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1. Two old colleagues of mine - @dankojones and @ErrolNazareth - have opened up important conversations about race & the Canadian music industry, particularly in light of apparent disconnects between everyday practice and newfound 'black square' activism - #clicktivism.
2. As I read these threads, I’m getting hit with deja vu - feels exactly like #TDot frustrations in the late 90s, when Toronto rap was on the rise, yet none of the major labels were signing them. Hesitation everywhere. I wrote a research story on this in '98 for @exclaimdotca.
3. Eventually, @Choclair got his deal, but the Canadian music industry tried to play a silver-bullet solution by investing in just ONE rapper, playing it safe - precisely the opposite of how American and British record companies operate when they see a hot music trend.
4. A few more names followed - Kardinal, and K-os - but the cards clearly moved slowly, until #Drake. You don’t need me to explain how he changed the game - commercially, that is.
5. But you might need someone to explain how #Drake and #TheWeeknd sought global markets, ditching the national one, only to make the latter coming begging.
6. This is actually a pattern for many successful musicians - the ones who don’t come from New York, London, or LA. @KAYTRANADA used the same playbook, and I'd argue that @dankojones has too. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
7. As cultural critics, I think this is the question that we need to ask: what can musicians and music journalists of colour learn from the #Tdot story?
8. For it’s pretty clear that the cards will always move slowly if we wait for our inclusion in platforms like @Indie88Toronto and @cdnmusician - as rightfully critiqued by @dankojones.
9. As a fan of electronic music, underground jazz-funk, and hip-hop, I can honestly say that I've never read @cdnmusician and I don't know anyone in these scenes who does. #CulturallyIrrelevant
10. The whiteness of @Indie88Toronto hurts like an oncoming migraine. It’s like a more polite, hipster version of 90s-to-present @the_edge - both of which are the antithesis of 80s CFNY, which was actually way more culturally inclusive (or at least the playlists were).
11. Secondly, as Canadian cultural critics of colour (esp. in music), it's worth thinking about how our exclusion parallels the T-dot story. We clearly can't wait in vain for the next #Drake, #Weeknd or even #Choclair of Canadian music media 2 rise up. Jesus saves souls, not jobs
12. But maybe it’s about creating our own OVO-equivalents in music journalism and radio culture?

How do we do that?
13. Look around - younger critics and artists are already doing it. Seek them out, dialogue with them, celebrate their work 2 level-up the game.

That's how we start to create culture - bigger than an industry - because the underground must always go deep.
@vibesandstuff and @ThatEricAlper - this thread is also for you - we've been having these convos too, recently and for years! 😎
14. New things to add to this thread after a warm exchange with @dankojones, @ErrolNazareth and @mmmbarclay

I think the next step is to encourage more folks - esp. emerging writers to share their personal experiences and insights of exclusion.
15. I know what it was like 20-25 years ago, but the system has obviously been reconfigured. The discussion that we’ve had these last few days is about the results of exclusion, but what does that look & feel like first-hand? These are the stories that need to come out.
16. Without those perspectives, the nuanced nature of the problems facing emerging cultural critics of colour will never be on the table, and the empty hype of the mainstream inclusivity will keep spinning.
17. @balkissoon just dropped the piece that we’ve been looking for, gathering so many voices & experiences about racism & journalism in Canada. When lined up like this, all of these shared experiences make the patterns boldly clear.…
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