Audio: Hot 97 PD Ebro Darden on The Combat Jack Show

The Internets came for Hot 97 program director Ebro Darden’s neck this week over the subject of airplay for underground and aspiring artists, particularly those from the station’s home market of New York City. Combat Jack invited him on to the show to defend his policy of relegating these lesser known artists to “Real Late with Rosenberg” and he accepted. I haven’t listened to this interview yet, but this is always an interesting debate and I can appreciate the arguments put forth by both sides.

I think on the one hand, people at major media outlets like to cast themselves in the role of the gatekeeper who’s co-sign must be earned before they will cover or play an artists music, and to a certain extent, this can be a good thing. Assuming these people have some taste in Rap music, in theory, this should mean that only the best music makes it to the airwaves, regardless of where the artist is signed or how much the label spent on advertising. As we all know, what works in theory doesn’t neccessarily work in practice and that’s clearly the case here.


On the other hand, a radio station is a mass market platform and the fact of the matter is, a good percentage of the people who listen to Hot 97 are just not interested in being exposed to underground Rap. I know for a fact that the majority of the people I grew up with are not trying to listen to a Homeboy Sandman song or the new Ratking project and no amount of radio rotation is going to change that.

And that’s just today’s Hip-Hop market. Maybe it would’ve been different if Radio had never stopped playing underground Rap, but that didn’t happen and so this is the world we live in. I have a hard time giving a fuck though because now we have blogs and podcasts and internet radio shows and countless apps and websites to help us discover new music. People who really want to find new music know how and where to do it, and people who want to listen to strictly commercial Rap tune to Hot 97 and Power 105.1.

Previously: Nicki Minaj Told Ebro Not To Play Her Music Anymore


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3 Responses to “Audio: Hot 97 PD Ebro Darden on The Combat Jack Show”

  1. Joshua T. Says:

    The personal issue I have here is that they listen to so much bullshit at the station, but you can’t even pop in a great demo on your own time? That shit irks me to no end. What the fuck is going to kill you about listening to just one more song for the day? Just one more artist who may have to potential to really wreck the industry & you not giving him a fair shake? Just because he can’t necessarily get a co-sign before his demo gets to you means he wack? Fuck that.

    My best friend is the best rapper you’ve never heard of. He has the potentail to be better than rappers you consider in your top 10 of all time. Yet, you’d never know because your entitlement & ego turns you off to it.
    So guess what? Radio don’t wanna play him? Fuck radio? The local venue don’t wanna have him perform? Fuck them too. I’ll do whatever I can to get his music heard, because I know he deserves it. He deserves to be heard. He deserves to be the catalyst that’ll drown out the bullshit. I don’t give a fuck if I have to spend my last dollar, he will be heard.

  2. jonrud00 Says:

    Who is this rapper you speak of. Do you drop links on Nah to get him heard.

  3. AJ Says:

    you could at least post a link to something if u gonna go in like that and defend his music…

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