Talib Kweli & Ebro Darden Debate The State Of New York Hip Hop Radio

Talib Kweli says, "All of the people that real Hip Hop hates, that's who they need to be paying attention to."

Recently, Talib Kweli stated in an interview that New York radio doesn't support New York Hip Hop artists. Afterwards, Hot 97's program director Ebro Darden called Kweli out on that point, accusing him of "trolling."

Since that interaction Kweli appeared on Hot 97 to discuss the point with Ebro. "The business model I'm employing is not something I learned from the old, archaic business model," said Kweli. "If I was still doing things like I did 10 years ago, I'd be another rapper bitching a moaning on Twitter, looking for work on Twitter or whatever. I learned from the people who come after me. So if a young rapper's looking at me like, 'How do I do it?' look around at your peers."

Kweli continued, listing the people he's learned from from a business perspective. "Because I'm learning from the TDEs of the world. I'm learning from the Nipsey Hussles of the world. I'm looking a Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari in comedy. I'm looking at a Chance the Rapper. Chance the Rapper put out a mixtape that people bootlegged and bought so much that his mixtape ended up on Billboard. He comes out of nowhere. No one was checking for Chance the Rapper. He just made it happen. You just have to be committed. Look at Soulja Boy. People who love real Hip Hop hate to talk about an artist like Soulja Boy. To me, at the time, when Soulja Boy came out, he really changed the game."

Talib explained that regardless of the musical content, traditional Hip Hop artists need to look outside of themselves for examples of how to properly run their businesses. "All the people that real Hip Hop hates, that's who they need to be paying attention to," said Kweli. "You don't have to like the songs; you don't have to get into the music; but look at what Lil B has done. Look at what Soulja Boy has done. On a bigger level, look at what Macklemore & Ryan Lewis did. I seen it firsthand, being on tour with them. They straight independent. They got Warner Bros. working for them, getting their radio spins up. They gonna be caked up the rest of their lives off of one album because they did it their own way."

Watch the interview below:

RELATED: Talib Kweli Says New York Radio Doesn't Support NY Artists



  • Anonymous

    This guy Ebro really lives up to his name. In the dictionary, his mug should be right next to the word curmudgeon.

  • Anonymous

    We need more rappers who actually care about the music and less rappers like 50 Cent who just used rap to get rich and doesnt care about making music for his fans.

  • eBRO

    Oh, and one more thing: New York radio is alive and well. You just have a lot of shitty artists representing it as well as degrading it. Nicki Minaj, French Montana, Pro Era, Joey BadAss, Troy Ave, Flatbush Zombies, Main-O, Pappoose, and all the rest of them New York rappers are killing the culture. I'm sick of listening to the same repackaged garbage from them. That's why I propse that we keep playing artists like Gucci Mane, Migos, & Rich Homie Quan in order to give this genre more balance and to keep the listeners satisfied.

  • eBRO

    Hats off to Ebro for making an example of this salty chimp. Truth of the matter is, radio stations will play what is hot right now, fuck whatever region that it's from. Don't like it, create some type of funding, buy a building, and create your own radio station. It's really not that fucking hard. Stop depending on radio stations to give you buzz and distribute it your god damn self. Fuck Talib Kweli. We not trying to hear that conscious, weirdo crap. It's all about sparse trap beats that will bang out of your speakers and have the car rattling and thumping. We want to hear shit that can make you snap your fingers and maybe a few necks as well.

  • Anonymous

    How many Hot 97 kids even know Stevie Wonder or Gil Scott-Heron? Ebro is the motherfucking devil and Talib his pussy-ass water carrier.

  • Anonymous

    Talib has the right idea but no fucking guts; I don't even like him as a rapper per se but he could have said a LOT more a LOT earlier. Raise your cock, Kweli... Ebro is human dogshit, of course.

  • Mental

    Talib will never challenge the status quo because he has bills to pay. It always baffled me how some conscious rappers talk the talk but never walk the walk. Listen Talib, stop dancing around the topic at hand. Here's some wisdom for you Talib and Ebro...everything starts from the root of the tree, so when you poison the root...hip hop becomes dead...like Nas said. Talib and Ebro stop being the Monsanto of hip hop by not owning up to the facts...and poisoning the roots of hip hop by playing this dumb down music. Do you know why young white kids know about the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and other rock artist from the 60's & 70's? The reason why the young kids know about the artist way before their time is because Z-100 appreciates classic music. Wise up Ebro and Talib and stop lying to the people. Eye know we live in a dumb down era, so you feel that you can divert the conversation instead addressing the issue, but the radio platform holds a lot of weight...so stop selling out and do what's right if you have a soul. I know you have to save your job Ebro so you will never go against the establishment, and Talib will never be able to even hold a candle to the likes of a 2Pac because real leaders tell the truth instead of sugar coating the facts.

  • Shyne's Pe'ots

    Hot 97 is not for teenagers? Yeah FUCKING RIGHT

  • Anonymous

    Ebro and that charlamagne maggot is what's wrong with Nyc hiphop and everybody wants to be a thug. Try some positive music mayne.

  • 666 devils


  • jasonnns 666


  • Kaveshan

    this will blow your mind http://www.sharebeast.com/bcfqwhrvwb9j jus heard of this dude, like a young em..he signed to interscope..mixtape blew my effn mind..had to share this dope hip hop..my fuck..cop this mense


    I wrote this on another blog but it's relevant to this conversation so here it goes: It's not that I hate Funk Master Flex but he's the worst thing to happen to NY Hip Hop. `From back in the days while every other major market had local movements that got radio love on their local station Funk Master Flex wouldn't give anyone that wasn't signed to a major, and could therefore afford his payola rates, the time of day. There couldn't be a Cash Money Records or No Limit, or Rap-A-Lot, etc here in NY because indies didn't have the money to pay him off. I think 50 Cent is the best example, his mixtapes were killing the streets. Everyone was driving around bumping them and the streets in NY were buzzing crazy but Funk Master Flex was just ignoring the whole movement. However the minute he signed to Shady/Interscope he was on Flex's show that very weekend! And Flex was drooping bomb after bomb and talking to him like he was his best friend. With the momentum 50 Cent had off of those mixtapes he should've got primetime radio play and he could've and should've been able to stay independent and maybe build G-Unit into NY's Cash Money but Flex won't allow it. The whole selling out of your trunk and building an empire can not happen here as long as Flex is there. Funny thing is how clever Flex is with the Payola. First he had Franchise Marketing & Promotions so if you wanted radio play your company paid them and he played your music but then that got hot because Elliot Spitzer had a big investigation into radio payola. So then he started "customizing cars" so if an artist wanted radio play they had to use his company to customize their cars. It was really ingenious. You sent a car to Funk Master Flex's buddies they hook it up and do about $20,000 worth of work but charge you $100,000 and as an added bonus your music now miraculously now getting played on HOT97 and Flex was dropping bombs, bringing it back and showing you mad love. Funk Master Flex is the worst thing to happen to NY Hip Hop.

    • Anonymous

      Wanksta was the 8 Mile soundtrack Marc, aka Interscope money Cosign Nitti, I remember dudes used to be heated they paid Flex and he would spin it for 5 seconds in a mix or talk over it

    • Marc

      Clearly your not from NYC or are under 30. Funk Flex is solely responsible for breaking 50's Wanksta record. Very first person in NYC to play it; definitely first time I heard was from him. That record created momentum for 50 to get national radio

    • Mental

      You are absolutely right. I know ppl that used to work with him and they told me the same thing. Real talk.

  • chem

    I hate when fake people use the word trill..

  • Anonymous

    New York is being held hostage by Old Man Ebro and the old ass DJ's up there at Hot 97! Kweli just blew up the whole payola scheme and made Ebro uncomfertable because it's truth!

  • Anonymous

    No matter what you niggas say, Cindy Herron will always be the hottest girl out of En Vogue.

  • Anonymous

    For real, its this old nigga Ebro again? This asshole has been on the loosing side of too many battles to remain in the public spotlight. Hot 97 continues to loose credibility with young hip hop fans every single day this dude remains on air. Good bye Ebro.

  • A Trillionaire

    I love what Talib is saying in this interview. The current era of rap is my personal favorite of all time and I was born in the 80's so I've been around for a minute. For an artist like Talib to say this verifies what I know to be true and that's what all you old crusty mother fuckers need to figure out. Just like science, rap music will exponentially get better through time. Anyone who doesn't understand this can GTFO now and chill inside your little time-capsule until you die.

    • Big 18th Street Gang, E'z up to all the homiez worldwide!

      Hey homie, it's ok if the current era of rap is your favorite. All that really means is that you just have really fucking bad taste in music, that's all.

  • triPAUD

    put dat ebro nigga in his place talib

  • Anonymous

    GIVE ME A CHANCE Youtube is all about finding new artist, & though I been rapping for a while im still consider a new artist. I just want my music heard thats all, im not looking for no record deal, getting famous 'r anything like that.! so please just spare a few sec. to check me out, & if you like what you heard please SUBSCRIBE so ill know you actually listen & support http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaSNK0pm4eY

  • Sb

    If you listen to this fool Ebro he says one thing and then contradicts himself. Why do they let this fool talk. Says he wants something new in music and then plays the same ish. Shout out to buck shot for calling this fool what he is "TOM".

  • Fiction

    If you saw the conversation that led to this supposed debate they were much different once he got on those airwaves.its easy to sit at the table of the revolution not so easy when the oppressors invite you to their house..Smh

  • Birthplace Magazine

    They barely "debated" the topic. Talib knows the business, and he knows HIS business, but he is not an authority on the New York hip hop scene as a whole. Plus, he won't speak on it too much, he not trying to burn that bridge. Ebro will never debate anyone who will really call him out.

  • Hot 97 Ain't Shit

    Charlamagne tha God > Ebro

  • Ruth Rodriguez

    until I looked at the bank draft for $4889, I didnt believe ...that...my brother realy bringing in money part-time at their laptop.. there sisters roommate started doing this 4 only fifteen months and by now cleared the morgage on there appartment and bought Dodge. look at more info... www.Tec80.Com she finally has creative license and can do what she wants, and she chose to blend her sound with hiphop.

  • khordkutta

    Ebro sounds hella bad, if you know music, you know music, just play good music dickhead. 24-28 why, just play good music.

  • Anonymous

    Snooze.... Old man Ebro and Talib "amazing raper, terrible talker" Kweli on NY on asking the UK... "How come English conquest isn't running shit anymore?? huh? It's not like the golden era when u raped half the world?!" I didn't click play.

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