21 Savage, This is Why the Media Doesn't Cover Your Political Music

"I don't think people really understand how hard it is to be black."

21 Savage is not happy with the media and I can't blame him.

In a series of interviews before and after the release of his debut album, Issa Album, the Atlanta rapper has gone out of his way to criticize, very fairly might I add, people in the media for labeling him a 'mumble rapper' and for ignoring his more politically and racially-charged material. 

Earlier today (July 27), Rolling Stonepublished a feature interview with 21, in which the rapper expressed disappointment over the lack of coverage his material about systemic racism and police brutality has received.

"It's hard being black," he adds soberly. "I don't think people really understand how hard it is to be black. Especially when you coming from nothing. In the hood, there's already a lot of hate just amongst us black people. We killin' each other and everybody else killin' us too. We poor. And the world hates us.

"People always say I don't ever talk about that type of shit, then when I talk about that type of shit, they do everything in their power to not talk about that song," he continues. "They don't give me the credit. Fuck 'em."



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As I have written about in the past, the unfortunate reality of the social media-driven publishing industry in 2017 is that negativity sells. Very simply, the reason why most outlets would rather cover 21 Savage checking DJ Akademiks on Everyday Struggle or the impact that the rapper's relationship with Amber Rose will have on her exes (Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa) is because headlines about both of those topics are extremely click-baiting. 

While I'm proud of our recent coverage of 21, which includes stories about him owning his own masters and a desire to trademark the word "Issa," I'm sure that headlines like "21 Savage Won't Let Anyone Disrespect New Girlfriend Amber Rose" (XXL), "21 Savage, I've Dated Amber Rose Way Longer than You Know" (TMZ) and "21 Savage's Beef With 22 Savage Escalates" (HNHH) all produced significantly more social media shares and page views.

It's also important to note that humans are extremely flawed creatures. People might indicate a desire to read more in-depth editorials that cover enlightening, hard-hitting topics, but in reality, it's much easier and takes far less time to click on a tweet about Drake getting a silly tattoo or Lil Yachty revealing he cannot name the title of a single Tupac record.

With true journalism dying and content marketing and branded content quickly taking its place, it's become increasingly difficult for most publishers to focus on selling positive headlines to their readers, knowing full well they aren't producing enough clicks, and in turn generating enough revenue, to justify the cost of running them in the first place. 

As a result, in just the last few months, HuffPost, MTV and VICE, among countless others, have pivoted away from editorial and toward video, and in the process, have fired countless original content creators. Unfortunately, until the worlds of advertising and technology are able to get a better grasp on how to monetize content without cramming shitty ads down your throat, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

In the face of these challenges times, though, DJBooth will remain dedicated to providing substantive, quality editorials. We don't give a shit who 21 Savage dates so long as the music he's making is worth talking about.



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