If you’ve ever wondered just why I sometimes get incredibly angry at the music industry, this story should hopefully explain it. It’s a story about how the music industry doesn’t rules which apply to everyone else. It’s a story which shows, if anyone else did it, there would be utter outrage.
It’s the news that the hugely successful musician Drake is effectively helping to bail out R Kelly. Allow me to explain. At the moment, the once successful musician R Kelly is in court, accused of racketeering, bribery and sexual abuse in numerous states across the USA.
Now, it’s not for me to comment on court proceedings, and I won’t. We shall find out what their judgement is soon enough – and for the moment, our judgement too must be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. So on the specifics, I’m saying nothing.
In the meantime, Drake released his new album earlier this week – and as is the case with pretty much everything released by the majors these days, the list of credits is as long as a piece of string. Nonetheless, one does stand out for all the wrong reasons.
On his song “TSU”, R Kelly is listed as a composer and lyricist. Whilst I have no issue with people being credited for their work, I do have a problem with this song being released right now. Given R Kelly’s involvement with the song, it shouldn’t have been included with this album at this time.
At the very least, they should have waited until the legal process concluded. And besides which, the album would have had 20 songs even without it – and I find it inconceivable that someone like Drake wouldn’t have had another song to use in its place anyway.
Yet whilst this story is being reported elsewhere, not a lot of people seem to have a problem with it. And for no one at Republic – part of the Universal Music Group behemoth – to have an issue with it either is particularly alarming. But the majors do have a real blind spot when it comes to the artists who make them lots of money. Ask them about Morgan Wallen and then try to tell me I’m wrong.
Representatives for Drake, as well as Republic Records, have been contacted to see if they have anything to say on the matter. Don’t hold your breath…