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Black Lives Matter

a message from Culture Villain

After the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery & Breonna Taylor (to name but a few), along with the ongoing violence in the UK, US and around the world, we stand alongside those rightfully demanding change, social justice and equality for the Black community.

As an online music platform that shares and is inspired by Black music, art and culture, we have been guilty of avoiding the important discussions, believing it wasn’t our place to comment. What we have learnt from the latest Black Lives Matter movement however, is that this is our problem. It is absolutely our place to stand up against racism and inequality. Our society is based on a set of deep-rooted standards and ideals going back hundreds and thousands of years that permeate our social interactions daily. As white men we benefit from these structures and have an obligation to speak out. This can be as simple as challenging a friend or family member’s views, sharing knowledge online, or protesting. 

So much of the music we share and enjoy has its roots in Black music and culture, it’s therefore our responsibility to share this message on our platform. There’s much more learning to do, and we’ll start by listening, being open to new ideas, admitting when we’re wrong and holding ourselves accountable. See the links below to some great sources of knowledge we’ve found useful over the last few weeks, as well as places to support and donate. We hope you can take something from it, and we will keep listening and learning going forward.

Overwhelmed. I wish I was shocked. Embarrassed at the lack of overt commentary from this art form. An art form rooted in reaction to racism, birthed in struggle, how do you dance to this? Somehow you better. Somehow you better realize when the music you’re dancing to comes from people that have been exploited, the best tribute you can have is setting yourself loose in unity with the exploited. How do you do that when on the same weekend you’re playing, in the same city, a man just like you has quietly, arbitrarily, been silenced by one paid to protect him and the public? 

How do you dance when we still swing from trees, when we still are murdered in front of our loved ones, murdered while subdued and harmless? How do you dance when our very image as a people is used to manipulate sympathy for a system of belief that wants you and your children to be dead or in jail? You better. You better learn to listen with your body, you better play from your heart. It was a preference before, now it’s essential. Escapism has always been an adjective used to describe the dance. That’s an outsider’s view. Solidarity is what it really offers…

Theo Parrish, July 2016 – On the lack of response & support from music industry following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

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Playlist

Lastly, this wouldn’t be a CV post without some music, we’ve put together a list highlighting some of our favourite Black musicians over the years.

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