Hip-hop, for decades, has been the home of powerful lyrical messages. The corporate-controlled world of black radio has replaced lyricists with the lyrically challenged. Excuses for not playing Sho Baraka’s “My Hood, USA, 1937” will simply regurgitate the normal rejections offered, due to the marriage of corporate-controlled radio and record labels. I’ve put together a shortlist of the real reasons programmers say no to artists like Sho Baraka:
* Programmers believe conscious content does not connect with their audiences.
* Sho Baraka is not signed to a major label that will pay for play.
* There is no guarantee of payment for playing the music of independent, conscious artists.
* Programmers might love the record, but they don’t have the power to add it to the playlist.
* Black radio is really not Black.