Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy is urging musicians and music companies to donate a portion of revenue to support Black communities. In an Instagram post, Tweedy states that “The modern music industry is built almost entirely on Black art. The wealth that rightfully belonged to Black artists was stolen outright and to this day continues to grow outside their communities.” He continues to say “What I propose going forward is a program that allows songwriters and musicians to direct a percentage of their ‘writer’s share’ revenue to organizations that assist and support Black communities.”
According to Pitchfork, Tweedy said that he will donate five percent of his own writer’s share to Black Lives Matter organizations, highlighting the Movement for Black Lives and Black Women’s Blueprint. The pledge comes shortly after Blackout Tuesday on June 2. Many record labels including Def Jam, Interscope, Warner Music Group, Sony/ATV and Columbia all took part by calling an industry-wide blackout on that day.
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Tweedy is among many musicians who have spoken out about the Black Lives Matters movement. Phantogram, Jesse Malin, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Superchunk Crashing Hotels and many others teamed up for the Talk – Action = Zero compilation album, paying tribute to Black Americans who have been killed in instances of police brutality. Virtual rock music festival Slay at Home also released a four-track EP with proceeds from the EP going to Black Lives Matter. Allegaeon, Gorguts, Stone Sour, Carbomb, Revocation, Suicidal Tendencies, Azusa, End, Thoughtcrimes, Nitesoil and The Dillinger Escape Plan all contributed to the EP.
Tweedy recently collaborated with Mavis Staples for a song called “All In It Together.” The song was created in order to raise proceeds for My Block, My Hood, My City, a Chicago organization dedicated to ensuring seniors have access to the essentials needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic. He had also paid tribute to the late great John Prine earlier this year, covering Prine’s “Please Don’t Bury Me” during a livestream.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried