Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid has weighed in on Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner’s controversial comments about Black and female artists. According to Reid, while Wenner’s remarks were staggering, they were not surprising at all. Reid believes that it is important for white rock legends to speak out, but only if they are being genuine.
During an appearance on TMZ Live, Reid expressed his lack of shock over Wenner’s comments, which referred to iconic Black and female artists such as Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, and Grace Slick. Reid stated that these thoughts and feelings are not new to the music industry. However, what is rare is for someone like Wenner to openly express them.
Reid also mentioned that he is glad Wenner revealed his true self. In his opinion, it is better to know where someone stands, even if their views are controversial. Reid believes that Wenner’s comments provide an opportunity for a more honest conversation about inclusivity in the music industry.
The guitarist went on to suggest that artists like Bruce Springsteen and Bono should speak out against Wenner’s comments, but only if their statements come from the heart. Reid emphasized the importance of sincerity and authenticity in addressing this issue, instead of making performative statements for the sake of public relations.
Wenner’s remarks have sparked controversy and led to his removal from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. In an interview with the New York Times, Wenner discussed his upcoming book, “The Masters,” which focuses on his interviews with seven white, male artists. He indicated that Black performers were not in his “zeitgeist” and claimed that artists like Janis Joplin and Marvin Gaye were not articulate enough to be included.
Reid pointed out that although Wenner’s comments are shocking, they shed light on a deeper issue within the music industry. He believes that this is an opportunity for the industry to reflect on its biases and work towards greater diversity and inclusion. It is crucial to acknowledge the contributions of Black and female artists and provide them with equal opportunities and recognition.
The controversy surrounding Wenner’s comments has reignited discussions about representation, diversity, and systemic racism in the music industry. Artists and activists continue to advocate for change and push for a more inclusive and equitable industry.
In conclusion, Vernon Reid’s response to Jann Wenner’s comments highlights the need for honest conversations about inclusivity in the music industry. Reid believes that it is essential for white rock legends to speak out against biased views, but only if they are genuine and heartfelt. This controversy serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for diversity and inclusion in the music industry and the importance of recognizing and celebrating the contributions of Black and female artists.