Screwston, Texas

Excuse Me, Rapper. Would You Like To Be Played On The Radio?

The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email [email protected]

Note: 90.1 KPFT's Damage Control has long been essential listening for underground rap fans in Houston. The host, Zeak, is a funny, insightful, well-respected member of the community. Listen to the show. It starts at 11 p.m. every Wednesday evening.

This Week's Radio DJ: Zeak

This Week's Prompt: How to get on the radio

Ask A Rapper: So, DJ, some rapid fire questions:

Let's say someone --a rapper, for example-- wants to get their song on the radio (we hear this is the kind of thing they're interested in). What are the steps for making that happen?

Zeak: Only at Damage Control can an artist walk in off the street and expect to get their song played on the air. That's because we believe in that equal opportunity bullshit. However, an artist needs to produce good music, and have a good fan base. Make the radio DJs come to you as supposed to you getting on our nerves.

AAR: What are some common mistakes that people that want to be heard on the radio commit?

Z: Coming to the radio station with a CD-R and the title is written on with a Sharpie, if they don't care how to present their project, I damn sure don't care.

AAR: True or false: Paying a DJ will up your odds of being played on the radio.

Z: True and false, for the DJs who participate in the illegal process called payola, an artist will get radio play by paying the DJ. In my case, I don't indulge in payola; you can pay me, but it don't mean I will play your record if I don't like it. I will take the money though, cash only. [laughs]

AAR: What type of protocol is followed at a radio station when determining what gets played and what doesn't? Like, let's say a guy just wandered in and gave you a song that you thought was fantastic. Can he get on then? Or are there steps ahead of that?

Z: If I get a record like that, and I do, I break it on the air, I give the audience a chance to decide if they like it or not, however if I like it, I spin it (@2Chainz voice). I pretty much make the playlist for Damage Control between 12 and 1 am, so I search for what's new and what's jammin'!

Spam Zeak on Twitter with your MP3s at @YoungZeakFU2.

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