Tag Archives: Open Letter

An Open Letter To the Industry from Kwame Teague (Author Dutch)

I’m not one to publicly disclose my personal associations. However, I thought it imperative to make an introduction prior to publishing this open letter. I have been in contact with Kwame for quite some time now and we have become close friends. I’ve been able to benefit from his brilliant mind and visionary concepts, especially when it comes to the urban literature industry. I have come to respect him a great deal. I truly believe and am in support with what he is presenting in his open letter. I hope you do too.

 

A Letter to the Industry by Kwame Teague

To my brother and sisters of Urban Lit,

I salute  you, I salute us. Here’s to our tenacity, our drive, our passion, our hunger, our HUSTLE. Together we have taken this street lit to another level. In just over ten years, we’ve created a MULTI MILLION dollar industry… for everyone else, but ourselves.

Take it from someone who was here from the beginning, day one, one of the first born so to speak. Like Hip Hop started in the basement, we started in the trunk, car trunks, selling our joints hand to hand until we created a buzz, and this buzz blew! Before you knew it, everywhere you looked, someone was reading a street joint.

But then the majors heard about us, the big publishing houses, the MAINSTREAM, and they cut checks, big checks, six figure checks, and we thought we had it made, we thought we had arrived.

But there was a catch.

You see, the majors didn’t step in because they were feelin’ our vibe. They saw us as a THREAT. We were upstart independents, making the game bend for us. We had proved we didn’t need them. We had our own publishers, our own distributors, our own blooming industry, and they said, “We have to stop this!

It wasn’t racism, it wasn’t a conspiracy, it was just good ol’ American business. Because those six figure checks weren’t for book deals. No. They were buying our shelf space, our real estate! They signed the best sellers, took the space, then fell back. Genius. Now, of course, we didn’t see it then, some of us still won’t see it now, but just because we can’t see the sun rise over China, doesn’t mean it won’t shine.

We got played.

But, the question is… Where do we go from here?

Now… this part of this letter isn’t for my brothers or sisters of urban lit, it’s for my brothers and sisters of like minds. The Gods and Goddesses who know how to create, and once awakened, we never sleep again. If this is above your head, I still love you, but run along, this is grown folk bizness.

Again, where do we go from here?

I don’t have all the answers, but we do. We need to come together A.S.A.P., combine forces, let go of the petty jealousies and squabbles and figure out how to get the millions back that we created! Because if we don’t, we’re going to die a slow death by a thousand cuts or suffocate because our one market has become a gas chamber. We must come together. The milk industry did it. The movie industry did it. The mainstream publishers did it. Why can’t we?

If you feel like I feel and think like I think, then hit me: Kwame J. Teague #0401897 P.O. Box 600 Nashville, NC 27856 or email me at dutchthegame @ gmail.com. Let’s form a voltran and take back our millions!

I love y’all.

Peace.

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The Truth About Sinéad O’Connor

There is a feud in cyberspace between Sinéad O’Connor and Miley Cyrus. Miley revealed that her Wrecking Ball video (which I have not seen, nor care to), was inspired by Sinead’s iconic video of Nothing Compares 2 U.

This comment prompted a response from Sinéad by way of an open letter to Miley, which I found to be beautiful and caring of her to write in the first place.

I agree wholeheartedly with what Sinéad wrote, minus the curse words, and voiced similar thoughts in a recent post.

Unfortunately, Miley’s response to Sinéad’s letter was by posting derogatory tweets to demean and discredit her. Miley went further as to include Amanda Byrnes’ in this exchange, which honestly, I thought was a low blow.

Sinéad and I are the same age. We grew up in the same era. I love her voice. I identify with her, in the past and now. She has been severely misunderstood. I’ve always admire her courage. She is blunt, forthright and honest, which I can relate to.

I believe the media did awful things to her. When Sinéad wrote to Miley it was out of compassion and life experience. Miley’s response was distasteful. She lacked respect, and even poked fun at her struggle with mental illness.

Miley displayed a lack of sensitivity and maturity, not only by attacking Sinéad, but the entire community of victims who have been abused, suffering from depression and any other form of mental illness.

No one has walked a mile in Sinéad O’Connor’s shoes to know what it’s been like for her. They have tried to make her out as some crazy person, when she’s not. She has the guts to tell it like it is and some powerful people didn’t like it.

These same people manipulated the media to speak out against her and make her look like she was crazy. They knew by discrediting her, this would guarantee that no one would take her seriously or listen to what she had to say anymore.

Sinéad struggled with bi-polar. So what. This doesn’t make her crazy. She or anyone struggling with mental illness shouldn’t be dismissed as not credible. I know many people struggling with this disease who are exceptionally bright and articulate people. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

Furthermore, I believe the music industry provokes mental illness. The lifestyle, lack of sleep, incessant commitments, performances, interviews, drugs, alcohol, so on and so forth can break even the strongest of wills. The kind of pressure these performers are put under is enough to make anyone sick.

This is why Sinéad wrote to Miley. She was trying to convey the truth. She wrote from her heart because she remembers what happened to her in the industry. She wrote from the perspective of  her own personal experience.  She doesn’t want Miley to wind up they she did. Sinéad displayed care, concern and compassion while Miley responded with a slap in the face.

Unfortunately, Miley hurt Sinéad by what she said and posted on Twitter, and now, Sinéad wrote two other letters in response to what Miley callously said and did. What she meant for good, turned ugly and it’s sad.

I can only hope that Miley Cyrus apologizes to Sinéad O’Connor, as she deserves an apology. I pray she apologizes for attacking Sinéad O’Connor and anyone who struggle with mental illness too. Miley had better hope and pray she doesn’t find herself in a similar situation one day.

Mental illness is no joking matter.

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