Kanye West & Tyler, The Creator Co-Sign James Blake’s Warning

Kanye West and Tyler, The Creator are among those to co-sign James Blake’s stark warning about the state of the music industry.

Over the weekend, the British singer/producer penned a number of social media posts about the financial state of the music industry and the struggles facing artists.

Originally commenting on how he never made any money from TikTok from his viral cover of Frank Ocean‘s “Godspeed”, Blake said: “It’s worth noting this is just an example I used in a post talking about the wider effect of TikTok on music. Just seeing this part makes it seem navel gazing but I’m speaking on a thing that’s affecting artists all over the world.”

“Something I keep seeing is ‘if you’re lucky enough to go viral, just use the exposure to generate income some other way’,” he continued. “Musicians should be able to generate income via their music. Do you want good music or do you want what you paid for?”

He added: “If we want quality music somebody is gonna have to pay for it. Streaming services don’t pay properly, labels want a bigger cut than ever and just sit and wait for you to go viral, TikTok doesn’t pay properly, and touring is getting prohibitively expensive for most artists. The brainwashing worked and now people think music is free.”

After the posts went viral, James Blake — who in addition to being an established solo artist has worked with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop and R&B including Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Drake, JAY-Z and Travis Scott — expanded on his thoughts on Instagram.

“The chopped and screwed (sped up/slowed down) multiple versions thing isn’t great but the effect of TikToks/reels on the core songwriting and arranging of music, the attention deficit of listeners and of us, the musicians, the immediately available metrics for labels and musicians, the fact we have to be great at social media but not really be great at music, the ‘working’ of songs now meaning posting infinite videos with the same clip of the same song, the fact that then fans only know one one moment of one song and for the rest of the set (and even the parts of the same song that weren’t in the clip) just stand there not reacting because why would they? They don’t know it,” he wrote.

“I really love music. I will continue to use my social media but only to connect with you guys. Music is my life’s purpose and I will not have mine destroyed by a bunch of labels and tech companies who don’t even pay us and exploit us relentlessly. Remember when my cover of ‘Godspeed’ went viral? Neither me nor Frank ever made a cent cause it was an ‘original sound’ in every video.

“I don’t know how many millions of unique videos were made with that song but it was multiple. I mean most people didn’t even know it was me because my name didn’t show up and I wasn’t tagged. I don’t care about the money but next time your fave goes viral remember they aren’t making shit off that. They just got ‘given a platform’ and now have the ‘privilege’ of touring one clip of one song.”

“The industry is beyond fucked and musicians are getting fucked harder than anyone,” he concluded. “I’m extremely lucky I got in before streaming took over and before all these shady deals were made behind our backs.”

Blake received much support for his comments as it was shared by Kanye West and Tyler, The Creator on their respective Instagram Stories.

“@jamesblake talk ya shit,” Tyler wrote while adding some commentary.

Kanye West Working On Album With James Blake, Reveals 'Donda 2' Collaborator

Kanye West Working On Album With James Blake, Reveals ‘Donda 2’ Collaborator

Metro Boomin, who has worked with the Grammy-winner extensively in recent years, commented on his post: “They suggested for me to release the acapella, sped up, and slowed down versions of ‘Creepin’ and I was like nooooo way lol.”

The likes of Vic Mensa, Bas, The Alchemist, Blood Orange and BADBADNOTGOOD also praised Blake for speaking up.

Metro Boomin previously voiced his gripes with TikTok following the removal of Universal Music Group’s catalog from the platform.

“I love the creativity and appreciation the kids show for the music on TikTok but I don’t like the forced pandering from artists and labels that results in these lifeless and soulless records,” he wrote on X.


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