Satire? ‘Services No Longer Needed’ Letter to Black Artists From “The Industry” Hits the ‘Net

Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" got him in a lot of trouble with Marvin Gaye family and fans.
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” got him in a lot of trouble with Marvin Gaye family and fans.

*Thanks. We’re good!

According to a “satirical” letter that has recently hit the web, that’s what the entertainment industry is telling black artists who have taught white artists so very well how to, basically, rip them off.

Sebastien Elkouby – a hip hop enthusiast and nationally published writer – pens a letter from “the industry” that essentially puts black artists and African American entrepreneurs on notice that their “services are no longer required.”

The letter states eloquently, certainly with regard to the music industry, what black artists and their fans have been saying for years, yet with much more vigor over the past year, with white artists overshadowing blacks in areas more original to black culture.

Oh yeah, and did I mention Sebastien Elkouby is a white man?

Here’s the letter.

Dear black artists,

We regret to inform you that the need for your services will soon come to an end as we enter a critical restructuring period. Fortunately, after having spent nearly a century meticulously studying your art, language, fashion, and lifestyle, we have learned enough to confidently move forward without your assistance.

We thank you for your contributions but have decided to make some necessary changes as a result of your decreasing value.” 

Focus groups show that consumers are looking for more relatable images. While 2013 marked the first time in Billboard’s 55 year history that there were no black artists on top of the Hot 100 chart, this was a great year for us with Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Macklemore claiming the #1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, proving that market demands are shifting.

Consequently, in the next few months, we will be gradually phasing out your positions as we finalize this reorganization. In the meantime, we ask you to continue with business as usual, training your replacements Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber until instructed otherwise. Your severance package includes a lifetime supply of Air Jordans, unlimited access to reruns of “Love and Hip Hop”, a new 30 piece Tom Ford wardrobe, and the latest iPhone. Your medical coverage will be provided through ObamaCare.We want you to know that your termination is in no way a statement about the quality of your work with us. As such, we would like to acknowledge your outstanding contributions to the industry over the past decades. In music, we’d like to thank Kendrick Lamar’s thought-provoking body of work which has opened the door for Macklemore, a shining example of what intelligent rap looks like.

Macklemore (Forefront) is new "It Boy" in hip-hop. He won a Grammy this year for "Best New Artist"
Macklemore (Forefront), pictured here with partner, Ryan, is the new “It Boy” in hip-hop. He won a Grammy this year for “Best New Artist.”

In business, Jay Z’s partnership with Samsung was historical as the Korean mobile company paid the rapper a mere $5 million and his company Roc Nation, another $15 million, a bargain deal relative to their standard annual $4 billion marketing budget and $220 billion net worth. In fashion, while Kanye West may be experiencing difficulties launching his own brand, his loyalty to European designers continues to add value to an already thriving industry that other entertainers like Migos seem to enjoy promoting for free.

Kanye West is a regular "fixture" in the front row of European fashion events.
Kanye West is a regular “fixture” in the front row of European fashion events.

In cinema, “The Butler” and “12 Years a Slave” were Oscar-worthy gems, showcasing the strength and pride of a resilient people. We understand that this year, you will continue this tradition of inspiring historical films with the May release of “Belle” and the History Channel’s forthcoming reboot of the groundbreaking 70′s televised series, “Roots”. Your work did not go unnoticed as it has inspired us to produce new historical movies of our own, depicting our rich cultural heritage. Upcoming releases include:

* “Son of God” produced by reality TV pioneer Mark Burnett and starring Diogo Morgado
* “Noah” starring Russell Crowe
* “Exodus” starring Christian Bale as Moses
* “Mary, Mother of Christ” starring 16 year old Odeya Rush

Just as your movies depict the struggles and achievements of your best and brightest, these powerful films are meant to inspire and remind us of our glorious past and divine lineage.

In an attempt to capitalize on the recent trend in movies that focus on triumphs of the African-American experience, we have recently begun developing films with similar themes. Channing Tatum has just been cast as the lead in the Nat Turner Story while Scarlett Johansson is reported to have accepted the role of Harriet Tubman in a forthcoming biopic. Like Quentin Tarentino’s “Django Unchained”, both movies promise to offer the perfect balance between shoot-em-up style action and social commentary while boasting two smash-hit soundtracks featuring Eminem, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha.

Again, none of this could have been accomplished without your unwavering commitment and dedication to our mission. We trust that your transition will be smooth and wish you continued success with your new journey into Electronic Dance Music.”


The industry

Thanks to Gail Mitchell from Billboard for bringing this to our attention and a proverbial “tip of the hat” to the enlightenment of writer, Sebastian Elkouby.

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