YouTube: […] The two things that I have talked about, this denial of structural racism and mass corporate control of the expressive forms. These two things have had a profound impact on stifling the creative center of commercial hip-hop. And so the social potential in the age of Obama has everything to do with challenging those two elements. That is to say that mass-market control of young people’s control is a formula for disaster. It doesn’t matter what the culture’s about, market ideology and market behavior is about profiting, not interrogating and challenging, they don’t say ‘hey, we should really promote anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic music’ or ‘we should just at least create diversity in here so you have a space of challenge’ which is what you would have in real life, right? […]
Pitchfork: So if there is no difference between popular music and commercial music nowadays, does that mean that there is no space for resistance to commercialism?
TT: I think there is: Kids who have a garage band but don’t have any intention of signing with a label, or people who sing in a church choir, are a form of resistance. For another project, I’ve been interviewing indie rock musicians here in L.A., mostly associated with Burger Records. I interviewed one person who doesn’t copyright her music, has a day job, and doesn’t have an interest in trying to make a living as a musician. She told me that her goal is to try to stay in the shadows. So I think the only way to resist capitalism now is not so much to try to overthrow it– I don’t think that’s going to happen– but to do things that capitalism doesn’t care about, or is not interested in. A lot of people who don’t have any interest in making a living at music derive a lot of pleasure from playing or singing, and that pleasure matters.