A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CONTENT OF THE MADD HATTA MORNING SHOW (MHMS)
Written By: Craig Shelton
Date posted: 7-24-2011
On the morning of Thursday, May 12, 2011, I came to a conclusion regarding the Madd Hatta Morning Show (MHMS) that I had been fighting against acknowledging publicly for some time now.
The hip hop and r&b mega-monster otherwise known as KBXX 97.9 THE BOX/RADIO ONE is a staple in the hip hop music radio format in Houston. It's no oversight that I omitted the phrase "African-American community" in my description of 97.9 The Box, because to the station's credit, they've transcended racial boundaries in Houston's music community. That accomplishment deserves acknowledging because it's an achievement that Houston's "good ole boy" network of Sports Talk stations and their administrators have snubbed their collective noses at.
WHAT IS 97.9 THE BOX'S INHERITED RESPONSIBILY TO THEIR LISTENERS?
The Houston-born late great hip hop artist BIG MELO (Curtis) who lost his life tragically in a firefly car crash off the 610 South Loop & Stella Link in 2002, was an associate of mine and my former hip hop group members of the South Acres Crime Family Organization (CFO).
Curtis and I where both temperamental personalities in those days that rarely saw things through the same scope. Those facts aside, I felt Curtis and I had a productive relationship over time.
I remember Curtis getting upset with me once because he felt that my business partner and I, Derrick "Big Metro" Thomas aka "The Block Party King" had a history of overlooking him when we booked acts for hip hop concerts in Houston and around the state. At the time when BIG Melo and I clashed about the booking misunderstanding, my business partner, Big Metro, was locked up doing a 5-year fed bit on drug-related charges.
John Thomas, Big Metro in the BLUE,
Rebel aka Craig Shelton in the RED,
& Ocho Texto
Due to Big Metro's incarceration, I was running our company South World Records & Ent. (Chop Shop 3B) independently. I say independently, but I was aided by good friends Kenneth "Big Feezie" Rice & Bobby Z, formerly of 97.9 The Box. Both guys worked tirelessly with me as well as other members of my production staff and label administrators.
Rebel aka @LesbianCraig
The one thing that came out of the brief misunderstanding between Melo and I that always stayed with me was Melo saying to me, "that's okay Rebel, what makes you laugh, will also make you cry". ("Rebel "is the name most in the hip hop game knew me by.)
That statement made to me by Big Melo is a commonly used analogy that is applicable to my concerns with 97.9 THE BOX, and in particular the MHMS. The very attributes that helped to make 97.9 The Box the iconic institution it has become nationally among urban radio stations, also has the potential to be as damaging to their imaging and overall productivity as the positives they once brought to the station.
For clarification purposes, I'll be clear on my reasoning for focusing on the MHMS. Madd Hatta is the Box's leading personality and his Madd Hatta Morning Show sets the pace for 97.9 The Box as well as the entire hip hop radio market.
So with those facts established, I have to express my belief in saying that much of the content provided on 97.9 The Box & the Madd Hatta Morning Show is immature and laced with too much childish and sexual undertones.
I believed this subject matter to be notable and even blog-worthy due to what I consider the Box's inherited responsibility to its listeners.
THE MADD HATTA MORNING shOW
IS 97.9 THE BOX A VICTIM OF ITS OWN SUCCESS?
Big Poppa told us all that "mo money, mo problems" was a reality of success. 97.9 The Box, and in particular the MHMS, may have become a "victim of its own success." The success of the station and to a larger extent, the success of the urban hip hop music format, has generated an atmosphere of raised expectations for the station because of that success. Personally speaking, I believe there's validity to that thought for certain. I also believe that it's no grounds for exoneration of The Box on the issue of "appropriate content" because of those dynamics.
Clearly, there are some glaring contradictions in the approach towards the imaging of the MHMS and 97.9 The Box vs. its content.
WHO IS 97.9 THE BOX TARGETING WITH THEIR IMAGING & RELATED CONTENT?
Here's an interesting timeline of events to consider what will hopefully put more clarification on the issues with appropriate content. I'll attempt to outline the dynamics of my argument by approaching the issue from the premise that most radio listeners listen in their cars during morning and evening drive times.
• 5:00am: I'm driving into work and the MHMS begins with an inspirational or gospel song, as they do Monday thru Friday at 5:00am.
• Approx 5:10am: Madd Hatta (or Jimbo) outlines their show topics/guests for the morning. Today's topic (May 12, 2011): How Much Money Does A Guy Have To Spend Before A Woman Should Have Sex With Him? Keep in mind this is minutes after the show leads with a gospel joint.
• 5:10-7:00am: Discussions on the sexual-laced topic with sound bites from the listeners occurring, aided by periodic goof-ball comedic songs, skits, etc., by Madd Hatta & his crew. The timeline is notable here because many parents are driving kids to school this time of morning.
• 7:00-8:00am: The sex talk intensifies as morning listeners are peak-driving to work & taking KIDS to school. At some point, Madd Hatta's crew will post a poll on the sexual topic & continue to play ignorant responses from listeners on the street, as well as Jimbo's musical goofy-ball comedic parodies.
• 8:06am: Jimbo announces Minister T.D. Jakes will be on the show. That's correct, the very same show that began with a gospel song and then it's content was predicated on "how much money should a guy spend on a woman before he should expect said woman to have sex with him?" Really?
• Approx 08:30am: Bishop T.D. Jakes calls in to the MHMS promoting his new project.
I just don't get who the MHMS is trying to market towards and more importantly, what vision its station's management views it's core demo's level of intelligence?
The secular music played on the station "is what it is" and it's apparently appreciated by both listeners and sponsors. We know this based on the success that the MHMS and 97.9 The Box in general, have continued to enjoy. I myself certainly listen to The Box for the music; I'll be the first to admit that.
SO WHAT'S THE ISSUE?
The problem here is that you have an aging crew on the MHMS of 40-something individuals selling cheap sexual-laced content on a show that starts everyday with inspirational/gospel music and then way too often slides into childish sexual content and corny name-calling.
Then there's the issue of anyone offering any criticism of the MHMS or The Box, no matter how professional or intelligent the argument, always being passed off as "hating". That's just ridiculous and as immature as old people selling cheap sexual content on a radio program that leads with a gospel joint. What, no one in town is intelligent enough to make objective and critical analysis of a damned radio show? Please!
"MY MAMA USED TO SAY!"
My mother once asked me of the language used in much of the hip hop music we hear: "If a rapper is truly talented, why is all the filthy language necessary?" I told my mom, I wasn't sure and maybe she should pose that question to her generation's favorite comedian, Richard Pryor? (That's when moms grabbed her pistol and pointed it at me - lol.)
Folks, my point is that laziness aside, I can't think of a single reason why a show host who respects the intelligence of his or her listeners, and has a talent like Jimbo on the team, can't develop appropriate, entertaining content without childish sexual undertones? Uplifting your core listening base, especially when it encompasses so much impressionable youth as listeners, is the proper thing to do as a positive contributor to the urban social scene.
TWITTER CORRESPONDENCE SUDDENLY ON "MUTE"?
MADD HATTA WAS OUT AT THE TIME I CONTACTED JMAC, JIMBO, & NNETE VIA TWITTER BUT AMAZINGLY, NO ONE REPLIED TO MY TWEETS. I GUESS THEY WERE TOO BUSY HAVING A THREESOME IN STUDIO BEFORE J.D. JAKES CAME IN FOR HIS INTERVIEW?
MY TWEETS TO THE MHMS THAT WERE NOT REPLIED TO:
@979TheBox @jmac979 @JimBeazy @Nnete: I know u folks aren't friendly w/criticized, u also know I don't give a damn, but y is this a topic?
@979TheBox @jmac979 @Nnete @JimBeazy: I'll clarify my issue. Ur talkn dwn 2 ur listeners w/these immature topics. Ur listeners r intelligent.
I spoke to the Programming Director at 97 9 THE BOX & she declined to offer a comment on the issue of her station's content. Hmmmm..(in my Arnold voice) "I'll be back."
CRAIG "LESBO" SHELTON
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