I had to transcribe this video before reacting to it: “What the hell are you doing? Electronic noises you’re trying to pass off as music. Is this your drug now? This is what gives you a buzz when you’re up at the mixer, right? DJs. Criminals with a license to shoot shit into our eardrums. Low quality MP3 pushers. Third class whores that give it away to the first bidder. You feel like superstars, huh? The owners of our night time. Heroes of the stage. No audience will ever chant your name. They’ll never know your songs by heart. Because you are an anonymity The day will come when your vocoders explode and your CDs catch fire.”
This goes on, and ends with Rolling Stone‘s logo and Italian mantra, “la bibbia del rock & roll.” Either this was a misguided shot, or someone thought it would be a good idea to spice things up and drum up some press for a struggling magazine. I can’t fathom though how any publication would fund someone to create a visual slam piece offending an entire culture, then get the thumbs up from editorial to release it. This video was the vision of director Federico Brugia, who’s previous work includes advertisements for Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. The budget for this nightmare must have been outrageous. It’s also been published for nearly a week, and would have undoubtedly been pulled if it wasn’t given a nod. We also see it posted on the Italian Rolling Stone website.
In some ways, I actually get where this video is coming from. The mainstream perception of electronic dance music isn’t the prettiest. Drug use within this culture is a serious issue. And we certainly have issue with the lack of diversity in the mainstream. But this is overboard, a misrepresentation of what artists stand for, and is completely uncalled for. The Italian edition of Rolling Stone focuses more on rock music than what’s sold in stores in the Unites States, covers much less electronic music, and doesn’t seem to give a fuck about what the parent company is doing. Their content is almost completely different, and this includes the covers of their magazines. But the irony here is that the Italian arm of this brand is essentially attacking the American one in its’ slam of popular music, as the parent company has a history of wrapping features around the biggest artists that they can find onto their covers, despite their contributions to the genre that this video suggests should be deemed holy.
Rick Ross? Lil Wayne? Justin Timberlake? Jay Z? Wiz Khalifa? Eminem? Kanye West? Macklemore? All of these faces have graced the American covers of this iconic magazine in the past few years. We’re pretty sure that none of them have very much to do with rock at all. Neither do Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, or Lady Gaga. If there’s a genre to be upset with, it’s pop music. This visual stab could have been sent directly to their own New York offices. We’re not sure how EDM got caught in the middle of this.
This video is so incredibly one-sided and misconstrued that I don’t even know why I’m upset about it. It was fueled by people who don’t have any real knowledge of our culture. Or perhaps this is an incredibly calculated troll. But whatever the case may be, Italian’s edition of Rolling Stone, no matter how different their content and outlook on music is, released an incredibly offensive video with English narration that dons the company name. And Italy’s parent company is just as much to blame for the problem that they’re complaining about as the dance music culture is. To point the finger at artists and scoff at broad audiences is ridiculous, and Rolling Stone needs to take a look at themselves before they spend any more money sending shots.