I used to think that there was some kind of conspiracy in the music industry, that there was a dark, underhanded plot to subjugate the masses with ignorant music. That our people only listened to that stuff because there were no other options and that, given the chance, they would choose the more intelligent and creative fare that the recording industry is trying to extinguish, because the inevitable revolution against the rich is being derailed...by bad music.
Now, I realize how ridiculous that sounds.
Truth is, there is no conspiracy. No one's forcing folks to buy Yung Dro CDs. They buy it because they like it. To believe anything else is giving the average person entirely too much credit. Let's face it, if shows like "The Real Housewives of Lithonia" can be a hit, then it shouldn't shock us that chicks who wear meat dresses are music stars. There isn't a conspiracy against Little Brother videos. BET just knows their audience. And their audience doesn't care that Hurricane Chris was a complete embarrassment to black people.
I can understand blaming corporations for selling substandard food because it's cheaper to produce than the healthy stuff and ignorant people won't know the difference. After all, we have to eat that stuff. I can see blaming corporations for their oil prices or non-working brakes. Cutting corners on safety measures when throwing up a building. I get that. It makes sense. They won't spend money to make better stuff if they don't have to.
But music is different, because it's not vitally important that we have it; not unless you're an overly dramatic person who actually says things like, "I would DIE without good music." Then, you're probably an asshole. It's based on your personal taste and what you've been exposed to. I know that growing up, most black people were exposed to a lot of the same types of music, and yet, many of us still don't want anything to do with Lil Wayne. If it were an exact science, more black people would be into Metallica.
So, from that perspective, blaming the RIAA or RadioOne or ClearChannel for the decline in music isn't really accurate, because they don't shape peoples' tastes. If you don't like something, no amount of shoving it down your throat is going to make you like it. It's why rape victims never fall in love with the rapist.
Sure, the current music is cheaper to make and easier to mass produce than, say...giant bands with horn sections or artists who are trying to make colors emit from sound. Yes, it benefits the corporations for things to be like they are, but they're really just chasin' them dollars by giving the people what they want. And evidently, what they want includes a repetitive hook, a guest appearance from Nicki Minaj, and lots of Autotune.