January 31, 2014
Hot 97, where house negroes live
This phony debate about the fact that Hot 97 doesn't play real hip-hop is just a scam to get you to tune into Hot 97.
You have to listen in, probably for the first time in 10 or 15 years, to make sure Hot 97 really isn't playing real hip-hop, as you suspected, and to find out what they're playing instead, and they can somehow use the fact that you listened in for a few minutes to charge that much more money from advertisers.
They know you don't listen to Hot 97 on the reg, because you're not an idiot, and so the fact that you tuned in just that once makes it seem as if their audience is expanding. The tools they use to figure out how many people are tuning in are a lot more sophisticated than what they were using back when their playlists were worth a shit.
The dead giveaway is the fact that they would invite Buckshot up to the studio to discuss what a detirmental force for music Hot 97 has become. What purpose would it serve to even have him up there, other than to try to get broke, aging unemployed backpackers to post the video on their blogs and maybe make a few dollars from Google Adsense?
That's a few dollars more than they would have made otherwise, and they need every single dollar they can get, because terrestrial radio is a dead (not dying, dead) industry. Whenever the white people in Indiana who really run Hot 97 realize that Ebro, Rosenberg et al. contribute literally no added value, or they're marched out of the building in handcuffs for accepting payola, whichever one comes first, they'll be replaced by a Jack FM-style iPod set to shuffle, like many terrestrial radio jocks already have been, and it'll only result in the TIs at Emmis making even more money.
The fact that they had to bring in Ebro to shout the dreaded n-word at people and to stir up a new fake controversy every three days should serve as a wakeup call for Rosenberg. No black man that inept would have held on for that long in that position. When you can't operate the sour cream gun fast enough to keep up with the lunch rush at Taco Bell, they don't have a straw boss come and pull the trigger for you while you stand behind him and rub his shoulders to keep him nice and loose.
If your father in law is the franchisee, they just put you on the schedule and don't require you to show up, lest you somehow fuck up the taco meat and cause an e coli outbreak. Jack in the Box almost went out of business back in the early '90s behind some shit like that. They were having to sell those two for $.99 tacos for three for $.99 just to get anyone to eat there again. I never ate so good in my life.
The irony of Peter Rosenberg characterizing Macklemore's success at this past weekend's Grammys as white privilege run amok is so rich that people are making up rumors about it being a member of the Illuminati.
Hot 97 doesn't have to sweat the kind of people who usually listen to Hot 97 -- children who were born ater hip-hop already started to suck balls, in the mid to late '90s; the desperately poor, who don't realize you can get a free phone from the president and listen to Pandora or some shit; women, who have no taste in music (because they're women, natch); people in jail, so on and so forth -- pulling up that Ebro vs. Buckshot video and beginning to question their views about listening to garbage rap music and R&B, because they have no idea that video exists. They may or may not have access to the Internets.
Buckshot, on the other hand, was caught in the weird position of not really knowing what they play on Hot 97, or anyone who works there other than Funkmaster Flex and the guys who were sitting there in the room with him. He didn't spend a sufficient amount of time conducting research in order to prepare his argument, because he's not a masochist. If it hadn't been going out on the Internets, Ebro could have lied and claimed that Hot 97 does occasionally play real hip-hop, and Buckshot wouldn't have had any way of knowing. Technically, he wouldn't have been lying, and thus perhaps in violation of the FCC, if Peter Rosenberg still has that show that comes on between 12 midnight and 2 AM on a Monday morning. Is that why Rosenberg even has that show, to keep Ebro out of jail?
Buckshot was also flustered because, while Ebro hasn't had a chance to listen to the Buckshot episode of the Combat Jack Show (and yet he has time to make 45 minute-long YouTube videos arguing about "battle rap"), someone on Twitter must have informed him that Buckshot called him a house dreaded n-word. Buckshot walked back the house dreaded n-word accusation, at least to a certain degree, not because it's not true, but because it's difficult to call a guy a house dreaded n-word with him sitting there in the room with you, and also because he had those shoes to promote. If he'd actually explained to Ebro why he is a house dreaded n-word, at least metaphorically, Ebro might have cut the interview before they got to the part about the shoes. Shit, they might not have uploaded the video to YouTube.
Buckshot might consider starting a blog, if he doesn't already have one. (I would never read a rapper's blog, unless it's about me personally, and so I have no way of knowing.) There he could explain that while Ebro is not technically a house dreaded n-word, because this isn't slavery and therefore he doesn't live there at the station (which would cost Emmis more than just having him live elsewhere), much in the same way that Israel is not technically an apartheid state, because it's not in South Africa, house dreaded n-word is about as apt a term as I can think of to describe Ebro's role in hip-hop, in that he's the one guy in hip-hop who's been selected by Massa, i.e. Emmis Communications, possibly because Massa is his biological father, to look after Massa's property while Massa is off elsewhere counting the money he made off the backs of black people, and apparently Ebro has been in the big house, i.e. Hot 97, for so long that he's internalized Massa's thought process. They don't have to send him a list of songs that have been watered down to the point where they're suitable to be played on Hot 97, he can already sense it.
Rarely has a metaphor been as apt.
Byron Crawford a/k/a Bol is the celebrated author of several books, most recently NaS Lost: A Tribute to the Little Homey.
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Posted by Bol at 01:50 PM | Permalink
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