Several months ago there was a debate that began on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s blog when Tarik Moody asked if Milwaukee was afraid of Hip-Hop. Everybody (AV Club Milwaukee, Shepherd Express, Fan Belt, and many individuals in the comment sections) seemed to pick up on it and answered in their own way. One person who joined the discussion even asked if 88Nine itself was afraid of Hip-Hop being that the majority of what it seems to play is not all too recent (lots of 90’s stuff that could be seen as “safe”).
We are half way through the year and many different blogs are doing their 1/2 way point lists for 2010 and that got me thinking about what some of my favorite Milwaukee Hip-Hop songs from this year are, so far. I decided to venture over to Radio Milwaukee’s website to see what they’ve been diggin’ on and after scrolling backwards from July 6th to June 20th, I realized a trend…they’re playing the same Milwaukee Hip-Hop songs by and large that they were pushing all last year.
I guess I was a bit surprised by this because I know how much Milwaukee Hip-Hop has already come out, including new singles by artists they themselves are pumping. What surprised me even more were the omissions of artists that I know fit the 88Nine demographic.
I searched all the usual suspects, and sure, some of them probably didn’t take the time to send their records over to 88Nine but I know for sure several of them did because I did it for them or they told me that they did. Also, I know that the deejays get sent tons of music and they prefer edited stuff which they don’t have to scratch out the expletives, but I can tell you first hand that they will do it.
Lastly, I’m starting to get a feeling that it might not necessarily be the deejays at the station or some of the others that work there that should be looked at for this imbalance because Tarik, Jordan, Marcus, and Adam, are all very deeply rooted in the Milwaukee music scene and might know about everything out there between the 4 of them…so it appears to be more of a managerial issue. This is all speculation of course.
Alright, here is who got plays and how many (as of July 6th, 2010):
Frankie Flowers – 228; Prophetic – 66; Figureheads – 65; The Lab Partners – 63; Oneself – 31; KingHellBastard (KHB) – 29; Kid Millions – 14; JC Poppe – 2; Element – 1; Fresh Cut Collective – 1.
That last group getting 1 play baffles me. Fresh Cut Collective is embraced by all different types of people in Milwaukee and I know that 88Nine is well versed in FCC’s music, but they only get 1 play?
The confusion doesn’t stop there. I was very surprised to find that Melissa Czarnik, nor Eric Mire, received any plays on Radio Milwaukee…and NEVER have (according to the information found on the 88Nine website). Again, you would figure that either of those artists are a lock when you consider the diverse ears of 88Nine listeners and their popularity in Milwaukee.
A few others who have released albums or singles recently, to somewhat recently, are also missing. People like Dana Coppafeel, D. Ellzey, Signif, and Haz Solo & Dylan Thomas. I highlight these artists because I am positive the radio station knows about these artists releases. Also, even though Prophetic is on the list of artists played this year, he has released several new singles that have been buzzed about but have not received airplay.
I understand that the first half of the year has been tough for Radio Milwaukee with Scott Mullins leaving, but I think it’s time to rotate in some new music to compliment the several songs 88Nine has firmly established as being their core of Milwaukee Hip-Hop.
(NOTE: It is quite possible that I missed an artist or two. Please correct me if I missed somebody.)