January 13, 2005

THE PEOPLES STATION 89.9 FM

When I moved to the Twins Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1993-4, there was only one black radio station serving a metropolitan area of about 2.5 million people, a 100,000 of whom were black. In the subsequent 10 years, the black population doubled and the black music genre has gone even more main stream. Today, there are two black format radio stations serving the Twin Cities market. One is black owned and operated and the other is white owned with a mixture of black and white DJ’s.

The Black owned station is KMOJ, broadcast frequency 89.9 FM, is a community based radio station that gets little revenue from traditional advertisers with deep pockets. It calls itself “The Peoples Station”. This station caters to primarily the African American community, but also the Twin cities large African population with news and programming. This is the station to turn to when you want to hear local news affecting the black community, as well as the station that provides a strong and unfiltered black commentary and perspective. However, this station FM broadcast power is only 1 kilowatts.

The new kid on the block is B96, FM frequency 96.3; with broadcast power 100 times that of its rival KMOJ. Its broadcast kilowatts allow it to transmit its signal to the entire Twin cities and beyond. KMOJ cannot be heard clearly outside a 15 mile radius centered at its location on the grounds of a North Minneapolis (heart of the black community in the twin cities) housing project. B96 thus captures and benefits from large numbers of white listeners to Hip Hop and R&B. Consequently, it pulls in large advertising revenue and thus the station generates more revenue from a much larger market share than KMOJ. In fact, not only has B96 captured part of KMOJ base black audience, it has siphoned off some of their DJ’s as well as they can afford to pay them much better than a community (black community at that) based radio can.

One of my major problems with this is that B96, lead by its popular morning DJ, Tony Fly, is promoting the negativities of Hip Hop culture. I am not saying that Hip Hop culture is negative, as a whole, rather, that it has its negative side and this Tony Fly exacerbates it. Tony fly, by the way, is a white guy who speaks in a black vernacular and slang on his radio show. This guy is always talking about Boes and Hitches (switch the first letters) and pimping. He even has had promotions and events entitled as such. He must feel that this type of rhetoric is simply Hip Hop or what black music is all about. In my opinion, his behavior is totally irresponsible, but then again, controversy sells in media and he may be striving to be a “shock Jock”. B96 is also notorious for doing a poor job of beeping out curse words in lyrics.

KMOJ is much more responsible in its broadcasting and it also gives the community a voice and commentary. You do not hear DJs promoting the misogynistic and thuggish negative side of rap music, by parroting the behavior, like you find at the white owned station. The Black owned station also devotes air time to community activist, who speak on issue affecting the black community, such as police brutality, gangs, racism, poverty and the gamut of the black experience. Needless to say, more than a few white folks like their black radio minus any black social commentary..."thank you very much...but no thanks". They like and promote the music produced from the conditions of blackness, but they do not want to hear black people talk about the conditions of blacks. All they seem to want to hear are the lyrics about blacks killing each other and pimping dem plack boes, with a strong base in the background so they can dance to it too.

This is how I believe that smut of Hip Hop gets propagated into mainstream; it gets distributed on the backs of white ownership and interest. In the beginning of Hip Hop, many artists complained that black stations would not play their music and that they were censuring them, so they went underground. Black owned stations initially did not play overtly negative lyrics as they do now. The change came when Hip Hop crossed over and whites seen the lucrative dollars in this explosion into popular culture. Thus, the phenomenon of white owned radio stations, with white DJs who use black vernacular and slang, started to push the envelope of the type of lyrics that got air time. They gained market share from this strategy, forcing black owned stations to follow suit, in an attempt to compete for market share.

Indeed, white owned radio is pimping the genre of black music for profit. It is also the white listening consumer market who dominates Hip Hop consumption. Thus, it is white Demand that is shaping what is being supplied in the capitalistic free market. The entertainment industry is about pushing the moral envelope to gain attention and hence market shares, which begets increased advertising, which begets increased revenue and profits. In the Twin Cities, it is obvious to see that the more capitalistic station is the station making the most money, as well as, doing the most moral damage in the community. The community funded and supported KMOJ, while not perfect, does give something positive back to the community in terms of a voice that reflects the causes and conditions that give birth to the Hip Hop phenomenon. Black owned radio is being brought out nationally, which means that the moral envelope will pushed out even further.

22 Comments:

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

This problem starts way at the top bruh, one can travel from city to city in a one month time frame and tune in to the local Black radio stations and for the most part you will hear the same songs. If you were to visit the nations top Black radio station websites (Hot97, 100.3 The beat in La, 105.9 in La, WGCI In Chicago)you will see their playlists are almost identical. These stations are largely owned by white folk who are in bed with the record company executives who dictate to them what should get played and not get played, of course for a price. Everything is for sale in this capatalist system, including integrity.

White DJ's on urban radio stations are notorious for saying things and doing skits that are demeaning to Black folk, but they have so many Negro apoligist who love them, that very few of them are punished for their transgressions. I am certain this is the case in Your town as well.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger melhick said...

Brother,

On behalf of KMOJ Radio, of which I am and have been an employee for the last 4 years - we thank you! With all of the negative media attention the station has received in the past, it's refreshing to know that there are those, such as you, that truly understand and appreciate what KMOJ offers to the community. KMOJ is a vessel through which our people can speak to, learn from, embrace and love, one another. There is, as you mentioned, enough programming on the air that sends a message of nothing more than degradation and exploitation. KMOJ strives to uplift and educate our people and we've seen reciprocation from the community!

Because we are one of two stations in the Twin Cities that appeals to the Black community, we are often compared to, or described as a rival of, B96; that is definately not the case. Folks need to understand KMOJ & B96 are like "apples & brussels sprouts" - no comparison. B96 does one thing, all day, every day. KMOJ offers a wide variety of music, specialty shows and public affairs programs. You can listen to KMOJ for one whole week and rarely hear the same song twice, with the exception of the current "top of the charts" singles. Making us a refreshing alternative.

Because of KMOJ's unique sound and strong connection to the community we serve, we "don't trip" about being at the little end of the dial because we know who we are and that those who are important to us are listening and loving us. We do however, hope to one day increase our wattage and move into our own space. (Right now we "stay at our Mama house" - an MPHA owned building, where we pay rent) Since we raised over $64,000.00 from our listeners during our recent "Radiothon 2005" we feel hopeful that we're well on our way!

In closing, I would like to say that I appreciate you brother, taking the time to remind folks that we do have a choice and that we dictate the trends and determine the future. The sooner we all come to this realization the better the world will be! (At least the world of music) ~peace~

Keep listening to:

KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM
"The People's Station"

-Melhick

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger Madeah said...

I just want any reader to know that I appreciate the style and class of KMOJ. I listen to B96 one hour a day and that is 12p-1pm because the lunch jams are wack on 89.9. Other than that my dail remains on KMOJ with no interruption. I love KMOJ and I love the DJ's male and female a like. The very fact that you are community based means a lot to me. I grew up on WGCI and V103 and WBMX and of the three I love WGCI. WGCI reflected what was good in my hood. I already knew what was bad. I didn't need to be reminded of that. This is why I love KMOJ's Sam saprano, Q Bear, Ms. J, and the rest of the family, they relect on what is good in the hood. I don't play B96 because they have to family soul. The only person that have any real plug is the Queen Bee, and she has to much class to work with the fools over there at B96. Forget Tony who gives a care and who ever else is playing CD's cuz I know they aint spinning no records.


KMOJ "you are appreciated"

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger bk said...

Unfortunately, you believe your choice is one or the other. I am not a Twin Cities native. I lived here for six years and recently came back. I agree with the comments about B96. KMOJ is a radio station that does not innovate or strive for excellence. Being a community station does not give you the excuse to great. I lived in Milwaukee for 3 years and they have 2 great radio stations that don't have duplicated play lists of some the other countries black radio stations.
I miss Tom Joyner in the mornings. I will even take Doug Banks. Anything but what we have in the Twin Cities. I'm tempted to plug in my ipod.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger SulBrotha74 said...

I agree with yall I prefer KMOJ to B96 because they are Black-owned, play a variety of music I like that they play a mix of old and new music and dont play the same 10 songs over and over Im 32 years old now I dont wanna hear stuff over and over. I do like B96 between 12-1pm when they play the back in the day jams but at 1 pm my radio go right back to 89.9. I also like to hear whats going on in my community( North Mpls.) and I like that they talk about issues affecting me and others in my community( racism, poverty, Police profiling, Violence in my neighborhood, the fact that our Black children are underachieving and I push mine to be the best they can be.) I like hip-hop and everything, but I like variety. I like slow jams, Gospel, even jazz.
( in Fact gospel is what is playing in my house before curch on Sunday, usually this station)
I dont get that Tony on B96. I remember he was on 101.3 back when I moved here (1997-98)and they always had his show on where I worked at back then and he sounded totally different then now( he seemed to favor rock music back then) so I think hes trying to front like hes ghetto or trying to be Black when he can never be.( Michael Jackson will always be Black no matter how much he try and lighten his skin, by contrast.)
I just like to listen to informed Black people like myself who dont conform to being sterotypical (negative) Black people and still listen to good music. Excuse me if my letter is long but Im just dropping straight-up knowledge for my people.

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger Eli' Paper said...

Please look at this web site I am a Black Inventor that lives in Minnesota and listen all the time to your show..http://www.theblackpagesinternational.com/monthly/articles/chi/062006/1014.aspx
ron
Thanks in advance
Elijah ab

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Eli' Paper said...

Please look at this web site
http://www.theblackpagesinternational.com/monthly/articles/chi/062006/1014.aspx

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Eli' Paper said...

Elijah Abron bears the same name as the Old Testament prophet. Like his namesake, he’s got predictions about the future to offer. But his target audience- the soon-to-be-converted, and perhaps that’s all of us – are those in home, school and business settings trying to turn out 21st-century projects from printers or fax machines, but with antiquated ways to fasten them together.

At least, that’s what the prophet of Brooklyn Center is preaching. His brand-new patent gives him sole rights to manufacture paper, usable in any office machine, with a slim vertical band of adhesive that binds stacks of documents firmly, neatly in place without- here’s the breakthrough- the need to fumble with paper clips, stapler (its always empty anyway, isn’t it?), binder holes or the manila folders that invariably spill out whenever you’re making a presentation. In fact, Eli’s Place-n-Peel method binds papers to such a folder, too.

The idea came to him in one of those Eureka moments with which the best of inventors are blessed. Working as a maintenance supervisor in a Minneapolis printing plant- his longtime specialty- he spent one evening shift in frustration, hunting for a stapler. “ There’s got to be a better way,” he told himself- “and that’s when I came up with my paper concept.” Elijah fooled around with two- faced tape, made up a sample and showed it off around the shop. When everyone expressed, “Pretty amazing!” he knew he was onto something and headed for a patent attorney. That was in 2000; the wheels of bureaucracy aren’t known for their speed records, so the patent came through on April 18, giving him a corner on the market.

We’ve got to give Eli’s dad some of the credit, though. He supplied the genes and gumption to his son as he raised him in Chicago. “ My father was a mechanic, and I pretty much took the trade up from him,” Eli allows. “He took me with him to his job at a paper company, where I got pretty good at troubleshooting equipment and making repairs. I loved the field.

“Around the house, my dad was multitalented in making repairs; he never had to pick up the phone. When I wanted a car, he took me to a junkyard and said, ‘Pick any one you want. If you’re not a rich man, you’ve got to learn how to make those repairs.’ I rebuilt the whole car, myself, and not just going out and buying replacement parts: I tore down and rebuilt the whole thing” and never stopped since. He’s also built the expansive room above his garage in Brooklyn Center he uses as his office- world headquarters of Eli’s Paper.

Because his present position at a printing company requires four 12- hour days followed by five days off, Eli has the capital it requires ( not much ) to launch his new enterprise as well as time to manufacture it by purchasing rolls of paper, cutting to size, attaching the glue strip and packaging it in reams. The next step is to approach potential users, starting with the college crowd. “ I plan to visit campuses and give out free samples to students,” he declares. After that, it’s off to Best Buy, Office Max, Office Depot and the like to demonstrate its appeal to lawyers, realtors, the self- employed – whoever needs to bind documents, including funeral memorials, church directories, kids’ school projects and what-have-you. What he has, we’re guessing, is a hit on his hands.

To learn more, visit www.elipaper.com or phone 763.561.9400

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger c-rin said...

Enjoyed the comments and the information about B96. I myself have boycotted B96 period! Once in a while I turn on KDWB. And I can not control others so when stuck in thier cars I do hear these stations.

I can not express the grattitude I have for the powerful information that "the people station" gives. I love the interaction during the morning show with Sunny Day and Lady L. Oh and my old self stays home friday nights to hear Chrystal what a SHOW!

I am in the heart of St Peezie so I often can't get the station. I did adjust my radio in my home and was able to get a signal.

I thank you for all the information constantly with out judgement. I love the variety and am in agreement that the noon to 1pm show needs some fine tuning however i'm still tuned in. I have your back my friends at KMOJ and will support to the best of my abilities. Bless all your efforts!

 
At 4:34 PM, Blogger Terry J. said...

A message for the people...



Cease The Violence

In our own neighborhoods our children are not safe,
the storm has come, being aware of your surroundings
keeping a more watchful eye around our community,
staying together better than before.

Family is not just connected by bloodline, but also by a
strong community that care for one another and for our
children, making our neighborhood a safe place to live.

The children are our future. Even with the ones we've lost,
we still can move forward with God's grace, He has already
paid the cost. When we see our kids smiling faces,
we see the love that has been given. By helping to cease the
violence, that shadows our neighborhoods, making a difference is
our mission. The fact of faith will bring about an act of change.

Now let everyone make a step to help cease the violence
on our streets. Let us seek peace. A community that is
divided will not stand, hand in hand together we will band.
To bring back the silence in our homes, as we sleep.
It's time to cease the violence and stop the crime in our
neighborhood streets, lets us do what ever it take to save our
community, and make the future for our children brighter,
the children are our future, crime is not.

By: Terry Jackson

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger confused said...

Hi,
I'm a mom of a rapper. I listen to b96 because I didn't know of any other radio station until I met this man while I was promoting my son's music. He told me that I have a small chance trying to get b96 to play his music. He told me to try KMOJ because they are a all black radio station.I live in Minnesota and I'm the only relative that lives here.I mistakenly submitted a cursing version to the radio station and later I went back and submitted a radio version(this was b4 I've talked to the man). To make a long story short. I was told that they don't play local and they do play cursing. Now I know that is a lie because as much as I listen to b96. I hear a lot of cursing. As far as local, I hear them playing songs at night that no one has ever heard of in their life. I called them and question them about the music they was playing. That Peter Parker guy was so rude to me. Tony Fly is very ignorant. I would have never thought he was white until I checked out their website. Ms. Shannan was pretty nice if she was the one that accepted my son cd. and Hollywood never returned my call. You defitnitely hear the same song over and over again.Well, Chicago is playing his music. We will deal with that until something come along. I will see if KMOJ will give him a shot. I will now listen to KMOJ since I know now that they exist. I still will listen to b96 but not as much..One day they will be playing my son music....

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger confused said...

Type error...........B96 TOLD ME THAT THEY DO NOT PLAY CURSING VERSION..THAT'S A LIE BECAUSE I LISTENS TO THEIR RADIO STATION AND I DO HEAR CURSING ALL OF THE TIME. I REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY MEANT WHEN THEY SAID THEY DON'T PLAY LOCAL MUSIC.IF SOMEONE CAN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME..WHAT DO THEY MEAN?I'M STILL KINDA LOST

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger mad said...

Seeing all the comments about how B96 is a white owned station, and KMOJ is not makes me wonder who is being "racist". Who cares what color the DJ is, as long as the station is playing music that us black folks like to hear, and are promoting and getting the word out that we are a strong influence in the community. We must remember that the population of black folks is far less that white, and if only black folks listened to black folks music and visa versa. would KMOJ and B96 survive? Madison

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Eli' Paper said...

AFRICAN AMERICAN INVENTORS:

Each listing has the name of the black inventor followed by the patent number(s) which is the unique number assigned to an invention when a patent is issued, the date the patent was issued, and a description of the invention as written by the inventor.

William B Abrams
#450,550, 4/14/1891, Hame Attachments Part for a draft horses’ collar.

Elijah Abron
#7,037,564, 5/2/2006, Substrate sheets with removable strip
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Christopher P. Adams
#5,641,658, 6/24/1997, Method for performing amplification of nucleic acid with two primers bound to a single solid support

James S Adams
#1,356,329, 10/19/1920, Propelling means for airplanes.

George Edward Alcorn
#4,172,004, 10/23/1979, Method for forming dense dry etched multi-level metallurgy with non-overlapped vias
#4,201,800, 5/6/1980, Hardened photoresist master image mask process
#4,289,834, 9/15/1981, Dense dry etched multi-level metallurgy with non-overlapped vias
#4,472,728, 9/18/1984, Imaging X-ray spectrometer
#4,543,442, 9/24/1985, GaAs Schottky barrier photo-responsive device and method of fabrication
#4,618,380, 10/21/1986, Method of fabricating an imaging X-ray spectrometer

Nathaniel Alexander
#997,108, 7/4/1911, Folding Chair

Ralph W Alexander
#256,610, 4/18/1882, Corn planter check rower

Winser Edward Alexander
#3,541,333, 11/17/1970, System for enhancing fine detail in thermal photographs

Charles William Allen
#613,436, 11/1/1898, Self-Leveling Table

Floyd Allen
#3,919,642, 11/11/1975, Low cost telemeter for monitoring a battery and DC voltage converter power supply

James B. Allen
#551,105, 12/10/1895, Clothes Line Support

James Metthew Allen
#2,085,624, 6/29/1937, Remote control apparatus

John H Allen
#4,303,938, 12/1/1981, Pattern generator for simulating image generation

John S Allen
#1,093,096, 4/14/1914, Package-tie

Robert T Allen
#3,071,243, 1/1/1963, Vertical coin counting tube

Tanya R Allen
#5,325,543, 7/5/1994, Undergarment with a pocket for releasably securing an absorbent pad

Virgie M. Ammons
#3,908,633, 9/30/1975, Fireplace Damper Actuating Tool

Alexander P Ashbourne
#163,962, 6/1/1875, Process for Preparing Coconut
#170,460, 11/30/1875, Biscuit Cutter
#194,287, 8/21/1877, Process of Treating Coconut
#230,518, 7/27/1880, Refining Coconut Oil

Moses T. Asom
#5,386,126, 1/31/1995, Semiconductor devices based on optical transitions between quasibound energy levels

Marc Auguste
#7,083,512, 8/1/2006, Coin and token organizing, holding and dispensing apparatus

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

well this station is the best i ear it for a long time good music goog djs they need more non stop music by the way to many commercials but still good . also i good some great news in my page viagra online
greetings

 
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At 12:11 AM, Blogger Eli' Paper said...

http://conversations.blackvoices.com/entertainment/99435682aaea4564b24369ed6fc90973/contemporary-african-amer-inventors/dfe78e791fe643628c76792fbed3dc7c

 
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