Since his hit series “Insecure”, Issa Rae has tapped into other avenues, notably hair beauty with its Sienna Naturals line. However, when it comes to the music industry – where the 36-year-old singer has already established camp with her label Raedio – the producer had a lot to say about the $23.1 billion industry.
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles native shared details about her song selection process for the Emmy-winning comedy-drama’s final season. When asked if the world of music is the best environment for good ideas to flourish, the creator replied, “Absolutely not.”
Rae thinks “it’s probably the worst industry I’ve ever encountered.” The actress noted that previous notions about the Hollywood world were not even comparable. “I thought Hollywood was crazy,” the “Little” star continued.
Rae, who is producing a new show about budding rappers, said the business was in dire need of a cleanup, “The music industry, it’s got to start over,” she added. “Conflicts of interest abound. Archaic mentalities. Crooks and criminals! It’s an abusive industry, and I really feel for the artists who have to make it happen.
The multi-talented star said her harsh criticism stemmed from conversations she had with artists. “I don’t want to be too specific, but even making our own appointments [for soundtracks] with labels or artists, it would be so complex,” she explained.
“And to find out how artists were treated on other labels. When I’m a creator myself and know what I want from a relationship with a production company or producer, I’d like to think we’re more artist friendly than most other brands and companies” , she added. “I want to renew things.”
Other industry practices have also been learned from the founder of HOORAE. Elsewhere, Rae lambasted what she sees as the Grammys’ continuing shortcomings, particularly when it comes to who gets recognized.
“What really bothers me – and it fits with Hollywood – is how music is rewarded. When I think of the Grammys and these other systems designed to reward artistic creativity and elevate artists, I just feel like you don’t understand. What are you rewarding?” explained the label owner.
Rae went on to call Wizkid’s summer hit “Essence,” which features fellow Nigerian artist Tems. The song was nominated for Best World Music Performance but not for Record of the Year despite its undeniable popularity. Rae sees a motive there.
“Just absolutely a powerhouse, and yet couldn’t be properly recognized by the institution that’s supposed to celebrate the best in music – that trips me up,” Rae said. “Seeing black people and our contributions to music not being celebrated the way they should be — I mean, they’re not institutions for us.”
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