The thing I like most about DL Hughley is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is one of those rare people who has to be who they are in order to be fully beneficial to their purpose. He’s a confident and independent thinker who is modest and appreciative of his platforms. Yet, it appears, he’s not fully aware of his impact, which is fortunate because he can’t be swayed to move in the direction of external influence and he remains true to his own direction with little concern of who likes or dislikes his position. This year DL has had a best selling book “How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People” and his videos continue to make a HUGE impact online and on the Radio Facts site when it comes to expressing his opinion on politics or whatever else the controversial topic of the week is.
KEVIN ROSS: So let’s talk about radio. You’ve been doing it now for what, about 25 years?
D.L. HUGHLEY: It’s funny. I did it at KJLH [Los Angeles] when I was the morning man. I did it at Kiss-FM [the former WRKS/New York] and I’ve been doing the current show [Reach Media/Radio One syndication] for about five years or so. I have always loved the medium. And it’s funny because I never got a chance to do it this continuously. But I didn’t necessarily understand it or it’s input. From a consumer’s outlook, I’ve always understood it because when I lived in LA and I didn’t know anything, it was my entry into the world. But I understand how, you know, from this side of the microphone, how important it is to be clear. And so, uh, I’ve done it, you know, off and on, I would say about 12 years, but I understand how important it is to be clear in how important it is to make sure you take a side. You’ve got to take a side.
I thought it was longer than that because I remember you. I missed you at KJLH because I was on there for a while and that was like the early, I want to say, maybe the late-nineties?
Yeah, because, remember, I got fired by Stevie Wonder?
What did you do? I don’t remember that. What happened?
Because I said KGLH was so raggedy that even Stevie Wonder could see it.
Okay. I thought it was longer. Now when you were doing WRKS in New York that was an interesting situation because you were not actually being paid for that, correct?
No, because, you know, it put me in a horrible tax situation because we signed the deal and I thought they would honor it but it ended up not being that way. But I love the medium so much and I thought, well, you know, eventually they’ll work this thing out. Unfortunately, that deal didn’t work out, but it did prepare me for this one. So I guess I’m balanced. It worked out positively, I just didn’t see it at that time.
So you’ve done TV. They even tried to get you on the political TV circuit. What was the situation with that? Why didn’t that work out?
Oh, well, CNN used to get a million people a weekend. And what happened was at the same time we were doing the show, the huge economic downturn happened. The bottom fell out of the economy. So all the things people have money for, in terms of frivolous, things like a black dude doing a political show or a news show – they didn’t have the money for it. And you know, it’s like everything else. Last ones hired, first ones fired, but I enjoyed the experience.
So where do you think radio is going at this point? I know that you do a lot of TV appearances and you go outside of just doing radio. What do you see as the future for radio right now? Do you think you could just be on the air and not do anything else?