No Bangin'

Bebop Cortez CD Artwork Refused

Bebop Cortez is shaken by Canada Disc and Tape’s decision to, as he puts it, “get censored” on his upcoming album. The multi-instrumentalist, otherwise known as Edmonton guitar wizard Curtis Ross,  had hired the company to produce 100 promotional ecopack CDs of his upcoming album Who Bangin?, which he intended to send to radio stations across the country. Things were running smoothly, he says, “until I called about finalizing the file sizes and bringing in the master disc to start production, and was told that the company has very conservative principles and moral boundaries and that they couldn’t accommodate me.”

Brad Mix, who spoke for the company, agrees as he explains CDaT’s decision. “Our clientele is made up of, among others, businesses, families and schools. As such we tend to be fairly conservative in the material we become involved with.”

This stance surprised Ross and his fans on Facebook, and notes, “I thought a cover with anthropomorphic penises embracing — beautifully illustrated by Smokey — and the accompanying raunchy music might turn a few heads — and probably wouldn’t make it into Top 40 rotation — but would be no problem for college radio or on a rack at an indie store. C’mon, this is 2011! One of the biggest hits of last year was called “Fuck You”! We are already almost 20 years past hardcore gangsta rap scaring white moms and grindcore album covers, some truly offensive shit that’s come and gone. So to be turned down getting about 100 promo CDs printed in Edmonton for my little electro-funk band is kind of mindboggling.”

But, Mix explains, “We stay away from material that is sexually suggestive or explicit.”

While Ross admits his album art and lyrics are certainly that — one saucy song is worded largely with variations of the word “fuck” — he’s concerned about the larger picture, especially in terms of expression. Though he knows he can shop elsewhere, he clearly wishes he didn’t have to. CDaT manufactured the last Bebop Cortez album, incidentally.

“I guess in the dissemination of piece of art you don’t think about what kind of resistance you might meet, especially if you require mass production of it along the way,” he muses. “It seems that the companies that own these means of production tend to be part of large conglomerates, which more often than not seem to be running right-of-center and terrified of controversy. Thing is, there was total plausible deniability in this. Nowhere on the CD would it say their name or logo. So why give up the sale, especially in this climate of decimated CD purchases?

“I wasn’t trying to court controversy on this, only trying to put out my record and hope that some people dig it. Is my material really that offensive or did I just randomly run into a super conservative entity and spook them from the wrong side of the tracks? Who knows?”

Mix notes, “We affirm the right of all artists to freely express themselves and happily recommend other replication companies for material falling under that description.”

Well, there’s the line in the sand. Step where you will.

Comments: 1

bebop cortez wrote:

Also, "Who Bangin" will be released on May 24 in digital format and May 31 on CD. Vinyl to follow!
- Bebop

on May 17th, 2011 at 5:12pm Report Abuse

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