The-Dream had some pretty strong words for the record industry in an interview with Billboard magazine.
He starts off by dropping an explosive analogy. "Artists are treated like slaves. We have terrible contracts," he told the magazine. "We have streaming services that pay one-tenth of a cent per play, we have no laws to protect us."
However, as the interview progresses, the 37-year old makes it clear that there is a certain type of artist who is treated more like a slave than the others.
If you got a hit and you’re white, there are no limits to what you can do. If you’re black and you have a hit today but can’t do it again tomorrow, then your ass is out of here," The Dream told Billboard. "When the industry uses you up, that’s it. You’re gone. It’s a constant battle for our culture. We can’t say no to radio, we can’t say no to Spotify, and we can’t have a concert because nobody will come. And the whole time, everybody is taking from our culture to enhance the pop side of things. By the way, the pop side doesn’t mean you have to be white. Bruno Mars is pop. Nobody listens to Bruno Mars like he’s a black artist. Which I’m sure for him, he’s like, “Thank God.” There are urban artists and then there are pop artists, and urban artists get things taken from them. We create the swag, and everybody knows it.He then identifies white record producer Dr. Luke as one of the swag thieves for repeatedly lifting 'Umbrella,' a song The-Dream wrote.
Dr. Luke has been remaking [Rihanna's] 'Umbrella' since we made 'Umbrella'! I tell him that to his face! He has been making it over and over, and pop radio loves it every time."What do you think of The-Dream's words?