Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Did Rap Kill The Black Male Singer?

March 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Entertainment, News, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) How many of you know who the best selling Black male singer in the world for 2008 was? I bet you’ll never get this right, without a few clues. Well, he’s 50 years old, considered washed up and too controversial to sell, plus the majority of his songs are more than 25 years old. It’s Michael Jackson, who sold more than Usher, Chris Brown, Ne-yo, John Legend, and Seal. The King of Pop sold nearly as many records worldwide as the #1 best-selling artist in the US regardless of race, Lil Wayne, whose genre of hip hop lost 19.8 percent in sales from the previous year. Michael Jackson’s song catalog sold 2.9 million copies with Thriller 25 topping over 2.3 million by itself, plus Michael didn’t even promote it and performed nowhere! Shocking isn’t it! (Lil Wayne sold nearly 3 million)

Before the 1990’s, it seemed one could find a million-selling Black male recording artist on other every corner, and, at least, 20 in every Black church. Today, it’s becoming more and more difficult to ignore the facts that Black men are headed to the bottom of, yet, another statistical chart.

Music, the savior of the Black race, made bearable the horrors of slavery, soothed during Jim Crow racism, and bonded in segregation. This type of Black love and togetherness ushered in the perfectly pitched passion of singers like Smokey Robinson singing countertenor (a male soprano), Michael Jackson a solid tenor, David Ruffin a baritone, and Barry White, the maestro, bass singer. Even now writing this article, name after name of remarkable Black male singers come to mind like Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Donnie Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Ronald Isley, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Jeffrey Osborne, and singing groups like The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Spinners, Stylistics, Chi-lights, Jackson 5, Earth Wind and Fire, The Moments, The Manhattans, New Edition, and Boys II Men. The list goes on and on. But today, where are the Black male singers that made Black women buy every Right On Magazine and scream with excited hysteria whenever their favorite artists appeared?

In today’s world of rap music, the last solid genre created in the Black community, seemed to have seduced too many Black men wishing for their spot on the top of music entertainment fame, to speak rhythmic poetry instead of singing the melodies of love and longing.

The irony is that while the loving lyrics of Motown dominated the Black airways for decades, Black love was in bloom, and so was the growth of the music industry. Now too many Black men in the game of hip hop slop are volunteering to label Black women bitches and hos, promote criminality, excessive spending (bling), and speak of love making as purely a one night stand have contributed to the widespread decline of Black love and progress. It’s no coincidence that Black love is down at the same time Black music is at its lowest levels ethically and well as financially. This decline has little to do with the recession because these declines started to manifest 6 years ago, and ringtones along with 99 cent downloads just ain’t paying the bills.

Could the absence of Black male singers be correlated with the lack of decency taught in rap crap chants? Does it take the desire to love completely and thoroughly to enhance the singing style of Black men?

Throughout the history of television, there have been numerous talent shows, such as the competitions at the famed Apollo Theater and Star Search. But the last few seasons of American Idol have not produced one top Black male singer and I think Simon is in shock due to this! Season Eight of American Idol’s top 12, Oops 13 doesn’t have one Black male singer and only one Black male singer was in the top 36. Season two winner, Reuben Studdard and the like, are now extinct for six straight years. He was the only Black male winner in American Idol history.

Black men have lost their way in so many more different categories, such as low high school graduation rates, high incarceration rates, high rates of low self-esteem or undeserved self-gratification, and too many Black men are not in the home taking care of their children and not marrying their baby’s mothers. There are simply prices to pay for not loving and respecting your women! Nature just wasn’t meant to fail like this! Perhaps, the Black male’s continual downfall spiral will be due to too much bad karma.

Have Black males lost their singing dominance with their souls and are now out of the emotional loop of wanting to give true love to a Black woman? What happened to lyrics like, “The Way You Do The Things You Do“, “Just My Imagination“, “Your Precious Love“, “Maybe Tomorrow“, “Try a Little Tenderness“, “Lonely Teardrops“, “Isn’t She lovely“, “Love Ballad“, “I Can’t Help Myself“, “Mighty Love“, “Reasons“, “Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart“, “Oh Girl” and “Ooh Child“. Even later group like Boys II Men released hits like “I’ll Make Love to You” and New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” seems like those were the last true love song that touched the heart in just the right place to make herds of girls run to the record store and lay out their, many times, strapped money to experience love’s possibilities through music.

Even, Michael Jackson, the best-selling artist in the world achieved his greatest heights when he was filled with Black pride and surrounded by Black people, especially his Black mother and sisters who lived at the family home with him, because all of his brothers had married and moved away. One might wonder if Michael Jackson still has Black fans. Well, as the owner of one of the largest and most successful Black-themed and Black-owned bookstores in Los Angeles (Eso-Won) told me that Thriller 25 was the best selling product in his store. Remember, the last women the world saw Michael with two Black women named Grace Rwamba (reportedly MJ was going to marry), his assistant and Raymone Bain, his spokesperson.

All is not totally lost. There are a few Black male singers, but only one comes to mind. Usher, who is the last best selling new Black male singer, remains on the scene, but he is a rare reminiscent of days long past. Usher’s album and song, “Here I Stand” earned him the #2 best-selling Black male singing title of 2008 because that love song exudes the unrelenting emotion every Black woman needs to hear to believe that to be loved, honored, and cherished is attainable. By the way, Usher is married to a beautiful Black woman. It’s always been Black women that have purchased nearly all the recordings by Black male artists, period!

Examine the recent careers of post-platinum selling artists akon, Baby Face, Brian McKnight, John Legend, and Seal who are all good singers, but once they are found out to not chose Black women as their mates, those sales dropped like hot potatoes. No one else will have the guts to say this or ASK THIS SERIOUS QUESTION. Is it the Black woman who brings out the natural emotional PASSION in Black men or is it Black women that feel abandoned by the very artist they put in the rich house AND stopped buying their music because now it is difficult to imagine that singer is singing to directly to them? The answer to both is probably a big yes. Either way, the Black male singer is the loser in all this when he chooses to abandon the already abandoned, use the already abused, and fall prey to manipulations that tell him to be wrong is to be right.

Men are natural providers and protectors of their women, children and community, therefore, when Black men refuse to do their jobs as men, nature jumps in and creates a cataclysm of castigation. The Black race will not improve until Black men OVERWHELMINGLY take their responsibility seriously.

Even with the latest abusive disaster with singer Chris Brown against his girlfriend Rihanna, whose first albums attained platinum, one of Chris’ first music videos (from his second album) shows him chasing non-Black women and even jumping over Black girls to get to a non-Black girl. The highly publicized relationship between Chris and Rihanna jump started Chris’ quickly declining records sales, because sistas just wasn’t having it. Now, why would Black females purchase an album from a guy who blatantly disrespects Black females like that? They don’t and they won’t. Chris’ career will never recover from his felony charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend Rihanna-and Rihanna doesn’t even realize that she does not possess enough love to save him. Rihanna’s latest album has sold over 6 million copies worldwide, while Chris’ latest stands around 2 million. During their heavily publicized crisis, Rihanna continues to sell, but Chris’ sales are pretty much dead.

It seems to be a trend for Black men to be with non-Black women in entertainment, but much of the Black female audience is tired of trying to be racially fair when it’s obvious that union is in direct contrast with Black love and the returning of Black men to their male lacking homes and communities.

This may be hard for many to hear, but it is the love between a Black man and a Black woman that unveils the often imitated, unique melodic beauty of Black music?

Yet, the Black female continues to deliver love songs at her emotional high, but Black men apparently, have done too much wrong to be righted by the God’s of good singing and good fortune.

As the author of the book, Black Women Need Love, Too, at a glance one would think this manual was written for the sole benefit of Black women, not so! It is basically for the savior of Black men via love for Black women. Isn’t it quite obvious by now, that not loving hasn’t rendered any real long lasting cultural benefits? Rap Crap artists are the biggest losers in the music industry-they lead in deaths, incarcerations, and lost fortunes.

It was always the Black woman that supported the Black male singer, but how many Black men appreciated it? So now, it has been taken away. When will the majority of Black men realize that to not love Black women, will only deliver more massive declines.

White women have the best PR because White men demand it and realize that if they don’t love their women and represent them as valuable; big declines will be the result. You see, men are innately motivated to thrive for success when they want to be loved by a woman–take that away and chaos is the consequence. Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, named his autobiography “To Be Loved” because that is what motivated him to succeed. At that time, he only dated Black women and Motown was filled with Black married couples–a correlation that supports this hypothesis.

The old divide and conquer methodology, used by the non-Black music executives who have hired too many uneducated weak-minded sell-out thug-able young Black male performers to do their dirty work, has succeeded once more. How else did despicable words like the “N” word get into Black music? Motown didn’t use it, Casablanca Records didn’t use it and both these companies that Black men had ownership and control of hired tremendous Black talent and made lots of money. My man is the son of music executive and part owner of Casablanca Records, Cecil Holmes, who also worked in the record business and was kicked out in the early 1990’s with a group of others, because they were too nice and decent for the massive mental corruption that was on the horizon. The Rap Crap Treason Act then took full effect. Now, the Black male singer seems to be a relic of the past.

How many trick bags are we going to jump in?

Do right by Black women, and Black men will see their own lives massively improve, which is attached to the upward mobility of the Black race! Hopefully, what was lost will one day be found again!

Written By Pearl Jr.

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