House Music started in the Black community mostly in the northeast and midwest areas with post-disco area DJs spinning and blending 4/4 tracks and their own custom beats. New York house DJs, Chicago House DJs, Baltimore house DJs, Detroit techno DJs are all on the scene and house music producers emerged during the 80s and early 90s and they even toured the world spreading the love and vibe of house music. House music took off worldwide thanks to these brothas DJing house tracks and making a name of themselves.
Now, let’s come back here to 2013 where dance music the biggest global genre in the world, got the biggest profit margins and have the biggest music festivals the world have seen, way bigger than Woodstock or Coachella or SWSX which feature dance music DJs:
Because of the enormous success of Tomorrowland and the fact that it is a Belgian festival, ID&T decided to give Belgians an exclusive chance with a pre-sale (80,000 of the 185,000 tickets) on March 24. In less than one day, all of the tickets sold out and at some moments there were 2,000,000 people on the online waiting list. The worldwide sale started April 7. Within 43 minutes, the other 100,000 tickets sold out. In addition to regular tickets, Tomorrowland partnered with Brussels Airlines to provide exclusive travel packages from over 15 cities around the world. Other highlights of the festival were the Cloud Rider, the highest mobile Ferris wheel in Europe, and the fact that 25 airlines were organised to bring spectators to the festival from all over the world.
Two million people on a damn waiting list and you know 185,000 x $347 is? That’s $64 million dollars on that one event in Boom, Belgium and we are not even talking about the economic impact of additional money on the local community. This is what the dance music and house music is bringing. And I don’t even know the numbers of Ultra Winter Festival in Miami but you also know those numbers are big too. These are people who create electronic dance tracks off a computer and use fake DJ turntables and wave in front of a crowd for their money.
So in case you are wondering the obvious – where are the Black house DJs and Black dance music producers and why they ain’t all in this and got this kind of event setup on this level? I’m not talking about Carl Cox in the picture above – he is worth more money than the rappers and he is from the UK. You know the house music DJs I’m talking about and yeah, I’m calling out the Chicago ones especially. All the years all of them been in the game and touring the world, where the hell is their $60 million dollar dance music festival?
In this article we are going to discuss another sad tale of Black people boxing themselves into a “Black identity” complex instead of elevate themselves to global leaders of their industry/game. And I hope every last one of you cats after reading this article get it in your head to stop doing this “Black identity” bullcrap, for real.
Just like hip-hop and Black comedy, the dance music industry is another one Black people founded and other people took over, took the industry global, they making millions and you still got these old head cats sitting around talking shit about “real hip-hop” or “real house music” with their broke simple ass and $200/night shows at some hole-in-a-wall club somewhere.
We are going to talk about what the Miami, Los Angeles and European House Music DJs done right and where the Black House Music DJs went sideways like they fell asleep in the airplane cockpit. The goal here is to educate brothas and sistas and existing DJs on how to get their proper share of the global dance music pie that our people started and become globally competitive instead of being a chump change local yokel DJ that is only known in Chicago or Baltimore or whatever.
Collaborations with Label and Indie Artists
Dance tracks now are more than a beat and some sample. They are now full songs with vocals and lyrics. The major house music DJs collaborated with well-known and even b-list artists on singles that can be played in the clubs around the world boosting the recognition of both the DJ and the profile of the artist.
They racking 10,000,000 to 100,000,000+ views on YouTube but meanwhile your local Black music DJ artist, who they collaborating with? They may be remixing but I don’t see them creating these kind of tracks for artists as original music that can sell globally and get the money up and the fame up, do you?
See, here it the problem and when you hear this, it’s going to piss you off. Number one, most of these Black dance music DJs got egos and full of self and very self-centered on their tracks and being the headliner and center of attention. That is just the way we Black folks act when we think we got a little fame and status and we don’t strive for bigger things, we just live off the little fame we think we got.
Number two, where are the Black-owned dance music radio stations to promote these tracks? They got these radio stations all over the world in all major cities that plays nothing but dance tracks but are Black folks running this stuff? Here is the thing – Black folks are boxing themselves in wanting to hear Trey Songz and not play these other songs because they don’t think it is “Black enough” for urban radio. What is “Black enough” to Black radio stations is songs that degrades Black women and talk about drug dealing and Black on Black violence. Again, we created this damn genre but dance music is not “Black enough”.
So all of these Black dance music DJs did nothing but live off the little fame/recognition they got and they still in 2013 pushing their own crates and doing small-time parties at club venues with paper fliers promotions while the mainstream DJs are doing festivals worldwide that bring in $60 million dollars gross sales.
Advance Programming Techniques for Modern Dance Music Tracks
When releasing a dance music track in 2013, it has to be in several formats and “open source” meaning there is some technical programming that need to be to allow other DJs and remixers to add their touch to the track. So you have to release the iTunes or radio version of the dance track, release a mixable version that is designed for DJ software that allow individual tracks and vocals to be muted on/off and this requires engineering.
Most of the Black DJs do not have this level of sophistication with computers and music in terms of programming. They are just releasing 4/4 126bpm tracks with the default factory sound of the Guitar Center drum machine or synthesizer and at best, have an external effect processor which is some old 1980s ish style of creating electronic music.
Electronic music programming is no different than any other form of digital publishing where you have to use different formats and templates to package the track for sale worldwide. In addition there are also sound programming techniques in electronic music to create certain kind of effects with sound that requires knowledge of bending sine wavelength and programming a pulsing arpeggio in a time/space continuum on modern keyboards. Software like Cubase for example requires a level of programming on the backend to create custom and proprietary music effects.
In fact, you can easily get away with programming dozens of dance music effects and apply to any sample loop or drum track and keep producing “new” hits over and over again and keep selling worldwide over and over again on DJ tours over and over again. But Black DJs have to sit down and learn keyboard/synthesizer programming sound and effect techniques.
Yes in case you wondering, Ed Dunn and some of the 3rd Strategic Institute can program keyboards and drum machine and you may catch me at Guitar Center in Cobb Parkway or off I-85 from time to time programming in the keyboard room. I still don’t understand why brothas don’t take their chick to Guitar Center because that an easy score right there. Let me take your woman with me to Guitar Center and let’s see how that works out, LOL.
This video by Zedd called Clarity is in my opinion the best overall music video, song and lyrics I’ve heard in a very long time. If you look at the video, notice how they sync the scene cut with the beat and how they use visuals that are surreal – we Black folks don’t make videos like this and it’s a shame. Look at 3:14 in this video – I’m sorry but that level of creativity and symbolism is why I love this whole video overall. Not to mention the beautiful keyboard sound programming technique done for the track and Foxes (the chick is an alt-rock singer) definitely took it to another level.
Black DJs when they make videos of their dance music, the videos are extremely cornball and egotistical and non-artististic and even worse, have no soul. I remember Jay-Z music video “on to the next one” that was very creative but then you got ignorant Black folks talking about that music video was the devil or illuminati or some crap like that. And that’s the kind of dumb crap that is holding Black people back because we are afraid to unleash our best creativity and artistic form to appease a dumb-downed Black audience used to drama media like R&B crap and reality TV shows.
Screw all of that – when we launch our IPTV, we are going to demand some of the most cutting edge, creative videos out there the Black community going to like or they going to have to just get over it. I want to see videos exactly like this Zedd and Clarity with the same level of intensity and surrealism and I don’t give a damn what some punk in the Black community have to say about it either. The same warning goes to the dance music DJs – stop putting out these bullshit cornball music videos with your dance tracks. Get a real damn video producer who is creative and talented and let them run with it.
Events and Festivals
The biggest loss is the Black dance music DJs making fun of “rave” and the whole rave culture. Rave was not about popping chemicals and hard edgy synth pads over heavy 4/4 beats. Rave was a gathering and an experience and once it began in one area, more and more raves popped up all around the world. Today, those raves matured into festivals and attracts tens of thousands to events and heavily sponsored and bring in serious revenue.
Black dance music DJs dropped the ball hard on this one because they stuck to their format instead of expanding out and reaching out globally and bringing in the global community as they toured the world. But other house music DJs already took the initiative of going worldwide and collaborating to create mega festivals and they started making super serious money.
Think about this – they bringing in 10,000 or even more to a dance music festival while at hip-hop concerts, cats want to gang-bang and shoot each other. With that said, are people still confused why dance music is being promoted and rising while hip-hop is being divested by the record companies? No one want to do rap or hip-hop anymore, homey. Sorry to break the bad news to all you cats talking about you want to be a rapper and ish.
Creating dance festivals is the big bang theory of the revenue generation of the DJ game. You create tracks, you collaborate with other DJs and you put on a big show that you sponsor and get paid and go worldwide to all the major urban areas in the world. $60 million here, $20 million there and you keep pushing out electronic dance tracks mostly generated by a computer. Crowds of people camping out, the positive vibe and that is why dance music is the global music standard today.
How to Reverse the Mistakes into a Positive Outcome
The moral of this whole article is another example of how we brothas and sistas cling too damn much on Black identity instead of global domination. Look, you can still have the “Black experience” which is what you are really after but we got to admit and acknowledge we f*cked up chasing after a Black identity and it messed up our paper chasing game for the past 30-40 years.
We got to build out a foundation and that is what you see missing here. We didn’t have real dance music record labels and in my opinion, a real dance music record label need to be as sophisticated as a software programming company, not some shady music industry moron. Dance music is programmed and there is patterns and practices in the science of dance music tracks and a good label like Ultra Records are using scientific methodologies in their tracks and releases.
Then we going to need our own radio stations and make them worldwide dance music stations and we play our own tracks on that stations and even some of the classics. Push those tracks on iTunes and make real YouTube videos and re-release some of those tracks. You got Black DJs with nice dance music track catalog from 1990s that only 10,000 people in Chicago know about that they need to just re-release in 2013 with a music video and modern spin and repackage.
But we got to start collaborating with artists and I don’t care if the artist is a has-been as their name will still lead more credibility to a good track with vocals. Those tracks will be heard on YouTube and played by DJs and push the recognition of the label and help that artist get more exposure. You got plenty of Black female artists out there dropped from a label who can be on these dance music tracks and music videos and get 10,000,000 views on YouTube easily worldwide and tour worldwide in clubs as a result.
Yeah, Black DJs messed up and I hope they take some time to reflect on what was written here, drop their pride and get into the global dance music scene the right way. And you young cats out there, I want you to really think about this dance music industry in terms of the global power and real money potential and even better contract signings where you just sign cats to one single that have 10,000,000 YouTube views and 700,000 digital sales and you create a catalog and put them on tour and create music festivals. That’s where the real music game is at and you cats been briefed.