The number of disenchanted workers who have dreamed of taking their bosses to task in the public realm is legion. Few, however, have followed through with their urges like trip-hop master Tricky.
In October, PolyGram Music Group president Eric Kronfeld was demoted after
making racist comments during a court deposition. Soon thereafter, he came
under fire from civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who met with PolyGram
brass to discuss the infraction. Now Kronfeld is suffering the wrath of
Tricky -- who records for the PolyGram subsidiary, Island Records -- on his
new single "Divine Comedy."
John Vlautin, a spokesman for Island records, confirmed that "Divine
Comedy," which responds to Kronfeld's racist remarks regarding African-Americans, was recorded and produced by Tricky, whose claustrophobic, most recent album Pre-Millennium Tension was considered one of the finest albums of 1996. Otherwise Vlautin offered only that, "We have no comment on it."
The disc was released independently, not by Island.
A source at the label who preferred to remain anonymous said the single has been circulating underground. "It's making its rounds on the street," the source said. "Certain people have copies of it, they pass it on to friends."
Kronfeld was giving testimony in a lawsuit filed by R&B act Dru Hill (who
were seeking to part with PolyGram), when he was asked why the company hired a man with a criminal record. "If every African-American male in the
United States was disqualified from pursuing a livelihood, in any way,
shape or form, because of a prior criminal record, then there would be no
or virtually no African-American employees in our society or in our industry," Kronfeld responded.
Danny Heaps, Tricky's manager, was unavailable for comment at press time. -- Chris Nelson [Wed., Dec. 10, 1997, 9 a.m. PST]