Ballotboxballs

The Rap Industry Blackball

As the NFL season will be starting in a few weeks and if you’re a sports fan like me there’s nothing like football. (Outside of the concussions) However if you’re a member of the Black community you should still want Colin Kaepernick on a field in some capacity. There is no reason that ANY of the worse teams in the league aren’t perusing him. It is no secret that Colin’s pro-Black image, remarks, and community service is why he is being blackballed from the league. This country’s history has shown us time and time again that Black people cannot stand up for each other without their livelihood and/or life being taken away. This in turn alienates the rest of the Black community making them afraid to speak up in the future. Athletes, actresses, models, and whatever other industry you can name can have anyone blackballed for any reason at any time. Blackballing is a term used mostly in the industry if entertainment, including sports, where the individual is shunned from becoming successful in their chosen line of work resulting in any and all opportunities for advancement are cutoff as well as relationships that were thought to be “in good standing”. From Muhammed Ali to Paula Jai Parker a lot of these men and women seem to fall off without notice once they rub someone the wrong way or refuse to shuck and jive for the man. The Rap industry has blackballed their share of Rappers without a doubt. While Black Chyna is getting calls from record labels like Capitol Records Rappers like Canibus, R.A. Rugged Man, and Lupe Fiasco couldn’t get their rhymes played on any platform and still can’t.

Only those who are true to themselves are blackballed because the entertainment industry is a game and if you aren’t willing to play by their rules you’ll be put out. There are white entertainers who have been blackballed but the longstanding history of public lynching still runs deep in the veins of this country and the ancestors of those who built it. Today’s Rap industry is not a place for anyone who wants to make a positive change specifically for the Black community. Up until the late nineties you could be political in your music with no pushback from the label but look at what happened with Lupe’s Tetsuo and Youth album. The hacker group Anonymous ended up threatening the label because they refused to release it! With today’s social media and technology I know how easy it is to get your own content out into the universe but if no one but you, your friends, and family know about it the impact of your message will be lost. This goes for anyone even me; I’m sure there’s some executive reading these pieces every week and weekend just like you all trying to stay ahead of the curves I throw. Warning people against reaching out to do something on a larger scale. There is one reason blackballing is done in the Rap industry and you guessed it, money!

The Black community has the most buying power in this country so if we start becoming more engaged economically, socially, and politically through music why would the 1% allow u to strive and prosper? The 1% owns the record labels, online media outlets, television networks, radio stations, and the major streaming services so now what do you do? How can you continue to work in the Rap industry if you can’t get signed or you can’t at least get a distribution deal? Any Rapper can upload their content to YouTube, Soundcloud, or whatever but if you work at the big bully label and called your homie and tell them they need to take a particular artist’s content off of the site what do you think your friend would do? It isn’t what you know or who you know, its how much money and power do you have. You have to break the glass ceiling in order to not be blackballed but tell that to Bill Cosby and Orenthal James.

“Cause the same people that tried to black ball me, forgot about two things, my black balls.” Kanye West (Gorgeous)