*A long-standing issue regarding the state of urban radio playlists was recently reignited in a debate between music producer Carvin Haggins and actor/radio & TV personality Quincy Harris (Q Deezy) based in Philadelphia.
In a recap posted by radiofacts.com, Kevin Ross highlights Haggins’ claims that parental influence is overruled by playlists featuring lyrics that promote sex and violence. Harris countered the beatmaker’s argument as he used his parents to illustrate how his upbringing resulted in him rising above the drug use and death that was present with him growing up.
“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,” Ross stated.
“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, he added.
The debate comes amid efforts by Haggins to get rid of oversexualized and violent music on radio. The movement, called “Rage Against the Rachet,” is Haggins’ way of appealing to radio stations and the public to join him in balancing the content played by taking more responsibility. Citing Run DMC’s “My Adidas” as well as fashion statements made by Jay Z, Haggins points out the influence of radio and artists in what the public is exposed and responds to.
“Radio, being the corporate behemoth that it is CERTAINLY has the power to influence but urban radio is very political behind the scenes, often heavily scrutinized by too many decision-makers who know NOTHING and or couldn’t care less about the music, its roots or black culture and that does not exclude some Blacks at the corporations,” Ross explains, while mentioning how tight a grip corporations have on radio programming.
Despite the arguments made, Ross goes on to point out “urban radio is no longer BLACK radio and in changing that image urban stations have thrown away one of the most important elements that set us apart, saved us, guided us and informed us when we needed it most and STILL need it…. NEWS.”
“Where else are we going to find out the TRUTH ABOUT us FOR us BUT us even in this Internet and Social Networking age?,” he said.
Balance in radio is what’s needed, Ross stated as he noted how news isn’t as appealing to listeners as music to dance to. “If your going to play the hardcore music AT LEAST balance it out with other music and/or let me know what’s going on in my community like the sensationalized and biased local TV stations won’t and shouldn’t have to.”
To read Kevin Ross’ full response to the debate between Carvin Haggins and Quincy Harris, click here. To see the debate, check out the video below: