Rod and Karen discuss Drake’s newest diss, Tillie back, all day breakfast at McDonald’s, Google restaurant traffic, Tyrese on racism in radio, Chris Christie against drugs, Conan accused of joke theft from Twitter, Chipotle quesarito, fast food places might sue New York, sharks in the water, British politician quits, 911 operator gets an attitude and let’s someone die, Scott Walker protestors, Samuel Dubose, BallerAlert, kitten abuse, pastor molests boy, mom arrested while interviewing for a job and sword ratchetness.
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Podcast (archive): Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:19:09 — 31.9MB)
I’m tired of all this shark slander on the news. If a delicious popeyes 3 piece rolls through my living room you’re damn right I’m gonna gobble that shit up. Well guess what dummies, the ocean is where sharks live! I know folks are used to gentrification but you’re not going to Columbus the fucking ocean.
And for all the new listeners that came aboard the last week or so, I know we call Rod and Karen the King and Queen and you might be confused. That’s of Black PODCASTING, not Black PEOPLE! They can’t snap their fingers and send an army of negritude down to support your liberal cause. They are not T’challa and Storm. But you’d still better keep their names out of your mouth.
I’ve got to second what btouch says: Tyrese is doing way too much, trying to get media attention for what is a well-trod complaint about the music industry. There would be no need for “Unsung”, if songs like “Shame” were successful. Yes, there are black artists in the Top 40, but ever since Michael Jackson, it is known that you have to take some of the baritone out of your voice, and lighten up the overall package, in order to succeed in the “mainstream” market.
The same way that “black people” come between butter pecan and blackberry molasses, we are also used to hearing a variety of song types. Outside of the occasional outlier (say Barry White, dare I say Cee-Lo Green), mainstream audiences can’t really deal with songs beyond, say Usher. Historically, the record industry takes that Tyrese song, strips it down a few layers, has Nick Lachey do it, and cranks out a hit.
It’s unfair, Tyrese. But don’t act like you are shocked – your song is getting exactly what that song always gets. Take your voice up a few octaves, stop singing from your diaphragm, take advantage of that “Fast and Furious” connection, and sell out for them hits. Do that collaboration with One Direction, or with Ariana Grande, or with MacLemore – watch those dollars roll in. But stop acting like your wannabe Teddy Pendergrass sound was going to get you any further than it got Teddy.
Sorry for the following rant, but Tyrese out here trying to juug people.
According to Billboard, his single “Shame” is a #1 hit not on the main R&B chart, but on the Adult R&B chart (this is for the current week/issue dated August 7, 2015), which is a big difference. Digital streams, sales and radio play for mainstream R&B and hip-hop outlets (Billboard also tracks them separately, but the main “Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs” chart is the successor of the “black radio” chart Billboard has published since the 1940s) has the song at #32, below two songs each by The Weeknd and Fetty Wap, that Jidenna record, RIhanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money”, and more.
So, essentially, the old black folks’ stations are playing it, and the young black folks’ stations sorta-kinda ain’t. There are a lot of factors to unpack here before one gets to race: this is one of the first records Tyrese has tried to push in a while, he’s not a spring chicken like most of his male R&B competition, and the song itself has a throwback Bobby Womackesque style that restricts it in some ways to a certain audience.
While there are indeed issues where white pop singers can get away with making R&B-ish records that perform better than black R&B records, if Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake, or even Sam Smith (who is the only one likely to have a hit with such a song, it’s too slow for Justin and Robin’s made dozens of such records that didn’t land with pop audiences) had recorded “Shame”, it would still have been tinkered with to give it a brighter, pop-appealing sound, something closer to a Motown feel because that’s what their audiences are familiar with (“who they heck is Bobby Womack?”). There’s significant difference between the sound of the types of R&B-influenced pop records that end up on the Top 40 stations and “Shame”, which isn’t that far off from the type of material Gerald Levert, Kem, and their ilk made (and Kem continues to make) for the Adult R&B audiences for quite some time. By comparison, The Weeknd’s two songs in the Top 10 of the R&B chart (both upbeat, modern R&B records with a pop feel, maybe more of a throwback 80s thing going on than throwback 70s) are also in the Top 20 of the Hot 100 pop chart as well, meaning the “white” stations are indeed playing them.
There’s also the issue, as Karen points out on the show, of vertical integration and corporate control of the radio and music industries; Tyrese put this project out on his own label (albeit via distribution through Universal Music), and he probably does not have the pull or force to make pop radio stations take his records the way RCA would have had 17 years ago when it was time to push his first few singles. Hence why he’s turned to directly calling out Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, and Top 40 radio in general.
This is not to say, however, that race plays no part in what records end up where and why, but in this particular case a significant number of other factors are in play as well before you can place Tyrese’s record on a level playing field with the white artists’ records and then analyze/call-out any bias.