Appalled By Excessive Use Of The "N-Word" At Hot 97's Summer Jam 2014, Chuck D Issues A Challenge To Urban Radio To "Get Right Or Get Gone."

Chuck D has responded to the excessive use of the ‘n-word’ at Hot 97‘s Summer Jam 2014 concert with a challenge to urban radio to show more respect for its fan base. His attack on the major radio machine follows what he considers to be a poor showing across the board at the massive annual event. He aired his frustrations in a recent discussion with Billboard:

“That shit is over,” he noted. “If there was a festival and it was filled with anti-Semitic slurs… or racial slurs at anyone but black people, what do you think would happen? Why does there have to be such a double standard?”

Continuing, Chuck D noted:

“It’s just a sloppy presentation of the art form, the worst presentation known to man,” D explained. “It’s negligent. There needs to be a greater representation of the culture and the community on that radio station.” Broadening the discussion to the state of Urban radio in general, D said that, “When people say the word Urban, they don’t know what that means. When they say urban music, they mean playing black artists — and artists outside the community. It should be a representation of playing music by a lot of different artists — non-black artists, too. I just want to see artists be able to have fair game.”

Though Chuck D has engaged in conversation with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg regarding his issues with the event, his recent comments suggest that he has little interest in sitting for a deeper discussion anytime soon. According to Chuck D, the real debate is one that does not involve the pair:

Though D labeled comments that Hot 97 personalities Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg made to Billboard in response to his criticisms “a bunch of hogwash,” the MC said his argument is less with them and more with station ownership.

“It’s about their bosses,” D said. “That’s where the discussion needs to go.”

But D said he doesn’t require a direct role in that discussion for himself. “Why would I sit down with them? I don’t have time for that. I don’t have to show ’em shit; they’re grown people. I ain’t wasting my time. Let them sit down with the community and the artists. They’ll tell ’em. I’ll watch from afar. But they better get it right or we’ll destroy the platform of Urban radio across the country.”

Continuing, he makes note of his stated goal:

“My goal by year’s end is to change the face and sound of urban radio,” D promised. “I’ve been in this shit 30 years, too long to just sit and let it be. I’m not going to be the grim reaper. I don’t want to be the grim reaper. But people have to stand up and we need some change, and it’s time.”

As Chuck D calls the NYC radio giant to task, it must be noted that the problem is much bigger than Hot 97. His challenge coincides with the recent Rage Against The Ratchet protest on June 7th outside of Philadelphia’s Power 99 FM. The rally organized by Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Carvin Haggins is an active response to the lack of integrity in the music ruling urban radio:

WE NEED CHANGE, and the only ones who can make the change is us. We have to stand up for our children and their children’s children. We have to protest radio and force them to play music that brings integrity back. Music that makes us proud to be black.

We must stand together and band together as a community. We must let them know that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated any longer.

Get the full story on Chuck D’s call to action via Billboard. Check the footage below to watch the PSA for the Rage Against The Ratchet campaign and learn more about the movement via Facebook. Stay tuned for more.


  • devondaphenom

    discussion that needs to be had.

  • Atu Mensah

    He’s not going to change anything… just pushing his own agenda.

    • Sean Pryme

      UMM alot of valid points in his video? So because he’s pushing his event….which he doesn’t mention until the very end of the video by the way, we’re now going to question the validity of his presentation?/

  • Militia

    wouww Pushing his own agenda…Really?

  • Stone Phalanges

    “I’ve been listening to the radio…”

    –that’s your first mistake.

  • One

    Kids have the internet on their phone purchased by their dumb ass parent or parents. They have access to shit that is far worse than the radio. Horrific parenting from horriffic people will continue to breed horriffic people. Keep passing down ignorance and allowing entertainment to raise your children and continiue suffering.

    • J Crenshaw

      So because I allow my child to use the internet I am a horrible Parent? Do you even have children? Stick to what you know, being a kid.

  • audie

    Told u 18 years ago Stakes is High

    • fresco

      why do i feel like stakes are higher nowadays? its so wac right now

  • adub

    Who listens to the radio? If you don’t like what they are playing, then turn that shit off. Make your own podcast or playlist. Create your own radio.

  • there are still artists putting lyrical content that you deem “good” in their music TODAY in 2014 and tomorrow in the future. Apparently the type of lyrical content that you speak of here is what the public wants to hear. Artists should always be allowed to express themselves. Expression should never be stifled or halted. I make music. I write lyrics that I think expresses my view on the world we live in. My lyrics don’t have the lyrical content that you speak of here, but If I was poppin mollys, that would definitely be part of my music. I like to uplift, but I don’t like to preach and make people be like me. Lets embrace all of the different styles of music that are out here in this world. I do agree that it is sad that the general public gravitates to negativity. That being said we shouldn’t erase the expression of that negativity.

  • Tachiro

    Listen, you can’t save Hot97 or Power 105.1. What we need is a physical Okayplayer Radio station. If Clear Channel’s airwave monopoly is too much to compete with, streaming the media would probably be fine. And phone companies were notorious for (probably still are) taking the FM radio hardware out of their phones, so more NY listeners are looking to stream their radio anyway. OKP could even reach out to people like Amanda Seales, Ralph McDaniels, Free, etc. for familiar faces to do a morning/evening show. And as far as the music selection, it doesn’t have to be anti-anything. It just needs to be a place where artists like the ones on this site actually get some airplay and a shot at making the rotation.