• No Black Artist Topped The Billboard Hot 100 Charts In 2013

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No Black Artist Topped The Billboard Hot 100 Charts In 2013

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While listening to NPR last night (yes, black folks listen to NPR) I heard this little gem;  “There were no black artists with number one singles in 2013.”

While fools were arguing over who was the king of NYC last year, black artists were no where to be seen at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for the first time since the company began charting top 40 singles in 1958. “How is this possible?” You may ask. Jay Z, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Pusha T and Drake all dropped albums in 2013 but none of them were able to get a top single. Furthermore, of the 52 weeks in a year, white artists were on top of the R&B and hip hop charts for 44 of them and blue eyed soul reigned supreme.

Is this what post-racial America looks like? Muthafuckas never loved us? Remember? But they always loved our music, and now we don’t even have that anymore. What’s next? An all white NBA draft?

But seriously, is this the future of hip hop and R&B? Will it soon be as white-washed as rock ‘n’ roll or punk? As, Keli Goff, author and commentator for The Daily Beast and The Root, explains “It almost reminds me of the ’50s and ’60s when you had a lot of music that was being made by white artists and being popularized by them but it was coming from black artists. It’s much easier to sell a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, an Eminem, a Justin Timberlake, to mainstream audiences than it is to sell a Jay Z. It is still a preferred feeling in mainstream pop culture that if we can find an attractive white act to do it, why not?”

Is Justin Timberlake the new Elvis? Do kids these days even know about Chuck Berry and Bad Brains? Will our kids know Afrika Bambaataa and Run DMC? Is hip hop as we know it DEAD??

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Probably not, but here are some rational explanations:

Pop chart analyst and Slate writer, Chris Molanphy says the problem arose when Billboard started using digital sales to compile its charts; “What’s happened is, whether it’s radio, whether it’s iTunes — there’s now a lot of data feeding into the Hot 100…. The charts of ten years ago when Outkast was No. 1 — iTunes was not a factor in the charts yet because it was brand new. There was no YouTube — it literally didn’t exist — and so this great feedback loop we used to have where we had crossover from the R&B charts to the pop charts has kind of gotten swamped.” As Molanphy points out, “It’s a huge pendulum swing in less than a decade: In 2004, literally every song that topped the Hot 100 was by a person of color. This year, black artists had only featured roles.”

Essentially the playing field has been broadened enormously since Billboard started changing the way they chart singles. What this means, is that since the incorporation of digital sales, R&B and hip hop acts can’t compete in their own genres.

One could argue that not every Justin Timberlake song is R&B, but Billboard no longer looks at it that way, instead of compiling charts based off of what the R&B audience is listening to, they’re including an artists entire album into the mix. Only the future will tell if this trend will continue but one thing is for certain, artists of color are going to have to work a lot harder if they want to keep their chart stats up.

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In another blow to musicians of color, not a single living black artist is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year for only the second time in the history of the Hall.

Not that there wasn’t an abundance of black artists to choose from, including Nile Rogers, who has garnered 8 nominations and rocked on one of the biggest tracks of the year; Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” However, as Molanphy again points out, “this year the Hall will induct Daryl Hall and John Oates—an act with a long history of soul-music appreciation that once even topped the R&B chart—so Rock Hall voters are honoring the sound of black music. Just not actual black people.”

Is the idea of a post-racial America eliminating race from the equation all together? The short answer is yes. Unfortunately, when people start touting the idea of living in a colorblind society, color begins to disappear in ways that are problematic. Goff brings up the point that; “Often people pride themselves on being color blind…and often when people use that language what ends up happening is the color disappears, from the equation, from the conversation, from the room.”

As Goff expresses; “We shouldn’t have to not see each others color, we should be able to see each others color and not have that be a problem.”

Take a listen to the discussion on NPR, and leave your comments below.

  • Shy Harrington

    I’m sorry but does Rihanna not count?

    • tlo

      Rihanna didn’t have a #1 single in 2013 except for as a featured artist on Eminem’s track but not as a main artist.

      • Shy Harrington

        Diamonds at #27? Is that Eminem? (geuine question, I’m out of the loop in popular music) Drake at #32/ #34?

        • Ryan Feltman

          The keyword is “topped”. No black artist topped the charts. They appeared on the charts but none of them reached #1.

          • Shy Harrington

            Gotcha! Thank you! I appreciate the clarification.

          • Mahad Mohamed

            Lol, through you’re confusion, I was imagining if the entire Billboard Hot 100 didn’t include a black artist for one week… Now that would be a major problem

        • http://twitter.com/troybrowntv TroyBrownTV

          true Drake is Canadian. Technically he’s not even a real person lol

        • Configured

          Well, being Black and Being American aren’t mutually exclusive. You can be black and be from Japan.

          It gets messy because people use black and African American interchangeably, but it’s not supposed to be.

          • Shy Harrington

            I know that. I am under the impression that Drake and Rihanna identify as black (which is NOT the same as “African American”) and their names are all over Billboard so I didn’t understand why they weren’t mentioned. Ryan answered my question below.

  • http://twitter.com/troybrowntv TroyBrownTV

    So what else is new. Black artists don’t dominate the Hot 100 except for just a handful.
    1. Pharell & TI were both on Blurred Lines which should count for something
    2. Jay-Z (w the hyphen) has only had 2 Hot100 #1s in his whole career
    3. Kanye didnt have any official singles, and lets be honest New Slaves aint topping no Hot100 charts gtfoh
    4. Beyonce dropped a surprise album w/ just 2 weeks left in the year
    5. Rihanna sang the hook for The Monster plus she didnt have an album in 2013
    6. Pusha T shouldn’t even be in this conversation. Salute to Push Ton, but c’mon
    7. Drake has never had a Hot100 #1 except a Rihanna song he featured on

    Hip Hop aint dead b/c of this. Bambataa and RunDMC and them werent topping this chart either. The Billboard Hot 100 has never ever ever been the lifeblood of hip hop. For hip hop artists the Hot 100 top 10 is a measure of who is stoppid hot. Hell, even Eminem only had one Hot 100 #1 song before his hiatus and that was Lose Yourself, and not only is Em arguably the hottest rapper ever…he’s white!

    On another note, segregation is alive and fucking well in the entertainment biz. Hear me now, quote me later.

    • James Carter

      Emmm is the most appealing rapper ever to white culture… So I suppose to that end he is the hottest rapper ever…. to white culture.

      • http://twitter.com/troybrowntv TroyBrownTV

        He’s the hottest overall. He’s not really that hot at all to black culture. In the MD/DC/VA area they never played Eminem songs on the rap stations (lets keep it real; the black stations) other than Lose Yourself, Cleaning out My Closet, The Way I Am, Love the Way You Lie (only b/c Rihanna is black), Forgot About Dre (only because Dre is black) and they played Stan and Role Model like maybe twice ever. But he is a giant among white people so his albums kept going diamond. Nobody else in rap was consistently doing 8-10 million record sales other than Em other than Nelly.

        • http://twitter.com/troybrowntv TroyBrownTV

          I got a hood ass homeboy who didn’t know who Macklemore was until he heard one of my other boys playing Cant Hold Us in the car. At this point Cant Hold Us was #1, and Thrift Shop had already taken the world by storm for months. I was always saying its crazy that the biggest song in the world is a rap song that most rap radio listeners have never heard before. You could walk Macklemore down any Baltimore City street and nobody would recognize him if was dressed normal. They NEVER play Macklemore on the rap (black) stations.

    • C.j. Moses

      1. Think about it – regardless of whether they were both featured on the song, listen to the song – the style of R&B that song was done in hasn’t been popular for 30+ years. You’re telling me if that song had been done with a Black person at the forefront, it still would have topped the Billboard Hot 100? Today, in an era saturated with EDM and generic pop? A solid 3 years after the mainstream officially stopped giving a damn about R&B music back in 2010? I think not.
      2. Not true – counting feature’s, he’s had four (Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker”, Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”, Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, and his own “Empire State of Mind”), but not counting features, he’s only had one.
      3 – 7. You act like those artists are the only/best Black artists putting out music. Do you know how many R&B artists have been fighting to break through? Janelle Monae put out an album in the same throwback vein as Thicke – where’s the ubiquitous airplay of “Dance Apocolyptic”, or “Primetime”? And she’s not the only one – Luke James, Ro James, Jhene Aiko, Jesse Boykins III, just to name a few off the extensive list.

      And in case you were wondering about Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B chart, they butchered the methodology for formulating it, back in 2012. They are now basically just the same as the Hot 100, with all other genre’s removed, so a song’s position on the Hip-Hop/R&B Chart will correspond directly to the Hot 100.

      • Chrissy

        “1. Think about it – regardless of whether they were both featured on the song, listen to the song – the style of R&B that song was done in hasn’t been popular for 30+ years. You’re telling me if that song had been done with a Black person at the forefront, it still would have topped the Billboard Hot 100?”

        i think we are forgetting how blurred lines got famous. not bc he was white but bc of its controversy, it became a huge meme. his other singles hasn’t been as successful

        macklemore got some fame from thrift shop but even more famous bc same love a song many people were surprised about that a rapper would make a song that initially supports gay marriage.

        JT got his bc it was his “big” comeback.

        the only one in question off that list should be JT. this article and part of your argument suggests that robin should have been famous when “lost with out you” hit and maklemore should have been famous before his co-lab with lewis

        • C.j. Moses

          You’re mistaken about Macklemore. Same Love was significantly less successful than both Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us, both of which preceded it, single-wise, and both of which topped the hot 100 for multiple weeks, before Same Love was even released. No, Macklemore had blown up by the time Same Love came out, to the point that a hip-hop song supporting gay marriage was not that big a deal (especially not in the hip-hop community, which pays significantly less attention to him than the mainstream). As for Blurred Lines’ shock factor, fair enough.

          Lost Without U DID, to an extent, put Robin on the map. It was the #1 R&B song of 2007, topping the urban music chart for 11 solid weeks. Of course, back in 07, Urban music was still very much popular in the mainstream, so the song’s moderate success there could be attributed to competition within the genre.

          • Chrissy

            okay i see ur point,

  • seanithanegan

    What’s an example of a song by a black artist that SHOULD have hit #1?

    • D.j. West

      And there lies the problem, black music 10 years ago was pretty damn good. Now its just lazy and the community has itself to blame for not demanding better.

      • James Carter

        I recall 10 years ago people saying the current music was awful and hip hop was dead.

      • jess

        many would agree that “popular” black music is lazy, but that doesn’t mean good music isn’t out there. Just off the top of my head, I’d say Janelle Monae and Miguel SHOULD have been chart toppers, but we all know there is a certain formulaic approach to creating a chart topping song, and that does NOT automatically make it a good song.

  • Myke Stallone

    ….so the fuck what? we’ve been dominating music since forever, this is almost like reverse racism to say that too many white people who do hip hop and r&b got top 100…

    • Kinowolf

      “we’ve been dominating music since forever”

      Playing the blues, jazz, rythm & blues, rock & roll, ska, house, and hip hop. You know, the stirring sounds of Europe, what with its soulful tradition of drumming and dancing.

    • D.j. West

      “It almost reminds me of the ’50s and ’60s when you had a lot of music that was being made by white artists and being popularized by them but it was coming from black artists.”

      “It’s a huge pendulum swing in less than a decade: In 2004, literally every song that topped the Hot 100 was by a person of color. This year, black artists had only featured roles.”

      Did you even read you fucking retard?

      Also, “reverse racism” isn’t a fucking thing, idiot.

  • DΔMYΔRD

    What Billboard Hot 100 was this person looking at in 2013?

    Here are the chart toppers in 2013: (Black artists will have all caps)
    BRUNO MARS – Locked Out Of Heaven (Jan 5 – Jan 26)
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. WANZ – Thrift Shop (Feb 2 – Feb 23 & Apr 6 – Apr 13)
    Baauer – Harlem Shake (Mar 2 – Mar 30)
    BRUNO MARS – When I Was Your Man (Apr 20)
    Pink feat. Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason (Apr 24 – May 11)
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. RAY DALTON – Can’t Hold Us (May 18 – June 15)
    Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & PHARRELL – Blurred Lines (June 22 – Sep 7)
    Katy Perry – Roar (Sep 14 – Sep 21)
    Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Sep 28 – Oct 5 & Dec 14)
    Lorde – Royals (Oct 12 – Dec 7)
    Eminem feat. RIHANNA – The Monster (Dec 21 – Dec 28)

    Don’t claim that no black artists topped the charts when it’s incorrect in the first place, and then when you have to nitpick and say, the ones that did only featured in songs. Billboard’s chart is compiled using a system that counts record sales, digital downloads, youtube views and radio airplay. It’s not the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who sits and compiles his favourite songs of the week.

    • Configured

      Bruno Mars is part Puerto Rican (and Jewish on his father’s side) and Part Filipino. Jesus christ, did you do any research at all? Did you just look at him and say “Yep, he’s black?”

      Not only that, but the rest of your list relies on *features* and not the person’s song themselves. Being featured on the song does not mean that the song counts for you when it’s a billboard smash.

      But, you know, you’ll still get a Grammy.

      • DΔMYΔRD

        Being part of a nationality or part of a religion doesn’t make you immune from having a certain skin-colour. Race, ancestral heritage, ethnicity and nationality seems to be very confusing for many Americans. They’re all different things. You can be born in America, with black African ancestors, and have a Hispanic father and an Asian mother. If this is the case, you fall under a lot of racial brackets, and can easily get away with calling yourself black, or white, or even Asian, depending on how you wish to be received, and none of them would be incorrect. Centuries ago, many people from Africa immigrated to the Americas (including Puerto Rico). Over generations of mixed children and genetics, their skin colour lightened. Just because most consider themselves “white” nowadays, doesn’t cancel out all of their black roots and heritage. That’s generally not how genetics and history works.

        Also, I’ll reinforce my comment that the list is comprised using a formula. It’s not some black-hating neo-nazi that picks out his favourite songs of the week. The algorithm doesn’t factor in skin colour, gender, whether the artist is alive or dead, or anything else.

        • Lixer

          Puerto Ricans do not identify as BLACK….They are not part of the BLACK community. Yes their makeup consists of African Diaspora, but they have a “Hispanic” racial status in the US which gives them their own statistical group separate from the statistics of the Black race/ethnicity.

          Also, most Hispanics have a much more significant amount of Indigenous ancestry than American Blacks which results in a distinctive look that differs from an Afro-American….So, Bruno Mars, yes, is a person of color, but is NOT a Black Person and Ray Dalton, TI, Pharrell, and Rihanna were all FEATURED artists on these songs. This is not their #1 hit, they are not the lead artist. None of the #1s on the BB 100 had any BLACK leading artists.

          • Kinowolf

            Many, probably most, Puerto Ricans do not identify with their African heritage, but there are many that do. In fact, Puerto Ricans have a more direct connection to the food, instruments, and folklore of their African ancestors than most black Americans do. But many reject that or have no interest. It’s more complicated than “Puerto Ricans do no identify as BLACK,” in the same way that even though nearly all black Americans have 5-50% white ancestry only those with white parents or grandparents consider themselves “biracial.”

            All that said, I don’t think Bruno has much, if any, African ancestry. No idea how he identifies, I won’t put words in his mouth. And your point about leading artists is 100% correct, there’s a big difference between a lead and a feature.

          • Derek Thompson

            Thank you Kinowolf! Bruno Mars identifies mostly with his black heritage, and has done so constantly. He let his hair go natural, and surrounds himself with mostly brothers.

          • fred

            from his own website where people asked in his forum about his racial background this was his answer:

            Hawaiian

            Puerto Rican

            Filipino

            Jewish and

            Asian

      • Derek Thompson

        Bruno Mars is an African descendant of Puerto Rican settlers. Why are you going out of your way to deny his heritage when he does not? He identifies himself as a black man, and rightfully so. HE HAS A FUCKING AFRO. Blacks exist all throughout the world.

      • Hannibal Alexander

        “Being featured on the song does not mean that the song counts for you when it’s a billboard smash.” < actually it does. every time Rihanna is featured on a song that goes to #1 it counts as a #1 for her (which is why she has this record breaking number of #1's)

  • Lixer

    Appropriation seemed to be the winning trend of the year unfortunately……but aye, I guess we should be used to it by now.

  • Demond HugoBoss Brown

    This author fails to realize something, which is, all American Music is black music….from folk to blues, rock and roll to R&B soul…..rag time to jazz. ….and everything in between

    • Dexter Greer

      all american music isnt black, rock and roll wasnt black at all. music doesnt have a color and you definitetly dont know the origins of music

      • Derek Thompson

        You are one emotional fuck @dextergreer:disqus. Muddy Waters who was a black man created Rock and Roll. The so called King of Rock “Elvis Presley” was extremely known for stealing black music and creation. Same thing is going on with rap and hip hop now. Macklemore even agrees with it, and makes a point of bringing it up. Why even support these artists when all we are doing is supporting inequality of the arts.

        • Dexter Greer

          calm urself down fuck boy , i didnt say anything about elvis so stfu on that shit. I know the origins of rock and it doesnt have anything to do with elvis , rock was a mixture of a white cultured music with a black culture music known ass the funk and the blues. so learn yo shit before you come at me reckless bitch nigga

          • mr.knowitall

            First you said:

            “rock and roll wasnt black at all.”

            Then you said:

            “rock was a mixture of a white cultured music with a black culture music”

            Contradict yourself much?

  • Hash

    I have found myself quite perplexed after reading this article, are you saying that the #1 singles this year were not that of quality, and that the Black artists who were worthy of that position were shafted? I believe that a majority of the singles that made the cut were pretty good. I believe that the billboard is just recognition based on merit according to corprate standings that means very little. Music is for the people, it is an unparralled medium of expression that makes life a lot more worth living. If we begin to measure someones career or progress by the coporate ruler and not by the enjoyment and value it adds to the masses that listen we probably have already lost touch as an artist or as a consumer of art. The hue of someones skin has no affect on how I view or enjoy their music or any type of art for that matter, if its beautiful its beautiful no matter what a billion other people see it as. We need to stop thinking in terms of us against them, we all share this world for a limited amount of time and it foolish not to think of everyone as a brother or sister especially when dealing with an industry such as art.

  • The Cheppy

    The “Justin Timberlakes” didn’t kill Hip Hop, the “Chief Keefs” did… Lazy, no content and somehow manages to glorify perpetual ignorance. Macklemore & Lewis’ “The Heist” is one of the best albums I’ve heard in years! Reason being… They make me think, and wanna do and BE better; a sentiment very reminiscent of the feelings Pac’s words left behind. Now, before y’all flip out and cry blasphemy on that last statement, listen to the album – OBJECTIVELY – and forget Mac is white. Solid gold! So yea, time to stop with all this finger pointing at “the blue eyed monsters” and come to terms with the fact that, the fact that Chief Keef can’t spell the word Sober is ACTUALLY existent in the history of music. Solid garbage!

    • are you kidding

      thank you!

    • mr.knowitall

      Why exactly are you comparing Macklemore to Chief Keef? That proves nothing. How about I use Vanilla Ice and compare him to Nas in order to prove whites don’t belong in hip hop? Would that be convincing to you?

  • Dexter Greer

    nigga this post is rascist as fuck, white washed as rock? well if you knew anything about rock you’d know the greatest rock legend is hendrix? being black? stop being a stereotypical nigga. white people can rap and do r&b so what? its called music it has no color

    • Brandon Jenkins

      “nigga this post is [racist] as fuck” ……Wow

      • Dexter Greer

        the word nigga is not rascist, it is slang and ignorant people mis-use it and overreact to it.now if i said nigger then its rascist

        • anarchduke

          So if i call black people nigga but not nigger, i’m not being racist? Southern white people all over thank you for this information.

          • Denzel Washington

            If you walk up to a stranger and say “You nigga, what are you doing here?” That’s racist. If you’re shaking hands with a good black friend of yours, and say “My nigga, let’s go get some lunch, I’m hungrier than a muthafucka.” Then no, it’s not racist. Can you wrap your head around that? Still don’t understand that there is more to a word than just letters?

          • Dexter Greer

            it isnt rascist its ignorant, thats like if i walk up to you and say, you bitch, what are you doing here? because the definition of the word has no relation to rascism and the problem with people is they mis-uses words and use them out of context. The word Nigger is rascist, nigga is not. Negro is rascist. it is the color black but if used in the wrong context it comes across rascist. The difference, negro=talking about color
            niggar=direct rascist remark towards black , nigga=commonly used slang term for bro,friend,aquaintance.

          • Denzel Washington

            Commonly used among black people. How are you going to tell me what it is? Are you serious? Or are you just a clueless idiot, trying to pass your opinion as fact.

          • Dexter Greer

            no it isnt rascist, and im from the south , I doubt they care because they all say it anyways and more blacks dont even care.

        • Tracey C

          You may use it as slang and redefine it but one must admit that it is most definitely racist in nature. I guess you can try and say, “…racist except when people with a “black pass” or of black ancestry use it” but the whole -a vs -er thing is not exacly a strong argument.

          • Dexter Greer

            it is a great arguement because that much of a difference in spelling changes everything. a congress man got in trouble for saying haiti was acting niggerdly which is a synonym for greedy. but one black woman decided to flip shit about it.

          • Tracey C

            That is less about spelling and more about using an actual word with a long standing set definition. The er/a argument is a fairly new one (relative to the length of time that the original word has even existed in the US) and still falls under the realm of slang which means that it is fluid and the definition is left more to a much smaller group who might not agree with another small group who might not agree with….

            That woman didn’t know that the word has an actual definition and resembles the offending word but isn’t it. They don’t even have the same etymology. Even when a guy who worked for the mayor of DC got into trouble for something similar, the chariman of the NAACP came to his defense. I can’t find the story that you mentioned. Do you know the state that she represented?

        • The Truth

          The N word is racist…you can’t blame racism & say N word in the same sentence?

          • Dexter Greer

            the n word is NIggar not nigga, as someone of partly black heritage it is in my environment that nigga is not a rascist word. So they way i use it vs how you take is different

          • Brixton Thomas

            Same thing stupid

      • The Truth

        Mind Blown

    • reshard

      why dont you just stop saying nigga you fucking mixed breed

    • are you kidding

      thank god for someone with reason. u are so right. it is racist. robin thicke im pretty sure is not racist,, whoever wrote this article has some def issues.

    • westlafadeaway

      The white washed as rock comment absolutely is taking Hendrix into consideration – in the 50s and 60s the ratio of black rock artists to white rock artists was way more in favor to black artists who as it has been mentioned, invented the genre. Compare now to the 90s. Or today. I love me some Gary Clarke Jr. but who else has broken through in rock lately? Bands like Living Colour, Fishbone and Kravitz were actually UNIQUE to kids who had no idea where rock came from and lived in a world where most of the black artists were finding success in R&B and Hip-Hop. And I’m talking mainstream – I’m sure there are tons of bands I haven’t heard of but this article is about the Top 100. Ultimately, your conclusion is spot-on.

    • isawsasquatch

      To be fair, Hendrix was actually mixed.

      Also, I’m not so sure very many rock enthusiasts would agree that he’s the “greatest” rock legend.

      • JuniorSenior

        Majority black people in America are mixed with something. Usually their grandparent or great is native or white. Hendrix was black.

        • isawsasquatch

          Serious question: are all mixed-race people black?

  • Just A Guy With A View

    This review is bias, with definite racial undertones… You can’t negatively use the image of Robin Thicke, Macklemore and Justin Timberlake, three artists who totally smashed records in 2013, and then complain that they are topping the charts. They deserve the positions they earned, their fans supported them, and even their piers who are within the field you defend, support them…

    Not only that, Rihanna and Bruno Mars are not white, and they were in the top few several times….

    See it this way, these billboards are created and analysed by those who are SELLING music… We as black people cannot complain if we are not buying the music enough for artist to be high up enough in the charts.

    And lastly, Hip Hop didn’t die… it evolved, like it always does… Sugar Hill Gang is not similar to KRS One, KRS One is not similar to Ludacris, and Ludacris is not similar to Rick Ross… but they are all HipHop in their own right… Hip Hop hasn’t died. Just because those of other races have adopted into its nature, doesn’t mean its now not HipHop either.

    PS. The line It’s much easier to sell a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, an Eminem, a Justin Timberlake, to mainstream audiences than it is to sell a Jay Z” – is crap, as Jay-Z is still the 2nd richest rapper alive, and has had a higher net worth per annum in the past 5 years than any of the others you listed… And who do you think he is selling to exactly?

    Just saying…

    • mr.knowitall

      It is absolutely true that you can sell them to larger mainstream audiences, but that doesn’t mean Jay-Z can’t be mainstream too. Even Eminem himself used to rap about how he gets spins on rock ‘n roll stations. Same goes for the Beastie Boys. White artists can more easily draw fans from other genres of music than black artists can. Besides, Jay-Z was already rich before Eminem even got in the game, so you’re comparing apples and oranges.

  • Chuck

    The fact that this read is based on black and white is fucking pathetic. Gtfohwtbs.

  • LazrFace

    Meh, they’re all good artist who constantly quote their influences as black rooted…Shit no black artists that were popular enough to get radio play hold any worth…fuck a two chains. Keep in mind, im black

  • The Truth

    The obvious answer is that current Hip Hop & Rap suck….No Duh.

  • ‘Fugahlee Jenkins’

    This is why I no longer listen to the radio. Politics have saturated something that was once pure lyricism. All that is left now is nonsense mumbling about things they WISH to see IF that single would just get off the ground. Anyone can make a hit nowadays. Exhibit A- Look up JJ fish – “On the floor” on Youtube. There are people telling this dude he has talent.

  • christmas808

    I don’t like mainstream music anyways…

  • Andreao FanaticHeard

    When we go back to setting the trends musically and pushing the envelope of creativity and to the point that they can’t do it black music and artist will stand out again and shine. We created this music shit from day one and they came in and took over the business and now the music. They cant survive without Urban culture and music but we need to step it up.

    • are you kidding

      this is racist

      • Andreao FanaticHeard

        Not racist. Do the research. Go back as far as possible. Go from great artist like Elvis, Led Zepplin, Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake, etc. They will tell you where they took it from. But at
        the end of the day a lot of cleaning up to do in our own backyard so we
        can’t really blame anyone on the business side or creatively.

      • Emi Chann

        Shut up. You’re incredibly ignorant.

  • are you kidding

    hahah has nothing to do with color.. the three artist pictured above happen to be white, and they also happen to be boss as fuck.. sure kanye, jayz, etc all had albums.. but kanyes album was weird as fuck, barely even had a single. jayz’s just old,, drake, meh whatever. he’s had TONS of singles b4. so he didnt make billboard last year and now all of america is racist ?? hahah. grow up, whoever wrote this article, is actually preaching racism, this wasnt a race issue until you made it one dumbass. stop holding urself back.

    • fosterakahunter

      The artists pictured above also “happen” to do Black-oriented music, or did that not figure into your thought process when typing your comment. Elvis all over again.

      • are you kidding

        hahahhahaha even MORE racist. wtf is black oriented music. music has a color now???? so whack. u are literally preaching racism onto something that has absolutely nothing to do with race. so if r&b is black oriented music, does that mean “EDM” is only for whites?? there can be NO black djs, or else they are just stepping on whites music?? wtf..

        • Matthew Shepherd

          R&B was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular. In the 1950′s it replaced the term “race music”, which originally came from within the black community, but was deemed offensive in the postwar world because it was too suggestive and sexual.

          Rapping can be traced back to its African roots. Centuries before hip hop music existed, the griots of West Africa were delivering stories rhythmically, overdrums and sparse instrumentation. Such connections have been acknowledged by many modern artists, modern day “griots”, spoken word artists, mainstream news sources, and academics. Blues music, rooted in the work songs and spirituals of slavery and influenced greatly by West African musical traditions, was first played by blacks, and later by some whites, in the Mississippi Delta region of the United States around the time of the Emancipation Proclamation.

          Creation of the term hip hop is often credited to Keith Cowboy, rapper with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

          However, Lovebug Starski, Keith Cowboy, and DJ Hollywood used the term when the music was still known as disco rap. Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx. Block parties incorporated DJs, who played populargenres of music, especially funk and soul music. Due to the positive reception, DJs began isolating the percussive breaks of popular songs. This technique was then common in Jamaican dub music, and was largely introduced into New York by immigrants from Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean, including DJ Kool Herc, who is generally considered the father of hip hop.[by whom?] Because the percussive breaks in funk, soul and disco records were generally short, Herc and other DJs began using two turntables to extend the breaks.

          Now, do you notice the trend there? The author isn’t saying that other people can’t enjoy or create hip-hop, R&B or rap. Music is something everyone can enjoy, but it’s a little funny when three people of colour dominate afro-centric music. And yes, Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B is afro-centric music.

        • longestnameonworldstar

          what is up with other races telling black people whats racist nowadays lmao ?

          • are you kidding

            because the majority of people in other races are NOT racist. what is racist, is blacks yelling Racism at instances like this, which is not racist. its reverse racism. Whoever wrote this article is actually keeping racism alive by even making it an issue.

          • mr.knowitall

            Oh God. Now it’s racist just to talk about racism…well, only if you’re black.

          • Michael Red

            Reverse racism doesn’t exist. It’s white people’s way of attempting to deflect legitimate criticisms, like the caricature that is “anti-Semitism.”

        • mr.knowitall

          Don’t be naive. If a black guy was singing Spanish mariachi music, would you deny he was making Mexican music? Quit trying to use your nonsensical arguments to disprove things that are obviously true. When did anyone say RnB is only for blacks? Nowhere. You just made it up in your own head then refuted it yourself as if you actually put someone ELSE in their place.

          I don’t really care if white people gravitate towards white artists. it’s only natural to gravitate towards things you relate to, The problem is that since white people are the majority of music consumers, their music tastes often dictate the direction of the music industry takes. So if hip hop and RnB follow the lead of rock (I don’t think it will), black artists, making music that black people can relate to, will be sidelined in favor of white artists making a similar but distinctly different version of the same music. If black artists no longer get the media push to promote their music, then the music morphs into something else unrecognizable.

        • fosterakahunter

          I think that almost every popular form of music in North America and parts of Europe today were created by or influenced by Black artists. For you not to realise that makes you extremely unlearned and ignorant, or just plain stupid, and that’s not even taking into account your total delusions as to what actual “racism” is. You’re about 17 years old, aren’t you?

  • kardsufur

    What the fuck, so what does this whiny racist article suggest then, should we implement affirmative action into the billboard top 100 to give blacks a “fair shake” and artificially boost their songs to the top 10? What a joke, typical blacks always looking for handouts as usual when they can’t achieve shit themselves. Pathetic bigoted racist shit

    • ComptonQ

      Wow, I’m like 100% sure you’re a piece of shit :/

    • Gracie$$$

      Your the one being racist mate,

    • Cetre Pegues

      Wait…what?

    • LiveLoveLaughMusic

      Wow. Did you read the same article? It’s sad that STILL, in this day and age, an opinion cannot be made w/o some brainless ignorant idiot making this ^^^^ sort of comment. It’s almost become a cliche if you think about it. More comical than it is insulting. I feel sorry for you, and hope you get hugged soon.

    • Michael Red

      What this article suggests is that white people stop Terrorizing people all over the world, you fucking Dirty white Terrorist.

  • Inquiring Mind

    Have we thought about the effects of our people “bootlegging” as a factor? That’s the disadvantage of bootlegging because sales cannot be logged and recorded. Tyler Perry took years to be vested in Hollywood although Black America were selling out his plays and thought the “black audience” was a non factor until he found another way to fund his project. We have to realize that we are short selling ourselves when we fail to download and support our artists.

    • Randy

      I was wondering the same thing about bootlegged music; not just the CDs you might find at flea markets, but what about the folks that buy music from iTunes, and then burn a disc for friends or family…I’ve done that myself.

  • lrod93

    LOL. This article is such a joke. “Will it soon be as white-washed as rock ‘n’ roll or punk?” Go read a book you ignorant twat waffle. Plus, the fact that you would even care to bring up the Billboard Top 100 and The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, just shows your lack of taste in music. The Billboard and Rock n Roll HOF are both jokes just like you. If you actually searched outside the mainstream barriers, you’d find real music from artists of all colors. People who constantly pull the race card and cry about political correctness need to wiped off this Earth.

  • BigSweezer

    The music…they brought it and you bought it. So who’s at fault ?

  • Smitty

    First of all I am black! I love rap I love R/B but most of all I love music… but I disagree with the implications of this article. Understand that the Billboard Chart is not a made up subjectively. It is based off of data which is completely objective. Its all about the numbers, thats all.
    The truth of the matter is that race and culture are factors in why white artists outsell black artists. I don’t think its racist necessarily but its not uncommon that people gravitate to people who look like them. Generally speaking, black people gravitate to black artists so why is it racist that white people gravitate to white artists? With that understood it is no wonder they sell more because obviously there are more white people in this country.
    But really this conversation shouldn’t be about race to me. This is music and I think all three of those artists shown have had an incredible year and made great music. Common sense that they would top the charts since they make music that can appeal to all people. Although Im not down on hip hop as a whole I think the mainstream rap is garbage, really. Nobody outside of Kanye is trying anything new. Everybody making the same song over and over again. Not really into Macklemore like that but I think his brand of rap is refreshing since its not about how much money he got or killing like most of the crap being put out.
    Keep it real, artists just need to step they game up for real… cause good music is good music to me… thats it… fuck all this race talk all the time, shits played out!!

    P.S. Fuck all you racists!! …even if you don’t realize your racist lol…that goes for White and Black!!!

    • Bill

      Completely off topic here. But Theresa Canadian artist named Shad who is severely underrated and is actually putting out excellent rap/R&B.

  • http://www.greaterunderstanding.net/ Anthony Brian Logan

    Hate NPR. Victimhood network online. So what we didn’t have any #1′s on the list last year. Who cares? We still dominate the entire music industry. We are the the majority of the artists, the majority of the producers, the majority of the song writers, the majority of the background vocalists, the majority of the choreographers, the majority of the background dancers.

    Even on this list, Justin Timberlake’s albums are produced by Timbaland. Robin Thicke had Pharell and T.I. on “Blurred Lines” and it sounded like Marvin Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up”.

    This situation is like … when Steve Nash won the NBA MVP twice in a row. Do you think just because that happened that white people began dominating basketball all of a sudden? LOL! Get real and let go of all those sensitive victim FEELINGS.

    • mr.knowitall

      Steve Nash won MVP for similar reasons. He was a more palatable alternative than Kobe (fresh off a rape charge) and Iverson (the guys who should have won it those years).

  • MT

    I think Billboard uses some pretty objective criteria to determine the hot 100 charts. They look at sales, radio & streaming. While it’s odd that no person of color topped the hot 100 chart, I don’t see how it’s Billboard’s fault. There were just some songs that really dominated this year like Thrift Shop, Can’t Hold Us and Blurred lines. Those songs topped the charts weeks on end, stopping other songs from both white and black artists from topping the chart. In addition, all those songs featured black artists, writers & producers as well.

    Other than Drake & Bruno Mars, I don’t recall any real strong contenders releasing possible #1 songs either. If you’re going to make a contention that something nefarious was going on with the charts, then I’d love for the people complaining to list the song from the person of color that Billboard should have made sure topped the chart. Please name names and list the popular track that was unfairly displaced.

    • mr.knowitall

      You’re already missing the point. Nobody said it was Billboard’s fault.

    • jj@jj.com

      Bruno Mars was number for 6 weeks last year, a fact everyone seems to have forgotten lol.

  • Abbasoffspring

    Cuz Black artists(?) are now making utter trash not even worthy of listening to. –And I’m Black ..and former performing musician and singer.

    • mr.knowitall

      Utter trash??? And what the fuck would you call Macklemore and Robin Thicke?

      • Michael Red

        He’d call it, “uh….um…ergh…I have to go!” Haha.

    • lalaland

      “And I’m Black”…yeah, sure you are.

  • Thinkaboutit

    Black music didn’t die. It has different packaging while black folks are PROVIDING the hits. Pharrell snatching from Marvin Gaye is the reason Blurred Lines is a hit, not because how amazing Robin is. Timbaland is the reason JT was able to make it. What if Timbaland wasn’t in the picture? What if Usher didn’t come out on top to getting Justin Bieber? TI has cursed us with Iggy…etc. If you would have given any of these songs in black packaging I’m curious to know if they would have been so popular.

    • ak11256

      I hate to tell you but nsync was the reason justin was able to make it, not timbaland. sure he helped but he wasn’t vital to justin’s career. if it wasn’t timbaland, it would have been someone else.

      • mr.knowitall

        NSYNC is not why he made it. If all he had was NSYNC, he’d be washed out like the rest of the members. Pharrel and Timbaland resurrected his image from a soft boy band member into what it is today. Oh, and there is NOBODY else like Timbaland.

    • Mark E. Gunn

      Black music didn’t die indeed. I’ve spent the last 35 years in radio and television and I’ve programmed all kinds of radio stations. Labels live and die by the charts because at the end of the day, the music business is just that… a business.

      In some cases, if you look behind the curtain of certain White artists, you’ll find a Black man as the puppetmaster. Full Force, a huge R & B group from the 80′s found major success (and money) in writing and producing music for Pop acts.

      Part of the problem with Black music is that the labels simply don’t put the promotional dollars behind it like they do other genres. The actual product being good or bad is completely subjective. I’ve heard plenty of crap that became major hits.

      If Black music is going to survive, it’s going to have to free itself from the shackles of a slave mentality by getting away from the labels, getting away from self – destructive images and making everything from recording to distribution self – contained.

  • isawsasquatch

    “Will it soon be as white-washed as rock ‘n’ roll or punk?”

    When was punk anything BUT “white-washed”? For every Death and Bad Brains, there are dozens upon dozens of classic punk and hardcore acts without a non-white member.

  • seanithanegan

    Black music. White music. Why can’t we just make human music?

    • Brixton Thomas

      Black people music what you know about that

      • seanithanegan

        What’re you trying to even say?

    • mr.knowitall

      Black music is human music.

      • seanithanegan

        What does that imply? Music made by people with other colored skin is inhuman?

  • 7thEmerson

    This was a very good read and great points were brought up.

  • Grab my Lemons

    Yeah, but… Nobody gives a shit, so.

    • i cared enough to comment

      ditto that.

      folks need to stop actin like they give a fuck…

  • billneye

    more than half the people on these comments dont get the big picture and it scares me…it is elvis all over again…not because of racism but because of comfortability and business….its easier to play justin timberlake at the white family cook out than it is usher…no matter how you want to look at this it is TRUE…be a realist. It doesn’t make those people racist its just the subject matter usher may be singing about has content from a culture that may be considered raunchy or disrespectful to another culture. Its just business…however don’t get it twisted there are still tons of racist people out there…but people will learn to be more comfortable with all races…needs more time and unbias approach by media! As long as the media approach is business driven and not racist driven we should be fine! if its a racist agenda than there is nothing we can do and my people will fade to black if so!

  • Brixton Thomas

    Whites getting famous off Black people music the mother fucker took Marvin Gaye song, Macklemore and Justin doing Black people music

    • seanithanegan

      lol @ “black people music” — Music styles aren’t owned by a skin color.

      • Brixton Thomas

        Your Fool just like when Elvis took from Blacks Soul music, Jazz, R&B, Hip hop u would not know nothing about that bra

        • Chrissy

          “u would not know nothing about that bra”
          unless he’s female.

        • seanithanegan

          Firstly, why would I know nothing about that? I’m well versed in music history. My point is that while soul, jazz, the blues, funk, R&B, and Hip-Hop are all music styles that originated within black culture and by black artists the genres have grown to speak to people of all cultures and skin colors. The fact that a white artist is popular performing music that is inspired by black originators speaks to me deeply as a white irish American who loves hip-hop. The fact that you think any style of music belongs to you because you happen to be black makes you a bigot and a moron.

          If you really want to break it down, jazz music derives from ragtime which was popularized by Scott Joplin after he modified a the classic “march” style made popular by John Phillip Sousa (white, not that it matters) with polyrhythms taken from African music.

          — So Jazz is just modified “white” music.

          Music is music. It transcends race.

          • senorknowitall

            It’s fine if any type of people listen to and make music from any genre. That is not the complaint, so it’s in no need of rebuttal. What is the complaint is when the expectations of a certain genre of music begin to be dominated by the largest demographic. It’s called hegemony. You may not notice when you’re consistently a member of the hegemonic group, but when you’re in the suppressed group, you’ll begin to understand. When the black community’s aesthetic musical desires begin to be ignored in favor of the white community’s desires, especially when the music in question is quite literally culturally ingrained in the black community, the net effect (at least historically) of black musicians no longer having as much influence in their own music leads to almost total abandonment by the black community.

          • seanithanegan

            I just don’t understand, honestly. If the issue is that certain music is no longer relatable to a cultural group then that group should rally around the artists that are relatable to them.

            This may not have been so easy to do in the pre-internet days when it was so difficult to find music outside of the mainstream, but with widespread access to varied musical artists there’s no reason for your musical desires to become ignored. Just seek those who correspond to your specific desires.

            Historically, the only type of music that was originated by black musicians that has been hegemonized (that I can think of) would be rock and roll and the blues. And even so I don’t see why those musical styles are more or less relatable to anyone as a result of race. I can relate to all types of artists performing those styles so why couldn’t a black listener?

            Aside from a song directly dealing with racial oppression, any topic (and with blues and rock it’s usually women) is instantly relatable across the entirety of the human spectrum. And even if not I can listen to an appreciate a song about racial oppression as a story of life through someone else’s experiences.

            I’m not trying to downplay any of the nefarious happenings of the early rock’n'roll days where black musicians literally had their music stolen and weren’t credited or compensated, but I don’t think we’re dealing with the same situation today.

          • Hooked

            Doesn’t it bother you that the music you love needs to be produced by people who look like you for you to enjoy it?

            For me, the problem here is that when people other than blacks make this music, something about it changes because many of these genres specifically narrated and described an experience that was particular to black people. When black artists perform this music, they do so with mannerisms, affectations, and nuances that, while varied, people of other races are not likely to have. Therefore, black artists who perform this music are considered more authentic, and for good reason.

            You may feel more connected to white hip hop artists, but it doesn’t change the fact that hip hop was not meant to address their experiences, or your experience for that matter. At this day in age, we should be able to appreciate things for what they are, and listen to each other across racial lines. That people feel hip hop and r&b are more palatable coming from white people is very sad, to say the least.

          • seanithanegan

            I never said music I love needs to be produced by people who look like me. I don’t enjoy music based on what the person who made it looks like. The point I was making by saying it “speaks to me” is that I’m happy to see that it doesn’t seem that this style of music is being as racially segregated culturally and that people of all colors can accept people of all colors making all kinds of music. I didn’t mean to say I prefer a white person rapping to a black person. That’s ridiculous.

            I understand what you’re getting at, that culturally someone from a suburban cul-de-sac of upstate New York won’t have the same nuances, styles of speech, or describe the same experiences authentically as someone from the southside of the Bronx. — But what about a white kid who grew up in the southside of the Bronx, maybe with with black friends, who, aside from racial prejudices, has suffered the same poverty, social injustices and lifestyle as those who he considers his peers.

            You have to admit that culture plays much more of a role than race when it comes to hip-hop. A black kid who grew up in a $20,000,000 house in Beverly Hills is going to be MUCH less relatable to BOTH of us than a white kid who grew up in a middle-class lifestyle or an asian kid who grew up in abject poverty.

          • Hooked

            Well, poor people have things in common, as do rich people…absolutely true. But to say that people will have the same affectations and nuances if they are simply in the same socioeconomic condition ignores the significance of race, and how it impacts life outside of class. Race and class do intersect, but they are far from the same thing. Believe it or not, there are things that black people across class lines have in common, which they do not necessarily share with those of other races in their social class. One example I can think of off the top of my head is the black church, where a lot of black artists start off singing. The black church keeps traditions alive that date back hundreds of years, and both rich and poor blacks are still largely connected to it.

            Yes, white kids who grow up in the “hood” are probably drawn to hip hop because of the social injustices they are subjected to, but let’s not pretend that they are the exact same type of social injustices that black kids suffer. Before its commodification, hip hop was an outlet through which black artists could vent about racial profiling, police brutality, and forms of racial oppression that could never come from white people. So when we talk about experiences, we’re not just talking about class experience. Race also plays a significant role.

          • Hooked

            Oh, and I have to disagree when you say, “You have to admit that culture plays much more of a role than race when it comes to hip-hop.” For one thing, race plays a large role in culture, so any way you look at it, hip hop is a very racialized form of music, especially considering the subject matter of so many rap songs throughout its existence. It’s a lot like black gospel. There are white artists who can perform it with exceptional skill, but it doesn’t change the fact that the genre comes from a racially particular environment, and it wouldn’t be what it is without it.

          • Hooked

            And jazz is modified “white” music???? Good luck writing a thesis on that one.

          • seanithanegan

            I was just making a point. Music is constantly building upon other styles and takes no notice what color the person’s skin is.

            Jazz comes from ragtime music – that’s commonly accepted. Scott Joplin was the primary originator of ragtime and made it popular with the maple leaf rag. If you analyze what ragtime is, it’s a european “march” popularized by European countries (primarily used in the military) mixed with syncopated rhythms (primarily from African traditional music). It also uses the piano, an instrument designed for use with traditional western compositions using western modes and scales which generally consist of 7 notes which repeat on on each octave, as opposed to Arabic scales or Indian scales which sometimes use different musical intervals (super apparent if you listen to music played on a sitar).

            Point being that it’s music. It evolved from other music as all music does and will continue to evolve. It’s difficult to assign racial ownership to that. I don’t see the point in doing so.

          • Hooked

            I understand what you said about jazz being “white” music modified, I just disagree. In fact, I think many people would disagree, considering that even if the march was the primary inspiration for the entire genre, it was black people and the circumstances they were in that made it what it was. That’s like saying that Negro spirituals were basically modified white music because they had themes drawn from European Christianity. True in a very specific sense, but very absurd.

            Basically, the entire crux of what I’m saying is about authenticity. Hip hop, R&B, gospel are not just musical forms, they are a manifestation of the black spirit and incarnations of the struggles, joys, and pains of black people, and it arose from the fact that blacks have lived very different lives from people of other “races” since slavery. This is not to say that no one of another race can perform the music, but it’s pretty clear that there is a difference.

            Yes, music is music, and it does evolve and change and get shared. But because it is so closely intertwined with culture, it can be so much more than just music. We live in America, where, unfortunately, many things have to do with race, and music sadly is no exception. That is why this article was written–the fact that music created almost exclusively by a people who have contributed so much to what this country is, no longer represents those people. It wouldn’t be so disturbing if it didn’t follow a trend of white artists cashing in off of traditionally black music, to the extent that genres like rock and jazz are now more strongly associated with white people than anyone else.

      • Brixton Thomas

        Funk music is black people music whites started doing it after us point blank period

      • Brixton Thomas

        Black people music Zapp and Roger, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Rick James, George Clinton, One Way, James Brown say it loud I’m Black I’m proud

  • jimjimjim

    hahahaha, blacks fail again!

  • Dexter Greer

    lol dont even waste time on here most of the people commenting are uneducated bigots who tried to call me out for saying this is rascist but couldnt prove me wrong. its music get over it. music is multi-cultural ,stop acting ignorant

    • mr.knowitall

      Music is multi-cultural, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a business too…a business that caters more to a certain demographic. Whites buy the most music and record labels tend to push music that sells, so when a skilled white artist (or even semi-skilled) appears on the scene, historically, events like this tended to push entire genres towards THAT style of music. Historically (I’m not saying this is what will happen to hip hop and RnB), the black artist begin to lag behind the white artists promotion-wise, leaving them in the back seat while the white artists take the driver’s seat and begin redirecting the entire genre.

      It happened with rock music (which stemmed from the blues) but nowhere is the takeover more complete than in bluegrass/old timey music. Most people don’t even know that the slaves invented the banjo and old-timey/bluegrass music. It was the traveling minstrel shows, where white actors would imitate and ridicule black people, wearing blackface, and playing slave music, that popularized the genre among whites. Needless to say they ran with it while the blacks were never brought along for the ride.

      Some people worry that the same thing is happening today when people are worried that the RnB and hip hop sounds they have grown to love will fade in favor of something else they have little to no part of and resembles nothing they’re familiar with.

      So it’s not just music, but a culture that fades away when black music is dominated by white artists.

    • Guest

      At least learn how to spell “racist.” You’re a grown man, come on.

  • KdotMills

    Stop making crappy music and you can hit the charts. Im a black hip hop artist and id much rather hear Ryan Lewis and Macklemore’s Thrift Shop song over the never ending booty shake music that is now black radio. Do you really expect sucess when you make songs like Versace? How about Started From The Bottom? Simplistic ignorance is no longer acceptable. Yes there are black artist that make great music but the 12-32 year old black audience wont listen or support them enough to get them to the top of the charts. Urban radio wont play good music unless it comes from a major record label. Blame your favorite artist and yourself if you dont think we are represented fairly on the charts!

    • senorknowitall

      “Yes there are black artist that make great music but the 12-32 year old black audience wont listen or support them enough to get them to the top of the charts.”

      Really? You act as if the white audience were all digging through crates and discovered Macklemore on their own. Nope. The music industry decides which black artists they want to promote and make known to the public. You said it yourself, “Urban radio wont play good music unless it comes from a major record label.” And yet, don’t blame the radio. Don’t blame the record labels. “Blame your favorite artist and yourself.”

      Interesting.

      • Randy

        I believe Macklemore has his own label. I’m not sure if that matters though. I really don’t know who does the promoting; the industry or the label.

        • jj

          The label, obviously. That’s like saying, I don’t know who does the promoting for the Red Sox, the team or the NBL.

      • seanithanegan

        The radio and / or record labels are going to promote the things they think will make the most money. Doesn’t matter why they make the most money, it just matters that they do. Race is not the motivator, money is. Money will always be the motivator.

        • senorknowitall

          It doesn’t matter what the motivator is. It matters that it affects a certain group of people. If labels cater to white people because white people have most of the money, then it’s still an issue for the black community regardless.

          • seanithanegan

            My point isn’t that it’s not an issue or doesn’t effect people. The point is that it’s not an overtly racist decision despite the fact that races are effected by it. — It also doesn’t seem to be that much of an issue. There are tons of black artists that get crazy amounts of promotion from labels. Black artists sell really well to whites as well as blacks, specifically in pop (which is what all radio hip-hop is as well)

  • tom

    Is it possible that the answer is not racism? And maybe its just that black artists didnt sell enough to be in billboard top 100? The amount of times black people scream racism… Diminishes the times it actually applies

    • paige

      The amount of times black people scream racism should be an indicator of the extent to which racism is still a problem.

      • jj

        *to which they perceive racism to still be a problem

        • Thatguy25

          Sometimes I wish that White people could spend just a year in a Black person’s shoes. Not a whole life. A year. I’m sure so many would feel slighted and see their family slighted, that their eyes would be open and they’d realize how wrong they are.

          How would you feel if you had 2 best friends, one Black and one White, both apply for the same job and the Black one be told he’s not qualified. Though he already graduated with his Master’s and the white guy has a Bachelor’s, both being EE majors.

          How would you feel if your Asian best friend, you and another White friend all applied for the same jobs and only your White friend got a job at first. With the lowest GPA of you three. The least amount of volunteer hours and you both contained all the extracurricular activities he had and more because you were both more active and he only joined groups you joined, but he got a job 3 months before either of you did.

          How would you feel if every time you go to a store, especially with a cousin or your nephew you see them or find yourself being followed around the store?

          That when you worked in fast food, people often commented of their lowered effort in work for Black people. Because they tip less. Well if you give them shitty service of course they’ll tip less. Won’t help you any. Yet ignore the fact that most of our complaints came from middle aged white men. Being a manager I fielded most of these complaints. There is still racism prevalent, and anyone who denies it is sheltered or blind.

    • mr.knowitall

      The amount of times people deny racism increases the amount of times it actually applies.

  • tom

    Black people,,, hall of fame is filled with black artists…. Stop claiming everyone is racist… That would force white people to take a closer look at the racist family in the white house

    • senorknowitall

      Who did they claim was racist in this article?

  • Paul

    PEOPLE! Everyone is scared of admitting society is still racist. It is still unbelievably racist. Education, police, legal system, prisons, politics, music business. People cant admit it because it means they are implicit in the racist system too. Its not your fault- just recognise there are problems and thats a good step

    • jj

      HOW IS IT STILL RACIST WHEN BLACK PEOPLE FEATURED ON NUMBER 1 SINGLES FOR 29 WEEKS OF LAST YEAR? A racist society would not allow that!

      • ly

        dude racism is more than just billboard charts do some research on institutionalize racism

  • khan

    fuck the mainstream anyway, this article takes a narrow perspective by focusing on the “charts” – who gives a shit about the charts. zoom out, widen your scope. if you wanna talk about race let’s talk about how the whole industry, whether it makes black/white/brown/yellow artists any money, is putting SERIOUS money in the pockets of the ultra-rich who are often white people… follow the hierarchies upward.

    I see the point of what this article is trying to say – the music has been hijacked from “the people” or whatever and the new poster-boy faces of the industry only support the prevailing hegemony of white-men – and yeah this has been happening for a long time, Elvis being the textbook example. But the solution to this problem is NOT for colored artists to try and infiltrate and fit in with the logic of the current system, that’s stupid – that’s the same system that created the conditions for black artists to be exploited for their talents, only to be forgotten while mainstream artists who weren’t the originators carry on the legacy.

    if you know what hip hop is really about, it’s about doing it for yourself, being innovative, and being proud of it. Most importantly it’s about keeping it true, and that’s why to me underground music is really what’s important. It’s the emcee on your block, it’s the cat rockin mics at the local coffee shop, it’s the organizers of weekly freestyle cyphers. so fuck the mainstream, it’s not doing anything for the people, so who cares.

    • senorknowitall

      True indeed. However, should black artist turn their backs on the material wealth that so many others are making off of their sound?

      • khan

        there are plenty of independent labels started for and by underground musicians that make plenty of pay. you dont always have to sell out to make material wealth. i think it’s funny to complain about not being let into the all-white club, seeking approval from the masses of white people. with hip hop in particular, the true traditions of what hip hop has meant historically are actually thriving in other countries, not the United States. It’s the mainstream that has left the culture disenfranchised in the US- and now we’re gonna complain that black artists arent getting recognition by that same power structure? look at the big hip hop shows with the big name artists. their shows are too expensive for most people of color to even afford, the audience is mostly white.

      • Jace Ireland

        “Their sound”? You’ve got to be kidding me. Music is music, when you try saying there is white music and black music racism rears its ugly head. If a black guy wants to sing country, if an Asian guy wants to rap, if a white guy wants to sing the blues, who cares? Do you think Run DMC would have ever ever hit it big if they only stuck to “their sound”.

        • senorknowitall

          I’m not kidding you. If someone were to make mariachi music, no one would deny it’s Mexican. If someone were to make music with a bagpipe, no one would deny it’s Scottish/Irish influenced. Now you can choose to define “their” as “only THEY can make it” because that makes your arguments sound stronger by refuting something that I didn’t even say. But if you’d rather address reality and recognize that “their” means “it came from THEM”, then you’ll realize what I meant when I wrote:

          “should black artist turn their backs on the material wealth that so many others are making off of their sound?”

          In response to:

          “the solution to this problem is NOT for colored artists to try and infiltrate and fit in with the logic of the current system, that’s stupid – that’s the same system that created the conditions for black artists to be exploited for their talents, only to be forgotten while mainstream artists who weren’t the originators carry on the legacy.”

  • ANON

    Reverse the races, no one will be talking

    • katy

      I absolutely hate you and everyone who will ever think like you.

      • Kelsea

        Why, because they’re right? Grow up.

        • Thatguy25

          First off, would never happen. Second off because they’re wrong. All of you who are screaming reverse the races and no one would be talking are all the same people who’d cry about reverse racism. All the ones who claim that since the president is Black, there is no way America is still racist. Well guess what, you’re wrong. Racism is still prevalent and if this had of been the reverse, there’d be white outrage about this. But you’re the majority and that would never happen.

          • Kelsea

            Obviously racism is still around, and it probably always will be. And no, if this was reversed no one would give a shit. Stop bitching about racism if you’re not willing to do anything to change it.

          • Thatguy25

            You mean besides be a member of the NAACP. Besides create scholarships and opportunities for my race and people. Besides promote equality. Not equality of races, but equality of all people. Women, men and all races alike. You mean besides participate in rallies and protests. You mean besides try to raise money for the poor school district I grew up in. Yeah I’m totally just acting tough and spouting bullshit like you behind a screen. Oh, that’s sarcasm. I’m not. I’m active in the community along with being an engineer who mentors both whites and minorities alike. So before you try to talk to somebody about what they do and don’t do, You probably need to know who they are.

  • wheredoesitstop

    No Asians either!

    • Thatguy25

      This isn’t an article about Asian music. It’s about how somehow in a Black dominated music genre, white people topped the charts the whole year and a black person never topped the hot 100 at all this year.

  • Open your eyes..

    OK. So I got through the first two sentences and realizes how grossly racist this article is. It focusses only on the absence of black people….what about asian people, indian people, native people, middle eastern people, etc. This is typical americanized propaganda, emphasizing the neglect of black people and centralization of white. No mention of other north american minorities, simply narrow-minded bullshit. To ANYONE who thinks this article has any social truth, you must study with a sense of critique, don’t believe everything you read. This specific article is prejudice, you don’t want to follow that path……

    • Thurston Wilson III

      That’s a really stupid statement to say if you actually know how little share of the US population middle eastern, asian, and native american people make up. Its literally less than 5% of our population combined.

      America of today is predominantly white, with the two major minorities being black people and hispanic people. To say that Asians are under represented is silly.

      • Scott

        Major minority is an Oxymoron….

    • pplaredumb

      This doesn’t make the article racist, it makes it specific. If you want to write an article about the lack of Asians on the chats you could do so with out r referencing lack of black people. It’s called writing concisely. Plus she’s referencing the title of another article I’m the second sentence, feel free to click on it.

    • DontbeaLame

      Its only relevant because the sound of the music is sourced from the black music tradition… not the asian, native american, or middle eastern tradition.

    • Hooked

      The title of the article is “No BLACK artist…” What did you expect? It didn’t say “No artist of color…” and if it did, it would be untrue because Bruno Mars was the first artist to top the charts last year. Maybe you actually need to go back and read some history books to actually understand why the devaluing of black life and accomplishments is such a big deal.

  • jj

    HOW’S THIS FOR A STATISTIC, DIDN’T TAKE ME LONG TO WORK OUT: OF THE 52 WEEKS LAST YEAR, A BLACK PERSON/PEOPLE WERE FEATURED ON 29 WEEKS WORTH OF NUMBER ONES. CRISIS OVER, YOU’RE STILL DOING OK :)

  • anon

    The true racism is defining a certain type of music as “black” or “white”. It is all personal preference of the masses and one year from the last 60 of a black artist not topping the charts does not mean racism is on the rise. People should not be defined by being a “black” musician or “white” musician; because they’re just musicians.

    • Hooked

      Ok. Let’s get rid of white supremacy, institutionalized racism, and other forms of racial bias, and then maybe we can drop the black/white labeling.

      I appreciate your idealism, but unfortunately, it’s like putting out the flames instead of making the building fireproof lol. You won’t stop the problem by just treating the symptoms.

      • Jabali Stewart

        I don’t see anon’s thinking as idealism, but rather revolutionary. You speak of getting rid of white supremacy etc, but there’s a simple reality in place. White supremacy exists because we all agree to subject ourselves to racial identification. Race as a construct was created for one simple purpose – to keep resources within a certain population. Trying to reform that construct is like trying to reform an amoeba…it can’t happen. There will never be racial reform because it’s primary goal as a tool is to keep the majority of resources within one population. Racial reform is closer to your idea of putting out the flames, as opposed to building a fireproof building, which is really closer to the idea of destroying the racial paradigm completely. To be identified racially is to be oppressed. It is another form of allowing oneself to be subjected to bad thinking. Kind of like when people didn’t move about the Earth freely cuz they thought it was flat. If we continue to let ourselves be shaped and guided by bad thought then we will continue to live with the bad results.

        • Hooked

          “White supremacy exists because we all agree to subject ourselves to racial identification.”- See, here’s where your argument is flawed.

          First of all, there is nothing simple about white supremacy. It is built into our institutions, embedded in us all psychologically, and has a long legacy that would take quite a while to dismantle even if we all did acknowledge its existence. One need look no further than the criminal justice system and its concomitant racist policies to conclude that racism has much less to do with how we label ourselves than how white people label others.

          Secondly, to suggest that people of color perpetuate white supremacy because they identify as such is highly problematic, and I’m just going to assume you didn’t think that one through rather than that’s what you actually believe.

          “There will never be racial reform because it’s primary goal as a tool is to keep the majority of resources within one population.”- That is NOT the goal. The goal is to distribute the resources fairly, based on merit. Even that goal in itself is not perfect because we can perhaps too easily manipulate what “merit” is, but it at least encourages us not to regard race as a marker of unearned privilege or lack thereof. “To be identified racially is to be oppressed.”- Not quite. To be identified racially and marginalized BY OTHERS is to be oppressed. By this logic, slaves were only oppressed because they perceived their race. Again, I don’t think this is what you mean, but this just sounds disgusting. If anything, the thought that we can become an equitable society by just abandoning the concept of race will only make it worse, since it’s clear that people who think along those lines don’t actually realize that their beliefs are totally in line with white supremacy.

          • Jabali Stewart

            As a concept white supremacy is quite simple. The results of living in such a society, however, are incredibly complicated. This is made even worse when we consider that the system of race falls apart under scrutiny, and thus justification for certain decisions that continue to utilizing race within a society quickly enter into the realm of nonsensical. There is no system born of this country that isn’t laced with racist ideology (including and especially the justice system), because it is a lens through which the majority of us in this country have agreed to view world. That lens is a bad one. It is wrong, false, and crafted from poor thinking. Much like seeing the world as being flat. Perception is at stake here, and all of us in the country are part of the process. For ‘whites,’ it has historically been the act of labeling, and for ‘others’ it has historically been defining itself but typically in opposition to whiteness. This is best evidenced in the Black American culture, but it manifests among others as well. Thus identity is still in terms of whiteness instead of in inherit essential qualities born of a culture itself.

            You read my statement about racial reform incorrectly. Please consider the two sentences before the statement you quoted. The system of race can never be reformed, and to think that racial reform is somehow about finding the merit of a supposed race is simply scary. That’s exactly the kind of thinking that got us into this mess in the first place.

            To continue to identify ourselves with a racial system is to be oppressed. I stand by that fully, and here’s why. The slaves you introduced into the discussion did not perceive themselves racially. That thought and identity was imposed upon them by slave masters and traders. African tribes did interact with each other in a racialized way, nor did they bring that kind of mentality with them. Race was/is the system used to erase the methods in which the African slaves historically identified. They were forced to leave behind centuries of history and adopt a new identity bounded by a racial paradigm. The same thing happened to all European immigrants that came here as well, but as we know it worked out in their favor once they decided to let go of their previous identities.
            As long as we continue to use race as a marker we will never become an equitable society, and there are simple examples of why that is the case. One simple one is considering the Hmong people who are placed in the same Asian box as the Japanese. Consider the poverty rate for all Asian-Americans at around 12%, but that overshadows the near 40% poverty rate of the Hmong people. Similar issues can be found when we consider African and Caribbean immigrants and Native born Black Americans. Consider that the majority of “blacks” who benefited from affirmative action in universities were/are Caribbean born immigrants. So numbers can be created to show high levels of ‘blacks’ in a given institution (racial reform), but the reality is that native born ‘blacks’ were/are not benefiting. Until accurate information is provided the real picture will never be seen, and that accurate information will never be seen if we continue to use a racial paradigm of categorization. The difference in history between a voluntary minority and an involuntary minority is not to be underestimated, and this difference will never be captured as long a we continue to abide by racial identity structures.

          • Hooked

            “The results of living in such a society, however, are incredibly complicated.”- I completely agree. The thing is, though, that when you examine the results of white supremacy, they reveal that seeing the world racially is unavoidable at this point. Consider what happened during slavery. Millions of Africans were brought here and were stripped of their African culture/history and humanity (they didn’t just lose it, like other immigrants). For this reason, there is no term that accurately describes native born American blacks other than “black.” Because of white supremacy, blacks have been forced into a culture defined by their circumscribed world. To forget that and to compare their loss of culture to that of European immigrants is to misunderstand the struggle of descendants of slaves entirely.

            This argument is sort of a chicken-or-the-egg type of situation. I argue that the systems must be destroyed before the labeling, and you argue the opposite. We don’t disagree that they must both be done away with.

            And I didn’t read you incorrectly. The way you analyzed racial reform is wrong because you assume that distributing resources fairly based on race is the same as creating racial inequality–which isn’t far off from what most people (wrongly) believe about affirmative action. Also, I wouldn’t call this racial reform, but rather an attempt at achieving racial equality. Keep in mind that none of this would need to occur if there were racial equality. Racial inequality, not the concept of race, is the problem, as you would agree. In order to fix a problem you don’t just ignore it, you address it head on.

            “To continue to identify ourselves with a racial system is to be oppressed. I stand by that fully, and here’s why. The slaves you introduced into the discussion did not perceive themselves racially.”- Again, this is simply wrong. The belief that it doesn’t matter how others identify you is ludacris, just ask the families of Amadou Diallo, Jonathan Ferrell, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin…I could certainly go on. It’s actually almost insulting to think this way considering the many examples to the contrary. The fact is that even if you do get rid of the labels, the stereotypes will persist, and that won’t dismantle white supremacy in the slightest.

          • Jabali Stewart

            Sorry, but work called:

            “Another point: people of color can’t simply choose not to see themselves as people of color. That just isn’t a luxury that they have. This is difficult for white people to grasp because they have that ability, as white is seen as the standard (which is essentially what white supremacy is all about).”

            Humans can choose to call ourselves whatever we want to be called, and then create systems to enforce that choice. It has happens all the time.

            “Simply put, it is up to white people to end white supremacy–to realize that it oppresses minorities, to stop participating in passive and aggressive forms of it, to stop discriminating institutionally and informally–because they are the only ones who have the power to do so.”

            Part of what troubles me with this line of thinking (which I see more and more of these days) is the willingness to give away power. In your case only ‘white’ people have any power, as only whites can stop white supremacy. Thus true ‘racial reform’ lies in the hands of whites alone. This is what your line of thinking implies, and because of that you are making my case for me…because what you are looking for will never happen. Race will always self correct itself to keep ‘whiteness’ in the normalized center. That’s what it is designed to do.

            “POC don’t have a choice but to identify themselves racially, society labels them anyway. Please stop putting the onus on POC.”

            Again you take away any power in self identification from us as though we are so feeble that our only mode of identification rests in what ‘society’ deems true. We are society. We have the choice to accept a racial label or not. This isn’t about putting any onus on POC’s as much as it is reminding us that we also have work to do. To think that we’re going to wait for ‘white’ people to get things figured out while we just sit here and do nothing is crazy talk.

            “Question for you: if doing away with racial labeling and identification were so simple, why hasn’t it been done?”

            I never said it would be simple. If anything it’ll be one of the hardest things ever done, but again – not impossible. Reversing years of bad science won’t be easy, as this conversation can reveal. But there are plenty of precedents for relabeling. Consider the switch from Negro to Black to African-American. It’s happened before and it can happen again, but it needs to be done in a deeper more specific and non-color based manner. If it’s color based then we’re back to square one, and whiteness will win. As to why we haven’t erased racial labeling even though science has shown us it’s erroneous over and over again…there are a million excuses, just as there are for why folks don’t stop smoking cigarettes. For some it’s because we’ve invested so much in that identification that it’s too hard to imagine being something else. For others it’s because the stand to lose too much in their minds. Still others are simply too lazy, while others don’t want to believe the science. The list goes on and on…

            “The thing is, though, that when you examine the results of white supremacy, they reveal that seeing the world racially is unavoidable at this point.”

            Categorically untrue. Once people thought the world was flat, and believed it could be seen no other way. Once people thought the sun revolved around the Earth, and believed it could be no other way. While it may be difficult to conceive of, it is far from impossible.

            “Consider what happened during slavery. Millions of Africans were brought here and were stripped of their African culture/history and humanity (they didn’t just lose it, like other immigrants). For this reason, there is no term that accurately describes native born American blacks other than “black.”"

            I think I made it clear that there was a difference between the African slave and European immigrant. I also don’t think ‘black’ is the most accurate term available. I think it’s a comfortable term, but what makes it any more accurate than Negro, or African-American? What makes the term as suitable for a 1st generation native born child of Ethiopian immigrants as it is for a 4th generation native born child of African slaves?

            “This argument is sort of a chicken-or-the-egg type of situation. I argue that the systems must be destroyed before the labeling, and you argue the opposite. We don’t disagree that they must both be done away with. ”

            I am not arguing that relabeling take place before any systemic destruction. I am arguing for the destruction of inaccurate labeling systems, which are directly related to almost every other system keeping this country afloat.

            “And I didn’t read you incorrectly. The way you analyzed racial reform is wrong because you assume that distributing resources fairly based on race is the same as creating racial inequality–which isn’t far off from what most people (wrongly) believe about affirmative action. Also, I wouldn’t call this racial reform, but rather an attempt at achieving racial equality. Keep in mind that none of this would need to occur if there were racial equality. Racial inequality, not the concept of race, is the problem, as you would agree. In order to fix a problem you don’t just ignore it, you address it head on.”

            You do read me wrongly for continuing to speak in racial terms is to continue to speak in inequity and oppression. There is no getting to a zero point or equitable state within a racialized system. It is completely counter to the nature of said system. Real racial reform is the abolishment of race. I agree on addressing a problem head on, which is what I have been trying to do here. It is not racial inequality as opposed to race that is the problem. It is the concept of race. If it wasn’t for the concept of race there would be no racial inequality.

            “”To continue to identify ourselves with a racial system is to be oppressed. I stand by that fully, and here’s why. The slaves you introduced into the discussion did not perceive themselves racially.”- Again, this is simply wrong. The belief that it doesn’t matter how others identify you is ludacris, just ask the families of Amadou Diallo, Jonathan Ferrell, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin…I could certainly go on. It’s actually almost insulting to think this way considering the many examples to the contrary.”

            I’m not sure how you can consider my statement to be wrong when no African prior to being dragged here in chains thought of themselves in a racialized manner. That system simply did not exist among the enslaved culture groups. Given that I have stated over and over again that enforced racial labels were tools of oppression, it makes no sense for you to claim that I believe it doesn’t matter how others identify you. I have argued rather that more important is how one defines self. In this light placing more emphasis on an identity outside of a racial paradigm which is doomed to favor whiteness no matter what reform you choose to employ is not only revolutionary but smart as well.

            “The fact is that even if you do get rid of the labels, the stereotypes will persist, and that won’t dismantle white supremacy in the slightest.”

            Why are you so sure of this? If I remember correctly, in your view only whites can really dismantle white supremacy, “Simply put, it is up to white people to end white supremacy.” Yes? You know I don’t agree. There is a sense in which time (which allows for the death of humans holding onto old thought), and shifting perspectives by offering new ways to see the world based on better thought could in fact bring about massive change in how humans relate, but we’d have to want it – and I don’t think we do right now.

          • Hooked

            “Humans can choose to call ourselves whatever we want to be called, and then create systems to enforce that choice. It has happens all the time.”- If you can name a single instance in which people deliberately sabotaged themselves because through self-identification, maybe that point would have some weight.

            What I’m telling you is, it really doesn’t matter what you call yourself if you are in an oppressed group. In fact, it matters a hell of a lot more what the dominant group thinks of the oppressed group because of the power difference. Therefore, so-called black people, even if they do not identify with the term, will still be profiled disproportionately by police and face other forms of discrimination, regardless of how they identify because they are perceived in a certain way because of the color of their skin.

            I completely agree that race is a screwed up concept, I know full well that it makes no scientific sense. But it is not bad thinking to racially self-identify because there is evidence that it actually helps one (particularly minorities) to succeed in society (http://www.news.pitt.edu/Rac_Pride_black_teens). Look, race is a stupid concept that would have been abolished or never introduced in a better world, but unfortunately, just getting rid of it without unpacking, understanding, and dismantling the way it operates isn’t revolutionary, it’s naive. If not, then the scenario I described above would happen even without a concept of phenotypic labeling.

          • Jabali Stewart

            “”Humans can choose to call ourselves whatever we want to be called, and then create systems to enforce that choice. It has happens all the time.”- If you can name a single instance in which people deliberately sabotaged themselves because through self-identification, maybe that point would have some weight.”

            I don’t follow your point here. Please help me understand this.

            “What I’m telling you is, it really doesn’t matter what you call yourself if you are in an oppressed group. In fact, it matters a hell of a lot more what the dominant group thinks of the oppressed group because of the power difference. Therefore, so-called black people, even if they do not identify with the term, will still be profiled disproportionately by police and face other forms of discrimination, regardless of how they identify because they are perceived in a certain way because of the color of their skin.”

            I know what you are saying. I also know that the cops I work with would love a campaign of specificity as it would help them better identify possible suspects. They all agree that the marker “black” or “white” really tells them nothing and leaves much up to the imagination when it comes to finding somebody in a crowd. I also see that the line of thinking you present is a dead end in this country, and therefore all of this is for naught. Again because race was constructed to keep resources and power in the hands of one race, there will never be any great “White Awakening,” and any thoughts of redistribution of resources based on a race’s merit needs to stop. As long as we allow the racial narrative to exist there will always be a ‘superior race’ that is easily identifiable by the “average joe.”

            “I completely agree that race is a screwed up concept, I know full well that it makes no scientific sense. But it is not bad thinking to racially self-identify because there is evidence that it actually helps one (particularly minorities) to succeed in society (http://www.news.pitt.edu/Rac_P…. ”

            Continuing to identify racially is to continue to support a racist system. I looked at the article you linked to, and it struck me a few ways. The first was that the title could just as easily have read this: Can Instilling Pride in Black Teens Lead to Better Educational Outcomes? or this Can Instilling Cultural Pride in Black Teens Lead to Better Educational Outcomes? and the point would have been more salient.

            “Look, race is a stupid concept that would have been abolished or never introduced in a better world, but unfortunately, just getting rid of it without unpacking, understanding, and dismantling the way it operates isn’t revolutionary, it’s naive. If not, then the scenario I described above would happen even without a concept of phenotypic labeling.”

            I’m not sure what scenario you are speaking of here. I’m not sure why you put it as simply ‘just getting rid of it.’ I never said it would be that simple. A point I have made over and over again. Once again I point you to this dialogue as proof. I also never said that it was unnecessary to understand the true nature of race. I am asking for just the opposite. The more people begin to understand how irrational it is to identify racially the better chance there is of dismantling the system. Continuing to abide by that which has oppressed you, however, is what is truly naive. Looking and literally waiting for racial reform at the hands of others, that is naive. Creating alternate modes of identification in order to change the existing paradigm, however…there’s a precedent for that: http://www.ilw.com/articles/2003,0616-smith.shtm.

          • Hooked

            Your last comment only shows how much we fundamentally agree, especially when you say “The more people begin to understand how irrational it is to identify racially the better chance there is of dismantling the system.” This is exactly one of the steps I outlined in a statement you quoted from me.

            What exactly am I misunderstanding? Did you say that we need to just stop racially self-identifying, as in stop calling ourselves black and white? Or do you basically mean that we have to understand why it’s irrational and then stop using those terms? If it’s the second one, this conversation really didn’t need to be so long, and I apologize for misunderstanding, because I’ve basically been saying the same thing.

          • Jabali Stewart

            “Did you say that we need to just stop racially self-identifying, as in
            stop calling ourselves black and white? Or do you basically mean that we
            have to understand why it’s irrational and then stop using those terms”

            I’m saying we do the second. It’s a process that will take a lot of time. We’ve been dealing with this system for centuries, and it’s going to take a long time to unravel it…

            Don’t apologize! I think it’s the sort of thing that needs to happen more often so we can link up, and move these ideas though circles. That’s the work we have to do, and I’m up for it even in the face of major opposition.

          • Hooked

            Another point: people of color can’t simply choose not to see themselves as people of color. That just isn’t a luxury that they have. This is difficult for white people to grasp because they have that ability, as white is seen as the standard (which is essentially what white supremacy is all about). Simply put, it is up to white people to end white supremacy–to realize that it oppresses minorities, to stop participating in passive and aggressive forms of it, to stop discriminating institutionally and informally–because they are the only ones who have the power to do so. POC don’t have a choice but to identify themselves racially, society labels them anyway. Please stop putting the onus on POC.

            Question for you: if doing away with racial labeling and identification were so simple, why hasn’t it been done?

  • Young Economics

    When we think about some of the albums released recently, such as Yeezus, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and Beyonce’s self titled masterpiece we see a recurring theme of going back to the content of the album rather than focusing on the singles and hits. Its surprising to me that not one of some of these artists’ songs cracked that number one spot for even a short time, believe me I’m with you all, but is it all that big of a deal? The beauty in their music was the album as a whole not just one outstanding, yet overplayed, radio hit. Kanye said, “Fuck the radio.” However, Jay Z is still one of hip-hop’s cash kings. Check out my article on the brand and the businessman himself: http://theyoungeconomics.com/2014/01/13/jay-z-week/

  • Jace Ireland

    Get lucky had Pharrell on vocals, Blurred Lines featured Pharrell, Wake Me Up featured Vocals from Aloe Blacc. Kanye’s album is far from mainstream style and Jay-Z failed to produce a real strong single. Beyonce’s latest album was a surprise video album which again doesn’t scream billboard success. Realistically it hads nothing nothing to do with race and just happens to be the songs that were most catchy. There were not many catchy rap songs in 2013, the Rick Ross “hood” rap style doesn’t have mainstream allure. I could very well see Kendrick Lamar becoming very popular on the charts soon.

  • Ralph

    I don’t think that it is a race thing, I think that it was just a coincidence. This was a huge year for black artists.
    Kanye had an amazing album, Azealia Banks was pretty successful, it was a good year for african american artists in my opinion! Billboard is all about middle america anyways. who cares about that? lol

  • BigDick187

    maybe because black perople make some supid ass fuckin music. nobody wanna hear that nonsense in 2014. niggas still be rapping about the same old shit and nobody gives a fuck anymore. still tryin to make the same songs as 10 years ago and dont change shit in it. thats why rap is corny as fuck now and no black people wanna do nothing but rap so thats why.

    • DeathsThread

      we’re talking about pop music here its all repetitive, almost every pop singer sings about how fucked up they got last weekend or w/e generic relationship based song, like that’s it. so don’t try to make a rap based thing. There’s a good chunk of the black artists that top the billboard fall into the R&B category, so thanks for contributing to the conversation even though all you basically said were irrelevant racist words

      • anotherfroy

        “BigDick187″ who can have anything relevant to add to a conversation with a name like that

        • Tracey C

          The guy you responded to on this thread.

  • CardboardBox

    Why does being the top of the charts matter? Music is music, who cares who is promoting it? Good music will find it’s way to people and race should not at all be a factor. So Justin Timberlake is up there, he had a good album. Macklemore is up there too and he also had a good album and is bringing some real hip hop back into the world. So they’re taking music, music should be open to anyone. And honestly, some of the songs in 2013 were pretty horrible and those that got that high in the charts probably did so within reason. You all know what good music sounds like, and charts shouldn’t be an obstacle. The main goal is to be a good artist, not a good “black” or “White” artist.

    • Hooked

      Being on the top of the charts matters because it represents what the public thinks is the best popular music. No, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually the best, but yes, it does matter.

      Race is only a factor here because, let’s be honest, all of the genre’s that are represented on the charts were either created by or heavily influenced by black people. It is quite disturbing that even though blacks still continue to make this music, they are not recognized for it. When we force ourselves to live “colorblind,” people of color increasingly become invisible, making it easy for us to forget history–in this case, it makes us easy to forget black people’s contribution to American music. As far as what you said about Macklemore, what is real hip hop, and why is it that he is a real purveyor of it instead of someone like Kendrick Lamar?

      I suggest you listen to Mack’s song, White privilege. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded of what’s really going on.

      • Myke Stallone

        i can tell you right now that the “public” doesn’t pic nearly ANY of the songs that are in the charts ….

        • Hooked

          I think the charts are accurate in terms of which songs people buy, but I think you’re on to something, especially if you consider what gets played on the radio.

      • kevin burrell

        Damn right

  • Annoyed

    IDIOTS! Who produced Blurred Lines? Pharrel… Stop making drama and just enjoy some music. Why am I even here. /thread

  • The Marquis

    Waaaaahhhhhh no black artists were even semi-good enough to top the charts this year, waaaaaaahhhh. Blame white people, wahhhhhh. White people this and that, waaahhhhhh.

    ….. you mad bro?

    • Tony Mitchell

      No. You’re mad

      • John

        No. You are.

  • fosterakahunter

    Here’s a helpful tool for those of you that may still be in the dark about this topic:

    http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/infographic/interactive-music-map/index.html

  • Brixton Thomas

    Again whites are getting famous off black people music

    • kevin burrell

      Yeah this is really sad. Just like the twerking shit. Shit is tote obvious dude.

      • Really?

        …music has no color. There should be no “white” or “black” music. Black people are applauded for making it to the top in any genre of music.. so why are you upset that white people are appreciating and making it big in what you call “black people music?” You’re completely discriminating.

        Although there are indeed many talented black artists in the music industry, there were many other artists that deserved to be acknowledged that year as the Billboard Hot 100. Blaming white people is a poor and insubstantial excuse…

        • Tony Mitchell

          So Rap music wasn’t created by black urban youths? Without Blacks in the world, do you really think music would be the same as it is now?

          • John

            Yes, lol.

        • AnthonyMichaelHall

          Nigga Kill Yaself,

          So, lets get this straight! Theres Latin music.
          There’s Irish music. There’s Cuban music.
          There’s Mexican music. But the race that
          is SINGLEHANDEDLY RESPONSIBLE for
          100% of all popular music Genre’s existence
          can not lay claim to it?

          Are you trying to tell me that Whites, who
          can barely clap on beat, have been unkn
          owingly usurping Black Culture- really.
          The most domineering race on the planet
          is suddenly null and void in the exploitation
          of Popular Music. Is that what your trying to
          convince me?

          So, I guess Food has no Color. I guess
          Chinese food does not exist? I guess
          Italian food is racist, too right.

          Historically, Whites have exploited other
          Cultures for their natural resources. HISTORICALLY!
          So, if i am to presume future event by past behavior,
          im discriminating? But the race that LITERALLY
          INVENTED discrimination is not?

  • akd

    LIGHT IT UP!…. Collie Buddz has brought us the party anthem!

    http://smarturl.it/CollieBuddzLyricVID

  • Based Heisenberg

    Either way I think this article is a pretty big waste of time. Maybe neat as a fun fact? but honestly who gives a fuck, people are taking this too seriously. Its music. Music thats been primarily playing through the speakers of a teenage girl sippin on her starbucks. You dont have to make good music to be on the hot 100. If its anybodys fault that this happened blame tumblr, without it macklemore wouldnt have had this much light from thrift shop to that cash out song same love. HipHop isnt changing or dead its been like this for years, all thats happening is some light is being shed on these “artists”. chill bruh. – Based Heisenberg

  • Bounce man

    About time..time for change.

  • Lester Bangs

    America wants black music spoon fed by white folks, no biggie. It’s the same old story….the people have spoken and you definitely can’t change their minds. After all it’s a business not a sympathy contest. It’s a formula that works extremely well. Half the people bitching about it don’t even listen to top 40! Pharrell, T.I. and Rihanna were only featured on the #1′s which goes to show that that’s about as much “Black” as the consumers are willing t put up with (sucks). Some things are just hard to swallow and this is one of them.

  • Greg

    HEY! Are you saying Nirvana and Rush didn’t deserve to be inducted? You even have a photo of Daft Punk, and I SWEAR they got at number one.

  • john

    i know notice that white people try to cover up what there doing by say it doesnt matter about race why is that?