I’ve had it up to here with New York City radio. After hearing the same three songs in less than an hour on Hot 97, I tweeted “A NYC radio DJ could incorporate at LEAST 5 local records into their daily mix. But they don’t. Kinda sad. Yo @oldmanebro, change must come!”
@oldmanebro is Ebro Darden. He’s an Oakland native and Program Director of Hot 97. PDs are the boss of a radio station. Ebro responded to my tweet and a debate ensued including Hot 97 personalities Peter Rosenberg and Tat Wza.
Peter Rosenberg: What’s up with Hot 97 supporting good local underground hip-hop?
Ebro: Oh so, he wants Flatbush Zombies? Sean Price? Oh that’s what he wants? He wants Denzil Porter? Joey Bada$$? We support those records, but those are for the minor leagues right now, they still on the come up. We put them on Rosenberg’s Real Late show until they make it to prime time…
When it comes to airplay, there’s more politics in radio than on Capitol Hill. Songs just don’t get “added” into rotation. Record labels spend money for spins
ad space, while programmers monitor AQH analytics. So no Ebro, that’s not what I want, nor expect. What I want is for New York radio to showcase more local talent during the course of a full business day.
Fuck a blog dog. DJs break records. And Hot 97 employs some of the game’s most notable for their mixshows (i.e.: DJ Camillo, DJ Enuff, Funkmaster Flex, etc.). On a mixshow, PD’s loosen the reigns and allow DJs to construct their own playlists—in other words: They get to play whatever they want. Unfortunately, music from locals are few. Hot 97 pacifies this problem with Peter Rosenberg’s Real Late on the dreaded, Sunday 10PM-12am (Ed correction 12 a.m.-2.am.) time slot.
Following a similar Twitter rant this summer, Flex and I formed Social Media Mondays. The spot was to air new music that sounded FM ready. But after a few weeks, the segment came to an abrupt end. Go figure.
This is bullshit. Hot 97 embraces artists only after they’re successful—or have money behind their songs. Later down the line, the station claims bragging rights as if they were ahead of the curve. Instead of being innovators, Hot has followed the playlists of other regions. Locals are now forced to play second string to outta town rookies like Trinidad James and Chief Keef.
I’d be first to admit that a lot of rotten music comes out of the Big Apple. Yes, artists have to put in the leg work and make quality music fit for the FM dial. But radio has to do their part too. It starts at home.