Hip Hop News
July 5 '98


Props out to some enterprising Bay Area rappers who will go unnamed at this time who are getting ready to flip the script.. They were tired of not being able to control the presentation of their material to the masses. As one artist put it, 'we spend a lot of time creating our music only to have some guy at a big radio station tell us our stuff is wack while they continue to play the same 10 songs over and over.'.

The problem has been that a lot of Bay Area artist are selling like crazy.. but they get no love on commercial radio.. It's only after an artist blows up to a point you can't ignore them, that commercial radio jumps on the bandwagon. E-40 and Master P are two glaring examples.. By not controlling the means of media presentation, artists leave their destiny in other people's hands. With regards to radio stations.. an artist's goals and aspirations may not be the same as a radio station.. For example, an artist may wanna ignite passion and strike an emotional chord with his music while the radio station wants to make dollars and remain number 1 in the market. Hence the station is interested in playing hits and familiar songs.. They aren't trying hear or develop new acts..and new songs..

An artist may be making songs for the boys around the way.. but the local station is playing music that will ultimately appeal to the girl from up the street. The artist in this case may find himself continuously frustrated. Commercial radio is not in the business to develop or tailor it's music to fulfill an artists needs.. Commercial radio exists to satisfy the tastes and needs of it's targeted listening audience. So when a commercial station plays a rap song.. it maybe doing so in an attempt to reflect my sisters musical tastes and not necessarily to help a particular rap artist blow up..

On the other side, a rap artist should not tailor himself or his music for radio. This is different then making a clean version of a song. Far too many artist will walk into a commercial station and find out that the radio headz are into rap songs with females singing the hook.. The artist, usually with the urging of a label will go back and completely change his style in an attempt to appeal to the headz who control the music on these stations..In short they start to play the radio game in which case the balance of power gets handed over to the commercial stations. Artists feel like their entire career is based upon their ability to reach the masses via radio..

Many artists upon tasting commercial success continue to strive in that direction.. After all, they want to reach this huge listening audience and hopefully launch their career launched onto a whole other level...In the past, the conflict has been that artist wanna use radio as a tool for increased exposure which will result in more fans and ultimately more economic opportunities and resources.. On the other hand the radio station wants to present music that will garner widespread appeal from a targeted audience..

These sentiments and frustration has led to a group of artists have pooled their resources and are positioned to launched a 24 hour a day rap station within the city of Oakland. 'The days of us having to beg a middle man for us as artists to have access to our own communities is over.' explained one of the artist..We'll keep you posted as Oakland's 24 hour rap station develops..

written by
Davey D

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