*As Cleveland continues to rid the city of all things LeBron James, local radio station KISS FM has decided to edit the word “LeBron” out of the second verse of Jay-Z and Alica Keys’ New York anthem “Empire State of Mind” – even though the name is not really referencing the actual player.
The line in question, “[If] Jeezy’s paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade,” is a nod to Young Jeezy’s mixtape track “Kobe and LeBron,” which uses the numbers of Kobe Bryant and James to represent the discount he gets on a kilo of cocaine. Jeezy says, “I used to pay Kobe, but now I pay LeBron,” meaning he used to pay “24″ (Kobe) but now he pays “23″ (LeBron).
Using the same formula, Jay-Z responded in “Empire State of Mind”: “If Jeezy’s paying LeBron (23) I’m paying Dwyane Wade (3).”
Still, KISS FM’s night time disc jockey “Java” Joel Murphy deems it necessary to edit out the two-time MVP, telling WFNY that the decision is one he feels resonates well with Clevelanders given their well-documented feelings towards James.
“I was playing the song and realized that the word ‘LeBron’ is as offensive to some people as the ‘Seven Words You Can’t Say On The Radio,’” said Murphy. “Anytime one of those words shows up in a song, we either bleep it, cut it out completely or obscure it by flipping it backwards. So, I suggested to our programming department that we should treat the name ‘LeBron’ similarly.”