For those of you with Apple devices and Apple Music, this is what you found on June 2, 2020 when you clicked on the “Radio” or “For You” tabs: A statement showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The displayed album was also a playlist of pro-black and socially aware music.
When I initially accessed my music library and playlists on June 2, 2020 everything looked normal. It wasn’t until I tried to access my “Radio” tab that I realized something was up. After conducting a little research, it was clear that changes had also been made to the “For You” tab.
I quickly discovered that Apple had joined a wider, music-industry effort called “Black Out Tuesday” which was meant to raise awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement. As the United States became mired in a series of daily protests in response to George Floyd (a black man) being killed by police officers in Minneapolis, many celebrities, countries, and soon after, even companies have stated their support in one way or another.
The “Radio” tab displayed the following message:
The displayed playlist called “For Us by Us” featured 50 tracks by black artists which heavily leaned on the socially conscious side. According to Apple’s description, the playlist name was taken from the well known black clothing brand FUBU founded by Shark Tank judge and entrepreneur Daymond John.
The soundtrack (which I was listening to as I typed this) is very interesting featuring hits old and new such as “U.N.I.T.Y” by Queen Latifah, “Golden” by Jill Scott, “This is America” by Childish Gambino, and “F**k tha Police” by NWA which had unofficially turned into the Black Lives Matter protest anthem.
As I sit here typing and listening to the music, I can’t help but wonder what the Apple Music listening public in general thought about this hijacking of their music app which they pay for (especially the ones who are not big fans of the Black Lives Matter movement.)
Hopping onto Apple Music’s Twitter account I noticed many complaining about the interruption of a service they pay for and threatening to defect to competitors such as Spotify. I would love to have seen their faces when they were promptly greeted by a prominently displayed “Black Lives Matter” soundtrack when they logged in.
As a matter of fact, dozens of tech companies, in proclaiming their solidarity with the BLM movement, had temporarily changed some aspect of their presentation.
BLM Support Across Companies
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I personally like Apple’s gesture and appreciate the soundtrack (which you can save to your device by the way).
What do you think? Were Apple and the other companies showing sincerity in recognizing the current social situation? Or are they just big conglomerates jumping on the bandwagon and taking advantage of a tense situation to focus on themselves for future financial gain and political correctness?