent, would not want anyone encouraging your child in behavior that could ruin their lives, so why is it you subject other people's children to this. So many entertainers with children adore their kids and talk about them in interviews and I think that's great...but at the same time, when I see them talking about their kids in interviews, I think to myself, you wouldn't want anyone teaching your kids the things you teach so many people's children through your music. 

Many entertainer's children are ashamed of the inappropriate music their parents make and have gone on record saying so.  

Some entertainers don't even let their children listen to the music they record because of its inappropriate content. I have news for you, they are listening to your music. Other kids have copies of it and play it for them. Kids aren't stupid. Do you really think they are not gonna give your child a copy of your music and say "hey, this is what your dad sings" or "hey, here's what your mom sings." It's sort of ironic isn't it. You peddle your inappropriate lyrics to people and try to protect your own children from it, yet another kid introduces them to your music anyway. Poetic justice, but sadly at the expense of children.


September 28, 2002

Internet File Swapping Sites

To cross reference this article, please read the June 10th article I wrote on this page. In layman's terms, scroll up, its at the top of the page. Thanks.

The RIAA in conjunction with several artists launched a campaign this week to combat internet music piracy. I think it's a good idea. As I've said on this site before, illegally downloading music off the internet is theft. People make every excuse under the sun to try to justify and excuse it, but it is wrong. Okay, now would be a good time to read the June 10th article near the top of the page. Thanks again.

Just this week, there have been a few projects that have been deliberately leaked to music pirating web sites by industry executives. 

There are a few music industry executives who are inappropriately and very unwisely playing with this system by deliberately leaking their own songs and albums to these internet file swapping web sites that are pirating billions of dollars worth of music, while the RIAA and several artists are trying so hard to combat the problem. That's not right. 

These executives are defeating the purpose of this campaign and the efforts of the RIAA and several artists by dabbling in these illegal web sites. It's a very unsophisticated, uncreative, deceptive way to get publicity for your project, while other artists are trying so desperately to stop internet piracy. That is very selfish...and what makes it even worse is, it doesn't work. It does not encourage people to buy your project when it is officially released in stores. 

It does affect your sales when songs and albums are leaked. I do not understand why some executives don't grasp that concept and are playing with these web sites. No matter what they tell you, people are not going to buy something they get for free because they want to do the right thing. Logic would tell you, if they cared about doing what is right, they would not be illegally downloading music from a web site that is pirating music in the first place. They would wait and buy the album through authorized outlets when it is released. 

Still, some executives don't grasp that and erroneously see these web sites as a marketing tool. It also dampens people's expectations and the excitement they have waiting on a new release and being among the first to buy it, which under normal circumstances would create better first week sales.   

Members of the industry utilizing these illegal music sites as a misguided, twisted form of promotion encourage the theft of more music. It's an irresponsible and illogical thing to do. It's not a great marketing idea. It is not marketing savvy. It is self-defeating and a very unprofessional way to conduct business.

It is like going up to a robber and giving him the keys to your home and your bank account numbers. Yes, using these web sites for promo is just that silly. It's like putting a sign on the door of your office that says "the door is open, please steal." It has its consequences and it does affect sales. 

More importantly, it sends a negative message to the owners of these sites and gives inspiration to other people to create new illegal music downloading sites (yes, new ones appear quite often). It is not a good idea encouraging this behavior. They look at it as industry support and approval and it serves as encouragement, not a deterrent. 

You are giving them motivation to continue pirating music... and all because of your  desperation to have a well selling album and because you are too cheap to buy advertising like the rest of us. 

   

 


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