Black Out Tuesday

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

Yesterday, the music business pressed pause in solidarity.

The collective action was intended to create space for reflection and, as Killer Mike so eloquently put it, “to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.”

What’s happening in the world is infuriating. It is sickening. It is paralyzing. Racism makes Covid-19 look like the common cold.

The industry-wide pause wasn’t without detractors. Many black voices online took issue with its execution, but it caught on like wildfire nonetheless. With so much pain to address and so little leadership on these issues within the industry, we all jumped at the chance to engage. I, for one, applaud the Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang for leading the charge. Music is always out front and that was as clear as ever yesterday. Countless other culture industries followed suit and joined the action.

It’s almost impossible to find someone who isn’t influenced by black culture. Growing up in New York, it shaped my heart and soul, and in my work I have had the privilege of working with so many brilliant black artists. I never take that for granted. The business of music is built off of black people’s craft yet the industry has consistently and systematically mistreated people of color.

This is why yesterday’s action was so controversial. It is obviously not enough. Things need to fundamentally change and the ideas driving yesterday’s pause need to be prioritized and platformed day in and day out.

Maybe this time will be different. It certainly was in New York last night, when a curfew of 8pm was put in place for the first time since 1943. Now we need real leadership and clear communication, which is both more possible than ever before (thanks to tools like social media) and more perilous than we’ve experienced in our lifetime (due to disinformation and rising fascism).

We’re all scared but we can’t look away. Nue wants this community to know it can count on us to call out injustice, to listen, and to amplify the ideas and people that will realize our collective dream of equality. If you’ve read my writing before, you know that I believe music will be a powerful driver of this cultural change.

Below are a handful of ideas, resources, recaps, and voices that we relied on the past few days. These are the types of people and tools we’ll be looking to for guidance moving forward.

Stay safe,


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