Rap Coalition

A HOW-TO RESOURCE FOR RAP ARTISTS, PRODUCERS, & DJs. Since knowledge is power, here is your best defense to succeed in the urban music industry...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Payola & the State of Hip Hop/Urban Radio

http://odeo.com/audio/9203553/view (the audio version of this article)

by Davey D

The other week we alerted you about an urban music director in Chicago being arrested and fired from her job for allegedly taking payola in the form of a porshe from a local artist. We promised to follow up that story with a more indepth story/interview about payola and the state of urban/ Hip Hop radio.

What you will be listening to is conversation that took place in Memphis, Tn last month (January 2007) at the Media Reform Conference. We caught up with longtime radio urban radio programmer Paul Porter of Industryears.com and Professor Jared Ball of Freemix Radio. Both gentlemen participated in the conference’s payola panel.

We talked to Porter about the role corporate media plays in keeping this practice alive and how it impacts urban radio and the urban community at large. He feels like th practice is too far gone and that the FCC caved into the big media giants.

Porter also talked about a couple of well publicized incidents including the beat down that Game and his crew were accused of giving to a Washington DC disc jockey (Xzulu) at Radio One headquarters). He feels that payola played a big role in keeping Game’s record on the airwaves in spite of the severity of what occured.

Porter also talked about the racial make up of many of the nation’s popular urban stations including the fact that in many places you do not have Black programmers. He explains how that can have an impact on the African American community at large. He also talks about how what few Blacks they do have in key positions have sold out and not been responsive to community concerns.

We also spoke with Professor Jared Ball who gave an insightful historical breakdown about the current state of Hip Hop radio. He feels that its no mistake that mainstream Hip Hop has been suspended in state of adolesence. He connected current urban radio policies and practices with the Cointel-Programs that the FBI launched against Black leaders in the 60s during the Civil Rights era.

We kicked off our show with an excerpt from an interview we did with Quest Love of the Roots where he explains in great detail how the Roots went about getting their Grammy Award hit record ‘You Send Me’ on the radio. he says they had to pay almost 3/4 of a million bucks and the record label had to make abunch of behind th scenes deals.

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