"Blues was invented in America, and so was Rap. Blues led to Rock n’ Roll; Rap transformed the entire landscape of modern pop music. Simply stated, without the African-American influence, American music would probably suck.
So why, if the influence of Black artists on music is so massive, are there hardly any powerful Black executives in the modern music industry?
Why are companies like Pandora, Live Nation, Apple, Spotify, AEG, Warner Music Group, SXSW, Clear Channel Communications, and Universal Music Group dominated by white executives, often from privileged backgrounds and educations?
Why do executives like Troy Carter and Chuck D always feel like ‘token Black guys’ at major music industry events?
Sure, you can rattle off the names of hyper-successful African-American music industry executives like Jay Z, will.i.am, and Carter, but those are exceptions that prove the rule. Because after meeting with hundreds of music industry companies and probably thousands of executives, attorneys, technologists, and investors while running Digital Music News, I can safely say that bumping into a successful Black music industry executive is a rare event."