Friday, June 03, 2005


Too Black, Too Strong for Live 8

Well done Sir Bob Geldof, you've gone and done it again - 'let's have another huge fundraising & political awareness concert for the third world, and yet again neglect to invite any black or asian artists to perform at it'. Out of the 22 acts lined up to play at the Hyde Park - Live 8 concert on July 2nd, only one, Mariah Carey, can be described as coming from an ethnic minority...

Where are the representatives of the Black British urban scene that has been sweeping the world in the last few years? - Roots Manuva, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite & Jamelia - no instead we get the same old safe and sanitized trad product - Sting, Paul McCartney & Annie Lennox - have any of them even been in the charts this decade?

Where are the representatives from Africa? not a single African music act is gracing the stage... Youssou N'Dour is playing the Paris show, but in London - nothing.

Where are the Jamaican reggae artists who have been campaigning for civil rights & equality for years? - Sizzla, The Wailers all on tour in Europe around that period, none represented.

Where are the representatives from the British Asian scene? Asian Dub Foundation - easily the most vociferous and hyper critical of the G8 policies, the Clash / Public Enemy for the 21st Century, Nitin Sawhney incredibly popular throughout the UK, not represented.

Nope, yet again it's Bob Geldof's old boy network on the go again... maybe he has the best of intentions, but forgive me if I sound a bit cynical - Band Aid boosted the record sales of all the artists who performed at it by about 600%, so maybe Madonna needs another extension on the castle.

I'll leave the last word to Patrick Augustus from the Black Information Link

"It seems like the great white man has come to rescue us while the freedom fighters never get a mention. They're just big-ing up their own people.
"The organisers need to engage British, African and Jamaican artists who have been dealing with these subjects for a while. Where are the reggae artists that have been campaigning for truth and justice over all these years?"

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