Here are the biggest stories for RFFocus in 2013. Click “Next” above or below for the next story. Enjoy.
Spike Lee Goes Left on Insulting Reporter (vid)
It’s hard not to side with Spike Lee on this one. He was completely disrespected by this reporter before he said a word. If the video box does not show up the first time, refresh your browser. Also see Spike Lee Talks to RFFocus interview
Chris “Mack Daddy” Kelly Found Dead, Kriss Kross Recently Performed at Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Anniversary
Recently, Jermaine Dupri held a 20th anniversary for So So Def in Atlanta where many of the former label’s artists came together for a night of celebration. Rapper Chris Kelly from the group Kriss Kross was there and he performed. Today, Atlanta police found the former kid rapper dead in his home. He was 34. Kelly had suffered from Alopecia Areata and lost most of his hair some years ago. He was quite reclusive in the years since the group was active on So So Def/Columbia with their smash hit “Jump” in the early 90s. RFFocus expresses condolences for the family of Kelly. Update: Authorities suspect Kelly died of a drug overdose.
Mister Cee Breaks Down While Talking to Ebro on Hot 97
Mister Cee shocked everyone at HOT 97 when he resigned from the station yesterday due to prostitution scandal with transexual. This morning Ebro had him on the HOT 97 Morning Show to talk about why he made the decision to leave. Ebro tries to talk him out of leaving Hot 97.
Skip Murphy Replacing Michael Baisden
RFFocus has confirmed that radio vet Skip Murphy will be replacing Michael Baisden. Cumulus was rushing to find a replacement over the last week and after several people turned it down Murphy accepted. This means that TWO of RFFocus predictions have now come true This One and This One. Murphy will be joined by Jasmine Saunders as his co-host. Congrats to Skip. The syndication company is testing Murphy’s show with previous Baisden affiliates. Personally, we would have let Murphy bring his own team but that’s just us.
Jodeci Booed off Stage at Wembley Arena (vid
So unfortunate what has happened to these brothers. A sad case of too much too soon.
Lil’ Wayne Near Death?
UPDATE: TMZ has a very bad source. We’re not told Lil Wayne is fine. We’re told by sources someone handles Lil Wayne’s Twitter account so the tweet may not be from him… UPDATE: Lil Wayne of Someone from his account just tweeted:
“I’m good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.” ————————– TMZ is reporting however that rapper Lil Wayne is in critical condition and near death in an LA hospital. This could explain his many recent outbursts, he may be suffering from some kind of brain issue. He is now stable. TMZ Statement Below: 5:16 PM PT — We’re told Wayne is being prepared for his last rites … with his family surrounding him to say their goodbyes. Wayne’s mother is currently on a plane flying to Los Angeles — and we’re told all major decisions about Wayne’s health (including the decision to discontinue life support) will not be made until she arrives.
Multiple Producers Resign from Tavis Smiley Show
Former Employee Asks Al Sharpton to Return “Blood Money” to Cash Money Books
Chef Carl Redding is very upset that his former boss and mentor the Rev Al Sharpton accepted a lucrative book deal from Cash Money Books (read below) An Open Letter to Reverend Al Sharpton Dear Reverend Sharpton, I remember you preaching a sermon many years ago entitled, “I’m Still Here.” Well guess what Rev. Sharpton, I’m still here. And from time to time we all need someone to sometimes give us a smack upside our heads to bring us back on track when we veer off track… Hopefully it is I who may be able to get you back on the right tracks of Social Justice. I recently read that you had penned a book deal with Cash Money, the very company that touts Lil Wayne as one its most recognized artists. Though I wish I could say that I was surprised by this move, I am not. As one who has spent years publicly crusading against the harmful effect of misogynistic lyrics on our young people, it’s clear that your decision to cut a lucrative financial deal with those who propagate such destructive images in our community, is the latest example of your failed leadership. Dr. Martin Luther King, who you claim to emulate, is doing somersaults in his grave. As you know, I was drawn to your social justice work when I came to work for you in 1990. Fresh out of the US Marines, I temporarily put my culinary ambitions on hold to serve as your personal driver and then later, chief of staff. Though you give me no credit, and have attempted to rewrite me out of the history books, it was I who was a founding member of National Action Network and I who even helped to name the social justice organization. Like the dozens of people who worked for you, I believed back then, in your mission and your calling. Sadly, you have lost your drive and have become disconnected to those who have supported you throughout the years (From the Tawana Brawley controversy, allegations that you were an FBI informant, the fire at Freddy’s in Harlem, just to name a couple of your life’s events). Those who were under your employ have been loyal to you even when you have not been loyal to them. They have remained silent in the face of your outrageous acts of self-aggrandizement. But I cannot and will not remain silent any longer. Your decision to join forces with those who seek to exploit and defame our community must be exposed. Your claims that we bury the “N” word is the ultimate measure of hypocrisy, since I’ve heard you on numerous occasions call many individuals including David Dinkins New York’s first black mayor, a nigger. Your decision to cooperate and do business with a record label that routinely calls black women outside of their name, is deeply problematic and begs the question: where is your commitment to the black community? I believe in my heart of heart that the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. would not have traded 30 pieces of silver to the likes of the Little Wayne’s of our world today as you have done by signing a piece of book deal paper with Cash Money… So Rev Sharpton, in conclusion of my Open Letter to you, I am publicly imploring you to end your business relationship with Cash Money and return the “blood money” that you have accepted from those very people who continue to have the highest disregard for our women and our community… Our community is in desperate need of real leadership to solve the issues such as mass incarceration, an alarming level of black on black crime, and high unemployment that continues to impact millions of blacks. Sadly, as you have personally climbed the corporate ladder securing a job at MSNBC you have forgotten about the countless number of your supporters who stood by you when you were deemed as a racial pariah and agitator. Yours truly, who endures the “real” struggle, Chef Carl Redding
Jamie Foxx Subjected to Racist Tweets After Wearing Trayvon Martin Shirt at MTV Awards
If you needed a reminder that racism, ignorance, and a$$holes still exist in this country, take a look at these tweets about Jamie Foxx once he wore a Trayvon Martin t-shirt to accept this MTV Movie Awards. “This Trayvon Martin case is soooo annoying”¦now give me my MTV MOVIE AWARDS!” Props to the guy above who used a gun emoji to criticize a shirt condemning gun violence. Good work, dude. lmao @ the dude running to tattle to Anthony from Opie & Anthony and George Zimmerman’s brother. Yeah, fuck Tavon! Who’s Tavon, again? And then there were people who could not possibly understand what Trayvon Martin and the Newtown victims, all children killed in the United States by gun violence, possibly had to do with one another. Basically what they’re trying to say, without saying it, is “why is that evil black thug sullying those poor innocent white children”¦” Yes, as you can see, white people were pretty pissed. And some were clamoring to know WHAT ABOUT THE POOR WHITES: lmao. Yes, NO ONE cares when black people kill. The justice system totally doesn’t cater to whites. There’s like zero black people in prison.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Baisden Quitting Show
ONLY RFFocus , the industry’s ONLY radio resource for TODAY’s industry, brings you up to date radio news. We are told Baisden is frustrated over contract negotiations and has decided to exit his nationally syndicated show. Read the EXCLUSIVE RFFocus press release below… Our 2013 predictions that we did in Jan have almost all come true. We will post what has come true tomorrow.
Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Michael Baisden Bids Farewell to Radio
Dallas – Nationally syndicated radio personality Michael Baisden announced a hiatus from his radio show today on his Facebook page this morning that will begin on (read more click “Next” below or above)April 1, 2013. Baisden, who commands a daily audience of over seven million listeners, states he is unable to discuss the particulars but concluded that a deal could not be made on mutually agreeable terms. Recognized as one of the most influential men in radio, his “Michael Baisden Show” is one of the top rated afternoon drive radio programs heard in the top urban markets. He is also a TV talk show host, film-maker and New York Times best-selling author with nearly two million books in print. Now in his tenth year on the air, Baisden wants his radio family to know he did everything in his power to continue his “Michael Baisden Show” without interruption. “We’re already planning to return to the air as soon as possible in a way that will give the ‘Michael Baisden Show’ a more direct relationship with our affiliates, and most importantly, our listeners,” cites Pamela Exum, his business manager. Baisden began his career as an author, self publishing several best selling books including “Never Satisfied,” “Men Cry In The Dark,” “The Maintenance Man I and II,” and “God’s Gift to Women.” Two of his books were adapted to stage plays, starring such renowned actors as Richard Roundtree and Billy Dee Williams. His radio highlights include one of his proudest moments when on September 20, 2007, he passionately and skillfully spearheaded the famous Jena 6 March in Jena, Louisiana. This historic and momentous occasion garnered tens of thousands of citizens of all races to peacefully march in support of six young men who had been unfairly treated by the justice system. Another historic year was 2008 when Michael Baisden endorsed Senator Barack Obama and went on to celebrate President Obama’s victory with over 4,000 fans at a watch party in Miami on election night. The Obama camp, along with millions of listeners, credited him with being one of the major forces behind this historic victory to elect the first African American to the Presidency of the United States and in his re-election in 2012. In December 2009, Baisden called for a National Mentor Training Day and announced his plans for a 2010 nationwide campaign. He pledged up to $350,000 of his own money to be donated in over 72 markets he would visit on a bus tour. The outreach was named “One Million Mentors National Campaign To Save Our Kids.” His work with the Free Clinics, Trayvon Martin, Black & Missing Foundation, and national ongoing partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Mentoring Brothers In Action are all a big part of what made the “Michael Baisden Show” so successful. Baisden still vows to continue his Michael Baisden Live Tour with his co-host, comedian George Willborn. It’s a One Night Only event with seminars, networking, a comedy show, and an ‘old school’ after party. “If the affiliates still want us to come to town, we’ll be there,” says Baisden. “There’s no reason for our relationships to stop, in fact, this is our chance to get on the ground close to the people where we belong!” Baisden reflects, “It’s not about the job, it’s about the journey. I have been grinding for over 10 years, fighting for the underdog, inspiring people daily on my Michael Baisden Live Page on Facebook and working my butt off to produce the best show on radio. I hope my fans miss me… because I’m definitely going to miss them,” Michael says. “But this is not the end, it’s the Next Chapter!”
Stevie Wonder Offers Advice to Marvin Gaye’s Family on Blurred Lines Lawsuit
I used to work for Stevie Wonder at KJLH and he has never lied (watch video). I was just telling someone the other day I felt sorry for him because so many former employees and others sued him all the time for some of the most outrageous things. He is a great guy and way too nice.
DL Hughley Says Black Men are Indirectly Responsible for Sharkeisha Incident
Last week as I was driving, I happened to be tuned in to the DL Hughley Show. He and his crew were discussing the Sharkeisha incident and raised an interesting question. By the way, they seem to always raise good questions on his show but that is another story . They posed the question regarding the Sharkeisha incident as follows, “To those who saw the “Sharkeisha” video, do you think that’s who we are? Or do you believe it is a glitch in the matrix?” Many people called in and gave their perspective. Some said it was a one off incident while others said this is a direct example of how our community has fallen. DL Hughley, on the other hand raised an interesting perspective. He felt that this was a direct reflection of the absence of Black men in the community. Of course he didn’t say that there were no brothers in the community but he pointed out there were not enough to teach our young boys how to be men and teach our young girls how to be respected by boys and/or men. He also went on to say that all the problems in our community were a direct or indirect reflection of the absence of Black men in the community. He basically said until we stand up in our own community then we will continue to have these problems.
Marvin Gaye III Talks about Robin Thicke’s Suit and how he Plans to Retaliate (vid)
Tom Joyner Morning Show Drops Kevin Frazier Daily Segment?
I actually had a disagreement with a friend about this when Kevin Frazier was hired for TJMS. I told her he would not connect with the audience and it would not work but I had no idea it would last for 2 years (the usual contract term perhaps?). I would have cut that sheet WAY before then. My friend disagreed with me. I should have bet her money. Kevin is GREAT on the Insider but what in Cactus Ass, Nevada made Tom hire him for the Tom Joyner Morning Show? Lawd Je. Radio “Vet” Oscar Joyner, Tom’s son kept Frazier on for two whole years but Tom had to finally step in, stomp his cane and shout ENOUGH! Then his teeth fell out. Joyner’s morning show has just dropped Kevin Fraizer’s daily segment. Sources inform us Frazier came to work for TJMS after the previous reporter Jawn Murray resigned. Apparently Frazier in an effort to appease to his Insider audience did not do enough research and/or reporting on Black celebrities and the TJMS show was flooded with complaints about reports on Lindsay Lohan and the Kardashians instead of Keyshia Cole, Watermelon Oreos and Nene Leakes. In addition Frazier’s soft whispering during his reporting was allegedly annoying (and funny) to listeners. Perhaps Joyner thought Kev would give the TJMS show some publicity on The Insider as a result of the gig but those are two different audiences. We suggest Tom hire a drag queen like several other shows do to host the entertainment section next. At least they’re entertaining.
Russell Simmons Taking Heat for Harriet Tubman Sex Tape Parody
Russell Simmons All Def Digital web series is shocking and unexpected to say the least ESPECIALLY since his open letter to Don Lemon. The parody is of how Harriett Tubman gained her freedom by screwing her “Massa.” Yesm’ it also includes all the bug eyed Ize’s and Mmm Hmms. You know I have a dark sense of humor but even Ize, oops I mean I cant laugh at this. The ADD site said: Published on Aug 14, 2013 “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape” is the off-record account of how Harriet Tubman blackmailed her master into letting her run the Underground Railroad! This outlandish and irreverent historical reenactment stars YouTube sensations Shanna Malcolm and Jason Horton. NSFW http://youtu.be/rmx_fNm3TB8
Ola Ray from Michael Jackson’s Thriller Video, Does Tribute (vid)
Perhaps you are old enough to remember Ola Ray from one of Michael Jackson’s biggest videos of all time, Thriller. Well here we are 30 years later and Ola Ray has decided to dedicate a song to Michael.
Drummer Ricky Lawson Dies, Family Removes Life Support
RFFocus is sad to report that legendary industry drummer RICKY LAWSON, who suffered an aneurysm last week, was taken off life support by his family today. Lawson started playing drums at the age of 16. He would borrow his Uncle’s drum set, and would carry it to his house all the way across town via the Detroit Buses that ran in the town. In high school Lawson played in his high school jazz band, which consisted of only 5 members (including the director). Ricky played for The Sons of Soul, who performed at the 1969 Michigan State Fair, opening for The Jackson Five along with The Blazer, a band from Cooley High School in Detroit that included La Palabra. Also in high school, he played such sports as water polo and swimming. His swimming talent eventually earned him a scholarship to college. Though he only spent one year at college and was asked to play drums for Stevie Wonder. Then in the 80’s and 90’s he played drums for Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. He played on Whitney’s famous hit, “I Will Always Love You”. Ricky has a one note “solo” in the song, where he kicks the bass drum before Whitney’s dramatic vocal finale. He says that this is his favorite solo of his career. Lawson has collaborated with many artists including Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, Phil Collins, Babyface, The Yellowjackets, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Russell Ferrante, Toto, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Lionel Richie, George Duke, among others. Lawson, one of the founding members of The Yellowjackets, received a Grammy Award for co-writing their hit song “And You Know That”. He also co-authored the Pointer Sisters’ hit “Uh-Uh” and co-produced the album Seriously Slammin’ and the Fattburger hit “Good News”. Lawson appears on Steely Dan’s Two Against Nature tour DVD, Two Against Nature: Steely Dan’s Plush TV Jazz-Rock Party. He suffered a brain aneurysm while performing at night club on December 13, 2013 he was on life support for several days and taken off by his family on December 23. He died peacefully in a Long Beach, Ca Hospital.
Veteran Musician George Duke Dies
RFFocus is sorry to report that vet musician George Duke died last night on August 5. No word yet on what happened but we will keep you posted. Duke just completed an album and was in the process of promoting it after losing his wife and falling into a depression just a year ago. Former Supreme’s member Sherrie Payne states: “I just received the devastating and sad news that the great musician, George Duke, passed away this evening at St. John’s hospital in L.A. It was just one year earlier, July 18th, that his beloved wife and my friend, Corine, went to be with the Lord. Please keep his sons, Rasheed and John, in your prayers.” UPDATE: RFFocus talked to one of Duke’s closest friends Vic McLean about his life, current state and legacy here.
A New Game that Sets the Black Community Back 70 Years (vid)
A game called “Knockout” is not quite new but it’s gaining popularity and several victims have died. The game involves teens daring each other to go up and knock out a complete vulnerable stranger. Looking at this video by a news organization in New Jersey, one of any race could conclude that the American educational system, black parents and the black church are failing black children to the point that they are now completely disconnected from their heritage, history in this country and any form of respect for others. Yet in all fairness, we have learned this is not a game that only black kids play. This in no way excuses the behavior of those responsible in this video, who are black. We must also understand that major news organizations have been accused many times of being biased and that must be taken into consideration unless we can obtain ALL of the footage from these cameras. This is why sites like YouTube and World Star Hip Hop are so important in today’s news coverage to create more unbiased balance. Overall, simple respect is lost as the gap is widening and the entire black community as a whole will be looked down upon for being responsible for this video and sure enough, this has enraged many black people who fully understand that we go out and rally against police brutality, racial profiling, Stand Your Ground, racism, Barneys and an unjust legal system then some of us turn around and give ALL of it an excuse to exist.
Arsenio Hall Responds to Kanye West Bringing Up His Name In Rant
Kanye West used arsenio hall as a negative example of what can happen to you if you speak out too much during a recent interview on The Breakfast Club. HipHollywood asked Arsenio about Kanye using his name and this is what he had to say.
Kendrick Lamar Refuses to Attend GQ Men of the Year Event over Insulting Magazine Feature with Racist Overtones
GQ Magazine naming a rapper “Rapper of the Year” is just about as credible as VOGUE magazine covering Grits and Pork Chop recipes, in our opinion. The publication (GQ) which had targeted wealthy white businessmen for decades is currently trying to update the brand by appearing more in touch with urban culture. Obviously this is an effort to appeal to more advertisers like sneakers and more young-end fashion retailers, technology and cars as well as potential younger white subscribers with expendable income who are very much into urban culture. The mistake MANY of these magazines, who have previously avoided urban culture, make is failing to COMPLETELY alter the perception by HIRING A NEW STAFF or DIVERSIFYING the current staff. In the past, they rarely featured a black man on the cover unless he was a major star (MEN’S Health is also guilty of this) weary not to offend subscribers who were often more used to seeing no named white male models on the cover in GQ’s history of publishing.
If this is still their target that’s fine but understand when you do put a black man from hip hop on the cover and you have writers do the story who are removed from the culture, this is what happens. GQ has learned this lesson the hard way.
The publication recently featured rapper Kendrick Lamar on the cover obviously aware of his quantum leap in celebrity because of his recent verse on “Control.” The magazine dressed Lamar up and put him on the cover then insulted him as well as all of hip hop culture with a reporter for the magazine saying he was surprised at how “disciplined” Lamar and his team are, as if Lamar needed a leash while being photographed. He made an even greater insult by saying… “Kendrick doesn’t smoke weed or drink booze. In the time I spent with him, I never witnessed anyone roll even the thinnest spider leg of a jay (joint), nor did I see Kendrick so much as glance at the many, many girls around him.” The reporter was trying to sound like he had his ear to the street instead of his foot in his mouth.
Fortunately, Lamar and executives at his label, Top Dawg Entertainment, did not take the observation as a “compliment.” Indeed, it was a insult with racial overtones. Had they had any black writers in the editorial department for this feature, they would have been warned to cut that part out of the story. As a result, Lamar refused to attend the GQ Men of the Year party and pick up his top rapper honor last week. Other sources covering the mishap state GQ is miffed by Lamar’s response as if to say ‘what’s the problem?’ KUDOS to Kendrick and his team for taking a stand. Unfortunately, we are not confident many other rappers would have done the same thing as Lamar.
GQ’s Editor Jim Nelson (pictured) Responded:
“Kendrick Lamar is one of the most talented new musicians to arrive on the scene in years. That’s the reason we chose to celebrate him, wrote an incredibly positive article declaring him the next King of Rap, and gave him our highest honor: putting him on the cover of our Men of the Year issue. I’m not sure how you can spin that into a bad thing, and I encourage anyone interested to read the story and see for themselves. We were mystified and sorely disappointed by Top Dawg’s decision to pull him at the last minute from the performance he had promised to give. The real shame is that people were deprived of the joy of seeing Kendrick perform live. I’m still a huge fan.”
Woman from Wild Wings Contacts RFFocus , States Black Patrons Asked to Leave for Several Reasons
A woman contacted RFFocus who works at the Wild Wings restaurant that asked the black patrons to leave. and asked that we allow her to be anonymous. She states there are several reasons the group was asked to leave (below) Radiofacts.com,
You’re only getting one side of story here. I work at the restaurant and your representation of the events is way off base. The group was being loud and obnoxious to both customers and staffers. They kept complaining about their long wait and were talking about how “whitey” was able to get seated, but they were not. The problem was that they had a large group and insisted on sitting next to each other. We only had one area that could accommodate their large group and the patrons in that area were not done. So yes, some “whities” were able to be seated before them, but only because they were going to a different area. We also seated non-whites in other areas too…They made this a racial issue before anything. One of the guests also insulted a deaf white girl because she didn’t respond to one of them telling her to move (she was deaf and didn’t hear them) They were also all standing in the middle of the walk way, making it difficult for customers to leave. We asked them if they could move over, but they said they can stand wherever they want, and if we wanted them out of the way then we should seat them. The customer that was offended was offended by a particular individual’s constant uses of the word “n*gger” When asked to stop, he threw out a long string of racial epithets against one of my co-workers. See the original story here