Music industry calls for Black Out Tuesday

June 02, 2020
Jamie Foxx speaks to a large crowd during a “kneel-in” to protest police racism on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco, California, yesterday.
Jamie Foxx speaks to a large crowd during a “kneel-in” to protest police racism on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco, California, yesterday.

NEW YORK (AP):

The music industry is planning to turn off the music and hold a day to reflect and implement change in response to the death of George Floyd and the killings of other black people.

Several top record labels organised Black Out Tuesday as violent protests erupted around the world sparked by Floyd's death as well as the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. MTV and BET went dark for eight minutes and 46 seconds in support of Black Lives Matter and racial injustice. Music-based companies Live Nation and TikTok, as well as the Recording Academy, posted to social media that it planned to support and stand with the black community.

"On Tuesday, June 2nd, Columbia Records will observe 'Black Out Tuesday,'" the Sony label home to Beyonce, Bob Dylan, Adele, and John Legend said in a statement. "This is not a day off. Instead, this is a day to reflect and figure out ways to move forward in solidarity."

"We continue to stand with the black community, our staff, artists, and peers in the music industry," the company continued. "Perhaps with the music off, we can truly listen."

MORE LABELS SUPPORT

Others that have joined Black Out Tuesday include the Sony imprints RCA Records and Epic Records; the Universal Music Group divisions Republic Records, Def Jam, UMG Nashville, Capitol Records and Island Records; and the Warner Music Group imprints Atlantic and Warner Records. Smaller, independent labels as well as music publishing companies and management firms have also signed on.

Musicians including Rihanna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lil Nas X, Demi Lovato, Post Malone, and Harry Styles have spoken out on social media following Floyd's death and the worldwide riots. Some musicians were spotted alongside crowds of protesters over the weekend, including Ariana Grande, J. Cole, Jamie Foxx, Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, Miguel, Tinashe, Lil Yachty, and Halsey, who said that she was hit with a pellet and a shrapnel shell in Los Angeles.

RAP POST

LL Cool J turned to music to show his outrage and passion, posting a lengthy rap to social media. "For 400 years you had your knees on our necks, a garden of evil with no seeds of respect," he rapped. "In America's mirror all she sees is regret, instead of letting blood live they begging for blood let."

Jay-Z released a statement late Sunday calling for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to prosecute those responsible for killing Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck.

"I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law. This is just a first step. I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have," Jay-Z said. "I prevail on every politician, prosecutor, and officer in the country to have the courage to do what is right. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters, and mothers in pain, and look at yourselves."

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