Issa Rae has claimed that the music industry is full of “crooks and criminals”.
During a Q&A with the Los Angeles Times, the 36-year-old actress was asked whether music is where “good ideas flourish” as she discussed opening her own record label, Raedio.
“Absolutely not. It’s probably the worst industry I’ve ever come across,” the Insecure creator explained. “I thought Hollywood was crazy. The music industry, it has to start all over again. There are lots of conflicts of interest. Archaic mentalities. Villains and criminals!”
Rae described the business as “an addiction industry”, adding “I really feel for artists who need to get into it… it was something shocking.”
The multi-hyphenate did not speak to specific experiences but said her opinions were shaped by putting together soundtracks for shows and speaking to artists involved in the industry.
“I do not want to be too specific, but even with making our own appointments (for soundtracks) with labels or artists, it would be so intricate. And to find out how artists were treated on other labels…” she continued. “When I myself am a creator and know what I want in relation to a relationship with a production company or a producer, I would like to think that we are more artist-friendly than much of other brands and companies out there. I want to renew things.”
Rae also called out the Grammys, stating the awards show often overlooks music by Black artists, such as WizKid.
“This is dumb, but I’ll say it anyway: A song like (WizKid’s) Essence – just absolutely a powerhouse, and yet could not be properly acknowledged by the institution that is supposed to celebrate the best in music – that trips me out,” she concluded. “To see Black people and our contributions to music not celebrated in the way they should be – I mean, these aren’t institutions for us.”