Gangsta Mittens
Words combined to express thoughts. Pictures displayed to convey emotion. Opening my brain to the world.

What a Day

Below is a rant of sorts about my feelings upon hearing that Subsoniq (a show on Sirius XM) was cancelled. I feel compelled to note that these are solely my thoughts. My words represent my feelings only and should not be construed as representative of the views of any of the former hosts on the show.
For more information on the cancellation and information on how you can help, please go to http://www.proghiphop.com

One of the things that I always loved about XM was that they seemed to understand that in order to be great, satellite radio had to do more than just play the music that you could get anywhere. The original idea was more than just “uncensored music on channels with no commercials”. It was about understanding music and why and how people listen to music. It was a music lovers wet dream. No matter how diverse or niche your tastes were, there was something for you. Depending on what you were into you may have had more to choose from, but there was always something.
During my first tour of duty i had nothing to do with the programming side. I was always in awe of the amount of talent and knowledge that the programmers had. I loved their energy and spirit and love for what they did. XM was all about finding different ways to bring people music and creating an experience that went beyond hearing your favorite song.
My second stint at XM brought me to the programming side, but i still wasn’t involved in music. I was curious about the on-air side of things, but still hated the way I sounded on the mic. I think i started off just kinda nagging KB and Doc about the show… asking what i could do to help behind the scenes… trying to be a part of a show that I loved so much. I would get guests here and there and the guys always found some way to pull me into the discussion and show their appreciation, and I love them dearly for it.
Time passed and i found myself on the mic more often than i had ever imagined. That’s not to say i was on there frequently, it’s just that i had sworn i would NEVER be on radio once i left college. But with Subsoniq it was easy… it was fun. I got to talk about the music i loved with people i genuinely like, play music that i knew the audience would appreciate, and help to promote artists who would otherwise have limited opportunities for exposure… and then there was talk of a merger.
I remember when it was completed, my then boyfriend didn’t see why i was so up in arms about the whole thing… told me i was over-reacting. i tried to explain about the loss of creativity… tried to explain the difference between sirius and xm… tried to explain it was more of a takeove than a merger and that everything was about to change… but i guess in a lot of ways at that time i was sounding more like Chicken Little than anything else.
And then it started happening… it felt like in the Simpsons movie… I was Grandpa running around yelling “EPA!!!” and suddenly the signs were becoming more clear. “EPA” came in the form of layoffs. “Spider pig” was the suits from NY. In they came with their siloh… and before you knew it the lake (xm) was full of shit.
I have always been vocal about my opinion of how XM has handled urban music. For most of my time at XM and later Sirius XM they NEVER had someone in charge of urban music that truly understood the music, and when they did, they refused to listen to that person. I have been saying for YEARS, that most of the decision makers are not familiar with urban music in general and rap music specifically.
It hurts me to see a platform that boasts 19 “rock” channels, only sees it fit to split 7 channels between hip hop and r&b. I mean there’s classic rock, alternative rock, 60s and 70s rock, 70s and 80s rock, acoustic rock, hairbands, heavy metal, jam bands, indie rock, to name a FEW… and for hip hop and r&b we get “old skool” hip hop and r&b, adult r&b, hip hop hits, r&b hits, uncut hip hop, and soul/motown. I have to wonder why the platform is not interested in breaking out the hip hop/r&b genre as much as they have with rock. Do they not know that black music is just as diverse? Is it money? Do they think that their subscriber base doesn’t care about urban music? I would love to sit down and speak to someone about the repeated bad decisions that they have made regarding black music, but alas, i worry that it will continue to fall on deaf ears.
I’ve clearly gone off on a tangent, but I say all that to say, I hope that this is not the end of the road for Subsoniq. The artists and the fans need an outlet like it. But honestly, if Subsoniq never finds its way back to the airwaves, I sincerely hope that the satellite radio guys are able to get a better understanding of black music. The gaping hole in the platform has been ignored for too long and it needs to be addressed by someone.

2 Responses to “What a Day”

  1. time for them to get their act together no doubt!

  2. What they are doing with urban does baffle me. What I see is an opportunity. You can’t point to any other large media outlet covering the progressive hip hop underground genre. It’s a growth opportunity. Suits should know this. That’s were there largest gains can be obtained. Go luck becoming the king of rock. If you web search for Album Sales by Genre and you see interesting things, yes declines but none the less a sizable population. Maybe CD sales is not the best barometer now a days. But go back to the mid to late 90s (I can’t find data online now) and CDs sales do measure popularity. This is the underground sound Hip Hop sound we all point and agree we like it. Well in that time period for the first time Hip Hop outsold country. It was growing faster than other genres. Ok so you can’t say that now, but do they think that all those people who bought CDs for $17 back then don’t like this music anymore? It was a phase and now they hate what they liked back then? Uhhh not likely. I’m sure radio programmers in the 50s and 60s were saying that about Rock N Roll music. Just ignore it, it won’t last.


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