Movies and TV Pick up the slack?

Today in class we discussed the use of television and the big movie screen to boost the sales of music and increase the popularity of certain artists or record labels. The first of these that we discussed was the movie Krush Groove which was produced in 1985. This film was a rarity for a music based one because it featured 6 popular groups/ artists and was made to explain the beginnings of Def Jam Records.

Another that we discussed was the development of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air to tell the story of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. Having never known that smith had a rap career before the show was produced and aired i was surprised to learn this during class. But after seeing one of his music videos that was made before the show it made a lot of sense to me that the show correlated to his previous career. it was easily noticed that the graffiti and movements/characters in the shows opening songs were the same as those found in the music video for “Parents Just Don’t Understand”. You’ll notice at the beginning of the Fresh Prince song that the walls are plain white and covered with spray paint words and pictures exactly like the ones in the music video for Parents Just Don’t Understand. The next visible similarity between the two is the woman who plays the mom in Parents and the woman who plays the aunt in the shows theme song. Both have very similar features and are portrayed almost identically. The next that i noticed between both was the mocking of the parental figure in a high tone of voice with a funny voice by Will Smith. Both songs feature this with a negative tone towards their figures of authority. These were the biggest ones i could point out but i found it was almost laughable how they basically reused the music video for the opening to the show. They could have at least been a little more creative.

What I keep thinking about with things like this, was about how they could possibly boost popularity and record sales enough to cover the cost of making the movie/show. After searching for a long time there was not much evidence to support this but I find it scary interesting how closely the music industry becomes tied to the film and television entertainment industry. It makes me wonder if many of the movies we see go through theaters each year and streamed on the internet have hidden agendas in mind when they are put out. For example I’m sure films like “Straight Outta Compton” were made to increase music sales for the artists featured. It just makes me wonder what certain artists would be without being pout on display for the world with a story that could be real or could be just as fake as the characters who play them.


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