In the video (below), music producer Carvin Haggins expresses his dismay over the current state of urban radio’s playlists. He states the playlists are loaded with degrading lyrics promoting sex and violence and that peer influence will always superseded parental influence. Radio’s Q Deezy is in a very tough position, defending urban radio. Deezy disagrees and states that his parents did a great job considering where he grew up where most of his friends ended up on drugs or dead. Deezy says it himself, it’s a typical story for black men in many cities (jail or death) and Haggins quickly and accurately points out and moots Deezy’s original point because Deezy is the exception.
We would be no less than fools to ignore the state of the black community today but we often do, especially black men, disproportionate incarceration and recidivism, unemployment, racism, health challenges, addictions etc and few major media resources that we can depend on to tell our truth. Deezy is correct in saying we need more good parenting but black, single mothers also need more TOOLS, EXAMPLES and OPPORTUNITIES to BE good parents.
I had to dig a bit deeper before I state who is actually more responsible, radio or the parents. I talked to several record reps and asked them, ‘Do you have a balance of positive material to present to radio with the hardcore material?” They all said yes but radio is often not interested in that kind of music (positive). When I asked the same question to urban radio programmers, they said no, they don’t (offer positive music).
I was left to draw my own conclusions based on 30 years of working in the industry and being in a position where I deal with all sides of the equation. I get a lot of material from the labels every day, much more music than any press releases on community events from urban radio and I listen. I can honesty say the labels do INDEED have a balance of product to promote but how will we ever know it if radio doesn’t play it? Moreover, even if urban radio claims they are not getting it, being so incredibly PPM, research and syndication driven, is there any ROOM for more music? I constantly hear complaints about how greedy radio corporations are which may be another reason why the playlists are so tight, it’s a great but unfortunate kind of business savvy: a very high demand for a very small supply of airspace.