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      07-29-2015, 02:41 PM   #1
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Are "mainstream" and "pop" code words for "white" when it comes to music?

Fair warning for folks who aren't "speed readers":
If you are going to read this post plus the content at the links I've included, you'll need a good 20 minutes of free time.

Public service announcement:
There's some eye candy in this post as well....


I'm not 100% sure that the answer to my title question is "yes" or "no." I can certainly see a strong case for the answer being "yes," and I don't see an equally strong case for it being "no." It's a bit dismaying for me to write that for though I'm aware that we have terms like "black music" and "white music" in the U.S. vernacular, I don't think of or buy music that way. I think of music as being things like fast, slow or something in between, a love song, a spiritual, a party song, or any number of other things all of which have to do with timbres, chords, beats, harmonies, melodies, synchopations, key changes, and, of course, how those things sound to my ear/brain and how they make me feel when I hear them.

What made this even cross my mind? Well, certainly this recent thread -- http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1148534 -- on B-post played a role. In composing my "wall of thoughts" (http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...1&postcount=93) in response to having read John Metta's essay titled "I, Racist" (https://thsppl.com/i-racist-538512462265) played a role in making me somewhat more presently aware of the topic in general. Next thing you know, I came across this: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/t...m-play-n396131 .

Now I don't listen to U.S. Top 40 broadcast music (cable, satellite or radio), so I don't personally know what they do or don't play. I am willing to take Tyrese's word for it that Top 40 (aka "mainstream") broadcasters don't/haven't play/-ed songs from his latest album. I had to actually look to see what are the top Top 40 radio stations in U.S. (http://www.cision.com/us/2012/04/top...adio-stations/)

When I found that list, it didn't escape me for one second that the Top 40 station in D.C. has WHIT as its call letters. Seeing that after encountering the NBC story about Tyrese, I thought, "well, maybe Tyrese has a point." One thing I knew is that radio station owners can request their call letters and if they are available, they get what they request.

That said, I suspect (hope as it pertains to this thread topic) the call letters are merely an unfortunate coincidence, even though I know that little in the world of business is coincidence. Even as some (hopefully very few) whites are "full on" racists, these days, unlike 60+ years ago, they aren't above earning revenue (directly or indirectly) from non-whites.

Sidebar:
I for one happen to find the "undercover" racism and bias of today more disconcerting than I do the overt and unabashed racism of years gone by. You know me. I'm an "own your sh*t" kind of person. I most respect "you" when "you" do "you," not when "you" do the "you" that "you" think others want "you" to be. For me, regardless of whether I like "you," it's all about integrity first.
End of sidebar.

Back to the thread topic...

So the question in my mind is the very one Tyrese posed. What about his latest song makes it unsuitable for Top 40, yet Robin Thicke, Sam Smith and others can get their music played on the largest stations in the country, the mainstream stations? Style-wise, there's no question that they all perform similar sounding/themed music, regardless of what label you want to put on it. (Is "R&B" code for "black" perhaps? God, I hope not.)

I think that there's "something" to why Tyrese isn't getting airplay on Top 40 stations yet has the top selling album on the planet right now. Isn't popularity the thing that makes a song be Top 40? When used without qualification, "Top 40" refers to the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. I know damn well that his album didn't go from zero to top-selling overnight; that it was headed that way had to have been apparent before it actually got to that position.

I've been using the word "Top 40" as a synonym for "mainstream music." "Mainstream" refers to a current of thought that is presently widespread. It includes all popular culture and media culture, typically disseminated by mass media. It is to be distinguished from subcultures and countercultures, and at the opposite extreme are cult followings and fringe theories. By Tyrese's music not making it onto "mainstream" radio, does that mean then that it's subcultural, countercultural, fringe or cultist music? If so, who decides that it is?

Shame by Tyrese



Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke



Stay with Me by Sam Smith



I didn't include a Justin Timberlake song because he made a point of asserting that he's a "pop" artist. Perhaps he figured the Top 40 stations might not realize he's a white guy if he didn't say that? Or perhaps as a white guy he knows he's gotta have a "label" of some sort, so better that the define what it is than let others put one on him that hurts his record sales?

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      07-29-2015, 03:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post


When I found that list, it didn't escape me for one second that the Top 40 station in D.C. has WHIT as its call letters. Seeing that after encountering the NBC story about Tyrese, I thought, "well, maybe Tyrese has a point." One thing I knew is that radio station owners can request their call letters and if they are available, they get what they request.

That said, I suspect (hope as it pertains to this thread topic) the call letters are merely an unfortunate coincidence, even though I know that little in the world of business is coincidence. Even as some (hopefully very few) whites are "full on" racists, these days, unlike 60+ years ago, they aren't above earning revenue (directly or indirectly) from non-whites.
You know, I'm not going to say much in response to this drivel about 'white man's guilt' but I will say this: if you had done even a little research, you would find that radio station call letters are assigned west of the Mississippi to start with K... and east of the Mississippi to start with W... So, HIT is a good set fo call letters for a station that plays 'hits' and W is what it is mandatorily assigned to start. Just like in Los Angeles there is a station KROQ (you know, ROQ=rock) and there is also a KHIT station in Arizona that plays....hits (albeit, Spanish hits, it being Arizona and all)
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      07-29-2015, 04:08 PM   #3
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Are we watching the same videos? Shame doesn't sound remotely similar to anything that is "popular" right now, especially neither of the two videos you listed as examples. Here's a thought: I like Tyrese, but if I heard that song come on the radio I would probably change stations. It's too slow and too sad.
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      07-29-2015, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fravel View Post
Are we watching the same videos? Shame doesn't sound remotely similar to anything that is "popular" right now, especially neither of the two videos you listed as examples. Here's a thought: I like Tyrese, but if I heard that song come on the radio I would probably change stations. It's too slow and too sad.
Hos complaint is you're not hearingit at all.
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      07-29-2015, 05:51 PM   #5
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Is "pop" music a code word for "white" music?

NOPE.

http://www.billboard.com/charts/pop-songs

More than half of the top 10 on this list feature artists who are not exclusively white. Considering current demographic breakdowns, it seems a showing that strong means that black artists are over-represented statistically in pop, not under-represented. (ie: >50% of the population is not black, yet >50% of the top 10 in pop has black artists)

If Tyrese isnt getting the airplay he wants, it's not because if his skin color. Just ask Rihanna, Nick Minaj, Jason Derulo, The Weeknd, etc etc.

Radio stations in the "pop" genre will play what gets pop music fans to listen, so they make more advertising money. Listeners in that category apparently are not blowing up the phone lines asking to hear "shame".
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      07-29-2015, 06:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 90TT View Post
You know, I'm not going to say much in response to this drivel about 'white man's guilt' but I will say this: if you had done even a little research, you would find that radio station call letters are assigned west of the Mississippi to start with K... and east of the Mississippi to start with W... So, HIT is a good set fo call letters for a station that plays 'hits' and W is what it is mandatorily assigned to start. Just like in Los Angeles there is a station KROQ (you know, ROQ=rock) and there is also a KHIT station in Arizona that plays....hits (albeit, Spanish hits, it being Arizona and all)
Was I unclear in saying that I suspect that the letters are coincidental to the station's being a Top 40 station and to this thread topic? Was I unclear in communicating that the reason it registered for me is that I had to look up what stations are the largest Top 40 ones in connection with this topic?

I'm well aware of the K and W geographical designations. In fact, I'm so well of it that I assumed most folks are too and so I didn't bother to point out the obvious because these days, little having to do with racism/prejudice/bias and their ostracizing and discriminatory effects is obvious. That so much about it isn't "hammer in the head" obvious is a large factor in why there still are racial tensions in U.S. It doesn't help that so many Americans -- ones of all races/ethnicities -- are so damn dense that what doesn't "hit them over the head" escapes their awareness.

I'm sure that station owners are well aware of how call letters are assigned. Yes, "HIT" makes sense for a Top 40 station. As a human, I can easily give the station owners the benefit of the doubt about choosing "HIT" to follow the "W." As a management consultant, it's hard for me to think that the obvious racial symbolism was missed because businesses don't miss much. Nonetheless, they do honestly miss stuff sometimes and for that reason, I'm okay with giving the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not the sort who "tilts at windmills." I wouldn't concoct something akin to a conspiracy theory pertaining to KHIT whereby, for example, the "K" is somehow "code" for "KKK," which is white folks, and the "HIT" after it is there to reinforce the "white" connotation, etc., etc., etc. I would immediately rebut any such attempt to go down that road. I'm open minded and willing to a point to exhibit a good deal of "Taylor Coleridge," but even for me, that would be pushing too far.

All the best.
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      07-29-2015, 07:00 PM   #7
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White, black; who gives a fuck!! Music today is absolute garbage. I can't listen to 90% of the shit that's on the radio. And what makes it even worse is the fact that Clear Channel has taken over all the radio stations like the Soviets did Eastern Europe. So now you can literally go through 3 different stations and there is a chance that they will be playing the same whack song at the same time on ALL 3 stations. And what's up with Niki Minaj (no idea how to spell her name)? I mean wtf is that thing. Bitch looks like Frodo the hobbit after a sex change. I'm sorry but I like music from the 90s; grunge, rock, rap, and house. Thank God for my USB stick with all my songs, else I'd spend my driving time listening to my cars exhaust note. Seriously, fuck the radio. Freddy Mercury, love you man but the days of radio are over and Radio GaGa was a great song.
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      07-29-2015, 07:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
I'm not the sort who "tilts at windmills."

You say that, but then you bring up the K=KKK and other crap, even though you say you don't believe that it is true. By even mentioning it, you imply that it is a possibility.

If you look for racism everywhere, you will find it, even when it doesn't exist.
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      07-29-2015, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 90TT View Post
You say that, but then you bring up the K=KKK and other crap, even though you say you don't believe that it is true. By even mentioning it, you imply that it is a possibility.

If you look for racism everywhere, you will find it, even when it doesn't exist.
???

It's a thread about racial bias as it applies to the selection of music. Does it strike you as bizarre that the KKK would be offered in a hypothetical example of something extreme? Do you not see the KKK as an extremist organization?

I think that it's possible that all sorts of folks can come up with all sorts of stupid ideas. That particular idea that I posed as a hypothetical is among those stupid ideas that someone might hatch, but I don't know who those folks are.

Red:
Are you calling me a liar?

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      07-29-2015, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
White, black; who gives a fuck!! Music today is absolute garbage.

I can't listen to 90% of the shit that's on the radio. And what makes it even worse is the fact that Clear Channel has taken over all the radio stations like the Soviets did Eastern Europe. So now you can literally go through 3 different stations and there is a chance that they will be playing the same whack song at the same time on ALL 3 stations.

And what's up with Niki Minaj (no idea how to spell her name)? I mean wtf is that thing. Bitch looks like Frodo the hobbit after a sex change.

I'm sorry but I like music from the 90s; grunge, rock, rap, and house. Thank God for my USB stick with all my songs, else I'd spend my driving time listening to my cars exhaust note. Seriously, fuck the radio. Freddy Mercury, love you man but the days of radio are over and Radio GaGa was a great song.
Your post raises a totally different topic. Like you, the majority of music I prefer is from the last century. I also like contemporary Chinese and Japanese pop. It's ultra "bubble gum" sounding, but I can listen to it for little while. I think part of why I can listen to it is that I get a little thrill when I actually recognize the lyrics/words (the Mandarin ones, not the "Chi-ninglish" ones). That said, on the occasions I hear American pop music, I often enough also can't make out what the words are. LOL

Chinese pop medlies





Chinese "high energy" dance song




Red:
That happens all around the world. That's one thing that's common about pop music and radio stations that play it.

Blue:
??? I don't have the first idea what songs she sings, but I have heard her name before. Now that you made me check on the Frodo I know what she looks like too.








I gotta be honest; I don't see the Frodo connection at all. If you just want to say she's not good looking, then just say so. If that's what you think, well, that is what it is....

All the best.
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      07-30-2015, 05:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Your post raises a totally different topic. Like you, the majority of music I prefer is from the last century. I also like contemporary Chinese and Japanese pop. It's ultra "bubble gum" sounding, but I can listen to it for little while. I think part of why I can listen to it is that I get a little thrill when I actually recognize the lyrics/words (the Mandarin ones, not the "Chi-ninglish" ones). That said, on the occasions I hear American pop music, I often enough also can't make out what the words are. LOL

Chinese pop medlies





Chinese "high energy" dance song




Red:
That happens all around the world. That's one thing that's common about pop music and radio stations that play it.

Blue:
??? I don't have the first idea what songs she sings, but I have heard her name before. Now that you made me check on the Frodo I know what she looks like too.








I gotta be honest; I don't see the Frodo connection at all. If you just want to say she's not good looking, then just say so. If that's what you think, well, that is what it is....

All the best.
Oh God dude you never heard of "Lord Of the Rings"?? It was a reference to her overall look and height but never mind.
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      07-30-2015, 06:20 AM   #12
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By all this B vs W bullshit and all these strange popstar name's I miss Michael Jackson more and more...
He was the balance and order keeper in this whole music machine.
As for me none of this new twinkler's is worth listen to.
Dang...do I miss Mike...
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      07-30-2015, 06:39 AM   #13
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"I think that there's "something" to why Tyrese isn't getting airplay on Top 40 stations yet has the top selling album on the planet right now. Isn't popularity the thing that makes a song be Top 40? When used without qualification, "Top 40" refers to the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. I know damn well that his album didn't go from zero to top-selling overnight; that it was headed that way had to have been apparent before it actually got to that position."


I checked the top 40 album charts and Tyrese is NOT on any of them. Where are you pulling this info from? Tyrese has a top selling R&B album, which is a niche market. Majority of people out there do not listen to R&B.. Metallica can put out a top metal album tomorrow and it won't get any air time on the mainstream radio stations either. That's not racism it's just that most people out there do not listen to heavy metal music.

Tiesto is one of the top DJs out there but you won't hear his stuff on the radio because again the music he produces is aimed at a specific audience. From the house/trance music genre you might occasionally hear Avicii but that's about it.

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      07-30-2015, 07:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAxiom View Post
Hos complaint is you're not hearingit at all.
Good. It's not good music, I don't want to hear it. That's my point - maybe it isn't getting any play because it just isn't good. Sure, Tyrese has had some success in the past but that doesn't automatically entitle him to having every radio station on the planet blasting his music.

EDIT: To further prove my point I went and checked out the AT Top 40 website. 4 out of the top 5 songs this week are by black artists or feature black artists on the track. Get out of here with this nonsense.

EDIT AGAIN: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Tyrese released this album independently, read: No big money backing him. No shit he's not getting airtime...what's that phrase that is so popular around here? Ohh yeah... "Gotta pay to play". Also, I like how you didn't bother including this quote from him: "I'm Not going to do a house or techno version of SHAME to get radio spins!!! I'm not putting on no tight pants to have more pop appeal - I don't wanna be cool,". He doesn't want to be cool. He doesn't want to be popular. He doesn't care about actually being an entertainer - he just wants to use race to guilt people into giving him more money. Here's a thought: make music in a genre people actually want to listen to, herp derp.
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      07-30-2015, 08:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
...

I checked the top 40 album charts and Tyrese is NOT on any of them. ...
Top Album sales: This week, #2. Last week #1. (http://www.billboard.com/charts/top-album-sales) Prior to that, his release "Stay" was on the char for 11 weeks at #1. (http://www.billboard.com/articles/co...adult-rb-songs)

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      07-30-2015, 09:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
...Is "R&B" code for "black" perhaps? ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by fravel View Post
....

EDIT: To further prove my point I went and checked out the AT Top 40 website. 4 out of the top 5 songs this week are by black artists or feature black artists on the track. Get out of here with this nonsense.
Apparently it is for some people...

I don't think the man's gripe is about whether there are black artists getting air play on mainstream radio. It's about his being an R&B artist just like those other folks are, and having an album that was the #1 selling album and is still at #2, and those artists get airplay and he does not, and he's black and they are not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fravel View Post
EDIT AGAIN: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Tyrese released this album independently, read: No big money backing him. No shit he's not getting airtime...what's that phrase that is so popular around here? Ohh yeah... "Gotta pay to play". Also, I like how you didn't bother including this quote from him: "I'm Not going to do a house or techno version of SHAME to get radio spins!!! I'm not putting on no tight pants to have more pop appeal - I don't wanna be cool,". He doesn't want to be cool. He doesn't want to be popular. ...Here's a thought: make music in a genre people actually want to listen to, ....
Red:
To be honest, I don't know what "independently released" specifically means.
Also, I don't know how "independent" his release really was ; his label is Caroline, which is a unit of Virgin Records, and Capitol Records is the distributor for Caroline, so it's not clear to me why Mr. McDonald referred to Tyrese being an "independent distributor" or "new talent." Tyrese has released seven albums since 1998; that's hardly what I'd call "new." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrese_discography) Also, I could be mistaken, but Caroline and Capitol don't sound like "no money" to me.
Blue:
Well, the man had a #1 selling album last week (it's #2 this week), which means people do want to listen to his music, regardless of how popular he wants to be. I don't think radio stations choose their playlists based on whether an artist wants to be popular. I think they craft them based on what consumers show they want to hear by buying the artist's music, or asking the station to play it. Maybe even a combo of both.


Are you suggesting that "a house or techno version of SHAME" or "wearing tight pants" is what it takes to be popular? It sure doesn't seem necessary for the artists Tyrese referenced. Moreover, those deeds don't seem appropriate for Tyrese. He's not a 20-something and the music on his album isn't "kid-like" (for lack of a better term...showing my age...sorry). Lastly, I don't think he's saying he doesn't want to be popular. To the contrary, I think he wants to be and that's why he's griping.


All the best.
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      07-30-2015, 10:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Apparently it is for some people...

I don't think the man's gripe is about whether there are black artists getting air play on mainstream radio. It's about his being an R&B artist just like those other folks are, and having an album that was the #1 selling album and is still at #2, and those artists get airplay and he does not, and he's black and they are not.




Red:
To be honest, I don't know what "independently released" specifically means.
Also, I don't know how "independent" his release really was ; his label is Caroline, which is a unit of Virgin Records, and Capitol Records is the distributor for Caroline, so it's not clear to me why Mr. McDonald referred to Tyrese being an "independent distributor" or "new talent." Tyrese has released seven albums since 1998; that's hardly what I'd call "new." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrese_discography) Also, I could be mistaken, but Caroline and Capitol don't sound like "no money" to me.
Blue:
Well, the man had a #1 selling album last week (it's #2 this week), which means people do want to listen to his music, regardless of how popular he wants to be. I don't think radio stations choose their playlists based on whether an artist wants to be popular. I think they craft them based on what consumers show they want to hear by buying the artist's music, or asking the station to play it. Maybe even a combo of both.


Are you suggesting that "a house or techno version of SHAME" or "wearing tight pants" is what it takes to be popular? It sure doesn't seem necessary for the artists Tyrese referenced. Moreover, those deeds don't seem appropriate for Tyrese. He's not a 20-something and the music on his album isn't "kid-like" (for lack of a better term...showing my age...sorry). Lastly, I don't think he's saying he doesn't want to be popular. To the contrary, I think he wants to be and that's why he's griping.


All the best.
The radio only plays a specific genre of POP music.. If your record does not fall into that genre it will not be played.. Again R&B is a specific niche of music and it won't get played on the mainstream radio stations. I'm sure that the R&B based stations (the few that are out there) are playing his records. There are plenty of black artists who get played on the pop stations, again it's all about marketing and making sure your music falls within the criteria that the pop stations want.
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      07-30-2015, 10:35 AM   #18
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Why the fuck do people even respond to tony20009 's threads anymore?

He has been inundating this section of the forum with this junk for quite some time now.
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      07-30-2015, 10:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
The radio only plays a specific genre of POP music.. If your record does not fall into that genre it will not be played.. Again R&B is a specific niche of music and it won't get played on the mainstream radio stations. I'm sure that the R&B based stations (the few that are out there) are playing his records. There are plenty of black artists who get played on the pop stations, again it's all about marketing and making sure your music falls within the criteria that the pop stations want.
But it does get played on Pop stations. That's the point. Sam Smith's song and Robin Thicke's song both aired on mainstream stations. There is no question that R&B stations do play his music.

Red:
Black artists....I think the point of what Tyrese wrote and what's at the heart of the issue is what I only mentioned parenthetically in my OP. Perhaps I was naive (mistaken, and thus unknowingly misdirected the nature of the discussion here) to have not given that aspect of the matter more emphasis. Does "R&B"/"R&B music/artist" ==> Black artist, and on the other side of the coin, does "top 40/pop/mainstream music/artist" ==> White artist?

In all honesty, while I see the potential for Tyrese's gripe to have some merit, I'm not entirely sure if it does or doesn't. I know what I think about music, and I know what I've observed re: music, but as a very infrequent pop/mainstream music and pop radio listener these days, I don't know what they play.

I looked at the Billboard Pop chart and the only artist whose name I recognized was Taylor Swift, who I thought was a country artist, but upon looking for her song, found it sounds like hip-hop to me. When it comes to the songs listed there, I didn't know a single one of the 20 by name. I picked the top five, and two others (Lean on and Honey I'm Good) and the only one I recognized as having heard before was Worth It, which strikes me as a cross between hip-hop and dance.

I will say one thing...I can understand why fravel can't stand to listen to it. That alone was enough to make me wonder why the hell is that drivel popular? But that's a different question.

All the best.
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      07-30-2015, 11:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
But it does get played on Pop stations. That's the point. Sam Smith's song and Robin Thicke's song both aired on mainstream stations. There is no question that R&B stations do play his music.

Red:
Black artists....I think the point of what Tyrese wrote and what's at the heart of the issue is what I only mentioned parenthetically in my OP. Perhaps I was naive (mistaken, and thus unknowingly misdirected the nature of the discussion here) to have not given that aspect of the matter more emphasis. Does "R&B"/"R&B music/artist" ==> Black artist, and on the other side of the coin, does "top 40/pop/mainstream music/artist" ==> White artist?

In all honesty, while I see the potential for Tyrese's gripe to have some merit, I'm not entirely sure if it does or doesn't. I know what I think about music, and I know what I've observed re: music, but as a very infrequent pop/mainstream music and pop radio listener these days, I don't know what they play.

I looked at the Billboard Pop chart and the only artist whose name I recognized was Taylor Swift, who I thought was a country artist, but upon looking for her song, found it sounds like hip-hop to me. When it comes to the songs listed there, I didn't know a single one of the 20 by name. I picked the top five, and two others (Lean on and Honey I'm Good) and the only one I recognized as having heard before was Worth It, which strikes me as a cross between hip-hop and dance.

I will say one thing...I can understand why fravel can't stand to listen to it. That alone was enough to make me wonder why the hell is that drivel popular? But that's a different question.

All the best.
R&B singers are predominately black and for example heavy metal singers tend to be nearly always white. Neither one of them will get play on the major (CLear Channel) owned pop stations, no matter how many albums they sell. Again radio play is not a black or white thing, only songs that will get play are the ones with catchy and uplifting beats. Lyrics don't even matter, hence why no talents such as Nicki Minaj continues to get play. And she will continue to get play because she is "marketable".
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      08-24-2015, 08:09 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
R&B singers are predominately black and for example heavy metal singers tend to be nearly always white. Neither one of them will get play on the major (CLear Channel) owned pop stations, no matter how many albums they sell. Again radio play is not a black or white thing, only songs that will get play are the ones with catchy and uplifting beats. Lyrics don't even matter...
Red:
Agree.

Blue:
That that isn't true is exactly Tyrese's point. His music and that of Robin Thick and Sam Smith are quite similar, yet they get pop radio air play. Mr. Thicke's Blurred Lines definitely has the "catchy beats" you mention, and to that end I think Tyrese's comments/point is contextually invalid; it's like equating Sister Act's Oh Happy Day to Nearer My God to Thee. Mr. Smith's anthem, however, is a very different, and apt, comparison. Like Tyrese's song, it's far more "blues" than rhythm.

As for the general premise that "catchy and uplifting" are the primary determinants for obtaining pop radio air play...well, if one listens to much R&B music, one'll find there's no dearth of such tunes. Very few of them get/got pop radio air play and, as you noted, a great many of them, most in fact, are performed by black artists. Something played into it beyond the song's merely being "catchy and uplifting."

Having written the above, I realize that your point about "catchy and uplifting" has a large degree of relevance re: what fits the "definition" of so-called "pop music." A very large share of it does have a beat that is easily identifiable and easy for "bee-boping in place" or tapping one's foot as one might do while driving or at work. All the same, it seems reasonable that popularity -- as defined by something and record sales seems an appropriate "something" -- ought to be sufficient to get a song played on pop radio stations. Otherwise, WTH is "pop music?"

Lastly, while I think it possible that Tyrese has a point, and a point that's at least worth noting, I'm not convinced he's made his point all that well. In fact, I'm more certain than not that he hasn't made it all that well. That, however, doesn't mean the verity he describes isn't so or that the point should be ignored or discredited out of hand.

All the best.
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      08-24-2015, 08:15 AM   #22
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After this, you cant have a successful music career. Look at Luda. Hasnt dropped a popular album since.



R&B isnt a huge genre, and Robin Thicke/Sam Smith arent really R&B. They are more Pop than anything. Just look at the XM Radio Channel List. There is one "R&B" Station, and they play more of the mainstream rap than R&B. There are about 10 "Pop/Mainstream" Channels.
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