Radio Politics 101: West Coast Motivation
Two months ago, there was quite a stir online because of an XXLMag.com blog called “Freddie Gibbs > N.W.A (According to LA Weekly).” In summary, LA Weekly had just released its new issue with Freddie Gibbs on the cover, and a flurry of people were infuriated that a new rapper from Gary, Indiana had been featured in a Los Angeles publication (over any West Coast rapper).
In addition, the article mentioned a Snoop video, “Where he aired out L.A. DJ’s who are usually not from the city and don’t support local artists—like Skee (who happens to be affiliated with Gibbs).” Ironic, since Snoop just called me that past week to do his new mixtape.
I felt I had to go on the defense to clarify my stance and support of West Coast music, and responded with my own entry on my website, DJSkee.com, where I disputed the claims against me venomously.
For one, on my last radio show before that article was released (showing I didn’t just react and play more West Coast music after), I played no less than 32 songs by or featuring a West Coast artist in two hours on Sirius XM, a nationwide platform reaching all of the USA (and some of Canada). The reaction from the fans was extremely positive, and I even spoke with the author of the original XXLMag.com post, Brooklyne Gipson, and cleared the air; I felt from the beginning she wasn’t directing her statements at me really, yet, knew that it would be taken by many that way.
However, Brooklyne/XXL struck a nerve on a very valid subject: the lack of support of L.A. artists, and West Coast hip-hop in general.
Around the time, there were pickets outside of L.A.’s hip-hop station, Power 106; Snoop was speaking on L.A. DJs in a video he released; and no new West Coast hip-hop act has gone platinum outside of the N.W.A family tree since Coolio (I believe).
Now, I’ll attempt to share my thoughts from a completely neutral platform.
I’ve worked on the label side, own my own brand/site/network/production/marketing/futuristic media company, Skee.TV (that also signs and works with artists), have been on the radio since I was 16 years old (including a stint at L.A.’s Power 106 before I moved to KIIS FM, L.A.’s rhythmic top 40 station (and the No. 1 rated station), worked with almost every West Coast artist imaginable, and understand the situations from both perspectives as well as anyone.