Music divides listeners

Last year, Vibe Magazine reported that each of Eminem’s albums sold over 4 million units while Black Star sold fewer than 400, 000. For music fans, these figures can have several meanings.

For some, it may mean urban music is progressing and rap artists’ music are selling like hotcakes. Others may argue that society has lost the value of music because some would rather hear “Head Bustas” in the morning instead of “Just to Get By.”

Aurelio “Yeyo” Mitjans, one-half of the hip-hop duo People’s Choice and a former WANM radio personality, said the choices music fans make may be strongly impacted by what they hear on the radio waves.

“They [listeners] may not like what they hear, but they listen to it because the DJ says its good.”

With that in mind, Mitjans said announcers should play different and more thought-provoking music.

“If music is our job, our job is to dig in the crates and find what is hot,” he said. “As a DJ I was obligated to break new and different music.”

Jason Cole, also known as WANM’s DJ Skillz, said announcers play what they know their listeners want to hear and right-now music fans aren’t asking for conscious and feel-good music.

“If they don’t request it, it doesn’t get played,” he said. “It is all up to the listeners.”

“Talib Kweli, Common and Nas talk about positive stuff but people don’t want to hear that right now. They want to hear artists like Lil’ Jon and the Eastside boys, even if the artist can’t rap.”

Some music fans, like Lorisha Biddines, said music’s value has changed through the years from anthems of hope and pride to songs about sexual encounters and random shootings.

The sophomore computer information systems student from St. Petersburg said it is a problematic cycle that today’s youth are imitating the songs they hear on the radio.

“All they want to do is be like rappers,” she said. “They listen (to popular music) and (act out) what they hear.”

Contact Kanya Simon at