The Corporate Curse

Original Published by SFCritic on May 2010


I love MTV Jams. It’s the only channel on TV that plays music videos. Granted, most of the videos are Top 40 rappers surrounded by video hoes gyrating on cars with over-sized rims next to stacks of money. All 50 of their friends are in the video drinking in a dimly lit nightclub with more video hoes on their laps.

And then came Trey Songz performing “Say Ahh” for MTV Unplugged, you know, that song you hear everywhere, “Go Girl / Its your birthday / Open wide, I know you’re thirsty / Say Ahh (ahh ahh ahh and etc.)”– complete with acoustic guitars, a stand up bass, bongos and a 3-person string section.

In the absence of the synthetic Top 40 polish, there is Trey Songz, loving the music he is making.

When did mainstream media really start ruining music? When MTV and the big record labels started packaging our music with McNuggets and diet pills. So why are these companies so baffled that increasingly less people pay for music? We stopped buying it when it lost its soul to the plastic jewel case and Wal-Mart obscenity editing.

I mean, would Justin Bieber hold the #1 spot on Billboard if Billboard was still an accurate reflection of what people are listening to? I think not.

According to TechSpot.com, Apple’s iTunes held 26.7% of themarket share in 2009, up from 21.4% in 2008 and shows no signs of slowing. With its acquisition of Lala.com it is poised to become the new defacto music source. This proves the point that people are still willing to pay for good music, but they will download corporate crap for free, because they feel that is what over-produced and packaged music is worth.


So when does alternative media cross the line into industry standard? When Perez Hilton ranks 500 slots higher in web hits than E! Online. The day MTV gets back to providing a visual outlet for quality music again, it will gain back its cultural relevance. Until then, we will keep downloading away.

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