Monday, January 26, 2015

Phillip Phillips Takes On 19E

Phillip Phillips Tells Big Brother He's Walking

"Hey Nineteen
No we can't dance together
No we can't talk at all" 

- Steely Dan 
In a world where the big label music machine calls all the shots and treats their talent like toilet paper, we have a little ant that's daring to try and move the rubber tree plant. That ant's name is Phillip Phillips.

Phillips, who came to fame winning American Idol in Season 11 with the ubiquitous, multi-platinum coronation hit "Home", the biggest hit single of any contestant in the history of the long running iconic show. He then followed it up with multi-platinum hit "Gone, Gone Gone" off his platinum selling debut album "The World From The Side Of The Moon", and followed that with a strong sophomore effort, "Behind The Light".

Seems all hunky-dory, right?

WRONG! Phillips is mad as hell, and he's not taking it anymore. He was pissed when they made "Home" into the signature sound he was supposed to adopt on all future singles. He was pissed they put his brilliant track "Take Me Away" on the Target bonus track list with no iTunes presence. He was FURIOUS when on his 2nd album they kept him entirely in the dark on the title, and he only found out about it reading social media.

However, what put it over the edge was when 19E forced him to do promotional shows supporting Idol 2 years after he was on the show with NO compensation. Then, made him do private appearances, again, for NO compensation.

At this point, Phillips said he had had enough. No control over his music style, no control over his album titles and no compensation for gigs he was never consulted on led to Phillips firing back with guns blazing. He was not gonna be nobody's pop-folk pretty boy doing free shows with minimal creative control over his album titles and singles anymore.

But what could he do? Nobody takes on Big Machine Label and has a career to live another day. They are the big shots, and fighting them means a certain black list. He surely wouldn't risk everything for principle knowing the consequences were dire, and the cards all in the hands of the slave master labels, right?

WRONG! In a shocking display if substance over narcissism, Phillips dropped a bombshell lawsuit on 19E, one of THE biggest labels/management entities in the world.

It's David vs Goliath.

It's Rocky vs Apollo Creed.

It's Kenny Poo vs Political Correctness.

Yes, Phillip Phillips has given the middle finger to The Machine and in the process gambled he may "never work in this town again".

Why would he take such a risk, when playing bitch to the master would safely give him the means to a life of comfort? Well, for the same reason he refused to wear multi-colored Tommy Hilfiger prep-wear on American Idol, opting instead for his typical gray t-shirt and jeans against the wishes of the big corporate sponsors and producers: He is his own man.

Of course, being newly engaged has probably helped fuel that strength of character even more, as his wife-to-be is a preachers daughter who by all accounts has shown a fiery determination to make sure her future hubby does the right thing.

So, what now?

Well, a very long court battle is likely to ensue. The powerful lawyers of 19E will extend this case out for years, and Phillip will be in a no-man's land in all likelihood until it's resolved. I'm no high powered attorney, so don't ask me what options he has within this time frame, but hopefully he'll have some avenue to push out the inspired music that will no doubt be created from this challenging period.

I know one thing: Every Idol ever born, from the Kelly/Carrie top of the food chain down to the low place finishers trying to find their way, all owe Phillip a measure of gratitude for having the stones to take on corrupt mountain and not back down.

Strength to you, Phillip. We the people are rooting for you.

Poo out.