Amoeblog

THE DEATH OF RADIO

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2008 10:50pm | Post a Comment
The recent business news story reports on the $27 billion sales figure deal by radio station-owning company Clear Channel Communications to Bain Capital and THL Partners have focused on how the two big investment giants had, as of last week, sued a cadre of major Wall Street banks to force them to finance the extremely large dollar takeover.   You see, with all the recent drama and fallout and uncertainty of the US economy, the Wall Street bankers who were supposed to finance the takeover (initially agreed to in 2006) basically got cold feet.

In court Bain and THL said that the banks supposed to pony up the cash essentially had "buyer's remorse" when they realized that, with the recent turns in the US economy, that they would not rake in the profits they once foresaw.

 Anyway, all of this news merely blurs, or perhaps further highlights, the real news story here:  The story of the slow decline and final death of (commercial) radio, once upon a time a vibrant creative media form which in the last decade and more -- thanks in great part to Clear Channel, along with other like-minded, huge but soulless entertainment conglomerates -- has been drained of its former glory and destroyed essentially.  This new deal is just the final nail in the coffin.

Of course there are still amazing non-commercial radio stations (especially if you are lucky enough to live in the Bay Area) as well as oodles of great specialized streaming online music feeds, not to mention your iPod's collection of your favorite fifty thousand songs. But long ago commercial radio also satisfied that same need to hear good music, new music, different music, and presented by DJs who personally programmed (and loved) what they played.   But the days of fun, freeform creative commercial radio stations - a la the fictional WKRP Cincinnati or the real KSAN San Francisco- are long long gone.

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GANG STARR's JUST TO GET A REP - A HIP HOP CLASSIC

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2007 05:00pm | Post a Comment
Mad brotgang starrhers know his name....It's a daily operation

These infamous hip-hop words are among some of the numerous memorable lyrics uttered by GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's track on the February 1991 Gang Starr single "Just To Get A Rep" (Chrysalis/EMI) which, with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the single's flip side, is a true hip-hop classic! Same for the January 1991 Gang Starr album Step In The Arena that "Rep" was culled from. Both are key parts of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme known by heart to any true hip-hop fan. "Just to Get a Rep" harks from a time (late 80's/early 90's) that many agree was the "golden age of hip-hop" and a time that is very close to my heart as a longtime hip-hop fan.

And listening to "Just to Get A Rep" again (see the video below and read the lyircs under video screen) brings back memories of that time when the single and the album had just dropped, a time that was brimming with amazing new hip-hop joints that (as a DJ) I was dying to play. Back then I was doing Bay Area hip-hop radio and TV shows and interviewed Gang Starr many times. It was no big deal back then.   At the time, rap had still not gone 100% fulltime mainstream -- it was pre Dre's Chronic, which ushered a new, more mainstream era in rap's consumption. This meant that if you were a Bay Area DJ on such independent small stations as KUSF, KALX, KZSU, KPOO, KPFA, or KFJC, you could get artists like Gang Starr to make a live appearance on your show with little effort (today you are competing with David Letterman and People magazine). Back at that time Guru and Premo made numerous trips to the Bay regularly to perform (shows for example were at one of Dave Paul's BOMB Hip-Hop Showcases at the DNA) and do the rounds of local radio stations and retail outlets (big up to Leopolds in Berkeley and T's Wauzi at Eastmont Mall in East Oakland). If you have any memories of this hip-hop classic or wish to nominate one of your personal fave hip-hop classics, please do so below in the COMMENTS. Thanks!

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