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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tyrese: “I’m Only Played on Black Radio… But If White Artists Sing R&B, They Get Played on Mainstream Radio”

Tyrese Gibson

Nationwide — Tyrese Gibson, who has the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, has a lot to say about what seems to be racism and double standards in the music industry. His latest album, Black Rose, has sold more copies than any other album this week, but yet it’s mostly being played on radio stations listened to by African Americans.

“I’m not a racist, I’m not using the race card and I’m not trying to create any type of negative energy toward (radio hosts) Ryan Seacrest or Elvis Duran specifically,” he says. “I’m simply asking the question: If Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke and Sam Smith are singing R&B/soul music, how is it possible that they’re being played by Top 40, rhythmic and urban AC stations? Yet when we sing R&B/soul, it’s only being played on black radio?”

“I don’t have a problem with any of these artists, or the fact that they’re white and singing R&B/soul,” Gibson continues. But “are you telling me that if Robin Thicke sang Shame featuring Jennifer Hudson, they would be playing it? We can’t play that game. If I would’ve sung Sam Smith’s version of (Stay With Me) that has a full choir on the chorus, my song would’ve been played on urban AC radio and that’s it. It wouldn’t have went any further than that.”

He adds, “It’s not fair, it’s not right and I’m not having it.”

Meanwhile, at least one station director from KIIS, which airs On Air with Ryan Seacrest, fired back saying: “Pop radio pulls from all genres… You can hear hip-hop and R&B artists like Wiz Khalifa, Omarion, The Weeknd, Fetty Wap and Silento, in addition to Nicki Minaj, John Legend and many more, on KIIS currently. We will continue to consider all artists for airplay.”

But Tyrese does seem to have a point. It doesn’t seem fair that he has the number one selling album in the country, and is not getting airplay on mainstream radio.

Tyrese, who started out doing commercials for Coca-Cola, has had several hit songs, but is mostly known for his chart toppers “Sweet Lady” in 1999 and “How You Gonna Act Like That?” in 2003. He has also starred in several films including Baby Boy and the Fast and Furious franchise. Black Rose is his sixth studio album, and he says it is also his last solo album. Next year, he will host a relationship talk show on OWN with Rev Run called “Manology”, and will also star in another another Fast and Furious film to be released in 2017.

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