Viva Hate



Treat all as equal citizens. An extra layer of unelected people who purport to represent communities aggregated by faith is a recipe for disaster.  Douglas Murray


Alvin Hall has presented a programme looking at the history of Black music in the USA…the politics and economics of the music industry.

It is definitely worth a listen.  However it does have a narrative that Hall shoehorns in regardless of the facts…..‘cultural theft’, ‘pillaging Black music’, ‘minstrelsy’ are some phrases that give a clue to the line he takes.

The USA was practically an apartheid State right up until the late 60’s, there is no doubt that that held back some musicians and Black music businesses….amongst others.

But that is not the whole picture, but it is a picture that Hall wants to present, that Blacks were controlled and exploited by Whites, and he does so despite at the same time giving us facts that contradict that narrative.

He blames racism for Blues musicians and singers not getting their rightful dues….but goes onto say that it was the Black middle class that thought Blues was below them and not something they wanted to be associated with.

He tells us that White companies just weren’t interested in Black Music…but then contradicts that….and  tells of Black music companies and radio stations that exploited Blacks.

He tells us that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson sold out…they were compromised,  ‘whitewashed’….they weren’t authentically ‘Black’… highly successful…and yet Hall can’t really accept that.

He tells us that Hip hop was born from the ghetto, the ghetto that the Black Middle class left behind them….and all that was left for the remaining inhabitants was drugs, drink and crime, which they put into their music….Hip hop and Rap.

But then he tells us that it is the White folks buying the records that are  forcing and encouraging Blacks to become ‘Minstrels’, stereotypes of Black people…it is the fault of the Rap record buying public (66% white) who are to blame for ‘Gangsta Rap’…..the Whites enjoying the ‘thrill of the alien culture’.


He puts the case that success comes at a terrible price…selling their soul…and once again it is the whites who are manipulating and controlling Blacks.

Hall doesn’t seem to like success unless it is ‘authentically Black‘……and even when it is ‘Authentically Black‘ as in Rap, he claims that is just an unwelcome stereotype.


The final ironic statement about that very definitely Black music, Rap and Hip Hop, was this….

‘Now this is unacceptable…this is not who we are.’

But it is, it is the voice of the ghetto, the street wise Black, the poor and forgotten Black.

So  back to the Blues, back to Rock, back to the start of Hip Hop…where the Black ‘elite’ again and again refused to accept ‘authentic’ Black culture and music.

Isn’t Hip Hop and Rap exactly what Alvin Hall was demanding….not the compromised ‘pop’ of Jackson and Houston but the genuine Black sound like the ‘grunting James Brown’?

It seems neither the ‘White’ corporations (like the Japanese owned Sony) who give the Black artists access to massive markets, nor the Black artists themselves, can meet the very particular and exacting standards set by Alvin Hall for what passes for Black music and success.

Hall’s approach, as I judge it,  is somewhat dangerous….feeding the grievance industry with more myths of white oppression that seems likely to generate that level of anger and distrust in  Black youths that could later translate into something more radical.  It is a narrative that without careful handling is just ammunition to the ‘race hustlers’ in communities who incite racial tension for their own ends.

What will they hear when they listen to Hall?  Will it be the nuances, the double backs, the contradictions, or the easy, inflammatory rhetoric about Blacks being oppressed and exploited?

A good story misjudged in the telling because the presenter has his own line to push.


That is a rough summary of the programmes….but listen to them and decide for yourself if Hall pushes his own narrative regardless of many contradictions to it.

What follows is a longer, more detailed look at what was said on the programmes.



But first this:

Race Hustling

Some people try to explain why Asians, and Asian-Americans, succeed so well in education and in the economy by some special characteristics that they have. That may be true, but their success may also be due to what they do not have — namely “leaders” who tell them that the deck is so stacked against them that they cannot rise, or at least not without depending on “leaders.”

Young men — and many others — have learned all too well the lessons taught by race hustlers, in their social version of the laws of aerodynamics, which said that they could not rise.


And again, a plea to ignore a certain type of self selected ‘Community leader’:

Arab-Americans must embrace success over victimhood

Commissars of Arab-American political correctness want the community powerless

The soul of the Arab-American community is currently being pulled in two separate directions simultaneously.

One is optimistic and uplifting. It wants to assert its full rights as citizens, engage the system, and enthusiastically embrace what the United States has to offer.

The other is bitter and enraged. It celebrates and revels in Arab-American marginalization and self-marginalization. It lashes out at any Arab-American who successfully engages mainstream American society and consciously seeks to suppress the community’s maturation and empowerment.

The commissars can then assume the authority of victimhood, and pretend to speak on behalf of a supposedly besieged and beleaguered people who have no other voice but their shrill cries of rage.



And then there is this from the BBC:

Who Sold The Soul? (part 1 of 3)

Jazz, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Soul, Funk and Hip-Hop; there’s no question African American musical creativity has fuelled the modern music industry. But faced with racism and cultural theft for decades, African-American musicians, DJs, businessmen and women have struggled to have any real control or ownership in the business.


‘Cultural Theft’…and later ‘Pillaging Black music’...are somewhat negative terms from the BBC and illustrate the attitude that Blacks should have a unique and defined culture based on skin colour…. the cross cultural fertilization so beloved of the BBC is now branded ‘cultural theft’….. now it seems that only Blacks can play Black music…whatever ‘Black Music’ is….and of course there is no ‘theft’ of White culture going the other way.

Cultural and racial apartheid from the BBC?

As you can see from Alvin’s photo he dresses in traditional Zulu garb…Alvin is no sell out.



This is a programme which takes us on a journey through Black Music history in the USA…..guided by one Alvin Hall…..I like Alvin but he’s not averse to his own bit of ‘race hustling‘….and has been there and done it before on the BBC’s dollar….if I remember correctly it was his programme’s about Alistair Cooke where he plugged Obama’s case just before the US elections:

‘Obama is bright, intelligent, articulate and persuasive.

Barack encountered people who no matter what he did, no matter how well he spoke, no matter how much he showed he was willing to compromise and work together with them ‘They’ were not going to work with him, and ‘They’ were determined ‘They’ were going to defeat him.

For me this election on this day is very much about America giving him a chance to realise that promise.’


You can’t tell from the photo above but Hall has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.


There is absolutely no doubt that racism was rampant in a lot of the US and that that held back Black musicians and singers……but there is also the fact that White groups were just as likely to be ignored and cold shouldered… wasn’t the colour of their skin but the colour of money that interested the Music moguls…if they could make money out of you they’d rip you off just as much if you were White as Black….how many stories have you heard of bands being ignored (The Beatles were famously turned down) or when signed up, ripped off with contracts that just about paid them a living wage when they were selling millions of records.



Russell Brennan tells us:

After 25 years in the music business, I’ve probably seen it all when it comes to musicians being ripped off – by managers, labels, promoters, venues, websites and assorted other characters. I’ve also been ripped off myself a few times as well before I wised up to things.


Alvin Hall on the other hand seems to believe that such behaviour was all down to racism.

But Halls’ approach is odd….he gives us facts that contradict or undermine his claims but goes on to ignore them as he continues to spin his narrative…that Black musicians were completely shut out of the industry by White owned or run companies….and that was a policy based upon race….and Blacks were shut out of actually owning and running music businesses not just from reaping the rewards as musicians and singers…..really?…

  • Motown Record Corporation…recording company founded by Berry Gordy, Jr., in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., in January 1959 that became one of the most successful black-owned businesses and one of the most influential independent record companies in American history.


That’s a narrative that didn’t tell the whole story…and is certainly far from the truth now….Black people are highly successful in all sphere’s of life…from entertainment, to business to politics….Halls’ approach seems to want to sideline all that success, though he knows it’s there,  in order to peddle his own narrative of Blacks being eternal victims battling against the prejudice and control of Whites.

Not a message destined to serve the ‘Black Community’ well….if only because it is not completely true…..


Janet Jackson is among the top in Black star power when it comes to record deals, album sales and concert ticket numbers. When the pop superstar signed her contract with Virgin Records in March 1991, it was the largest recording contract in history, at $32 million.


Yep, Janet Jackson…a victim of cultural theft and exploitation.


Richard D. Parsons is Chairman of the Board of Citigroup Inc., effective February 23, 2009. Citigroup Inc. (Citigroup) is the 8th largest company in the U.S.

Prior to joining Citi, Mr. Parsons served in the positions of President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Time Warner, whose businesses include filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems and publishing. From May 2002 to December 2007, Mr. Parsons served as Time Warner’s Chief Executive Officer. He became Chairman of the Board in May 2003.

This is Richard D. Parsons….


‘Time Warner’…one of those evil 6 big companies controlling and stealing black music.


Or how about a Hollywood exec?…..

Hollywood studio executive DeVon Franklin, who nurtured a lifelong fascination with the entertainment industry into a successful career in the film business. Franklin, the vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures, made his mark as one of the youngest executives in the industry, as well as being among the most accomplished movie executives of color.

Author and Sony Pictures' executive DeVon Franklin with Black Enterprise Multimedia Editor-at-Large and UBR Host Alfred Edmond Jr.



Or Will Smith, that unknown, struggling Black actor:

Will Smith investigated the marketplace before he started his movie career, analyzing the top-grossing movies and developing a strategy. It is a lesson for every business.

Will Smith is the most successful actor of his generation, grossing in excess of $4 billion for his movies — but it is his business acumen that got him there. It wasn’t luck or charm, although he certainly possesses considerable charm. There’s a bigger story here.


Note….he didn’t ask for special favours or treatment…he made his own ‘luck’.



And what about this guy?:


I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.   (Thanks to David P. for that)




Hall is going down a well trodden path bemoaning the ‘political economics of Black Music’…..from 1999:

Political Economy Of Black Music

The six major record firms have a colonial-like relationship with the black Rhythm Nation of America that produces hip hop and other forms of black music.

Despite the names of a few big money makers rap, like most black music, is under the corporate control of whites and purchased mostly by white youths.


Hall asks….

Why is it that Black people make all this music but have no control? [But is that true?]

He tells us….Blacks are comfortable with white control…they have sold out presumably.

Hall is taking up the racist message from that article from 1999:

‘The black elite’s world view has been built on a white, bourgeois Victorian model of comportment that  internalized white beliefs about blacks and race. Gaines noted that although the black elite was outraged at whites’ lucrative expropriations of black culture…,” they “extolled Victorian and European cultural ideals and looked with disapproval, if not covert and guilty pleasure, upon such emergent black cultural forms as ragtime, blues [and] jazz…”‘


Which is odd because he also claims criticism of Blues was based on race…but it seems to have been more about culture, class and taste….the Black Middle Class and professionals looked down on the lower class Blacks and their ‘Blues’ music.

He claims that it is racism of the music companies that stopped those companies from investing in Black music…but quotes a company response at the time……

‘We do not think there is a market for Black artists.’

Is that a racial thing or just a belief that there was no market for that type of music?


A similar tale could be told by many a newcomer to a market…..

The inventor of the now Black and Decker Workmate.…..he failed to persuade any companies to invest in it.

Black & Decker did not think that the average DIY enthusiast would need such a big device, while tool company Stanley told him the bench’s success would be measured ‘in dozens rather than hundreds’.

Or Dyson:

Partly supported by his wife’s salary as an art teacher, and after five years and many prototypes, Dyson launched the “G-Force” cleaner in 1983. However, no manufacturer or distributor would handle his product in the UK, as it would disturb the valuable market for replacement dust bags, so Dyson launched it in Japan through catalogue sales.

After failing to sell his invention to the major manufacturers, Dyson set up his own manufacturing company……Dyson’s breakthrough in the UK market came more than ten years after the initial idea.


Eventually of course if they’d believed there was a market the companies would have jumped aboard, as indeed they did……

…as Hall tells us later….saying that Whites eventually saw it as a potential business…..they saw gold in dem der hills (quoting)…..Why did they succeed?…..The white people were looking at it solely as a business whilst Blacks were looking at it as a social improvement project….which is why the Black music ‘businesses’ failed.

Nowt to do with race then.

Then we hear that White run companies took advantage by recording that black music….by producing what black consumers wanted….shocking…Tescos sells food…exploiting what consumers want and need.

Hall still presses on with the idea that companies weren’t interested in Black music…and even if they were, like Paramount, they had a separate ‘Black Music’ division….does he mean like BBC 1Xtra?  Sure the companies had ‘divisions’ for all sorts of things.

He then tells us that Dan Robey (who was Black) of Peacok Records punched Little Richard when he demanded more control……was he committing ‘cultural theft’ and ‘exploitation’ of Black Music?

But hey…it’s the Whites who were profiting from a music form created by Blacks, pillaging Black Music.


In this final part, Alvin looks at the 1980s and beyond….‘Empire State of Mind’

Beginning with the black pop of Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney Houston the series concludes with the rise of hip-hop, today American’s most dominant form of popular music.

Well….Hip-hop…America’s most dominant form of popular music…really?   The illustration at the top of this post says different…Rock is by far the biggest music form.

Interesting also that they call it ‘Black pop’….because the programme itself complains bitterly that  it was anything but ‘Black’.

Some short examples of the thinking expressed in the programme……

Prince, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston….all top of the charts in the 1980’s around the world….Accepted universally and very very successful…..but cultural sell outs.

The corporations at first refused to sign up Black musicians but then as they saw it made money they took over the small labels run by Blacks….that made it too hard to break into industry for new comers….[race or Capitalism?]

There were racial and cultural barriers….guess Hall thinks it was race.

We are told there is deep social and political ambivalence at way success was achieved…ie the Black artists ‘sold out’ compromising their ‘Blackness’ for success…..selling out their culture.

Whitney Houston’s pop…she was ‘white washed’.

Houston was not representative of authentic blackness…a victim of integration…anything to be more acceptable and successful.

A key issue is that to be more successful the characteristics of Black music had to be ironed out.[The complaint later is that the music is too ‘black’,  too stereotypical’]

Compare the immaculate and perfectly turned out Michael Jackson or Lionel Richie to the grunting James Brown who is ‘authentically Black’

To succeed there had to be compromises.

Hall highlights MTV famously refusing to show much black music for  many years. [but see what was slipped in later about Black companies]….and MTV says the explanation is that they were originally a rock channel..and few Black Rockers around then….and ironically, considering Hall’s disdain for Michael Jackson, it was his video on MTV that paved the way for other Black artists.


[Oh…and Christina Norman is black. She served as president of MTV from 2005 to 2008.]


The Black elite did not recognise the money making genius of its own culture.

Major record labels all White owned as well as the distribution networks that blocked Black success.

Hip hop is the biggest selling music genre….?

But Hip Hp was ignored by black record companies such as Motown…..Once integration began in the ’70’s the Black middle class left the ghettos and Hip Hop reflected the culture of the people left behind in those ghettos…..the crime, the drinking, the drugs…the Black middle class said ‘we don’t want this’…the same as they did for Blues for the same reasons.

Black radio companies wouldn’t play it either.


Then we are told…..the Music Industry is colourblind when it comes to making money [Bit of a turnaround in narrative]

Black owned music companies offered the worst contracts in the world.

Rockafella Records offered the worst deals they could…and took all the money.

Swatch sponsored the first Hip Hop tour.

66% of Hip Hop was bought by White youths.

They claim there was a conspiracy by Whites to shut down Rap…‘We can’t have this invasion of Black culture’…it scared White America….[but it seemed to have scared Black ‘middle America’ just as much].

However Black artists and companies made money….it began to rival Rock.

Black businessmen made a mint…by treating it as a business.

But a familiar thing happened…the Majors moved in and the big boys took over and successful Black labels were then owned by those Majors….[again race or just Capitalism at work?]

It is not progress for African Americans just because they make money…..again complaining about a lack of control and power….[but what of all those Black companies, highly successful Black companies Hall highlights?]

White companies are making money off Black stereotypes,  making money off Black deaths, making money from people selling drugs…what does that say about society…about the market that buys that music?

Are the musicians encouraged to say those things, locked into playing up to that ‘black’ stereotype?

[or is it reflecting social reality?]

A gratuitous mention of Trayvon Martin.

Rap is now ‘showtime’ we are told….like a Minstrel shows…where Whites come to thrill at the alien culture.

A Black commentator says of Rap and Hip Hop….

‘Now this is unacceptable…this is not who we are.’


So  back to the Blues, back to Rock, back to the start of Hip Hop…where the Black ‘elite’ again and again refused to accept ‘authentic’ Black culture and music.

Isn’t  Hip Hop and Rap exactly what Alvin Hall was demanding…authentic Black originated Music?

And yet ‘It’s not who we are!’



For a different slant on the music industry in the USA, or a small part of it here’s something from the Telegraph about ‘Muscle Shoals’, music ‘hit factory’….
Deep Soul
How Muscle Shoals became music’s most unlikely hit factory
By Mick Brown








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13 Responses to Viva Hate

  1. Pinkberry says:

    The fact remains that hip-hop, and in turn gangsta rap, were established successful underground genres with identifiable conventions long before they broke through to the mainstream for white middle-American audiences. This of course means that it was predominately young blacks who were buying this music from the outset, thus there was clearly a demographic who identified with, and related to, narratives of the urban ghetto experiences that they shared. So it is utter nonsense for Hall to suggest it is the fault of whites for encouraging ‘minstrel’ stereotypes.


  2. Eddie Smith says:

    Back in the early 80’s I remember The Human League, on their American tour, were surprised to find that their music was being listened to and lapped up by the black community, and played constantly on black radio stations.

    ‘Black music’ in those days was heavily influenced by very white European electronic music by the likes of, no less, Kraftwerk, those nazi-looking German men. House music originated from Euro electro. You only have to listen to Kraftwerk’s 1975 album Radio Activity to hear what is effectively the very first examples of house music.

    And when you hear hip-hop, with its looped samples, it’s easy to forget that pioneers such as Tangerine Dream were using sampled sounds back in the late 70’s!

    The pillaging of black music? Let’s get the full story shall we?


  3. Ian Rushlow says:

    And then there are those dreadful racist radio stations. Those that exist just to play black music, perpetuating the myth that it is somehow different, unworthy, belonging to the “other”. Stations like, say, BBC Radio 1 Xtra (although I am reliably informed that it never plays Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald or Johnny Mathis for some reason).


  4. David Kay says:

    so whitey embraces multiculturalism and they get accused of pillaging black music. You just cant please a lefty


  5. F*** the Beeb says:

    The fact that Hall even considers music genres in terms of the race most likely to produce it speaks volumes for his authority to talk about music. A shame that he’s proven himself to be such a blatant racist because I’ve always liked him (and frankly still do as a personality), but this is just more baseless self-contradicting liberal guilt from the BBC. I blame the BBC more than Hall for lending his obvious prejudice false credibility.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The music industry institutionalizes race segregation, though. I worked in record stores for many years, and in distribution and production after that, and saw it first hand over and over. One could assume that “R&B” stood for “Rhythm & Black” because Michael Jackson and Prince could be on there as well as in the pop charts. But no whites were allowed in the R&B section, regardless of the music they played. White blues musicians were in the Blues section, but not in R&B. What’s so sad about this is that proto-Rock & Roll used to be called “race music” before the white artists got popular.

      But if you point that out, you’re a racist, even though the category exists specifically to institutionalize racial separation. It’s all a load of sh!t, artificial constructs used to divide and/or control. But record stores (remember those?) and Billboard and the marketing geniuses needed some way to sell the stuff and lay it out in some sort of coherent fashion (hence the introduction of new genres like New Age and Ambient and – one of the the biggest jokes of all – Alternative), so here we are.

      The big music labels (and small ones) ripped off just about everybody whenever they could, and still do today where they can (charging back against royalties is a favorite game which hurts so many artists). Black musicians suffered more than most, though, for a variety of reasons, not just racism from the label moguls. Jim Crow laws certainly didn’t stop James Brown or Little Richard or Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles from becoming hugely popular.


  6. Roland Deschain says:

    I don’t care who was responsible for rap “music”. That should be a crime in itself.


  7. Cosmo says:

    If I was a rich man, diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dum.


  8. Simon & Theodore says:

    Can you imagine Alan and Vance were governors in souther American states in the 60s? They be out in their white gowns burning crosses.


    • Wild says:

      Is that the best you can do?


    • chrisH says:

      First time I`ve seen a “partnership” blog entry…and yet it seems to be less than the sum of the parts!
      More Wonder and McCartney than Lennon and McCartney, but “things can only get better”.
      Is Scott Morrissey or Marr?…


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yay, casual drive-by defamation. A typical class act.


    • marc says:

      I didn’t realise Alan and Vance were Democrats.