Radio Politics 101: West Coast Motivation
That being said, let’s start from the artist perspective: Numerous artists (and fans alike) have been screaming that West Coast radio doesn’t support its own artists, looking primarily at Power as the only current hip-hop station in LA (KDAY is now an old school format, The Beat is long gone).
Now, looking at the playlist on the Power website on February 3, only five of the 35 songs listed are from West Coast artists. Some of the DJs are not even from L.A. originally (Note: I’m not either, but feel it ain’t where ya from, it’s where ya at). Couple this with the previous fact that no artist has blown in decades without being affiliated with Dr. Dre, and it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon, and start organizing protests outside of stations and calling for DJs’ heads.
On a local level, there are very few radio platforms to showcase new artists. I remember when I was at Power, my show aired at the end of “West Coast Wednesdays,” which is now gone totally. Even then, artists would approach me saying, “Why can’t we have West Coast music every day, not just Wednesdays?
West Coast songs seem to come and go very quickly, and the ones that get spins at mixshow seldom ever turn into true rotation. Radio concerts are headlined often by out of towners, and like in many markets, Wayne, Drake, Jay-Z, etc., seem to rule the airwave. Casual listeners who aren’t in the trenches or obsessed with finding the latest music have no clue of who any of these new West Coast artists are (as they only know what they hear everyday).