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A lot of recording artists have shared their sentiments on the imminent arrival of Apple Music. Taking a slightly different approach on this matter during a conversation with Billboard, The-Dream takes a full blast at the exploitative nature of the music industry, stating “artists are treated like slaves.”
“We have terrible contracts, we have streaming services that pay one-tenth of a cent per play, we have no laws to protect us.”
In addition, he highlights the socioeconomics of listeners and the dynamics of the music industry. The singer/songwriter criticises the balance of power between songwriters and record companies, stating that he would not have the same level of creative freedom as Taylor Swift for example.
“If I took my records off of Spotify, it would affect the people who listen to my music for free and may not have the means otherwise. Taylor Swift fans probably have the means to go and buy a Taylor Swift record. [...] If you got a hit and you’re white, there are no limits to what you can do. If you’re black and you have a hit today but can’t do it again tomorrow, then your ass is out of here…We can’t say no to radio, we can’t say no to Spotify, and we can’t have a concert because nobody will come. And the whole time, everybody is taking from our culture to enhance the pop side of things…There are urban artists and then there are pop artists, and urban artists get things taken from them. We create the swag, and everybody knows it.”