Is there still racism in radio?
Tyrese asks this question as he promotes his new album Black Rose and campaigns to put R&B music at the forefront of all mainstream radio formats.
In a series of social media posts, the singer-actor wonders why his Jennifer Hudson assisted single “Shame” is only topping urban adult contemporary radio formats and getting no love on Top-40 and rhythmic radio stations. “If my song #SHAME is #2 on billboard already and headed to #1 other than the LOVE I’m getting from Urban AC radio… Will POP, Mainstream and TOP 40 radio support R&B soul on their stations too???,” questions Tyrese.
Tyrese backs his racism in radio claim by comparing the chart-topping success of Robin Thicke, Sam Smith and Justin Timberlake, who all incorporate R&B and soul in their music, to black artists only getting airplay on urban radio formats and not all formats. “They’re songs and music is being played on ALL formats of radio Top 40, Mainstream, Rhythmic stations AND we love it as far as URBAN radio and we play their music.” says Tyrese. “I had a song called STAY AND Sam Smith had a song called STAY my song was #1 for 11 weeks and was ONLY played on Urban Adult Contemporary Radio and Urban Mainstream radio… And it STOPPED THERE. How much bigger would this song be if Robin Thicke, Sam Smith or Justin Timberlake sung it? My [Shame] song is #2 right now on Billboard in only 6 weeks but it’s in power rotation on urban radio. If #SHAME was Robin Thicke, Sam Smith or Justin Timberlake’s song, it would be played on top 40, main stream rhythmic and urban radio.”
Although Tyrese is comparing black artists to white artists, he wants it to be clear he isn’t pulling the race card. He just wants all artists, no matter race or sexual preference, to be heard on all radio stations.
Tyrese challenges stations like KISS-FM and Z100 to play his new single and break down the airplay wall that blocks black R&B and soul artists from being heard by all audiences.
Black Rose is available in stores and online.
Do you believe there is racism in radio? What do you believe is the reason behind the lack of support for black R&B/soul artists on mainstream radio stations? Leave your thoughts below.