Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Summit on Summit St.: Local artists and KPRS face off at 64111 Studios

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Our friend and rapper extraordinaire James Christos was kind enough to call the Wayward HQ and give us the skinny on a public forum of sorts that went down last night between representatives from Hot 103 Jamz and a bevy of Kansas City rappers and DJs.

click to enlarge hot103jamzlogo.jpg

The focus: Why the area's leading urban station plays almost no local hip-hop. It's not a new question by any means, but it's something that continually frustrates and inspires local artists to act.

Summary: KPRS continually takes heat for maintaining a format that the station feels works -- a format that has no room for up-and-coming KC artists. In short, the station doesn't play local artists because local artists aren't big enough. Artists, in turn, complain that they (and by extension, Kansas City's reputation nationwide) can't get big without local radio support. It would have the makings of a stalemate -- except that many in the hip-hop community aren't interested in backing down.

According to Christos, the impromptu summit was held at Jaz Brewer's 64111 Studios on 17th and Summit St. and that, in fact, it came about because of a Twitter campaign launched by Brewer. Read back over the past few days of tweets @Jaz64111studio to catch up.

Christos says some 40 people participated in a public conference call that included several KPRS DJs. Kenny Diamondz, host of the station's only local music program, Underground Heat, was present in person, as were about 20 livid locals ("Everybody who's anybody in rap in Kansas City," was how Christos put it). According to Christos, the Hennessey flowed and so did the honesty.

And in the end, he says, no accord was reached between the station and the artists.

Now we want to hear from you: Were you there? What happened? What should happen next?

We want to hear from both sides of the debate. And, please, include your name with your comment.

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