UPDATED 9/18/12: Petition Created| CEO Universal Music Group: Pull the 2 Chainz “Birthday Song” video from the airwaves | Change.org http://chn.ge/VaAaGi
Recently Nuala Cabral penned an open letter to Lucien Grainge, CEO of Universal Music Group. Cabral was ignited by the recently released music video “Birthday Song” by “rapper” 2 Chainz featuring Kanye West. If you think we’ve reached the lowest point of degradation and exploitation of women of color, you haven’t seen this video.
The song is actually owned by Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest recording company, boasting about 20 record labels including Island Def Jam, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, and Motown Records. They also own the largest catalog of recorded music in the world and reign as the world’s largest publishing house. The company did a cool $68 billion in revenue in 2011. As for Grainge, in 2011 he enjoyed a 114.5 percent rise in his pay to $16.3 million dollars.
Here’s the video:
Why is this song inside your ears and in front of your eyeballs?
Because, as Nuala asserts, Grainge and his team of senior executives produce, market, distribute and profit from it. In this game 2 Chainz, Kanye West are the pawns, like monkeys who dance for the organ grinder, they are the tools of the trade – necessary in order to capture the real consumer dough for their owner. They have chosen to literally “sell-out” culture, values, and respect of women of color. But they didn’t stop there.
Did you notice the children in the video? How about Kanye towing the stripper cake with the over-sized fake boobs? What about the filth in the house as the East Indian man guzzles his 40 while ogling the big-butt hoes? These are some of the messages that will be transmitted around the globe.
Cabral says, “women of color being degraded, dehumanized and reduced to ASS — is nothing new. We live in a world where black and brown women’s bodies have been exploited since slavery.” She continues, “Mr. Grainge, as CEO of the largest music company in America, be clear that you, your senior executives and board members are contributing to a legacy of exploitation“.
So how do we end it? The only way is to stop consuming the product. Pause the exploitation by reducing profits, market share, and brand loyalty. Women of color, and others that feel this is too far over the line — will have to organize and hit the industry in the wallet. Stop buying the music and stop supporting the artists on all levels. Concerts, merchandise, record sales, downloads, ringtones, and any other economic ventures.
If you’re not willing to do that, “Birthday Song” will not be the bottom, in fact you may look back and see it as the high point in respecting women of color. Cabral has made a start. What say you?