“DJs used to check for a record, now these dudes want a check for a record.” – Sean Price
One of my favorite scenes in a film in the past several years that didn’t involve any reverse cowgirl was that scene in Hustle and Flow where DJay goes to a club where he knows Ludacris is gonna be; sits down at Ludacris’ table and talks all this shit to him about how he’s such a big fan of his, and how Ludacris’ early material was such an inspiration; and then gives Ludacris a copy of his demo tape. Then Ludacris takes said demo tape into the restroom, drops it into a toilet and takes a piss on it.
I’m not nearly as big a fan of the following scene, where DJay goes into the restroom, finds his demo in the toilet floating in a puddle of piss, retrieves it, then proceeds to beat the living shit out of Ludacris. One of my goals for my career as a hip-hop journalist that doesn’t involve taking advantage of a woman is to recreate that scene with with one of you MySpace rappers’ mixtape or whatever, and the last thing I need is to get the shit kicked out of me just because you assholes can’t figure out a better way to escape your menial existence than to further ruin hip-hop with your god-awful budget Jay-Z routine.
Hence, I wasn’t sure how to feel just now, when I read this post by some bum rapper I’ve never heard of about how he went to see DJ Green Lantern spin at a club, approached the DJ with some joints for him to play on his show on Sirius Satellite Radio, and Green Lantern supposedly told him he wasn’t trying to hear that shit, unless this kid was prepared to cut him a check.
And I quote:
At the end of the night I said what up to Green and made a move to get him some music for his Sirius Satellite Radio show. He looked at me and was like thats cool, but uh “Ya’ll got a check???” And then says cause “You know brothas gotta pay the rent!”
On the one hand, if this is true, I’d have to say that’s some fucked up shit – in the sense that DJs charging people to play their records is wrong, both in the sense that it’s somewhat illegal, and in the sense that it does a disservice to the consumer. Lets say this bum Kaos could actually afford whatever it costs to have your joint played on Green Lantern’s Show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Why should I have to listen to some shit I don’t want to hear just because Green Lantern got paid some money.
I’m not getting paid for that shit!
As far as the legal aspect of this shit is concerned. I’m not sure if the same laws that govern terrestrial radio also govern satellite radio – since these satellite stations are owned by private companies, and I know they can get away with a lot more shit content-wise than regular radio stations. But I’m assuming that’s shit’s not any more kosher on radio you have to pay for than it is on radio you get for free, if only because satellite radio is – after all – some shit you have to pay for.
Why should I have to shell out $7 a month or whatever satellite radio costs (I could get a tank and a half of gas for that!) just for the privilege of hearing some shit I probably wouldn’t even be hearing, if some bum-ass mixtape DJ hadn’t received a handful of sweaty dollar bills in exchange for playing it?
On the other hand, I can’t fault Green Lantern too much for what he may or may not have done. If I was him, I would’ve charged the kid a grip of money, then took his shit into the bathroom and took a piss on it and not even played it on my show. I mean, how could the kid even retaliate against Green Lantern for pulling some shit like that, aside from beating the living shit out of him? Payola is illegal anyway. Trying to get Green Lantern busted for some shit like that would be like calling the cops because you got robbed during a drug deal.
Also, let’s keep it real, this kid’s motivation in trying to get Green Lantern to play his shit on the air probably weren’t all that altruistic anyway. He was just trying to get his shit played on the radio so he could get a record deal and make a shiteload of money – just like any number of other people in hip-hop these days. If he was just doing this shit for the love of the art, he could post his shit on the Internets and be done. I mean, he’s got his own blog, fer chrissakes. He should use it.
But if all he’s trying to do is get a leg up in the industry, which is what I suspect, then I’m at a loss for why him having to pay somebody should be such a travesty. As the kid who writes the Scratch blog once pointed out, hip-hop these days is full of mofos looking for free shit from people, and then getting all pissed at you when you want something in exchange. I’m not saying Green Lantern is right for accepting payola, if that’s what he’s doing. I’m just saying.