In light of #BlackLivesMatter, Hospital Records looks to make a change

Like many companies and conglomerates, when the #BlackLivesMatter movement went global back in late-May/early June after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, Hospital Records stepped into action.

Like many companies and conglomerates, when the #BlackLivesMatter movement went global back in late-May/early June after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, Hospital Records, posted a message about standing in solidarity with the movement, complete with a black background.

About a week later, Chris Inperspective—a DJ, label head, and artist, who’s tune “Call the Future” was released via Hospital back in 2018—took the imprint, which used to call its sound “fast soul music,” to task in a 27-minute video that about their hypocrisy, especially during the Jet Star remix compilation period.

sidebar: the section where Chris talks about the Black producers who couldn't be a part of the project for one reason or another is astonishing.

Hospital’s response

Almost a month and a half after Chris Inperspective spoke out (and promising to do better), Hospital Records hit Instagram once again to point to their “Equalities and Inclusions Actions,” which looks like their plan to be as transparent as possible with their plans to make change for the scene for the better.

Inclusion is the name of the game, and after spending some time reflecting on how they should be approaching the current situation, Hospital states that their “first action was to ensure ongoing self-development within our staff team and directors through education and conversation. From these discussions we have reached out and sought invaluable advice and critique from artists, peers, industry executives and organisations from the Black community.”

What does that mean?

On its face? That they spoke to some of their Black peers. Upfront, it shows that they are starting to do the work. Without knowledge of the conversations or, more importantly, what was gleaned from those conversations, it’s hard to tell what progress was made from this step alone.

Hospital then mentioned doing a number of things, from continuing work with their Womxn in Drum & Bass initiative, year-long work with a Black-owned music business, educating people about not being racists, internal diversity training, and more. Really, check out their site; it’s all right there.

But…what does that mean?

Wish I could tell you. One of the best ways to judge how inclusive a place is is by seeing how inclusive it really is. If Hospital’s staff is predominately white, roster is predominately white, and management is predominately white, what is really going on?

That said, Hospital Records has made their statement. The onus is on them to stick to these goals, even if it isn’t in the limelight. Maybe we check on them (and other labels!) in a year to see how they fair?

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