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Macklemore's "white privilege" album bombs
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Days of Broken Arrows Offline
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RE: Macklemore's "white privilege" album bombs
Same thing happened to John Lennon.

When he first came out with a political slogan, "Give Peace a Chance," people bought it. It was a relatively bland saying and it's hard to argue that peace is bad.

But a few years down the road, he came out with an entire album touting his politics, "Sometime in New York City." It had songs with titles like "Woman Is the N**ger of the World." The public said "No thanks" and the album stiffed.

The moral is that it's fine to expect an audience to get behind a feel-good, quasi-political idea. But it's a huge mistake to think they're going to go all in for concepts that dump guilt on them, point the finger at them, and tell them they're the ones that are the problem.*

Beyond that, musicians who deal specifically with detailed politics tend to have a short shelf life, commercially speaking. Bob Dylan realize this and got out from sloganeering early on. Public Enemy watched gangata rap steal their thunder as they continued to prattle on about politics to an audience who had become disinterested.

If you want to sing like you're a sociology textbook come to life that's all well and good, but expect to have an audience the size of Billy Bragg or Bruce Cockburn's. (And if you don't know who they are, that sort of makes my point).

* The only musician I can think of who could actually pull this off was Frank Zappa, but he leavened his message with humor and played for a cult audience, not the masses.
04-20-2016 07:43 PM
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RE: Macklemore's "white privilege" album bombs - Days of Broken Arrows - 04-20-2016 07:43 PM

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