As Rocks Off mentioned in last week's Trae feature, DJ Brandi Garcia, long a fixture on the Houston airwaves and one of the city's most beloved radio personalities, was recently fired from KBXX 97.9 FM, The Box. Though speculation was that she fired for playing a record that featured a verse from Trae on it, Radio One's attorney responded via email to write that "all employee discipline and terminations occur per established company policies and guidelines."
Garcia was a stone the first few days following the reports of her termination. No comments were made by her or anyone representing her, no PR press releases sent out, no nothing. She simply didn't talk. Then, right at the tail end of last week, she released a video where she openly discussed why she was let go. It was stirring stuff, picked up or linked to by just about all of the major hip-hop blogs and sites.
Sunday, Garcia held a press conference outside of the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center to publicly address the situation in person. Some notes from the brief conference:
- Despite the crappiness of the situation, Garcia has remained completely professional. The aforementioned video, for example, contained no hint of animosity, nor did it contain a single swear word. In person, she was exactly the same. She answered questions about the firing candidly and honestly, but with a measured amount of restraint. It's a smart play, if not all together downright admirable. It's like, if we got in a situation like that, just about every answer we'd give when questioned about it would've been proceeded with, "Man, you know what, fuck those bitches."
- Garcia says she's already been getting calls from other radio stations regarding employment, which is absolutely not unexpected. In addition to that, she has a TV show in the works. It'll be like a suped-up version of Street Flava. They're currently looking for a channel to air it on. It should be on sometime around the end of July.
- Oh, she also has a mixtape coming out soon through SwishaHouse called Swishas and Stilettos.
- K-Rino was there lending his support. He made mention of a new album he's working on as well. It's a double disc-er called The Annihilation of the Evil Machine. Here's the cover art, which appears to be a picture of K-Rino fist-fighting a robot with a flat-screen monitor for a face while the city burns in the background. It's amazing. We have an uncle that uses "Dan Henderson" as a slang catchall verb to basically mean "fight." (Dan Henderson is one of those mixed martial arts fighters.) For example, if someone is giving him a hard time at a bar, he'll say something like, "I'm about to Dan Henderson you right off that barstool." This CD cover Dan Hendersoned our eyes.
- An up-and-coming rapper named Daylee was out there. He made a very salient point after the conference, talking about how The Box has a bunch of the newer rappers afraid to do anything that, after seeing what they're capable of, might draw the station's wrath towards them. This type of creative restriction is exactly the type of thing Pimp C would've gone to war for.
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- EZ from EZ Access TV was there filming things. That guy shows up to everything. He nodded hello, then offered up his hand for the standard Grip 'Em Up handshake. Rather, EZ opted for the ultra-advanced combo shake, wherein he cups the palm, slides out into the traditional shake, then finishes with the finger curl. The first two steps we were prepared for, but the third one was completely unexpected. We were blindsided. So we basically ended up standing there dumbfounded for half a second while he held a hand full of our limp fingers. Very emasculating.
- Pattie Sheih from Fox 26 news showed up with her cameraman to cover the press conference. The best part: After she was finished interviewing Garcia, the camera guy said he wanted to get some shots of Garcia and Trae mingling. He said, "Just act like I'm not even here," then pointed a 35 lb. camera on a tripod right at them. Excellent.
- Brother Deric Muhammed came out as well. When we asked him what he was up to, he responded, "Just trying to beat the heat." He was wearing a full-on suit. He's terrible at beating heat, apparently. I bet that guy wears a suit everywhere. Like, you could invite him over to your house for a summer barbecue get together in July, and he'd show up in a dark blue power suit. Then when you said, "Alright, everyone, time to go swimming," he'd be like, "Oh, cool, let me go change," then he'd come back out a few minutes later wearing a different colored suit. That shit would own.
After the cameras had left and the conference was over we asked Garcia what she thought the finishing result of this whole ordeal was going to be. How far is The Box willing to go? How many more people are going to catch stray bullets from the ban? When will it stop? How can this thing possibly end?
Her very succinct, very earnest answer: "I don't know."