Last week we told you about Houston artist Trae the Truth suing Radio One’s KBXX for issuing a ban on him and his music. Many of us were pretty happy that such a move was being made due to the fact his banning was the sort of indiscriminate activity that happens all the time. Far too often behind the scenes at these commercial outlets, artists are strong armed in one form or fashion. They are made to do free shows, pay for van wraps, sponsor fly aways to award shows and a whole host of illegal, yet made to appear legal types of schemes, in exchange for airplay.
Artists are often told they better not go to a rival station or even smaller college or community stations to do interviews, provide drops and do shout outs, do shows or anything else least they get banished from the airwaves of the commercial giant they offended. I never understood why an artists would agree to such condition and remain exclusive to a radio station while that station is not exclusive to him as an artist…
The behind the scenes manipulation and oftentimes outright bullying is not well-known to folks not in the business which is understandable because its embarrassing and an image killer for the artist. Folks who’ve been around in the industry long enough can probably attest the general public would be shocked to see how many tough, sneering, grill wearing gangsta rapper types who supposedly run-their block, get brow beat, yelled at and made to kiss the ring of a program or music director who would never ever set foot in that artist’s hood. It’s often an abusive relationship where you see immense talent being given over freely to corporate media giants that literally suck the life and soul out of an artist. The saddest part to all this is seeing artists so desperate and anxious for airplay that they allow themselves or in more than a few cases their label forces them to be reduced to a cheap commodity as they go along with the program.
Trae’s lawsuit against Radio One earned him props because it symbolized an artist standing up but alas last Friday a Houston Judge Bill R Burke rejected Trae’s injunction against the station. He claimed there was no logical way to force the radio station to play his music and that his request was ‘impossibly broad’. He also encouraged Trae to start his own radio station.
A lawyer for Radio One reaffirmed what the judge noted and added that if their ban on Trae the Truth causes him to not make money-‘Then it was too bad’.
According to BoomBox.com What took place was last week was a preliminary hearing. It resumes on August 16th.
This is a minor set back especially when you consider the airwaves are public. If such a lawsuit doesn’t work out, Trae may have to do to use his popularity and encourage an all out boycott. The fact that so few artist are willing to speak up is why it was easy for this judge to say no to an injunction. What’s also bad is that we haven’t had more media justice people get hip to this fight. This is not about airplay for Trae.. he’s popular with or without it. What’s problematic is that the station is strong arming artists and telling them if they associate with Trae in any way they will not receive airplay.. If they can get artists to behave like that, why not tell artists to do right by the community or not get played? Well keep you posted as things unfold..Hopefully more artists will stand up..