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Welcome, Dan Levy, to really being honest about it, just a giant piece of shit to the big city Bald Eagles, a podcast exclusive that none of our bosses ask for.


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I didn't ask for any of us for all of it. The Big Shuey.


I'm Chris Codi BSP. And for those of you who do not know, Bomani Jones was a music critic before he became an expert at this stuff that we do around here. And I love to go to him on all music related stuff. And I was reading some stories in Vice, and this is something that has plagued the music industry forever. I was reading some stuff being done by Vice in terms of investigation and reporting about just the music industry and how it is plagued by racism and rights and royalties.


So, Bomani, I guess I would start here. I don't know if you've read the pieces that I'm talking about, but specifically as it relates to what the music industry has done, no one has done black people dirtier in entertainment than the music industry has. Is there a precedent for anything else doing it as poorly as that?


Well, I mean, there is the agriculture industry in this country. We could we could throw them out there. They did if they gave us a bad run of this.


Here's the thing that makes it tricky with when you start talking about this, with the music industry specific to race, depending upon what kind of hustle you're talking about. Right. Because the music industry hustles everybody. Like, I try to remember what the line was to Keith. Richard has. But how many millions of dollars were the lesson that everybody has to learn when they first come in? And as I recall, the story on how the Rolling Stones, who don't have the rights to any of the stuff before 1970.


Right. Saw your jump, jump, Jack Flash and all that stuff. They got that Allen Klein, who famously robbed all kinds of musicians through his time, the hustle that he ran on him, as I recall it, was the Rolling Stones had a company called Rolling Stones. LTT right. British version of How You Incorporated Business. LTT Klein got them to sign paperwork for Rolling Stones Inc. He owned Rolling Stones Inc, and thereby he wound up getting the money for the stuffs, like you remember when the Stones sued the Verve for a bittersweet symphony, it was are the stones that were doing the suing.


It was Allen Klein on behalf of the Rolling Stones because he owned the song that they sampled in order to get right. Black people also have famously been the ones to rob black people. I was reading the book this year. Berry Gordy biography in Motown was famous for getting people on these bad deals.


But the counter argument that Gordy made was that we used as the template for our contracts the same contracts that everybody else in the industry was using. And so the way the music game works is they're selling dreams. And so they get people and they're like, hey, man, especially back when a record contract meant something different. And I, hey, man, here we are offering you a record contract, which sounds so cool. And you're typically doing it with people that are like under the age of 20 to like, hey, may we offer you this deal?


Why don't you go ahead and sign it? Well, I'd like to get an agent to look at it. Well, I mean, get a lawyer to look at it. Well, if you get a lawyer to look at it, we're going to pull the deal. And so people feel like this is going to be their one chance and then boom, all of a sudden they wind up trapped in these deals. It's like boxing, right? Like boxing is in the same situation where there's all this money at play and all these crooks who are ultimately behind the deal, because in so many cases, the people that run the game in boxing are like the same type of people, in some cases the same exact people as the ones that run the game in music.


And so black people wind up being at the bottom of it generally because we want to be at the bottom of everything. But everybody tends to wind up at the bottom of the music industry. What is far less likely to happen, though, for black people is, you know, as somebody who might be able to help you out on the front, you write like, you know, the person to look over your paperwork and see if it's going to be all right.


You know, and the person to hear with this is people are just looking for a ticket, especially with musicians.


It's always just the idea that I can have it made, because what they want more than being rich is to be stars and they sell them all being stars.


Do you have an example? You just gave us a great one. But another example of a musician being wronged in a way that echoes for you either historically or laughter, or you're like, man, that is super brazen because I had not heard that story on the Rolling Stones. And going from that is that is cold man going from Rolling Stones LCD, was it?


I don't think you go through all this. And the thing about it is it's such an easy mistake to make. Of course, I'd signed papers that said Rolling Stone Inc. I'm like, that's what they meant. Isn't that what I meant? Yeah. Like, what's the difference? Right. Like, that's the way that they're looking at it is is like, yo, so what is the difference. And to them there isn't a difference. Right.


I'm looking at it right now is they have these checks. We are still awaiting funds, funds in order to settle there. They had a tax debt. Right. That is now due overdue, a respect to the past renumeration for Rolling Stones LCD. But it wasn't about no more, buddy. And then that just wasn't what it is I'm trying to think of. There's another like famously good one by one that just jumps out where you just like, oh, my God, I can't believe you did that because there are so many of them and so many people have gotten got in so many ways.


And it almost was to be a wildly ironic because very often the people that wanted to get them, they end up being broke themselves.


What was the highly questionable interview that we did? That was it was an artist talking about just bringing a bag of money to the studio, just just bringing a paper bag with some cash. I can't remember who that was that we did that with. But that which industry is worse, do you think, boxing or music like in terms of crooks running the thing?


Yeah, I think it's boxing because I think boxing a boxing attracts more crooks. And B, you are more likely to come across somebody in the music industry who half way knows something about it. Then you are with the boxers, right? Like there is a book called Everything You Need To Know About the music industry. I have never heard about that book. Everything you need to know about the boxing industry has got to learn how to fight.


Craig Craig Carton is back evidently at WFA, and now he put people in a bad spot of money. I just wanted to talk to you about the industry and some of the things that happen here, because I don't believe that a black dude with the resume of Craig Carton gets back into the business or maybe even gets a shot at all. But if you don't know any of this story and this is felt sleazy from the start, so he goes to prison because he's got a gambling problem and he was mismanaging funds, he ends up going to prison.


And when he comes out of prison, he works with the people making his HBO documentary, grants them access, grants them the story. But the story was a little too soft on Craig Carton. It wasn't a documentary you would have seen normally by HBO if it had been independent and he hadn't been in bed with the people making the movie. And so I asked. You when you hear the news that somebody and you're obviously so much better at this than the grand majority of people to have ever done it, when you see a guy like Craig Carton get an opportunity again after a felony, when you lost how many jobs along the path, even as good as you are at this, like it makes you feel what?


Well, even before I got to like how I felt about just this industry generally and who it treats, what ways.


Right. The dude went to the bank, right, and it's all soft play, like it was almost soft played when he went into it, just kind of like, oh wow, look at that guy. Winds up going to prison. Isn't that you know, isn't that this thing? And then I don't understand the need to give him the benefit of the doubt on the way out. And the reason I don't understand the need to give him the benefit of the doubt is, look, I get the idea and I don't really have a problem with him getting his job back because people will listen to him.


Right. Like, the bottom line on it is the audience doesn't really care that he got caught in this way. I don't know what level of convincing or what level of contrition he was required to show in order to get back. Because that's the thing with Blackphone. We always got to get down and show every lesson we learned and how sorry we are and everything else. And I don't know if he had to go through that shame tour. It doesn't sound like he was forced to do that.


But for the people at the company, I get it. They just looking at it like, OK, cool. Well, we're going to listen. People are going to listen to this guy. We're going to get some sales so they'll bring them back out here. And if the fan wants to do that, that's fine. And I understand cynically why it is that they would do it. Well, I don't get is everybody else that makes these random decisions about when they want to put their foot down, about some level of morality.


Just acting like this is normal.


Like it's not. It's absolutely one hundred percent not normal that this is the play that they're making and that this is something that he could get away with. And even if he can't get away with it, we don't have to act like it's cool, right? Like we don't have to act like it's anything. If we want to, we could just be matter of fact about it. Be like, hey, credit card is back. Well, we don't have to do is run some documentary about his return.


I just I just I mean, is even really that interesting or compelling? Like, I personally have never consumed his work, so I don't even know.


Well, the reason the reason that it's appalling to me. OK, and gods, who knows? Radio tells me he's good at radio, but what they showed in that documentary of his work made me think it was very lowest common denominator. It wasn't clever. It was high energy. I didn't look at that. Now, he did make Boomer Esiason part of a successful show. And maybe in New York, this plays the bombastic shock jock personality. But I Maddog, I didn't I mean, it's so low.


It was low brow. What I was listening to didn't have the range to go high. It was low choke zero in the playoffs. Like, it just it wasn't to me it was. And I didn't see the great talent there. But then again though, the demo in this man radio is bad at this Bomani Radio. You are excellent, objectively excellent at doing radio. Radio.


The audiences have found you, but management hasn't supported you.


No, no. They'll go for this guy.


And the reason that they'll go for this guy is they believe that the audience wants that guy because like what you're describing to me about him and what they were doing with the sights and sounds like they were doing a Mike Francesa and Chris Russo sort of thing. Right. Like, at least that's what it sounds like.


It was a little barking dog around the credibility of the former MVP, NFL quarterback.


Yeah, but like so here's the thing I always say about Chris Russo, and I don't mean this as any sort of insult to Chris Russo, but the character that he has played over the years on the radio, which is absolutely a character, and with that voice and with the affectations and everything else, they put that dude on the MLB Network.


Right. And that's not to say that he is not knowledgeable enough to talk about baseball or any of those things. But can you imagine a black person that is basically the black Chris Russo being put in a position to be taken seriously? Because I don't feel like what Russo's on the MLB Network, that he's there being the mad dog, like he is there being Chris Rousso person that you should listen to about baseball. Right. And so I don't know how hard it is to find that, like, oddball type character on your radio show.


So, for example, Strogatz is a fascinating unicorn. There is literally only one of those. I don't feel like it's that hard to find one of those other guys. It might be hard to find somebody who pairs right with the straight man that you happen to have in place. But from here, I don't feel like it's that hard to find that guy. But they hold on tool once they get one, like once they decide they got one that they like and they go, right, that dude all the way to the finish line.


Yeah, I've had my issues in various places with management in places where I had numbers, in places where I've looked up and seen that other people did not have numbers. And we're getting a level of support from the folks in charge that I would never get. And I can never tell with radio program and people at this point how much of it is them and how much of it is how little they think of their audiences ability to listen to something that is, quote unquote different.


Because I've worked at one place where the thing that is always wanted to keep telling me was we like you, but. Right. Like, that was always their game in the way they talked about it is like we like you. But and I'm like, so where does this pulse that you have on all these other. People to take the pulse that they have on the other people, it's somebody else that works in an office who somehow is making a call, I got to tell people this story all the time.


I got a radio job once where they didn't put out a press release when I got the job right. They made the decision that they wanted me to host a fairly significant day part. And I kept asking for like two months, like, are you guys going to put out a press release because this is what you do. And you told me you were going to put out a press release. Did you guys put out a press release? And at some point they're like, yeah, we just don't think we're going to do that.


Now, why would you not put out a press release for something new? Just generally speaking, no matter what it is, you would put out a press release for something new just to let people know that that thing is there. And I think they were just afraid to do it right. Like, I think that they were just afraid to tell people that they had made this decision that they were going to bring beyond the guy who decided to bring me on and the guy who made the decision or two different people.


And they were just afraid of it. The show turned out to be wildly successful. And then once I found out the show was successful, they decided they did want me to work there anymore. You know what I mean?


I've always thought, though, I've always assumed that it is management, that it is not management underestimating their audience, its management, having no cultural or and this one's important generational link to who it is was rocking with you because young white people were flocking to you. But I don't think management has much in common with even them.


Yeah, but they also didn't understand that middle aged white dudes were coming to where I was also. And that was actually something that I had to come to get a better grasp of, because once I remember I was doing a show in North Carolina and I don't remember how Rush Limbaugh came into our sports world at this particular time.


But it was some overlap. And I did a show that was from ten to one rush is on for twelve to three. And I was just talking about like, look, I got to be honest, when I talk about this, I think I said something to the effect of saying that I was preaching to the choir because I'm like, there's nobody I mean, who's listening to this? That's then going to listen to Rush Limbaugh and the phone lines lit up with people to let me know.


Like at 12:00, they go to Rush, like they go take me over Rush. But they're like, no, we listen to this and then we go listen to this other stuff. Like, they don't believe that. Like, so if you got a middle aged white dude that's working at one of these stations and he is made uncomfortable by me, he is then going to project and assume that all of his friends are going to be made uncomfortable by me misunderstanding that the point of radio was not to make people like you, but to make people listen to you.


And even the people who despise me will listen to it every day.


This is the story of a disgraced Olympian, a man accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys and young men for over 40 years. I remember thinking, if I scream, nobody can hear me. And the perfect storm that brought his accusers together. I'm not the only one, you know, the only one who is no longer. I'm I'm not alone. And brought him out of the shadows. How do you get these boys to believe in you so much?


Listen to ESPN investigates season two, The Running Man, wherever you listen to podcasts available now. Let's switch topics here, because there are a number of things I wanted to get to with you, the Miami Heat find themselves in an uncomfortable position. I believe Mickey Arison had to write a letter to Chris Paul apologizing to him because there were promises made by the NBA about what these players would get if they returned for a season and the Miami Heat tried to get in there building voting booths and voting in general.


They went to great lengths. They asked the city. In fact, they said to the city, hey, can you show us if you're asking other people for this list of demands? They wanted things taken down at the arena that he'd complied with everything. And yet still in a political move in a way that feels like voter suppression, a Republican mayor here decided to make it a little more difficult to vote in a real Democratic area.


So I ask you, your history of knowledge with voter suppression, like where are you when you see something like this happen? Because over the years you have seen and you have read about this country having a long history of voter suppression. That is usually as obvious as this is.


Yeah, like you just have to stop and think about the fact that this country does not make it easy to vote. Right. Like, why would you ever do that? You know, to be like if you if you claim to be a democracy, as we do, then the last thing that you should ever be doing is trying to make it difficult to vote who the people are that are less likely to vote as the difficulty increases is where this becomes a thing.


And it's the people that they've always tried to stop from voting. Like the thing I think that people don't think about enough very often when we talk about voter suppression is voter suppression is like since 1789. Right. Like it's it's been the way of America from the very beginning. And so then every time somebody puts out some kind of law that is in place to make it easier for folks to vote, then they come back around again on the back side and figure out how then to make it harder to find a disqualifying factor for you as to why it is that you cannot vote.


And so the NBA did this thing and they got a lot of those arenas to be put into use. And that became that's a big deal in a lot of these cities like Houston, for example, where they made it very, very difficult for people to vote. Using the arena is a very big deal. Atlanta, it is where you saw the Internet, all those crazy long lines. There weren't long lines at State Farm Arena. They found a way to get people in and out.


And that state is swinging in a way that it has never swung before. So these things wind up like being huge, that they're trying to do that.


But I don't. I don't think that people understand a point that I've made before that I'll never forget from graduate school, I was taking a class, a comparative institution's politics class, and they had this index set up for levels of democracy. Right. So on one end, I'm not even sure which country is right or the Scandinavian countries is all the way to one end and all the way to the other end. Was North Korea right as a span.


And I forget where exactly the United States fell on that. But they made a very important point in that book that I'll always remember, which was the United States has only been a democracy since nineteen sixty five. The Voting Rights Act of nineteen sixty five is the first time that America became a democracy, and you admit you charged me the other day when you had mentioned that because I had not heard it expressed that way, that until you give black people not three fifths, the entire right to vote, you don't become a democracy.


I had never heard it expressed that way either until you said it.


Well, think about it now. The teeth of the Voting Rights Act have been completely removed through the courts, through Shelby vs. Holder. They took the teeth out of it, which raises the question by these academic measures, where does the United States now fall? When we start talking about what is and is not a democracy? And given all the things that we've seen happen in this election, the folks aren't going to give up just because they lost. It's like, OK, so what's going to happen next?


Like what's coming around Pike on all of these things? And so the one thing that people in this country have always really felt like they were able to brag about relative to the rest of the world was democracy like? That's the thing that we hold on to, is democracy, democracy, democracy. We never really bought into democracy in ways that we have said and doing little things like that, like saying you've got to go to the museum rather than going to the arena.


You and I talked about this. The problem I had with that is I imagine that the museum is probably a pretty good site to do this from. Well, it's right.


It's right. It's right next to the arena. It's just very a lot fewer people know where it is.


That's my thing. I don't know how to get to I know that museum, but I don't know how to get to it. I would bet that the only thing in Miami that everybody knows how to get to is that arena. It's a bit infuriating, I don't know what corrects it, I don't know what you think is an actual policy that would move the needle on systemic racism. I mean, reparations like what is an actual political policy that Bomani Jones could get behind, can articulate could that that he believes would actually move the needle, even a hiccup on what is our country's institutional racism?


Well, I mean, reparations would go a long way. And a point I like to make for people about reparations is this country has not had a problem in its history paying reparations. It's had a problem paying reparations to us. They pay reparations to Japanese folks that were in the internment camps. They pay reparations to Native American groups. They don't like pay reparations to us for whatever reason. We don't want people. They're like, oh, hold on.


Now, that's all that's going a little bit too far. Maybe to guilt too strong, I don't know. So, like, perhaps that would wind up being a start. But the thing about political solutions is I was talking to somebody about this yesterday and is actually something I learned in that same institution, of course, I was talking about.


We have what is a consensus form of government here in this country, right? It is designed to stop drastic change, but you can have some changes, but it's set up in a way that is institutionally engineered to prevent drastic change. Just getting to fairness would require there be drastic change. And this game is not built for there to be a drastic change. Right. This game is built for centrism. And that's that's what the design is. The thing that's happened in the last few years that those people off and why it's so jarring to some people what they've seen really in the last four years is a deviation from what most of us would consider to be centrist, like think about some of the crazy ways that we have to try to both sides things in order to create the illusion of centrism in twenty twenty like it is really there.


But we try and we try because that's what we even if we don't explicitly know, that is what we know with our heads and in our minds is what this is supposed to be is a little bit for you, a little bit for me. Whatever it is, it says some folks figured out it was like, we don't have to do this. You know that. Right? Right. It's just going to require us to, in some ways cheat or in some ways run this game and run the system in a way that it is not supposed to like.


What I think we learned from Trump, if nothing else, was our political system operates and is powered by a series of norms. And what happens if somebody just comes in is like, OK, well, I'm not doing it, but you have to buy. I'm not giving you my tax returns. Yeah, but that's what we do. OK, well, I'm not doing that. And a lot of norms that have been accepted as things that we're not going to do.


It's been the door has been open to be like, OK, well, we don't have to play it that way anymore. You can't come back from that. Like, I don't think I don't know if norms can be re-established.


And I think that's going to be the hardest thing for people to make to come to terms with when he left four years. What do you do with Malika Andrews reporting that in the 20 20 election cycle, despite all of the talk, the months we spent in the streets, that sports owners have donated ten million dollars to the Republican Party and less than two million dollars to the Democratic Party sounds about right.


Right. ESPN and five thirty eight are doing a series on the political donations of team owners. The ringer did something very recently on the donations of team owners.


The thing that the Ringer piece pointed out that I found to be interesting was. People who are as rich as these guys are typically are both sides donors, right?


They are typically throwing a little money here, throwing a little money there. So however, this thing ultimately works out. They wanted to be in favor with the people who have power. What sports owners are doing is the donations are actually more lopsided than one would expect from the billionaire class and lopsided in going to the direction of the right. Like that, to me, is why getting the arenas for voting was a bit more of a power move than I think people give it credit for, because they were doing that in direct opposition to the politics of a lot of these owners like this is this is not what they're about.


This is not what they want to do.


And so I do find it interesting that so many of them are they don't. I think that people have a tendency to assume that rich people give their money to the Republican Party strictly because of taxes. That doesn't explain why these guys are making the donations and using their money in the ways that they are using them. At some point like these seem to be it seems to be ideological, like this seems to be people who believe that the direction of the world is the direction of the Republican Party, and that's where they give their money to.


And I would love if somebody could have a conversation with some of these guys, because this is the biggest problem. If you want to talk about what I think is the biggest problem that we really have is sports media that doesn't get discussed enough. Is that other than Jerry Jones, we have no access to ownership. Like there's no way and nobody that could get just throw any owner out here. Right. Like Steve Ballmer out here because his money actually does not go to the right.


It goes to the left. You're not really getting no interview with Steve Ballmer like. So why are you giving your money in these directions? So, hey, why are you why you know, why exactly is it that you are doing this like Tilman Fertitta, who, you know, has a big Trump guy and I did not realize until recently as a tenant of Trump because he had a rainforest cafe, it wanted to trump buildings. I just like to talk to these guys.


But like, so why what is it that you see when you give your money to these guys and not just some answer like, well, you know, I just think that's what's best for the country.


Like, no, let's talk it out. Like I would as a reasonably intelligent person, I would just like to know why it is that you do this and how you reconcile that with owning sports teams and who the people are that are on the teams. And what are your attitudes about them? Nobody is going to do that interview. And I'm not blaming the people for not doing it because I don't think anybody can do that interview. Nobody is going to sit down with you long enough to talk about.


You don't do a lot of heartbreak on things. I'm wondering when you heard the news that Bethune Cookman had canceled all sports for the upcoming year because this is personal to you, because you're passionate about it. I'm wondering how you received that news.


Proud of them, to be perfectly honest. I am glad. Now, granted, I think part of this is for those who don't know. But The Kookmin is a historically black college in Daytona Beach, Florida. I was proud of them. But I also recognize that worst case scenario and a lot of these black colleges can't afford that. They just don't have the money for. So on one level, I was proud of them for making the decision that, no, we're just not going to engage in this this year.


The risk is too high. It's playing. Sports is not that important. The disturbing and worrisome part is how does that speak to the financial condition of these schools?


Because I talked to somebody right when Kobe started, he made a point that's really stuck with me, which was covid is not making anything happen. That wasn't going to happen. It's accelerating things that were already in process and that you might not realize. So like a lot of these restaurants, for example, wherever you are that are going out of business, I feel bad for these people that, you know, that it happened to them in that way.


But chances are they were going to go out of business. They were probably going to go out of business first. It just was going to be a little bit later. Right. Especially a restaurant, because they turned over so fast. But those are places that were probably going to go out of business. It became an accelerant. And so when I see what happens to Bethune Cookman, I have to look at this as is this just what it's going to be for y'all?


Like, is this an accelerant?


But as much as I like the idea of having BCU sports, if we can't afford them, we just can't afford them. Like, I think that there are a lot of people that do well by going to bcuz and if the scholarship to play ball is the thing that gets them into school, it makes their lives better and pushes them forward, we got to find some other way maybe to help people that could do a very, very similar thing. But the truth of all of this is bcuz had been in a precarious financial position for a very long time.


Let me look this up while we're here, because I saw this for another school. I forget which school I was looking at, but the number absolutely blew my mind. So what's the endowment at the University of Miami was probably over a million dollars, I would assume.


Forgive me. I don't know the answer to that. I feel I'm almost hurt that I cannot provide for you what the answer is to me.


But I can I can look this up now because I'm pretty sure the endowment for the University of Miami is it's got to be a billion dollars at least it says right here. As of twenty nineteen, it was nine hundred ninety seven point four million dollars. The endowment at Bethune Cookman is under fifty million million.


We're talking about two completely different financial games here. And so I really wonder how will the BCUZ are equipped to weather what's going on right now. Bomani, always good talking to you.


Thanks for making the time for US Weekly. Again, we ask you if you're enjoying this. It is much of the same and lighter and funny, and it's the right time with Bomani Jones. If you want a different experience that excuse me, middle aged white folks also rock with. I made the mistake earlier of saying it was just young white people, but the right time with Bomani Jones is where it's at. Go find it. Thank you again, Bomani.


All right. Might be good. Does this place look haunted? No, I don't think so. What about those two creepy girls? Come stay with us.


That is truly frightening. You know what's really scary? Missing out guy, this great service with that, you get 24/7 access to licensed agents. Thank you. Creepy girls were to see your room. Can I sleep in the car now?


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