Black Fridai: Not For Sale
There was once a time in L.A. when you could grab a blank cassette [or an old New Kids On The Block one if you knew how to plug the holes right]... tune into Power 106 and record the wide variety of music they would play. Won't front, Power 106 put a nigga on to Snoop's "Gin & Juice," Bone's "Thuggish Ruggish Bone," Nas' "If I Ruled the World," and plenty more. Then came the fuckery... the blatant payola... the corporate agenda... The airwaves we had once known to break refreshing new Hip Hop was now a techno jukebox, broken, with no signs of a quick fix in its near future.
Part 1: The Revolt
With L.A. radio headed nowhere fast, I, like many others, opted to play albums off the iPod from artists that had garnered my liking. Ahh.. Ain't nothing like Cube's The Predator or Pac's Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. to get you through your day. These niggas is legends in my mind.
Ironically though, had it not been for the radio playing "It Was A Good Day" or "Keep Ya Head Up" - would 2Pac or Cube have even found their way into my iPod? Hmmm... As a teenager, the chances of me being invited to a 2Pac show or catching Cube slangin' Death Certificate out his trunk were about as slim as a snowman winning a bout with Satan. Damn... Radio back then actually played an important role in molding the playlist I cherish today.
So... what's the point of having a powerful voice if all you're gonna do is whisper? Los Angeles' demographic is like no other in America. Although we may share the same economic conditions as other regions, L.A. is the GangBang Capital and has its own set of problems that only one from within could address. So, what could the over-playing of Jay Z's ode to New York or Pitbull's Hotel Room Service possibly do for us? NOT A MUTHA FUCKIN THANG!
Above all things, Hip Hop is a tool of expression. Discontent with Power 106's neglect towards local artists' expressions, a group of emcees, singers and producers set out to let their voice be heard. In a well orchestrated protest, the group took to the streets outside of Power 106 on Friday, November 27, 2009 - Black Friday. Their message: We Run Radio - They Don't Run Us. The move was a historical one. The internet was buzzing and the protest even caught the attention of the Channel 11 news. Rightfully so... They were right. In 2009 alone, Power played so much Flo Rida, Pitbull and Rick Ross that you would have thought they took their talents to South Beach a year ahead of Lebron.