Money For Nothing And Some Fame For Free

We use Apple Music since they launched the platform. We have a family account because, why not? To me, it’s one of the most interesting services Apple provides. Maybe it has something to do with the variety of the music catalogues, over 40 millions songs, just crazy right? Or maybe, it’s just me, praying to the wrong god.

The offer covers all genres and the quality of the sound is quite good. Of course, they make shit loads of money with this platform but we all know Apple is not a charity. They just passed as the first American company to jump the trillion dollar value on WallStreet.

Back to the music.

The impressive collection of content offers the opportunity to understand what actually goes on in the music industry.
Apple has its own agenda and they feature selected artists based on your choice as a user at the time you set up the account. Each genre and sub-genre has few promoted artists. They’ve cut some sweet deals with prominent figures in the music industry — artists, MC’s, producers etc. The platform has rooms for conversation, so at the time the content is consumed, the user can feedback via an integrated social platform which is not Facebook.

Now, to get to the most interesting part. One of these featured artists is DJ Khaled — Khaled Mohamed Khaled born on November 26, 1975. An American record producer, radio personality, DJ and record label executive. His music describes him a lot better than I could ever do. But we are not here for his music.

He has a show that started with a series of video interviews with big names in the industry. I’ve watched them all and they all, suck.

Wait, what?

That is perhaps too abrupt, too simple, and maybe it requires an explanation. I love music and rap, hip-hop, grime and the derivates are a great form of expression. I’ve been listening to young artists telling interesting stories in a creative way — I am still blown away by the rhythm and the flavour of some songs. We need music like this. We need a place for people to tell stories that rhyme.

What I can’t stand is extensive bragging.

I think hip-hop is far more than bragging, threatening and bling. There are plenty of issues today we can rap about. We have plenty of unjustified violence against young people. Enough verbal aggression and horrific stories.
Specific to this interviews, I found a common nominator. A super-ego fed with slang which it’s supposed to inspire and/or tell a story. When your first question in an interview is what kind of shoes you were wearing when you shot a video clip… I mean … this is just lame. I think DJ Khaled despite his fame and fortune, from his privileged position as a host of a Beats 1 Show, makes a great disservice to the hip-hop culture.

As I said before, we already had enough of bling and brag in most of the artist’s song messages. In these interviews, Khaled is diluting the culture to a potion of fame, money and self-importance. In one of the episodes P. Diddy is mentioning something about black wealth, what does that even mean?

Most of the interviews are shot in luxurious villas to underline the prosperity and the opulence of the presented artist.
An unnecessary contrast in my opinion. Some of the artists are either drunk or high making the conversation hard to follow. There is barely a question which is not framing the answer to be a line pumping the ego for both the guest and the host. A back patting on shuffle and repeat.

This show is not about music.

It is about some guys that got rich and from the newly achieved level, are preaching useless motivational and unrealistic messages.

I am utterly disappointed in Apple for supporting this show. I do understand that this partnership brings fresh blood to the business but one of the core values of Apple as a company is quality. Here, with this show, I can see a huge compromise.
As a designer, I’m familiar with Apple’s rules and guides when it comes to developing an application for any of their platforms. I wish I could see the same consistency in selecting what content gets published when we talk music. I don’t mind bad songs with explicit content. I don’t mind the clips shot with dozens of expensive cars and almost naked people pouring bottles of expensive champagne in the pool. Some of the artists have a message worth hearing regardless of the setup.

In my view, the interviews done by Khaled are pure noise and the bragging in this context is just a disgrace to the hip-hop genre.
There are plenty of relevant artists and interesting content for this particular niche and it’s a shame that they don’t get visibility.
Maybe it’s just me. Or perhaps you should watch the clip and decide for yourself.


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