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"Gangsta Rap Conspiracy Theory Goes Gangbustas!"...."The Secret Meeting..."

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-11-12 05:11 PM
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"Gangsta Rap Conspiracy Theory Goes Gangbustas!"...."The Secret Meeting..."
Edited on Fri May-11-12 05:51 PM by KoKo
This is an interesting Weekend Read......I read it today...and not sure what I think about the original article... from hiphopisread...scroll down after Huff Post debunk)


Gangsta Rap Conspiracy Theory Goes Gangbustas

Michael Raine

I love music history and I love good conspiracy theories. That's not to say I believe conspiracy theories -- I just find them entertaining. This explains why I've watched a lot of History Channel since is morphed into the Ancient Nazi Alien Network.

So when the music blogosphere (along with Facebook, Twitter, etc.) lit up this week with an anonymous letter entitled "The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation," I simply had to say, "Thank you, Internet." I can't resist a story that combines the socio-political elements of music with far-fetched stories of corruption and immorality.

The unsigned letter, originally posted on the blog Hip Hop is Read, is written by a self-proclaimed "decision maker" working for an equally anonymous major record label. He contends that in 1991 he was invited to a secret meeting of 25-30 industry insiders and a group of armed, shady figures. In brief, the insiders were told the record labels had invested in the recently-conceived private prison industry. In order to ensure profits for their new business venture, the recording executives were directed to promote gangster rap music -- a genre that was just beginning to emerge. By popularizing criminality, they would fill the private prisons and ensure their profitability.

To the writer, this explained the rise of gangster rap -- with its themes of guns, drugs, bling, etc. -- throughout the '90s and the resulting decline of socially conscious rap.

Regrettably for my sense of the delicious, this conspiracy story doesn't stand up to the test of common sense. It opts instead for a complex explanation of social and political phenomena when simple explanation will do.

First, let's imagine the record labels really planned this sordid plot. It would have taken only one or two label heads to tell their A&R people, "Hey, start signing more of these gangster rappers the kids like so much. It'll be good for sales." After all, if you want keep something a secret, isn't the best plan to let as few people as possible in on the secret? So why invite up to 30 people to a meeting and reveal the entire shady scenario, almost ensuring that the whole dodgy plan will be leaked?

THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE...that WENT VIRAL that got the "Push Back" from Michael Raine (Huff Post) is THIS:
--------------------------- /

"The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation"
Posted by Ivan at 1:34 PM

This anonymous letter landed in my inbox about a minute ago:


After more than 20 years, I've finally decided to tell the world what I witnessed in 1991, which I believe was one of the biggest turning point in popular music, and ultimately American society. I have struggled for a long time weighing the pros and cons of making this story public as I was reluctant to implicate the individuals who were present that day. So I've simply decided to leave out names and all the details that may risk my personal well being and that of those who were, like me, dragged into something they weren't ready for.

Between the late 80's and early 90s, I was what you may call a decision maker with one of the more established company in the music industry. I came from Europe in the early 80s and quickly established myself in the business. The industry was different back then. Since technology and media werent accessible to people like they are today, the industry had more control over the public and had the means to influence them anyway it wanted. This may explain why in early 1991, I was invited to attend a closed door meeting with a small group of music business insiders to discuss rap musics new direction. Little did I know that we would be asked to participate in one of the most unethical and destructive business practice Ive ever seen.

The meeting was held at a private residence on the outskirts of Los Angeles. I remember about 25 to 30 people being there, most of them familiar faces. Speaking to those I knew, we joked about the theme of the meeting as many of us did not care for rap music and failed to see the purpose of being invited to a private gathering to discuss its future. Among the attendees was a small group of unfamiliar faces who stayed to themselves and made no attempt to socialize beyond their circle. Based on their behavior and formal appearances, they didn't seem to be in our industry. Our casual chatter was interrupted when we were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement preventing us from publicly discussing the information presented during the meeting. Needless to say, this intrigued and in some cases disturbed many of us. The agreement was only a page long but very clear on the matter and consequences which stated that violating the terms would result in job termination. We asked several people what this meeting was about and the reason for such secrecy but couldn't find anyone who had answers for us. A few people refused to sign and walked out. No one stopped them. I was tempted to follow but curiosity got the best of me. A man who was part of the unfamiliar group collected the agreements from us.

Quickly after the meeting began, one of my industry colleagues (who shall remain nameless like everyone else) thanked us for attending. He then gave the floor to a man who only introduced himself by first name and gave no further details about his personal background. I think he was the owner of the residence but it was never confirmed. He briefly praised all of us for the success we had achieved in our industry and congratulated us for being selected as part of this small group of decision makers. At this point I begin to feel slightly uncomfortable at the strangeness of this gathering. The subject quickly changed as the speaker went on to tell us that the respective companies we represented had invested in a very profitable industry which could become even more rewarding with our active involvement. He explained that the companies we work for had invested millions into the building of privately owned prisons and that our positions of influence in the music industry would actually impact the profitability of these investments. I remember many of us in the group immediately looking at each other in confusion. At the time, I didnt know what a private prison was but I wasn't the only one. Sure enough, someone asked what these prisons were and what any of this had to do with us. We were told that these prisons were built by privately owned companies who received funding from the government based on the number of inmates. The more inmates, the more money the government would pay these prisons. It was also made clear to us that since these prisons are privately owned, as they become publicly traded, wed be able to buy shares. Most of us were taken back by this. Again, a couple of people asked what this had to do with us. At this point, my industry colleague who had first opened the meeting took the floor again and answered our questions. He told us that since our employers had become silent investors in this prison business, it was now in their interest to make sure that these prisons remained filled. Our job would be to help make this happen by marketing music which promotes criminal behavior, rap being the music of choice. He assured us that this would be a great situation for us because rap music was becoming an increasingly profitable market for our companies, and as employee, wed also be able to buy personal stocks in these prisons. Immediately, silence came over the room. You could have heard a pin drop. I remember looking around to make sure I wasn't dreaming and saw half of the people with dropped jaws. My daze was interrupted when someone shouted, Is this a f****** joke? At this point things became chaotic. Two of the men who were part of the unfamiliar group grabbed the man who shouted out and attempted to remove him from the house. A few of us, myself included, tried to intervene. One of them pulled out a gun and we all backed off. They separated us from the crowd and all four of us were escorted outside. My industry colleague who had opened the meeting earlier hurried out to meet us and reminded us that we had signed agreement and would suffer the consequences of speaking about this publicly or even with those who attended the meeting. I asked him why he was involved with something this corrupt and he replied that it was bigger than the music business and nothing wed want to challenge without risking consequences. We all protested and as he walked back into the house I remember word for word the last thing he said, Its out of my hands now. Remember you signed an agreement. He then closed the door behind him. The men rushed us to our cars and actually watched until we drove off.

MORE of this read (and the comments, both pro and con, are interesting) at ........ /

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