By Rob Markman
The saga continues; seems like neither Hot 97 nor Nicki Minaj wants to give up any ground in the 2012 Summer Jam controversy. Last night Nicki phoned into Funkmaster Flex’s show, but when the Hot 97 DJ asked for an apology, the Pink Friday MC refused. On Tuesday Hot’s program director Ebro Darden walked onto the station’s morning show with Peter Rosenberg and gave his side of the drama.
“I think a lot of that was nobody wants to draw a line in the sand right now,” Darden said. “I think both sides of the team, people want to see how each other is moving and it’s gonna be interesting over the next few hours.
It all began on Sunday when Rosenberg mocked Nicki’s pop-heavy “Starships” single while playing host on festival stage in the Met Life Stadium parking lot. He referred to the song as “bullsh--" and charged that it wasn’t “real hip-hop.” Minaj and her Young Money family were offended by the comment and YM boss Lil Wayne put the kibosh on Nicki’s scheduled performance. Darden appeared to be indifferent to the last minute cancellation. When he first heard of Tunechi’s threat he admits that his initial response was: “So what.”
“She could be that mad, but I think it’s deeper than that and it’s not with her,” he said. “Many years ago me and Wayne had our differences here at Hot 97.”
When Weezy and Darden got on the phone, there was no resolve. According to the station’s PD Wayne informed him that no YMCMB artists would be performing at Summer Jam and Ebro then hung up phone. “There was nothing else to talk about,” he said.
Many felt that Rosenberg shared his opinion at an inappropriate time and place; Darden however defended his disc jock and shot down rumors that he would be fired. “I think that’s a hip-hop show and we’re there doin’ hip-hop and when artists want to go out and make songs for other formats that’s their perogative, but that doesn’t mean our hosts have to like it,” he said in defense. “It was not a direct shot at her, her personality, her as a woman, it was no sexual reference, it was no disrespect. As a matter of fact I’ve heard Rosenberg profess his love for her as an MC 100 times.”
Ebro believes that YMCMB’s problem goes much deeper than Rosenberg’s comments, he pointed out that Weezy issued a dis to the station in the liner notes to his Tha Carter album in 2004. Still, he maintains that Hot 97 has supported Nick through the years because she was a New York artist. “I love Nicki, I’ve been riding with her since she put out the wrong singles like ‘Massive Attack.’ I’ve been with her, we support her, we support the records people don’t like, but we support them sometimes because she is from Queens,” he said. “So our job as Hot 97 is to support New York hip-hop and help these artists create careers for themselves.”
Who do you side with in the Nicki Minaj/ Hot 97 controversy? Weigh-in in the comments section!