Home Music Industry News OH NO: Chuck D Called me an Urban Radio Idiot

OH NO: Chuck D Called me an Urban Radio Idiot

newtd1UPDATE: Chuck has responded, all is well….see comments.

I just found this post that I wrote where Public Enemy’s , copied, pasted and responded by calling me an Idiot (laugh). I’ve been called a lot of things but I think this is the first time I have ever been called an idiot. There must be a support group for people like me?

Without question, I absolutely agree with many of the points Chuck makes in his theory and at this point, I’m on the fence on the issue discussed here. Further, I know I am a revolutionary, at best,   in today’s industry where there is not ONE other publisher who has the balls that I do, to say what I say or to bring up subject matter that I bring up…just as Chuck is a revolutionary in the rap industry and I like people who are not afraid to speak their minds… I take my hat off to Chuck…. STILL after 25 years in the industry and working with the most twisted and psycho radio people on the planet… he can have hip hop… but radio belongs to me! (laugh) You can read what he said here.. http://www.publicenemy.com/index.php?page=page3&item=148


  1. In all due respect I said ‘I didn’t know who posted those words’ . If you are the owner and creator of radioFACTS I dig the hell out of you because you put it where its at with your name next to it. In fact ,radioFACTS is better than the whole industry of Urban radio . I am more confused by the word ‘urban’ than anything…it brings ‘us’ nothing.
    It’s just that I am tired of people hiding behind their words attacking the artists without smacking the machine as well. My response above was my response and glad to be on your site. All the best to you RadioFACTS.com and my sincerest apologies if you’re the editor of this great website, because you are doing more infrastructure work than the entire remaining corp owned , greedy, lazy, urban soundscape itself.
    Chuck D

  2. You know Chuck, you are right about something. I don’t put my name next to what I write enough, I always assume people know it’s me from the email and the calls that I get. I greatly respect that fact that people like us are so rare in the industry and as I stated I am on the fence on the issue and I just wrote about it the other day. Artists were helped by radio but radio was also helped by artists and perhaps radio in the states has just become accustomed to using the music for free. I have never agreed with urban stations taking advantage of record labels or artists and I’ve gotten in trouble for speaking my opinion on it before when working for greedy ass mom and pop outlets back in the day. My focus right now is to help urban radio return to its roots and re-establish itself as the bullhorn and leader for the black community sans all this dated ass syndication, black church sponsors and owners who insist on hiring reps in upper management who think Twitter is a candy bar. It’s all part of the bigger picture. Thanks for responding, keep us posted and continued success. kevRoss

  3. Sure you are right in many ways. I would love radio to return to where it was in the 60s and 70s.
    Everybody could’ve been more grateful.
    All is PEace.
    Keep doing whatcha doing Kevin Ross

  4. kevRoss/Chuck D:

    Here’s the deal: free terrestrial radio exists because it is advertiser supported. Radio stations play music that they think their listeners want to hear. The more listeners a station has, the more it can charge advertisers to run their commercials.

    Although radio stations pay music licensing fees, these payments do not always touch all of the performers of a particular song. If you, as an artist/performer/composer/etc. have participated in the creation of a work that someone else is using to make money for themselves, then you, the artist/performer/composer/etc. have a right to be paid. End of story. Radio stations are using the work and efforts of others to help generate advertising revenues and profits for themselves.

    Radio One founder and board chairman Cathy Hughes and radio personality Tom Joyner say the “performance tax” could almost certainly spell the end for urban radio because the additional costs would discourage the activities that help promote artists’ work. While it’s true that by playing an artist’s work, radio stations do provide some promotional value to the artist. But make no mistake, the primary beneficiary of playing an artist’s work is the radio station because of the advertising revenue they are able to generate.

    Here’s my question: Black Buying Power in 2008 was projected to be $913 billion. How can black radio ever go out of business by selling access to $913 billion in buying power? My thinking is, maybe black radio isn’t charging enough! If advertisers want access to the millions of potential consumers present in black radio, they should be willing to pay a fair price for access. Free black radio isn’t going anywhere. There’s too much money to be made.

    Because most “urban” stations are not owned by African-Americans, access to these consumers is sold on the cheap. The threat of Non-Urban Dictates (NUDs) further forces station managers to stand at the table begging for whatever ad dollars they can get.

    New music discovery via terrestrial radio is very difficult today because playlists are often controlled by corporate bosses who are trying to make sure that only the most popular songs are played at just the right time to increase the likelihood that listeners won’t turn the dial and will stay to hear the commercials. Ultimately, black radio listeners are going to have to regain control of black radio by controlling access to their ears.

    If you want the privilege of having the opportunity to sell me your product, then pay my black radio station a fair ad rate that more than covers the “performance tax”. If you refuse, then I, the black consumer, will redirect my spending dollars elsewhere.

    If you the artist continue to want me to support you and your work, then stop being so quick to sell your soul just to get in the game. Quit signing contracts that only provide short-term benefits at the expense of long-term security. Handle your business and only sign contracts that are fair to you and the other performers that make your work possible.

    If we as a people do not learn to control who we give our dollars to, then we will never be able to be fairly compensated for the fruits of our labor, and we will never be able to build financial wealth that we can enjoy and leave a legacy for future generations. Time to stop talking. Let’s get it done now!


    Danny Freeman
    Darda Wealth Management

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