Over 750 Artists & Companies involved in the music industry call for repeal of Section 50-A of NYS’ Civil Rights Law

Over 750 people, companies and organizations in and around the music industry — including Anderson .Paak, singer and fashion mogul Rihanna, rapper and prison reform advocate Meek Mill, tech billionaire Elon Musk, “super-manager” Irving Azoff and all three of the major labels and their myriad sub-labels — have signed a petition to repeal Section 50-a of New York state’s Civil Rights Law. The coalition claims the statute has been used to shield police officers from accountability.

Since 1976, the statute has prevented the personnel records of any police officer, corrections officer or firefighter from being made public. The law was intensely criticized following the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of then-NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose disciplinary history was prevented from being released by the 50-A statute.

UPDATE 6/10/2020: The New York State Senate has passed S8496/A10611. This bill would repeal Section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law, a statute that deals with the way law enforcement disciplinary records are handled statewide.

Next, the repeal advances to the Assembly, which it must pass before ultimately heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

The bill modifies the Public Officers Law so that disciplinary records of police, fire, and corrections officers are accountable, subject to transparent public disclosure via Freedom of Information requests.


Gucci Mane leaving Atlantic Records

In a pair of since-deleted tweets, Gucci Mane announced that he’s leaving Atlantic Records next month and also called the label “polite racists.”

In another now-removed tweet, Gucci also called for artists to go on strike, writing, “All artists let’s go on strike fuck these racist ass labels burn then down too #BlackLivesMatter #BlackExecMatter fuck these crackers???”

Gucci is always airing out these majors and declaring his independence though. In 2017, he tweeted he was dropping his label and gonna drop a new mixtape every other day. Didn’t happen though. Is this a real movement for Gucci? Or is it a ploy to get the labels to come up off them dollas??

Music Trends

Dave Chappelle in 8 min 46 sec.

Sometimes, shit ain’t funny, and this wasn’t a time for jokes. Chappelle needed to get something off his chest. I don’t know if the guests thought they were there for laughs or if they exited the outdoor venue confused as all get out but Dave put everyone on notice, he wasn’t here to soothe your aching soul. Like most people over the last few months, he couldn’t find a single thing funny since watching the murder porn that was George Floyd’s death. His surprise Netflix special released on YouTube, took the time to unpack the raw pain that many Black men in America, and across the world, are feeling. It’s no time for celebrities to be the voice of the movement, they’ve got no more standing than you or I. Anything any celebrity can say, would be woefully inadequate at this time, he rails. I would concur – except that even his raw and angry rants, while so thoroughly encapsulating the feelings of Black people, are still fully therapeutic and totally entertaining.



The Grammys drop the ‘URBAN’ title

The radio-format term had long been used in the music industry as a synonym for traditionally Black musical genres such as hip-hop, R&B, and more dating back to the 1970s, pioneered by DJ Frankie Crocker. The company said in a memo (per Variety), “As with a lot of our history, the original connotation of the term urban was not deemed negative.”

But over time, the term “developed into a generalization of Black people in many sectors of the music industry, including employees and music by Black artists,” the note continued.

The Recording Academy has renamed its Best Urban Contemporary Album category: It will now be known as “Best Progressive R&B Album.” The update to the award, won by Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You earlier this year, was designed “to describe the merit or characteristics of music compositions or performances themselves,” according to a statement. Likewise, Best Rap/Sung Performance — last won by DJ Khaled, John Legend, and Nipsey Hussle for “Higher” — will now be known as “Best Melodic Rap Performance.”

Additionally, the Latin Urban genre has now moved into the Latin Pop category to create two new designations: “Best Latin Pop or Urban Album” and “Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.” The criteria for Best New Artist has also been updated, so now if a “new” artist has released 10 albums (or mixtapes), they can still be eligible. “While there will be no specified maximum number of releases, the screening committees will be charged with determining whether the artist had attained a breakthrough or prominence prior to the eligibility year,” the language reads.


BTS stands with BLM!

After K-pop titans BTS stated their solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter this week, declaring “we stand together” against racial discrimination, the group and its Korean record label are making a further commitment: BTS and Big Hit Entertainment have donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter!

“Black people all over the world are in pain at this moment from the trauma of centuries of oppression. We are moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives.” Warner Music and its primary owner Len Blavatnik, as well as Sony Music, have also pledged $100 million each to social justice causes.