Hot 97 Explains Why They Don’t Play Underground Artists


When you consider the amount of bubbling underground talent in New York today, every rapper is trying to get heard on a larger scale. One of those outlets is mainstream radio that has the power to break new artists to their listeners during primetime hours. A question was raised earlier this week by Rap Radar’s Brian “B. Dot” Miller about Hot 97’s role in supporting up-and-coming New York rappers. Ebro Darden, who is the station’s program director, gets the idea of backing them up. But he also argues many of those artists are still in their development stages.

“Yeah, we support those records. But those records are for the minor leagues right now. They still on the come up. We put them on Rosenberg’s real late show until they make it to prime time. Let me explain something. Hot 97 is like the NFL. It’s like the NBA. You don’t just get a slot. You earn a slot.”

The clip has already sparked a conversation over Twitter, namely by El-P who gave his own opinion about the state of radio influence. You can check out some tweets from El Producto, and head over to his Twitter to read the rest of it. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

UPDATE: Sean Price responds to Ebro’s claim.

  • RadioBlows

    Very simple. Every time radio plays an ‘underground’ artist they LOSE money. If listeners don’t know what they listening to.. some begin to change the channel which results in lower rating which equals lower advertisement dollars by sponsors to support their station. Once again… corporations are killing a culture. smh

    • http://twitter.com/SkinnyTrees WJH

      its always been like this tho. nothing is being killed

    • that dude

      But at the same time they gain MORE listeners who prefer underground to mainstream. It goes both ways, but I get yur point, tho. It’s about the money and advertising at the end of the day.

  • HipHopHead

    How is Sean Price considered to be “still on the come up”??

  • trashdookie

    whatchu mean?,,,, HOT97 now is asscheeks. BIG PUN would be rolling in his grave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cb74745 MsCurtis Brooks

    @XXL it’s simple #BIG #CommercialArtist bring in BIG CommercialBUCKS for #RadioStations …. it’s a monopoly!!! If “Radio Stations” keep fucking around they gon go the way of the News Paper Business…Break that shit-up!!!

  • cal973

    ebro is a CORNBALL. he plays them south artists who are on the come up and 1 hit wonders. he letting corporations who know NOTHING about hip hop tell him what hip hop is. SMH

  • juanrozay

    hot 97 is still a lot better then power 106