Why Hot 97 Doesn’t Play Underground Artists


Hot 97 program director Ebro responds to all those curious as to why the radio doesn’t play local underground artists. He gets it—a lot of these young artists are bubbling and people are interested—but he insists that those artists still have a long way to go.

“Those are for the minor leagues, they still on the come-up. We put them on Rosenberg’s real late show before they make it to prime time… You don’t just get a slot, you earn a slot.”

  • http://twitter.com/aboynamedandy aboynamedandy

    To quote El-P: “if you’re a radio station that doesn’t break new great records because they haven’t ‘earned their slot’ you might be forgetting the point.”

  • http://www.str8buttah.com teckzilla187

    Well how do so called local artists “earn their slot” if they don’t even get the chance to showcase their talent in the first place. Seems no one is taking chances nowadays. Aww well…

  • Pec

    ASAP Rocky… That’s all I gotta say. You gotta get big on ur own. Then they come and suck ur dick. Don’t depend on radio anyway. It’s whack

  • Binya

    “Curious as to why the local radio doesn’t play underground artists”?

    One word: payola

  • http://thespecktators.com Bruce

    While I’m not downplaying the radio play, and the few radio stations like Hot 97 who are still vital to the come up, the radio just isn’t what it use to be. Keep in mind that most artists in hip-hop are being found via the internet. With that tool and the article P&P posted the other day stating that streaming plays out number radio 132-1, the radio choosing to not play your music isn’t that big of a deal. They are trying to keep their “credibility,” while keeping their brand up. Make enough waves on your own, and they will be forced to play your music. The same can be said for blogs who may not post up and coming artists. Keep grinding it out and doing what you have to, and everyone else will come knocking on your door.

  • Kevin

    Record companies pay billions of dollars a year to ensure their songs are the top played songs on stations across the country. His reluctance to play underground talent has nothing to do with them “earning” a spot. He doesn’t want to suffer the financial repercussions of choosing to play an underground song over an insanely overplayed “popular” song. Sad, but true.

  • malonn

    i remember when Ebro was a nobody running around in small Sacramento, funny how times changes things.

  • http://lajitstuff.com LaJIT

    @Pec is right.

  • khal

    this is all comedy. Ebro makes sense, but it’s on a “trying to keep my radio station live” standpoint. when Rosenberg and Ebro dissed Nicki’s record sales from Black Friday, he said she called him and was like “don’t play my music.” they asked Ebro if he was going to stop laying Nicki, and he’s like “i love Nicki.” it’s all who’s paying the bills, and while it sucks, that’s what it is.

  • c

    “Earn their slot…” how hilarious you’re just a puppet of corporate media- clearchannel corp. That’s why you hear the same songs replay every hour instead of a merge of notably new and solid mainstream. You get paid to make sure top 40’s are played. Few radio stations try to hold up without submitting to clearchannel or abc/cbs/ Viacom/disney- yours like most gave in a long time ago. “iheartradio”= clearchannel.

    Stop assuming you’re somehow making a dent in music with originality anf groundbreaking sound the good old days of the radio being a catalyst for new sounds and ideas is just an old page that has long been turned.

  • JoJo

    I knew this little valley boy along time ago in Sacramento….Really..Really?!?! Ebro is a buster… This shit is hilarious. He is so not qualified to say wether or not someone is hot or not. This dude is stinky butt, corny Ebro. People don’t give this mark a** idiot any attention. Your only feeding his feeble ego and lack of educated authority. LMAO – Dork ass Ebro is reinventing himself in NY. Oh my only now in this culture could be hold anyone’s attention.

  • JoJo

    Ha ha real peeps don’t even dust their shoulders off near this crumb snatcher. Leftover biter! Ebro needs to change his dun-at-duns… This dork gets 2nd clothes store

  • Busynig

    what he means is call your people to pay our people

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