View Full Version : So much for the 'Land of the free'

Colin B
Nov 16th, 2002, 05:07 PM
From The Guardian

by Merope Mills.

Shadow over Craig David's US tour

The 'reverse racism' that marked the careers of jazz musicians Billie Holliday and Louis Armstrong is now threatening to blight the path of British R&B singer Craig David.
More than 50 years after Armstrong was criticised by black newspapers for working with a white trombonist, David, 21, is being encouraged to drop white guitarist Fraser T Smith from his backing band to maximise sales during a two-month promotional campaign in the US.
Black executives at urban radio networks in America have advised him that the presence of a white guitarist will hamper his potential for a bigger fanbase.
David says he was told an all-black support band would maximise sales among an African-American audience.
In an Interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, the singer said that he found it "disappointing that there was still this slight sense of racism going on over there".
Craig, son of a half-Jewish white mother and a father from Grenada, said he had no intention of changing musicians: "It shouldn't matter what colour or creed you are. Fraser plays licks that half those 'urban' guys can't even fathom. They can lump it or leave it".
British critics argue that the American outlook reinforces a racial divide by labelling R&B and hip-hop as exclusively African-American music. "In America, the music scene is seriously segregated," said one record label insider.
Over there, urban music is just a euphamism for black music, and it's really hard for us to get our white artists played on urban radio".
He cited Eternal, in the mid-90s the most successful girl-group in Britain, with three black and one white singers: "Before they went out to America they didn't let anyone know that Louise was white.
"It was only when they got there, to the radio stations, that people realised there was a white girl in the group. They couldn't get as much promotion from urban areas as they would for an all black group".

I'm amazed this kind of attitude still prevails in 21st century America!!!

Mercury Rising
Nov 16th, 2002, 05:10 PM
LOL you're amazed! Read about the homosexuals in the US Army.
"The Land of the Free" is a fairytale.

Nov 16th, 2002, 05:23 PM
I 'm surprised to hear that about a white musician in a r&b group. Because the artist SADE from England has enjoyed immense success in the black community and her band consist of several white musicians.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 16th, 2002, 05:25 PM
It's kind of sad.... I hope that he just sticks with who he is comfortable with. It is about the music afterall ;)

Nov 16th, 2002, 07:58 PM
You tell them Craig.. You were Born To Do It (tm) after all.

So, what's your flava?


Nov 16th, 2002, 08:38 PM
Thats quite sad really music is music at the end of the day race should make no difference!

Nov 16th, 2002, 10:50 PM
Please stop being hypocritical. How many of you guys have black musicians among your top 10 favorites? How many Europeans? Stop pointing fingers at Americans because the same stuff and choices happen in Europe. Whether good or bad (definitely bad), a lot of you guys are influenced both by the music and the person who gives the music. It seems to me now that race does matter a lot in quite a large number of musical choices people make, including who plays the music. And judging from personal experience, its as bad, if not worse in Europe.

One good thing though with Mr. David sticking with his guitarist. It might draw more white people to his music, pretty much the same number of blacks he might lose (if this article is to be believed). That's the way the world works not only in the "Land of Freedom", but anywhere else.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 16th, 2002, 11:21 PM
I'm not being a hypocrite. Regardless of wether or not this happens in Canada or not, does not change my opinion on the matter.

Furthermore the article talked about the USA - excuse me for not bringing up race relations in Belgium :rolleyes:

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 17th, 2002, 01:34 AM
Well it may all be unfortunate, but what has *freedom* got to do with it? I don't see anything about the US government, or even a giant US corporation, forcing this guy not to use a white musician. It just says he has been *advised* by black radio executives that it would be commercially wise to have an all-black line-up. That may or may not be sound commercial advice!

If it *is* sound advice about the American music market, the social situation it reflects might well be a bad thing, but the problem is one of a racially divided culture, etc, not of someone's liberty being denied them by someone exercising arbitrary power.

Hopefully, this band and others in similar situations will have the integrity to challenge that culture rather than making easy commercial decisions. But that's up to them.

I don't think anyone here is being "hypocritical" - not even Rebecca (j/k) - but A4 does otherwise have a point, folks.

Nov 17th, 2002, 01:39 AM
exactly jouissant! The title of this thread makes no sense to the actual article. The band is free to come to the US and play with their current line up. I guess some higher-ups in the Music biz would rather see the one man gone, and replaced, by someone who could supposedly sell more records, but I don't see how this has anything to do with the title of the thread.

Colin B
Nov 17th, 2002, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by GoMonica
exactly jouissant! The title of this thread makes no sense to the actual article.

Yes, you're probably (both) right but "so much for the commercial freedom of a musician to choose band members when touting for buisness in the US through a promotional tour and and appearances on 'urban' radio stations" seemed a bit long winded.
If the thread is still 'alive' tomorrow, I'll think up a better one!