Archive for June, 2006

dbanner1newparis

Internet law would hurt independent hip-hop scene
By Davey D

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/entertainment/eye/14928277.htm

original article-June 29, 2006


daveyd-raider2In my June 15 column on Tupac Shakur’s legacy, I mentioned sweeping changes that soon could transform the Internet. That’s because of congressional action on the disingenuously named Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act, or COPE, which is backed by large telecommunications companies such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast.

This bill, which passed in the House and is awaiting action in the Senate, would end what is known as “Net neutrality,” by which all sites are equally accessible to users.

Broadband operators have been prevented from charging a fee to prioritize content and services, and the little guy with something to say on a blog has been able to compete with a giant news outlet because he is just as accessible. COPE would replace Net neutrality with a two- or three-tier system in which broadband operators could charge to prioritize content and services for willing customers. Those who don’t pay for the service would become less accessible over their systems. Earlier this month, the House approved COPE by a 321-101 vote.

If the legislation becomes law, the multitiered system could have a devastating effect on the independent hip-hop scene that has emerged over the past few years, with the Bay Area and Houston leading the way. To the chagrin of major record labels, the Internet has been a boon to independent artists who publicize and distribute their songs and videos with little cost while retaining the revenue previously siphoned by the record labels for distribution services. The Internet largely leveled the playing field and eliminated the middle men.

Bay Area acts such as Hieroglyphics and Living Legends have done extremely well selling music and merchandise on the Internet, and they have used it to launch 40- and 50-city tours. Keak Da Sneak, Mistah FAB and others have garnered large international fan bases through innovative use of Web sites such as Myspace.com.

Local filmmakers and TV producers such as Sean Kennedy of Ill Trendz Productions have made names for themselves on the Net. Adisa Banjoko and other Bay Area authors have self-published and distributed their work via the Internet, while organizations like the Hip Hop Congress, led by San Jose’s Shamako Noble, established a national presence using the Web.

On the horizon is technology for increasing Web speeds up to a thousand times over today’s and allowing wide delivery of rich media.

Telecom companies have spent millions of dollars trying to persuade Congress that COPE is necessary so they can do the R&D needed to improve the Internet. Many others, however, argue the technology for super-fast Internet speeds already exists.

According to Scott Goodstein of SavetheInternet.com and Punkvoter.com, 15 countries are far ahead of the United States. In France, Web access priced at $6 per month is currently 25 times faster than top download speeds in this country, where prices average $30 a month. Some Asian countries are reportedly on the verge of introducing speeds hundreds of times faster.

Goodstein reminds us that telecom giants, which did not develop the Internet, nonetheless have received millions of taxpayer dollars to provide universal broadband access, but have yet to deliver. He describes the recent lobbying efforts to stir up support for COPE as a money grab on their behalf, plain and simple.

If the legislation goes into effect, independent artists, bloggers, activists and journalists may find themselves priced out of the kind of Internet service they have enjoyed so far.

Sen. Barbara Boxer has come out in favor of Net neutrality, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein has not announced a position, saying she wants to hear more from constituents.

I encourage everyone to call their offices, because COPE supporters are pulling out all stops to usher in their corporatist version of the Net. Both artists and hip-hop fans stand to lose the freedom they now enjoy.

An easy way to reach your senator is by going to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/ senators_cfm.cfm.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

dbanner1newparis

Choosing Hip over Hype

Listeners emerge from radio daze,
tuning out Hot 97 to pump up WBLS
By Errol Louis

orginal article-June 23, 2006

http://www.nydailynews.com/06-23-2006/news/col/story/ 429055p-361762c.html

 

Here’s some news that will be music to the ears of the many New Yorkers who have grown sick of the vulgarity, violence and stale, payola-driven programming that has poisoned much of urban radio and black culture in general.According to the latest Arbitron figures, tens of thousands of listeners appear to be tuning out Hot 97 – which used to be ranked the No.1 hip hop/R&B station in New York – in favor of WBLS, which beat out Hot 97 in each of the last two ratings periods.

WBLS has been on a tear for the past year, thanks to its decision to hire two powerhouse broadcasters: Steve Harvey, who hosts a morning drive time talk-and-music show, and Wendy Williams, who holds down a block from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Harvey and Williams are seasoned radio personalities who bring wit, intelligence and a positive message to a mostly black audience that is hungry for quality.

You don’t hear the b-word or N-word tossed around on WBLS; Harvey and Williams are too classy to insult their audience that way. And listeners have responded in droves.

According to Arbitron, WBLS had 3.1f the city’s teen and adult radio listeners last winter, but has increased its audience size over each of the last four ratings periods, building its share up to 3.9àDuring the same time, Hot 97 slipped steadily from 4.5f listeners to 3.7à

In plain English, WBLS now draws about 30,664 more listeners than Hot 97 during any given period between 6 a.m. and midnight. That can translate into millions of advertising dollars moving from the losing station to the winner.

The numbers are a victory for community groups that called for a boycott of Hot 97 following its repeated broadcast of a sickening song parody that mocked victims of the 2004 tsunami that devastated Asia. More negative press dogged the station thanks to three shootings in front of its office over the last few years by the entourages of rappers invited by – and sometimes incited by – station deejays.

The decline of “Shot 97” provides powerful evidence that positive, quality programming ultimately wins more listeners – and advertising dollars – than shallow shock radio.

Power 105.1, the third urban-format station, has been dropping in the rankings as well, losing to WBLS earlier this year and barely eking out a win most recently with 4f listeners. The station’s rankings may continue to fall, thanks to the recent, career-ending tirade of Power 105.1’s ex-morning host, Troi (Star) Torain, who got a pink slip and a criminal indictment after threatening, on-air, to sexually assault the 4-year-old child of a rival deejay at (where else?) Hot 97.

“The hip-hop stations are losing audience share all over the country. How much can you hear about Jay-Z?” says Paul Porter, a media critic who runs a Web site, IndustryEars.com. “Steve Harvey’s topical; he’ll point out things you won’t get on other shows. He’s going to be the biggest voice in black radio.”

Credit for the changing mood also goes to groups like the Boston-based Seymour Institute, a black think tank, that have been quietly waging an effort, church by church, to mobilize the black middle-class against the hedonistic and violent lyrics and imagery that have sprouted in hip-hop culture like weeds.

“There is a cultural marketing machine that pushes toxic entertainment upon black adults, adolescents and children each day,” says the Seymour group in a recent manifesto. “There is no need for the black community to be complicit in its own degradation.”

The same message is being echoed by local grass-roots groups, from www.abolishthenword.com to an organization from a Bronx church called the Council of Bad Language Disdainers.

Cultural politics aside, Harvey and Williams are succeeding because they do radio the way it should be: smooth and smart. Tune into 107.5 FM and listen for yourself.

 

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

dbanner1newparis
Everybody in Hiphop Hates Chris, but so what?!
How Cristal hustled Hiphop

By: Hadji Williams
original article-June 22, 2006
After spitting its virtues for ten summers, Jay-Z and his hiphop minions are now boycotting Cristal, a hiphop staple after Frederic Rouzaud, the brands managing director made what many are calling elitist and racist comments against the hiphop communitys economic support of Cristal in a recent interview in The Economist magazine. (www.targetmarketnews.com)

What can we do? We cant forbid people from buying it. Im sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business. Rouzaud said of hiphops pallets.

Well, as a 15 year marketing vet, Ive got a scoop for Marcys all-time great: Your boycotts too late, fam. In case you havent noticed, it works like this, folks: Hiphop, like the Blues, like most everything from the black community before gets mined for its cool cache. And this time, yall been strip-mined and pimped as corporate cheerleaders. And basically for free, no less.

Rouzaud never cut any brother a check for any of those mic checks. The nouveau rich and the not-so riche been chasing Cris and those uppity brands because Jig, Puff and every other bruh with some BDS and MTV said the bottle was hot. And it worked. Cristal is the 8th most popular brand in 2005 behind Mercedes, Nike, Bentley and Rolls Royce. Meanwhile most of the Hamptons, Hollywood and Wall Street are, as Mr. Rouzaud, put it curiously serene.

Fact is Rouzaud is shooting his mouth off now, because he knows Cristal doesnt need hiphops praises anymore. The Jigs up and theyve moved on. The whole black kid made good angle is played and upscale consumers arent feeling us anymore. You can only play dress-up for so long before the clock strikes. There’s a reason someone like David Beckham now carries more marketing muscle than any handful of ethnic celebs you can name. (Read KNOCK THE HUSTLE -I warned yall this was coming.)

Secondly, its called luxury for a reason, folks. Luxury always excludes. Luxury excludes by class, by price, and yes, by race. And I dont care how much money you got, IT stops being luxury once enough negroes cop it. Sorry, but its true.

But young heads are still sleeping: In the eyes of most marketers Hiphop (and black folks at large) are just disposable media outlets. Its all about reach, frequency and brand equity. Hov dont have the reach n frequency he used to; in fact, hiphop doesnt. (Hate if you want, you know Im right.)

Therefore most luxury brands are starting the slow steady exodus back to more exclusionary brand strategiespaler faces in their ads, more upscale and selective partnerships and cross-promotional opportunities. They want their swagger back.

See, I know this game. While my cats hustled on the streets, I got my grind on the suites too many brands to mention. Never Cristal, but I did help a certain, +A vodka get mad bullish few summers back. (Yep, that was me. See KNOCK THE HUSTLE.)

Anyway, once I got hooked up with some Euros who owned a hard cider brand called K. You know why they called me?

We know that in order to really push this in the states we need to get it in the black community. That’s what these Irish cats told us, point blank. Theyd never been to the US but they knew that much. They asked me for a list of hiphop stars, hot urban clubs, etc. Their plan was simple: Get slick brothers and sisters hyping it up knowing full-well everybody else would be on it in a couple years, if not sooner.

Unfortunately cats werent really feeling the hard cider so it never popped. But that’s how that part of the game works. We sit in rooms and politic and scheme. Sometimes checks get cut and next thing you know your favorite rap superhero is dipped in [INSERT BRAND HERE]. Rouzaud and his kind are no different. No matter what they say.

Now, Im not saying thats how/why Jay got with Cris. Im sure Hov was a Cris fan back when he was just hyping Jaz; just as Run was lacing up Adidas before their contract, and LL rocked Kangols while he was slicing up Kool Moe

Anyway, Mr. Rouzauds sentiments are an orchestrated shoutout to his base that hes putting the velvet ropes back around the Cristal. But hes not alone. While his my-clothes-arent-for-black-folks/Oprah-interview was a hoax, Tommy Hils announcement that the Hilfiger brand is moving out the urban arena and back to its upscale mainstream roots is quite legit. (Google the press releases for more info.)

You can’t slam a door on folks that are walking out on you. Most of the companies that have gotten cool and rich off of hiphop cosigning are cashing out and moving on. Some are looking to Hispanic consumers. Many are going for NASCAR Dads and Soccer mom sets. Others are chasing upscale anglo roots. Some are trying to revive the X-treme thing, etc. But make no mistake: The bachelor party’s over and hiphop just got ran thru by half the cats in the house. And now, theyre going home. So who cares if you dont want to put out anymore?

My advice to the hiphop community is this: Keep these companies names out of your mouth and dont ride for any INC until you know exactly who youre dealing with. Do your due diligence. Most of these folks have no regard for you, your community, your culture, or your art. Youre just a means to an end; and when push comes to shove, theyre mean and focused about getting their ends.

And to every crime nigga that rhyme: theyll touch your mic every time, cuz their minds are quicker. Much quicker.
——-

A 15-year vet of the marketing industry, Hadji Williams is author of KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to save your job and your life from Corporate America. Email him: author@knockthehustle.com

dbanner1newparis

Mary Cathy Sneed retires

One of the Most Powerful People in Urban Radio Leaves Her Post

One of the most powerful and influential people in urban radio has left her post as COO this morning. We’re talking about MC Sneed aka Mary Cathy Sneed of Black owned Radio outlet Radio One.

For the past few years much has been written about this 50 something year old white woman with a country music background who came on board the nation’s largest and most listened to Black owned radio chain and determined what would be played or not played.  Considering that Radio One reaches an estimated 70% of the urban music market,  this woman yielded considerable clout.

At this time, we’re not sure how much things will change in her wake. Aflred Liggins who is son to Radio One owner Kathy Hughes will be filling in…

Here’s how one of the music trades ALL Access reported it..

ALL ACCESS confirms that RADIO ONE COO MARY CATHERINE SNEED has exited the company. While a replacement has yet to be named, CEO ALFRED LIGGINS — son of RADIO ONE Chairman CATHY HUGHES — will assume SNEED’s responsibilities in the interim.

Here’s the memo LIGGINS sent out to the staff:

“We are grateful for MCs contributions and wish her the best in her future endeavors. In her absence I will serve as Interim Chief Operating Officer.

I will be visiting each and every market during the month of July to meet with all of you. This will give everyone a chance to hear directly from me what I think the future holds for our company and all the new initiatives that we are pursuing.

If you have any questions concerning this transition period, please feel free to speak to your General Manager. In the meantime, I trust that I can count on your continued support and effort on behalf of Radio One.”

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

dbanner1newparis
In lieu of our last article on Hip Hop Radio falling off in NY and LA Here’s a follow up article that was actually penned a while back from DJ Mark Skillz who’s an old school head who’s voice you can hear on various radio stations and TV commercials around the country including Breakdown FM… I thought this would give us some more food for thought… Holla back..
 
Too Many Groupies on the Radio
By Mark Skillz

original article-June 15, 2006
markskillzson-225Have you listened to hip hop radio lately? Or should I say what passes for hip hop radio. Like anything else in our culture the standards for urban radio have been lowered.

Instead of deejays on air being conversational they shout. The art of one to one conversation style radio is lost in hip hop. Maybe station managers think that blacks and Latinos dont want to be talked to intelligently. Or does keeping it real mean that you have to sound like you perceive your audience to be? For instance, take a station like KMEL, the on-air deejays recently, not only sound like theyre from the street but also like they are broadcasting live from a street corner.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being from the street, however, in our culture Im talking about African-American culture, historically, when a person is given the opportunity to communicate with our people, weve always strived to present a positive image. But for some reason, when people think of hip hop they automatically lower the standards of excellence.

Black people are not monolithic beings. We dont speak with one voice and one mind. Neither are all hip hoppers monolithic beings. We range in age and taste. Some of us prefer Mos Def and Talib Kweli, while others prefer Lil Flip. With preferences in tastes so vast youd think that the people who market music to us would realize that and would have more than one kind of on air personality talking to us.

When I was coming up, deejays like Frankie Crocker, Nick Harper, Greg Mack, Jeff Fox and many others sounded like intelligent people. They might not have been rocket scientists but never the less, these men sounded intelligent enough to communicate ideas to a mass audience without dumbing down to them. For some reason, people think that being a part of the hip hop culture or even black culture for that matter, means that you have to dumb things down to relate to people.

For instance, on the 70s sitcom Sanford and Son, whenever the Sanfords came in contact with the police it was always Officer Smitty (a brother) and some white cop, the white cop would speak in cop talk meaning he would say things like Hello Mr. Sanford we received a call about a domestic disturbance somewhere on these premises, and we came to ascertain the facts.

It is at that point that Fred and Lamont would look at each other bewildered, as if they couldnt understand what the white cop had said. They would then look at Officer Smitty for his interpretation Fred we got a call about a fight around here, do you know anything about it?

Like they were too dumb to understand what the white guy was saying, as if the words were too big for them to know. Now this kind of white-speak-black man-dont understand kinda thing exists today but on different levels.

What else do I mean by talking down? Well, when a grown man, is talking to teen-agers instead of raising the bar for what and whom they should strive to be like, he communicates with them on their level. Hearing thirty and forty year olds saying What’s crackalatin 20 times a day is embarrassing. Its the equivalent of that 50 year- old uncle, at the barbecue, trying to talk the latest slang and worse, trying to do the latest dance. Thats what’s happening on radio now.

One night I was listening to KMEL and I happened to turn it on in the middle of an interview, now this interview went on for like 10-15 minutes, and in all that time, never once did this guy say who he was, or who the artist was he was interviewing. However, what he did get across was that this artist had a fat platinum chain on and how much he wanted to have one as well. And also this guy enjoys hanging out with him poppin collars at the Beehive and checkin out breezies. Now what the hell does all that mean to a listener?

After 15 minutes of this crap when this artist was walking out the door I finally figured out he was talking to none other than Kanye West. Oh snap! I thought, damn I can think of a bunch of questions Id like to ask Kanye my damn self like; What was the Chi-town hip hop scene like when you were coming up? What influence did house music have on your style? The Nation of Islam is real strong out there, what influence did they have on you if any? The gang scene out there, how did you avoid that trap, when gang culture goes back 40 years plus out there? Did you start off rapping over house records? What Chi-town radio did you listen to, that influenced you to go the soulful hip hop route?

The art of the interview, the art of conversation, all of that is lost in current hip hop radio. Why is that? It’s because we’ve lost our culture to a bunch of groupies. Not just here in the Bay Area, but all over the country. Radio stations like record companies have people working there who are just happy to be down. They are content with the status quo, if you tell them that there is something wrong with hip hop radio, they look at you like your crazy. As far theyre concerned everything is all good and then some, because theyre going to concerts and theyre chilling backstage with their favorite rap stars.

gregmack-225Greg Mack, the pioneering LA dee-jay that was on KDAY back in the 80s and 90s, the man that any-artist-that-wanted-his-record broken in LA had to see. When he interviewed an artist, like, Big Daddy Kane, for instance, he asked Kane questions like; So Big Daddy, where did you first start performing? What year was it? Who were some of the people that you looked up to while you were coming up? What’s this whole thing with the Juice Crew and BDP, the reason I ask is because you seem to be respected by both sides so, what’s your take on things? How do you think it can be resolved?

See, now that was from a KDAY interview I heard in 1988. Never once did Greg Mack ask him how many hoes did he have waiting for him back at the hotel or in the limousine like you hear so often today in hip hop radio.

The groupie culture is one that loves to be seen in the places to be seen and to give the impression that they are down. But really ask yourself, do you care if some idiot on the radio was chillin in the club with some football or basketball player? What does the stations event that they are constantly promoting every 15 minutes have to do with your school closing down because the state has no money for teachers salaries and books for students?

Lets really go back, to WBLS and Mr. Magic, the man who was the first person to play rap records on the radio. I used to think that Mr. Magic was a big fan of the Force MCs, because they were on his show a lot, but to his credit he wasnt riding their dicks, he asked them good questions like; So fellas, you just won the battle out in New Jersey, how much rehearsal time did you put in for it? Ok, name some of your favorite doo-wop groups.

In defense of the deejays, I have to say, that they are only carrying out orders from up top. If station management didnt want that style of presentation they wouldve long since gotten rid of them. These are young brothers and sisters trying to make it, trying to find their way in a very competitive field. Managers are the ones that set the tone, so ultimately they are responsible. You’d think someone older with more experience would want to lead them better but not so. Dont get me wrong, there are some talented brothers and sisters on the radio today, and quite a few of them have real potential in the years to come.

So whats changed? What has changed in urban radio from the Frankie Crocker, Greg Mack era to now? Yes, hip hop music is more dominant today, but what about the quality of talent? Does a hip hop deejay have to sound like he just rolled out of the gutter? To a certain degree I can understand why urban radio programmers want their deejays to sound street, it makes them more relatable to a ghetto audience. But arent they doing the audience they serve a dis-service by going that route? Do the station managers know that they are reinforcing negative racial stereotypes of the inner-city audiences that they are catering to?

Yes, hip hop culture is far more influential today than it was when Frankie Crocker and Mr. Magic ruled the airwaves, but does that mean that radio has to appeal to the lowest common denominator? No.

Black people have always talked slang. As far back as the 50s, the first black radio jocks were rappers – people like Jocko Henderson and many others. Within that style they entertained and informed the community, later, people like Frankie Crocker took to the airwaves and just talked to people in a conversational style. There was no need to talk jive on air anymore.

Do station managers know that by reinforcing these stereotypes that they are helping to keep black and Latino youth forever ignorant?

Why is it I can turn on a rock station, and hear guys on there with a sense of humor and who aren’t talking down to their audience? But mostly I dont hear anyone yelling on rock radio. Except on the records. Is hip hop that low of a culture that standards have to be lower for us than anybody else?

Hip hop radio is now notorious for being shout out and request radio, instead of being informative as well as entertaining.

Now, the whole shout out style comes from the mix tape scene, which works really well in clubs and car systems, but radio should have a different standard. Dont get it twisted, I like the mix tape dee-jays, but there needs to be a balance between that and regular radio. I dont need to hear DJ Clue or Whoo Kidd, or even Kid Capri reading liners and doing interviews let them rock the party

Because I’m down for positive changes in our culture, heres what I think station owners can do to help change this situationStation managers talk with your dee-jays, talk to them about being conversational, talk to them about them being role models in our communities, talk to them about preparing for an interview, you know, stuff like researching the artist, so that you can ask different kinds of questions so that fans and non-fans can walk away with more thanDamn look at all that ice in that medallion!

And remember mediocrity is only realized in the presence of excellence.

 

dbanner1newparis

Have We Had Enough of Hip Hop Radio?
By Davey D
original article-June 12 2006

daveyd-raider2If you check the latest ratings you may find it interesting to note the fall of some prominent Hip Hop stations in Los Angeles and New York. For the first time in a long time WBLS an adult oriented station is actually doing better then both Hot 97 and Power 105. In Los Angeles none of the urban stations (KPWR-Power 106), KKBT 100.3 the Beat and KDAY are in the top 10. The fall of Power 106 which is sister station to Hot 97 is major when you consider the fact for years this was the dominant station in LA.

This huge drop in ratings leads to one asking what’s really going on here. Is the public growing tired of the same Laffy Taffy, homogenous G-Unit format that can be heard on every Hip Hop station from city to city and from coast to coast?

Are the audiences of these stations getting older and simply want something a lot smoother and more adult oriented then the crunk style offerings that dominate the Hip Hop stations? Does the fall of these stations indicate better things to come? Will the program directors of these outlets finally get it and start giving the people what they want versus what the record labels say they need?

I ran into Greg Street of V103 in Atlanta the other day and asked him about this and he pointed out something interesting. He noted that many of the deejays on those stations that are falling aren’t true on air personalities. Yes, many of them may have name recognition. Some of them are artists and TV stars, but he pointed out that very few have actually been apprentices to radio. He said this comes into play at the end of the day, because people really want more than celebrity.

He added that theres a science, methodology and commitment one has to have when it comes to doing radio. He pointed out how many have been tossed on the air and have not been given any rhyme or reason as to how they should be doing things. He said that people are growing tired of hearing cats come on the air and not really talk about nothing and not do anything.

He also pointed out that very few go out and do things in the community for the sake of making a difference, as opposed to doing a promotional gimmick for the station or themselves. Street pointed to the high ratings and success of V103 in Atlanta as proof of his point. Will you ever see a personality like Funkmaster Flex going into the schools trying to mentor kids who need it or will it become a big event complete with TV crews and lights designed to highlight him and the station versus the kids who really need help?

Street talked about all the behind the scenes community work he and others at his station do that is not promoted on the air. He says its done because he is really a part of the community and the lives of his listeners. At the end of the day its that sort of commitment that will win out in the end.

Journalist Mark Skillz noted this in an article he penned a few months back called ‘Shout Out Radio’ where he pointed out how today’s on air personalities do nothing more then give shout outs on the air. They shout out friends, celebrities and album release dates for particular artists and walk away thinking that’s enough, when in fact the community and listeners need and want so much more.

He noted that people get turned off when they turn on the radio and have to endure some deejay bragging about how he was backstage hanging out with an artist drinking Cristal when most couldnt even afford a ticket to the event. He said that these jocks have increasingly become out of touch with the listeners and have ceased being effective conduits for the community that craves information that is meaningful.

With the demise of some of these big urban giants we have to also look at the big drop in album sales for many big named artists despite increased promotion and hype. 50 Cent going from 8 million albums sold on his first release to 4 million albums sold on the Massacre album is a good case in point.

While record label execs are quick to spin this and note that 50 sold the most albums last year, they are slow to point out that he had 5 times the promotion put behind him. In 2005 he had several expensive marketing campaigns including ones to promote his movie, energy drink, video game and book. He was always on MTV and BET and could be heard in regular rotation on Top 40 stations thus indicating that he had crossed over to the mainstream. Like I said all that promotion didnt come cheap. It was brought and paid for, yet instead of increased album sales you saw less.

Blaming it on downloads and bootleg CDs doesnt explain the big drop off. Theres no way 4 million albums were downloaded. And if that was the case explain the drop in ratings with many of these urban Hip Hop stations where his music is played day in and day out. Is it too much? Are we being oversaturated with the same old same old? Are these stations missing the mark?

KKBT the Beat in LA recently switched up their format and said they wanted to abandon rap and play R&B while fusing it with adult oriented talk. They wanted to go back to the tradition of urban radio where your favorite jock hit you upside the head with good music and good conversation. That seems to fly in the face of the More Music Less Talk mantra that is embraced by most commercial radio. Is this whats needed or is there something else missing? Now we know they’re onto something with being more adult. But should Hip Hop be included? Is there adult oriented Hip Hop both in content and sound?

Some say that the music needs to match the mindset of the people. Its too dumbed down and juvenile. The other night at the House of Blues, the Roots performed to a sold out crowd that ranged the entire age and ethnic gauntlet. You saw gangsta types and Bohemian types all up in the venue grooving along to the band and their special guest which included Blackstar w/ Mos Def and Talib and GZA from Wu-Tang.

Tickets were being scalped outside for 100 bucks a pop. A local deejay that will go unnamed asked out loud how come her/his radio station never plays The Roots when its obvious that they have such a big fan base and this is what a lot people want? Why cant we hear more Pete Rock and CL Smooth melodic type music?

Conventional wisdom will point to album sales and say these types of acts dont have high numbers hence they should not get played. However, Mobb Deep didnt do that well with their last album and we hear them all the time so whats really going?

We also have heard conventional wisdom from industry experts that says groups like The Roots or Little Brother are too smart and will go over the heads of the average listener. In other words the people are just too dumb to appreciate music that moves beyond being loud and having a monotonous 4 count.

In any case one cant deny were at a crossroads. Im not sure how it will all pan out but change is definitely needed

#1 New York, NY
Updated 5/22/2006
Spring ’06 ARBITRENDS (February, March, April)

Pop: 15,332,000
Black: 2,710,700 (18%) Hispanic: 3,212,500 (21%) Asian: 787,047 (5%)

Station Format Owner………….. Spr 05… Sum 05… Fall 05… Win 06… F/M/A 06

WLTW AC Clear Channel…………6.1… 5.8… 7.4… 6.6… 7.1
WSKQ Spanish SBS……………….4.8…4.2…4.5…5.6…5.6
WHTZ Top 40/M Clear Channel….3.9…4.2…4.4…4.7…4.7

WRKS Urban AC Emmis….4.7…5.5…4.5…4.4…4.5

WPAT Spanish SBS………………..2.9…3.2…3.7…4.5…4.4
WINS-A News CBS Radio………….3.7…4.2…4.2…4.1…4.0

WBLS Urban AC Inner City…….3.6…3.1…3.5…3.7…3.8

 WWPR Urban Clear Channel4.0…4.6…4.1…3.9…3.7

 WQHT Top 40/R Emmis…….4.3…4.5…4.3…3.7…3.5

WABC-A Talk ABC………………….3.2…3.6…3.4…3.5…3.3
WAXQ Classic Rock Clear Channel…3.5…3.2…2.7…3.0…3.3
WQCD Smooth Jazz Emmis…………2.9…3.0…3.1…2.9…3.0
WKTU Top 40/R Clear Channel…3.0…3.0…2.7…2.7…2.8
WCAA/WZAA Spanish Univision……2.4…2.8…2.8…2.4…2.5
WCBS-A News CBS Radio………3.0…2.7…3.1…2.5…2.4

WQXR Classical NY Times 2.6… 1.8… 2.3… 2.7… 2.4
WPLJ Hot AC ABC 2.4… 2.2… 2.2 … 2.1 … 2.3
WFAN-A Sports CBS Radio 2.6… 2.7… 2.7… 2.2… 2.2
WOR-A Talk Buckley 2.3… 2.1… 2.2… 2.1… 2.2
WCBS-F AC CBS Radio 3.0… 1.5… 1.7… 1.5… 1.7
WNEW AC CBS Radio 2.0 2.3 1.8 1.8 1.7

WADO-A Spanish Univision 1.3 1.4 1.2 1.5 1.2
WFNY Talk CBS Radio 3.4 3.2 3.2 1.1 1.1
WALK AC Clear Channel 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
WLIB-A Talk Inner City 1.0 1.2 1.4 0.8 1.0

#2 Los Angeles, CA
Updated 5/23/2006
Spring ’06 ARBITRENDS (February, March, April)

Pop: 10,790,100
Black: 822,300 (8%) Hispanic: 4,422,000 (41%) Asian: 0 (0%)
Station Format Owner Spr 05 Sum 05… Fall 05… Win 06… F/M/A 06

KLVE Spanish Univision 4.0… 4.2… 4.3… 4.8 … 4.9
KIIS Top 40/M Clear Channel 4.7… 4.4… 4.3… 4.9 … 4.6
KFI-A Talk Clear Channel 3.9… 4.0… 4.0… 4.0… 4.5
KSCA Regional Mexican Univision 4.0… 3.5… 3.8… 4.2… 4.4
KLAX Regional Mexican SBS 4.0… 3.7… 3.3… 4.3… 4.1

KBUA/KBUE Mexican Liberman 3.1… 3.1… 3.3… 3.6… 3.9
KOST AC Clear Channel 3.7… 3.1… 4.4… 3.8… 3.8
KROQ Alternative CBS Radio 3.7… 3.8… 3.9… 3.5… 3.5
KCBS Adult Hits CBS Radio 3.0… 3.4… 2.9… 3.4… 3.3
KTWV Smooth Jazz CBS Radio 3.8… 3.0… 3.2… 3.3… 3.3

KRCD/KRCV Spanish Univision 2.6… 2.5… 3.2 … 3.4… 3.2
KXOL Hurban SBS 2.0… 4.2… 3.6 … 3.2… 3.0

KPWR Top 40/R Emmis

4.2… 4.0… 3.5… 3.2… 2.8

[/u]
KRTH Oldies CBS Radio 2.5… 2.7… 2.7… 2.7… 2.8
KHHT R&B Oldies Clear Channel 2.9… 3.0… 2.8… 2.4… 2.4

KSSE Spanish Entravision 2.4… 2.3… 2.2… 2.4… 2.3
KABC-A Talk ABC 2.1… 2.5… 2.4… 2.3… 2.2
KBIG Hot AC Clear Channel 1.9… 2.3… 2.3… 2.1… 2.1
KLOS Classic Rock ABC 2.0… 2.1… 2.1… 1.9… 2.1

KKBT Urban Radio One

3.2… 2.5… 2.4… 1.9… 1.8

KZLA Country Emmis 1.8 1.9 1.7 1.8 1.8
KNX-A News CBS Radio 1.5 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.6
KJLH Urban AC Taxi 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.4 1.5
KLSX Talk CBS Radio 2.3 2.5 2.2 1.5 1.5
KMZT Classical Mount Wilson 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.5
KYSR Hot AC Clear Channel 1.9 1.8 1.8 1.6 1.5

KFWB-A News CBS Radio 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.3 1.3
KHJ-A Spanish Liberman — 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.2
KLYY Tropical Entravision 1.7 1.3 1.2 1.3 1.2
KRLA-A Talk Salem — 1.0 0.8 1.0 1.0
KTLK-A Talk Clear Channel 0.8 0.9 0.7 1.0 1.0

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

dbanner1newparis

An Open Letter to Hip Hop About Net Neutrality

by Davey D

original article-June 09, 2006

daveyd-raider2Dear Folks who say they Love Hip Hop

I wish there was a way to make this issue of Net Neutrality more interesting. I wish there was a way to spice it up and make it compelling like some sort of beef within the rap industry. Maybe I should get Brad and Angelina to talk about it instead of their baby. Maybe Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton can utter a few words and force us to take more of an interest.

I wish Cam’ron spent his vast money holding press conferences, dissing punk ass Congress for taking tainted money from Verizon, SBC, and Comcast instead of going after Jay-Z. Im glad Jay-Z ignored Camron, unfortunately he remained silent as the President of Def Jam on this important issue. We’ll see what happens after Def Jam finds it difficult or too costly to send out their e-post cards alerting me and others of their latest releases

Im sorry Miss Jones on Hot 97 was so upset and enraged that she felt compelled to make headlines calling Mary J Blige a bitch for not shouting her out at last weeks Summer Jam. Its too bad that she didnt use her 3-4 hours a day of airtime in the nations largest city to call the greedy Congress people who accepted money from these corporations Bitches. There aint gonna be any shout outs if the Senate follows Congress in passing this bill. Maybe she’ll step it up when her parent company Emmis finds that folks from all over the country can no longer easily access their archived interviews on their website.

It’s too bad that many of us found this issue ‘too complicated’ and ‘too overwhelming’ and hence directed our attention to Ludacris and Ice Cube’s beef with Oprah. This is the feedback I got after stories ran on my website as well as AllHipHop.

Shyt I’m sorry Oprah was too busy telling Ed Lover that she really does love Hip Hop and that she listens to 50 Cent and his violent ass all damn day instead of alerting her millions of viewers about the issue of Net Neutrality.

Im sorry that KRS-One and others used these Internet airways to tell us about the Hip Hop Nation they want to build, but didnt issue a call to action to protect a main arm of our communication. Whether you’re a Hip Hop or Rap Lover the elimination of Net Neutrality is gonna impact you..

Here’s what’s happening folks. The house has gone passed the COPE bill and rejected proposals to insure Net Neutrality. Those who sided with the Comcast and Verizon are well aware that the ability of ordinary people to communicate to the masses is a problem because its been the only thing holding them accountable. For the last 5 years, the biggest stories about government corruption, corporate swindles, global warming and no weapons of Mass Destruction has come through Internet bloggers who were able to push an issue to the masses and force Fox, CNN and other News outlets to pay some sort of attention.

Anyone who is an activist and championed causes ranging from Election fraud and Diebold Machines, police brutality Freeing Mumia, Global warming, Media Reform and Saving the South Central Farm in LA just to name a few this is will especially hit you hard, because the Internet and its neutrality provisions have enabled many of us to counter biased mainstream media outlets get information out about particular causes all over the world.

Yesterday that ability took one step closer to coming to an end. The mantra being sung on Capitol Hill is Shut it down, Shut that shyt down and redirect traffic to a handful of places and media outlets that they can influence and control.

Like Ice Cube said ‘Laugh Now and Cry Later’, because many of us will soon be crying when we see the Internet gets parceled up and we start paying outrageous tolls for basic amenities. And speaking of which why didn’t Ice Cube talk about this issue instead of not being invited on Oprah?

Anyway your next steps should you choose is to call your Senator’s office and tell them to stand up and protect your interests. Ignoring this, waiting for others to take on your responsibility or acting like the issue will simply go away will not change this.

While many of you may shrug this off and think it doesn’t apply to you, stop and think of all the activities you do on the daily that involve the Internet. Such activities range from using phone cards which use Internet connections-(Many of y’all didn’t realize that) on down to peeping your favorite blog… Many of y’all like to surf and check out my site, AllHipHop, Sohh, HipHopGame etc.. Folks that shyt is about to change in a big, big ,big way.

You’re soon gonna be left with only being able to peep monthly issues of The Source and XXL, who neglected to address this issue. The Source bypassed this in their Media Watch column and Elliot Wilson from XXL obvious saw his shyt talking editorials as more important then keeping you informed. I guess I can understand, all these Hip Hop Internet websites were eating into business.

All you artists who felt like you can easily get your music out there via Myspace and the other sites, that’s about to change Oh yeah lets not forget the punk ass RIAA who like to sue everybody. They stayed silent on this and in fact while all this is going on they have quietly lobbying Congress to change laws so that they can fundamentally change the copyright laws in such a way that it will make it damn near impossible to pass things around via the net. Please read about this here:

 
and here:
 
Also lets not let Steve Jobs and his vast i-tunes network off the hook. Perhaps I missed it, but I didnt see him alerting us when you went to download your favorite song or stepped into his stores. Perhaps he figures he’s rich enough to pay for the inevitable increases while the rest of us cant. In other words controlling 90% of the market is not enough.

bobbyrushglasses-225Shame on former Black Panther, Congressman Bobby Rush for selling us out and supporting these corporations. Shame on the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and any other Civil Rights group pretending to represent our interests while selling us out and taking the money to front for these groups. And while Im glad former Congressman Ron Dellums did well in his Mayoral bid in Oakland, we should not forget that hes also a lobbyist with one of his main clients being Verizon so shame on him as well. How’s Oakland gonna be a world class city that is a beacon for new technology and innovation when his client is one of the main people trying to shut down the Internet?

In closing I’m gonna say this and it may be sobering for some… It’s what my pops told me after I got caught fuccing up and then went home and tried to kiss up to him so I wouldn’t get in trouble. He told me to stop acting like a wuss and start acting like a man. He told me it was time I grow up and accept responsibility. He then punished me for 3 weeks not for the fucc up, but for me trying to kiss his ass instead of owning up to my mistakes. This is about to happen to all of us…

My point is this. Hip Hop is over 30 years old. We’re not kids no more. This industry is not run by kids. To not involve ourselves in shaping the institutions that we rely on to get our information and music out is irresponsible. Thats some thing to pond about. Here’s another breakdown on this issue courtesy of www.playahata.com

Peace out for now

Holla at your Senator before you holla back at me..
Davey D

House Rejects Net Neutrality

The First Amendment of the Internet the governing principle of net neutrality, which prevents telecommunications corporations from rigging the web so it is easier to visit sites that pay for preferential treatment took a blow from the House of Representatives Thursday.

Bowing to an intense lobbying campaign that spent tens of millions of dollars and held out the promise of hefty campaign contributions for those members who did the bidding of interested firms the House voted 321 to 101 for the disingenuously-named Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE). That bill, which does not include meaningful network-neutrality protections creates an opening that powerful telephone and cable companies hope to exploit by expanding their reach while doing away with requirements that they maintain a level playing field for access to Internet sites.

“Special interest advocates from telephone and cable companies have flooded the Congress with misinformation delivered by an army of lobbyists to undermine decades-long federal practice of prohibiting network owners from discriminating against competitors to shut out competition. Unless the Senate steps in, (Thursday’s) vote marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as an engine of new competition, entrepreneurship and innovation.” says Jeannine Kenney, a senior policy analyst for Consumers Union.
In case there was any question that Kenney’s assessment was accurate, the House voted 269-152 against an amendment, offered by Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, which would have codified net neutrality regulations into federal law. The Markey amendment would have prevented broadband providers from rigging their services to create two-tier access to the Internet with an “information superhighway” for sites that pay fees for preferential treatment and a dirt road for sites that cannot pay the toll.

After explicitly rejecting the Markey amendment’s language, which would have barred telephone and cable companies from taking steps “to block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to accessservices over the Internet,” the House quickly took up the COPE legislation.

The bill drew overwhelming support from Republican members of the House, with the GOP caucus voting 215-8 in favor of it. But Democrats also favored the proposal, albeit by a narrower vote of 106 to 92. The House’s sole independent member, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, a champion of internet freedom who is seeking his state’s open Senate seat this fall, voted against the measure.

Joining Sanders in voting against the legislation were most members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including its co-chairs, California Representatives Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, as well as genuine conservatives who have joined the fight to defend free speech and open discourse on the internet, including House Judiciary Committee chair James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, and Intelligence Committee chair Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan.

The left-meets-right voting in the House reflected the coalition that has formed to defend net neutrality, which includes such unlikely political bedfellows as the Christian Coalition of America, MoveOn.org, National Religious Broadcasters, the Service Employees International Union, the American Library Association, the American Association of Retired People, the American Civil Liberties Union and all of the nation’s major consumer groups.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, opposed COPE, while House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, and Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, were enthusiastically supported it.

Among the Democrats who followed the lead of Hastert and Boehner as opposed to that of Pelosi were House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Maryland Representative Ben Cardin, who is running for that state’s open Senate seat in a September Democratic-primary contest with former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume. Illinois Democrat Melissa Bean, who frequently splits with her party on issues of interest to corporate donors, voted with the Republican leadership, as did corporate-friendly “New Democrats” such as Alabama’s Artur Davis, Washington’s Adam Smith and Wisconsin’s Ron Kind all co-chairs of the Democratic Leadership Council-tied House New Democrat Coalition.

The fight over net neutrality now moves to the Senate, where Maine Republican Olympia Snowe and North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan have introduced legislation to codify the net neutrality principles of equal and unfettered access to Internet content into federal law. Mark Cooper, the director of research for the Consumers Federation of America, thinks net neutrality will find more friends in the Senate, at least in part because the “Save the Internet” coalition that has grown to include more than 700 groups, 5,000 bloggers and 800,000 individuals is rapidly expanding.

“This coalition will continue to grow, millions of Americans will add their voices, and Congress will not escape the roar of public opinion until Congress passes enforceable net neutrality,” says Cooper.

Cooper’s correct to be more hopeful about the Senate than the House. But the House vote points up the need to get Democrats united on this issue. There’s little question that a united Democratic caucus could combine with principled Republicans in the Senate to defend net neutrality. But if so-called “New Democrats” in the Senate side with the telephone and cable lobbies, the information superhighway will become a toll road.