June 15, 2008

They stop playing the same thing on the radio

The Roots and Chrisette Michele have a new track out called "Rising Up" and it goes a little something like this - "Yesterday I saw a B-girl crying
I walked up and asked what’s wrong, she told me that the radio’s been playing the same song all day long…"

Well yesterday I was listening to the radio and I heard them not playing the same song, but they were talking and having some intelligent conversation on the hip hop urban station. And it was on the Miss Jones morning show broadcast on Hot 97 and 100.3 The Beat. Of course Miss Jones was on vacation. It figures.

Guest host was none other than LL Cool J. He was in for Miss Jones as she was on vacation. LL Cool J was good. He was better than good. He talked about more than his music, upcoming projects, and the number of units he has sold or the industry.

The day before, Jermaine Dupri sat in for Miss Jones and basically talked about himself (When are you and Janet getting married?) and explained what he meant when he said "The DJ is Dead" in radio. The same old industry and gossip stuff that makes for wonderful radio content. Blah, blah, blah. At least I think that's what they talked about. I gave it 3 minutes and turned that crap off.

By the way, when did it become fashionable to talk about the industry all the time on the radio. That's not compelling content at all. No wonder urban radio is turning people off. It's not just the artist, it's the on-air personalities also. We all know it's a business, but there's more things to talk about than album sales. LL Cool J proved it this week on the radio. "U no whut um sayin'."

LL talked about everything from politics to economic empowerment and the social problems in our community. He was insightful, funny and compelling. Yes and he's just a rapper. He proved that what most people's perceptions about hip-hop does not ring true at all. I commend you LL Cool J.

Well, what was the audience's reaction. I guess 'hate' is the new love. LL began reading the good and bad text messages he was receiving on the air. It seemed he got an even amount of both. "Old man go home", "granddaddy hang it up", "Why you talking all this politics?".

I guess having an intelligent thought is bad. They say ignorance is bliss.

Now for the radio vets, co-host Michael Shawn, kept steering the conversation in another direction because he was sensing the intelligent discussion the show was going towards was turning off some listeners. He was probably right. The calls and texts probably helped him reached this brilliant conclusion. "Let's get back to farts and pantie wedgies" was the rallying cry and on-going joke when the discussion became too serious.

The other co-host DJ Envy, was not able to make any salient points to defend his point of view against LL. Amazing and these guys are professional broadcasters.

It was good to hear some decent radio even if it became the hip hop version of the Bill Maher show. Thanks L.



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