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.