Growing up, I had the privilege of listening to all kinds of music. I listened to
rap, R&B, rock, opera and country. Who can forget “Achy Breaky Heart?”
My favorite would have to be rap and R&B, though. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the house or in the car; it’s rap and R&B. The stations that play rap and R&B are what some people would call urban radio.
But I’m sometimes annoyed by the over-hyped ghetto personalities of the urban radio disc jockeys and the sketches they perform.
Most of the DJs on urban radio are men and women of color. Most times they are black or Hispanic, but predominantly black. So it’s fair to assume these DJs are specifically hired to attract an audience of color. This just exploits urban or inner city stereotypes.
I occasionally listen to “The Tom Joyner Morning Show”. The show has a skit in which one of the main character’s names is Tyrone.
Tyrone. Come on now. Why can’t his name be Robert or Harold? Jokes and skits performed by comedians often refer to characters as Tyrone, Pookie, Ray Ray and La’kisha. You know, keeping it ghetto. Other urban radio stations have skits like Ghetto Jeopardy and Ghetto Millionaire.
A lot of DJs try to be funny by acting ghetto. They speak in certain ways that make people of color look foolish. They speak broken English, are really loud, and crack on people.
Why does everything have to be ghetto this and ghetto that?
These DJs are playing into negative stereotypes of what some people think is black.
It is possible for urban radio personalities to reach their audience of black listeners without having to be “ghetto-fide.” They should be able to have meaningful conversations with listeners and perform funny skits without making people of color look foolish.
Urban radio should have more to offer then that.
Del’leon McGlone, 23, is a senior public relations student from West Philadelphia. He can be reached at TheLeague_inc@hotmail.com.