Include, Exclude, Excuse

The Rap music industry is a business that was mirrored after the business plans of other musical genres such as Rock N Roll, Jazz, and Blues. With Rap music being a cultivation of the former it’s no surprise that the same people involved in the business would gravitate to the newer sound. Business moguls in those times were white people, including Jews, who knew the business. These same business men and women had a history of not paying Black artists what they’re owed or what they’re worth. Some have gone on to fake the funk by putting a Black voice behind their white-face acts or just steal their entire image right from up under them. We know Elvis was a big time pillager of Black talent and according to Little Richard his entire essence was stolen from him!

So a lot of bad business became the standard in the Rap music industry as it evolved. When you hear about people in the industry not getting paid, blocking others from opportunities, sabotaging each other, and the like are all learned behaviors. In turn as we try to reach what they define as success we redirect those same negative habits onto new unsuspecting artist in an attempt to get back at the one who got us. In simpler terms; hurt people hurt people and you can teach what you haven’t learned. When the business first started making money in the eighties the line in the sand was drawn that this is business. There are no friends, no family, and no deals without paper and ink. Dame Dash gave Lee Daniels a loan on a verbal agreement that the two came to terms with and low and behold Dame hasn’t gotten his money back yet.

I could almost bet that someone told Mr. Daniels that he doesn’t need to pay Dame back because the business wasn’t in stone on paper and signed by the two parties. But Dame loaned him that money as a Black man trying to help another Black man. Instead of adhering to what you’ve been taught was morally correct you go for the opposite. Taking advantage of people or doing “good” business isn’t always good for business. You want to be included but then you exclude others and then ask them to excuse you and your business practices. We try so hard to get from up under the thumb of “them” but not to submit to someone who is supposed to be looking out for me and my wellbeing. When people throw out that line about things being business and not personal it’s because they’ve been wronged and they get satisfaction out of wronging others. But you all know that two wrongs don’t make it right so instead of holding on to the business of hurt feelings include me in the right way to do business so we can exclude them from our business and we aren’t’ giving each other excuses for how we do business.

“Inclusion is a hell of a drug.” – Nas (Everything)

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