Trae the Truth deserves major props for doing what far too many rappers won’t do. He was willing to stand up and smash on a local radio station that decided to ban his music over some petty nonsense. He filed a lawsuit against Radio One‘s KBXX the Box in Houston. Trae unlike many artists is clear in his thinking. He’s a strong community activist who’s netted proclamations from city officials and he’s easily one of the most popular artists in H-Town.. He knows that the airwaves belong to the public, and they are leased to corporations. In return a radio station at its core is supposed to serve the public good. What has been ALLOWED to happen over the years are a handful of people getting into ‘Gate Keeper’ positions and playing ‘God’ with people’s careers.
We see them charging people or demanding special favors for airplay. Many artists are required to do ‘free shows’. Why do you think every station around the country has a Summer Jam, Winter Jam, Spring Bash etc? The artists do these shows for free and the stations make millions.
Some stations make people pay them just to have their material listened to.. Not played on the air-just listened to..
Some artists are asked to pay for station vehicle wraps, purchase jackets for the street team. Some would pay for special fly aways and trips to award shows. I recall sitting in meetings where one of my old bosses would go down the list of what was needed and put a note next to each item as to which record label/ artist would be paying for things. The list goes on.
Over the years there have been a number of artists finding themselves at odds with radio giants who have been approached and asked to join a lawsuit or even testify before Congress or the FCC about unscrupulous radio practices, but many fearing a career ending backlash by the radio’s parent company refused. Most have been content to bite their tongue and remain silent which in turn has emboldened many of these station owners and personnel.
If folks ever wanna see a tough talking so-called gangsta, balling out of control rapper get reduced to a hat in hand subservient type of character straight outta the old Jim Crow era, show up when they go to some of these commercial outlets seeking airplay. To see what some are willing to do or put up with for airplay will make you cry. Its can be pretty sad.
Fortunately Trae is not one of those artists. He’s ready to put the serious smash on a radio network that’s notorious for hitting artists up.. and we applaud him..
Below is Trae’s press release and below that is the article in the Houston Chronicle..
Houston Rapper Trae Tha Truth files lawsuit against Radio One
Houston, TX – Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth (aka Frasier Thompson) will be holding a press conference at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at the Harris County Civil Courthouse to announce the filing of a lawsuit in the 189th District Court of Harris County Texas, 201 Caroline, 12th Floor, Houston, Texas, against Radio One, which owns and operates Houston radio Station 97.9 KBXX, The Box.
The civil case alleges a consistent pattern of business disparagement, conspiracy and tortious interference. Defendants include Radio One, the radio station’s general manager Doug Abernathy, program manager Terri Thomas and morning show radio personality Nnete Inyangumia. Trae decided to file the lawsuit after the radio station officially banned his music from receiving airplay, and then began to interfere in his relationships with other music industry professionals. Radio One is the seventh largest radio broadcasting company in the country, and is the largest one targeting African-American audiences in the U.S. The Box is the only hip hop radio station in Houston.
The suit, which will be filed by Houston attorney ç., alleges that Trae was the subject of a radio ban after Nnete falsely accused Trae during an on-air interview of causing the violence which occurred at public festival which he sponsored. Ironically, Trae has arguably been the most active Houston rap artist when it comes to serving the local community. In 2008, Trae was honored by Houston Mayor Bill White and Council Member Peter Brown with his own “Trae Day” in honor of his outstanding community service.
After Nnete had made the disparaging remark about Trae on the radio, he later released a “mix tape” that had a humorous lyric about Nnette’s weight.
Trae notes, “I would not have filed a lawsuit, but when other people started being hurt by this ban, I knew I had to stand up.” The suit also alleges that a radio station staff member was suspended for a week and a half without pay for making a mixtape outside of work that had Trae’s music in it. The employee, in fear of losing his job, and the ability to feed his family, had to end his relationship with Trae. Another alleged incident occurred when rapper 6tre Gangsta, an artist signed to Battery/Sony Records, asked Trae to be on his new single. However when KBXX found out about the song, they notified Trae that the song would be banned. This resulted in the record community scrapping both the song and the music video that had been slated for BET.
Even Haitian earthquake victims lost out, due to the station refusing to advertise Trae’s appearance at a benefit fundraiser. Other alleged incidents are listed in the lawsuit, the most recent being the firing of the “Kracker Nuttz,” an on air DJ tandem, for their accidentally playing a song on the air by Chamillionaire, which they did not realize had Trae on one of its verses. Ironically, the “Kracker Nuttz”, who were 12-year veterans of the station, had the Number One rated radio show there.
Rap-A-Lot Records CEO, James Prince states, “I had been excited about being involved with the next Trae album, but with this ban taking place, not only in his home town, but likely also in the second best place for airplay, which is Dallas, it would be impossible to promote the album. This ban is sabotaging his career, because those cities are the foundation for breaking his records.” Prince adds, “Having run a record label for over twenty years, I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Says Trae, “I just could not let any more people suffer and be punished by the radio station over this ridiculous vendetta.”
Trae’s attorney Warren Fitzgerald Jr. comments, “We believe that the defendants have gone beyond the parameters of legally sanctioned activity in first banning Trae’s music, then going so far as to intentionally interfere with his business relationships and thus destroy his career. I find this behavior repulsive, especially for a radio station that daily champions itself as music artists “best friend.”
Trae is suing for general damages to his reputation, character, standing in the community, mental suffering, loss of professional opportunities, performance revenue, record royalties and other damages.
Judge Randy Williams issued a restraining order prohibiting the radio station from destroying any evidence, including memoranda or emails surrounding the ban on Trae’s music.
A preliminary hearing is set for May 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm.
X X X
Guess I gotta roll to Houston in the morning…
Houston rapper Trae: “You can’t ban the truth”
Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Radio One, which owns 97.9 FM (KBXX The Box), citing “a consistent pattern of business disparagement, conspiracy and tortious interference.”
“I’m not only doing this for me. I’m doing this so that our futures and others can have a fair chance,” Trae said during a Wednesday morning press conference on the steps of the Harris County Civil Courthouse downtown.
“I need to do the right thing. I need to stand up. I also work hard for this community — very hard. You can’t ban the truth.”
Trae (whose real name is Frasier Thompson III) and attorney Warren Fitzgerald, Jr. allege that 97.9 FM banned the rapper’s music after he was involved in an on-air altercation with Madd Hatta Morning Show DJ Nnete Inyangumia. During a 2009 radio interview, Trae says Inyangumia falsely accused him of inciting violence at a festival celebrating “Trae Day.” The rapper, whose real name is Frasier Thompson III, was honored July 24, 2008 by Mayor Bill White and the Houston City Council for his community work.
Trae then mentioned Inyangumia’s weight in a mixtape, which is when he says the ban was put into effect.
“It’s personal, and it’s not business. There’s no reason to ban his music. His music is no more or no less violent than any other music that’s being played on the radio station” Fitzgerald said.
“We know for sure that people are being intimidated, people are being retaliated against for their involvement with him.”
Also named in the suit are general manager Doug Abernathy and program manager Terri Thomas. The suit alleges a staff member was suspended for making a mixtape featuring Trae and that popular on-air trio the Kracker Nuttz was recently fired after playing a song that featured Trae.
“Seems strange to say, but things for us at the station hadn’t been the same (or at least what it used to be) for a very long time,” the Kracker Nuttz wrote in a recent blog post. The group was at the courthouse Wednesday to show their support for Trae.
Houston rapper TroubleSum called the situation “preposterous.”
“As an artist, you vent through your music. We get caught up in our emotions, and we’ll write about it,” she said. “(Inyangumia) used her platform to voice her concerns and her opinions about Trae. He did the same thing in return.
“Things were said. Let’s move on. It’s ridiculous.”
Trae is suing for general damages to his reputation, character, standing in the community, mental suffering, loss of professional opportunities, performance revenue and record royalties. A temporary restraining order has been issued prohibiting 97.9 FM from destroying any evidence, including memoranda or emails relating to the ban. A hearing is scheduled for May 14.
Derick Muhammad of the Millions More Movement Ministry of Justice says they are “exploring” boycotts of the radio station and its advertisers. Matt Sonzala, a longtime champion of Texas rap and hip-hop who runs the popular Austin Surreal blog, called Trae “one of the more straight dudes in this scene – for real.”
“We believe that the airwaves are sacred and that nobody should have the power or the authority to use the airwaves against an individual to settle a personal vendetta,” Muhammad said.
“It’s a way bigger picture than (my music). I’m kind of looking at myself to be a sacrifice right now,” Trae said. “My son raps. Other people’s sons rap and sing. This can happen to anybody.”