New York radio station Hot 97 is coming under fire from irate listeners and others after members of its morning show made racist remarks and aired an over-the-top song mocking the suffering caused by December's tsunamis in Asia.
During a recent "Miss Jones in the Morning" show, a parody of "We Are the World" called "The Tsunami Song" was played featuring lyrics like "You could hear God laughing/ Swim, you bitches, swim."
The chorus, sung in the same cadence as the hook on "We Are the World," went: "So now you're screwed/ It's the Tsunami/ You'd better run, or kiss your ass away/ Go find your mommy, I just saw her float by/ A tree went right through her head/ And now your children will be sold into child slavery."
Miss Info, who is of Asian descent and part of the show along with DJ Envy, Miss Jones and comedian Todd Lynn, immediately denounced the song and informed listeners she had nothing to do with it. On Thursday — after the song had been played for days and had even been placed on the Hot 97 Web site under "Funny Sh--" — Miss Jones admonished Miss Info for not being a team player when the record was readdressed on air, telling her, "All you Asians think you're superior." Lynn said he was going to "shoot some Asians."
Hot 97 said it has received thousands of angry e-mails and phone calls, and there are protest petitions floating around online. On Wednesday (January 26), Asian-American MC Jin responded with a freestyle record telling Miss Info to keep her head up, and dissing Jones and the rest of the crew.
"Since when was hip-hop about being racist and ignorant huh?" Jin raps. Later, he rhymes, "F--- the tsunami song and whoever thought of it/ Matter of fact, f--- the engineer that recorded it/ And the brains behind the scenes that applauded it/Anything for ratings, huh?/ The sh-- is corporate."
On Wednesday, morning-show listeners were informed that Miss Jones and her entire crew had been suspended indefinitely. Earlier in the week, the station announced it would be donating a week's pay from each of them to tsunami-relief efforts.
"Miss Jones and the Hot97 morning team have been indefinitely suspended for the airing of a song that made light of a catastrophic event, as well as comments made at the time the song was aired," the station said in a statement. "[Station owner] Emmis Radio and Hot 97 will not tolerate such derogatory and racially insensitive content. This incident in no way reflects the spirit of Hot 97. The station has a longtime and well known reputation for community involvement and support."