As much as I wanted to see Nicki Minaj perform live from my nosebleed seats at Sunday’s Summer Jam concert in New York City, I can see how she and Lil’ Wayne felt disrespected by Hot 97 radio personality Peter Rosenberg and his comments. The juggernaut station paid for Nicki to be a big name act and while Rosenberg loves underground hip hop, he also works for a brand and when he was speaking at the Festival he wasn’t just speaking for himself, but the brand that brought the Young Money Cash Money Billionaires artists to perform. Rosenberg, that was a foul. Your comments and their repercussions weren’t fair to fans who spent money on tickets just to see Nicki Minaj. No one cares about your personal music preference when you’re wearing a T-shirt with your company’s logo, Hot 97, stitched across the front. In the past the Emmis owned station’s on-air personalities have been reprimanded for their offensive comments, from Cipha Sounds and his Haitian HIV joke to the Star and Bucwild show when Star made a horrible sound mocking Aaliyah’s tragic plane crash. How is this different?
And while it’s disappointing that Rosenberg hasn’t apologized, resident DJ Funkmaster Flex did admit that his colleague picked the wrong place and time to comment on Minaj’s “Starships.” During Flex’s Hot 97 radio show on Monday night, a furious Nicki called in to talk about the debacle. When Flex said Lil’ Wayne shouldn’t have pulled the plug on her performance, she snapped back.
“So why you ain’t diss Wayne?” she asked. ”For you to single out the only female on the bill, that’s some bitch ass shit.”
If there’s one thing I applaud Nicki for is her self assuredness. As the only woman scheduled to perform at the festival and the only MC catching verbal uppercuts, I’d feel attacked too if I was in her stilettos. Ultimately, she works for Lil Wayne and he shut down her performance, so why haven’t people called him out? Sounds like Hot 97 played decided not to pick on someone their own size.
Still, if Lil’ Wayne really wanted to sever ties with Hot 97 by refusing to conduct interviews and commanding his artists like Nicki and Drake to do the same, that would greatly effect the station’s cache. Hundreds of listeners might migrate to the station’s rival Power 105 to get their fix. Speaking of which, Nicki’s conversation with The Breakfast Club on Tuesday morning was more pleasant than her phone interview with Flex. Cranky host Charlamagne said even he wouldn’t have made a comment like that, and his mouth is loose. The morning show hosts, including Angela Yee and DJ Envy, voiced their disapproval of Hot 97′s actions and when Nicki announced her upcoming free concert in the Big Apple, the Power 105 team schmoozed their way into hosting the event.
On the other hand, the one group that might benefit from the station rivalry is Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, touting a growing roster of artists (including my life long beau in my head, Mase) with enough Billboard chart hits to battle Weezy’s team. Will the station names change to WMMG-FM and WYMCMB-FM?
Ultimately, Nicki Minaj is an international star and pulling out of Summer Jam didn’t hurt her pockets. If anything, she sent a serious girl power message about respect and staying true to herself. She has to live with her career decisions and her no-show was a “boss move” in my book.