An “overwhelming response” from Detroit radio listeners has caused a hip-hop station to stop playing all Kanye West music. Listeners were fired up over Ye’s remarks that slavery sounds “like a choice” and any songs he has written, produced or performed won’t broadcast for the time being.
“We feel like Kanye has gone too far with his latest statement declaring that ‘slavery was a choice.’ We are over it,” “The Morning Bounce” hosts Bigg and Shay Shay of 105.1 The Bounce said in a statement on Facebook Thursday, May 3. “We don’t want to hear Kanye’s music, we don’t want to play Kanye on our show, we don’t want to talk about Kanye anymore. So we are taking a stand and we aren’t playing his music anymore; we just are refusing to give him a platform.”
West ignited controversy Tuesday, May 1 when he went on “TMZ Live” and said, “You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sound like a choice. Like, you was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally in prison.”
And it wasn’t just what the rapper said on “TMZ Live” that led the duo to quit West. It was also when he told Charlamagne Tha God that Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. are “unrelatable.”
“I just felt like that was enough. I think history is important,” Shay Shay told The Detroit Free Press Thursday. “We need to know our history so we can learn from it. That doesn’t mean we have to live in the past, but when you’re someone like Kanye, a lot of listeners are a younger generation and don’t know the history. … I felt like he was being reckless. I thought it was hurtful. I wholeheartedly believe he has an opinion and can express that. I’m not saying his opinion is wrong — I’m saying I disagree with it.”
Bigg and Shay Shay told the newspaper that an “overwhelming response” from listeners who were equally outraged by Ye’s statements led them to convince program director John Candelaria to extend the West ban to all of 105.1 “The Bounce.”
“Kanye is one of the core artists in our format,” Bigg said of the 18 West-related songs in the station’s library, adding it’s “a significant chunk of songs that we’ve played that we’re not going to play right now.”
Shay Shay and Bigg said they don’t have a specific time period they’ll resume playing the MC’s hits. Instead, they’ll see how things go and decide from there.
“That’s what it is right now. We need a break,” Shay Shay said. “I think it’s a gut feeling of when we’ll be able to feel comfortable playing it again, when we’ll want to hear it again, and more importantly, when will our listeners want to hear it again.”
And while many fans have backed up #MuteKanye, others weren’t feeling it.
“Smh this is trash, this is just like that woman telling LeBron [James] to shut up and dribble,” one commenter said.
“That’s too bad. I actually liked your station,” a different listener commented. “You are alienating your consumers. Stay out of politics. The 1st amendment applies to everyone.”
“Great job suppressing a Black man’s opinions,” one person remarked. “But [I] thought it was the white man that was holding Blacks back?”
“Typical [social justice warriors],” another said.