A Caribbean-owned and operated music label for over 40 years has joined ‘Black Out Tuesday’ as protests against police brutality continues across the U.S.
Jamaican-owned independent label, known primarily for reggae and soca, VP Records, announced yesterday that it was joining “the music industry for ‘Black Out Tuesday’ in support of constructive conversations to bring an end to the brutal policing used against people of color in the United States.”
“We send sympathies to the family of George Floyd and the countless numbers of people around the world who have been hurt and angered by his wrongful death and the climate that has fostered it. Let’s stand together in the ongoing pursuit of justice,” the label added in a statement.
Music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang spearheaded the effort to shutter normal business operations on June 2 via their #theshowmustbepaused initiative. Majors Warner Music Group, Sony Music and Universal Music Group have all pledged support alongside many of their flagship labels. Employees have been given the day off as “a day of action,” intended to “provoke accountability and change.”
“We stand together with the black community against all forms of racism, bigotry, and violence,” said Columbia Records, which is home to Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Lil Nas X, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Adele.
Interscope vowed not to release new music this week, while Apple Music’s Ebro Darden cancelled his radio shows. CBS and VIACOM and its channels will also go dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin ground his knee into Floyd’s neck and prevented him from breathing despite his entreaties.
“It’s hard to know what to say because I’ve been dealing with racism my entire life,” Quincy Jones wrote in a tweet. “That said, it’s rearing its ugly head right now & by God it’s time to deal with it once & for all. My team & I stand for justice. Convos will be had & action will be taken.”
The VP Records label was founded in 1979 by the late Vincent “Randy” Chin and his wife Patricia Chin, who owned the Randy’s Records store in Kingston, Jamaica, as well as the Studio 17 recording studios. In the mid-1970s, the Chins moved to New York City, setting up a record store in Brooklyn called VP Records in 1975, from which they sold and distributed records. In 1979, they relocated the store to Jamaica, Queens. In 1993, the record label was formed after the success of the retail store. The name of the label is a product of the first letters in the founders’ names.
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