Members of the music industry are observing a day long ‘black out’ on social media today in response to the death of George Floyd (died due to an act of police brutality and racism as Minneapolis police man, Derek Chauvin, rested his knee on his neck until he couldn’t breathe). Major record labels and artists have even taken a stand and decided not to release nor produce any music or content, sharing a message on social media promising that it is going to be a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with the black community.
Floyd was a father of two and his death caused a lot of suffering and devastation on his family and friends. Famous icons like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Arianna Grande and even Dr. Dre spoke out on social media about this blatant act of racism. Rihanna said the act had caused her devastation, anger and sadness over the last week. She said that watching her people get murdered and lynched day after day has pushed her to a heavy place in her heart. Rihanna wrote this in a post:
“For the last few days, the magnitude of devastation, anger, sadness I’ve felt has been overwhelming to say the least! Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart! To the point of staying away from socials, just to avoid hearing the blood curdling agony in George Floyd’s voice again, begging over and over for his life!!! The look of enticement, the pure joy and climax on the face of this bigot, murderer, thug, pig, bum, Derek Chauvin, haunts me!! I can’t shake this! I can’t get over an ambulance pulling up to an arrest, a paramedic checking a pulse without removing the very thing that’s hindering it! Is this that normal??? If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for “drugs” or “resisting arrest”….then what’s the fit consequence for MURDER???!”
Beyoncé posted a video on Instagram that was a petition urging fans to seek justice for George Floyd who was murdered in broad daylight and the black community is disgusted. ‘We cannot normalise this pain.’ She added that she was not only speaking to people of colour but to everyone and especially all of America. George is family because he is not only one of us, but he is American.
As anger spread through the music community, a message spread on social media calling on the industry to “take an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change”. “As gatekeepers of the culture, it’s our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during loss,” reads the statement, which circulated under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused.
Among those reposting the message were Warner Music Group, Sony/ATV, Universal Music, Motown, Capitol Records, British label Dirty Hit, Eminem’s Shady Records and legendary producer Quincy Jones.