MTV, which has long been a target for the media, has always maintained that Black music is a cultural force and not a genre, but a recent report from the New York Times found that many of the labels that made up its core group of imprints have actually been the ones promoting Black music that is white.
The report cited data from Nielsen SoundScan that shows that “almost all of the new black music produced in the past two years is produced by black artists, with the exception of the top five labels, which produced about one-third of the albums that were released last year”.
The report also found that “more than 90% of all black artists released in the US last year are black, while less than a third of all white artists released by the same labels in the same time period were black”.
The Times’ report also notes that “most of the black artists that have released albums in the last year have been signed to major labels”.
The article goes on to state that “the biggest new black artist of the last two years was T.I. The Black Hippy rapper signed to Atlantic, while Kanye West, a founding member of the hip-hop collective Run The Jewels, signed to Sony Music”.
A spokesperson for Atlantic told MTV News that they “continue to be a leader in music publishing, licensing and distribution”, and that they are “examining our strategy for the future”.