What if the hottest rapper in your city couldn’t get any airplay on your favorite radio station? We don’t mean, he’s not getting spins because he needs to learn how to write better hooks so people can singalong. No, we mean the radio station literally bans him from their airwaves. Meet Houston rapper Trae Da Truth. On the heels of releasing his The Incredible Truth mixtape, Trae told MTV News why it’s so cold in his city.
“The mayor gave me my own holiday here, for alot of the stuff I do in the community,” said Trae. “No matter how big people may think I am, I’m always in the streets giving that helping hand. What I do on my day is I don’t make it about me, even though it’s called Trae Day, I make it a day for the kids and the families that need help. What I do is go get school supplies, clothes, backpacks, bikes. [When Trae Day was] over, we had a successful event and some little youngsters started fighting. One thing led to another and one of them pulled a pistol and started wildin’ out shooting.”
The local news reported on the incidents, calling it a “gang-related” shooting. Trae then began to hear the word on the street, which had definitely spread far beyond his own community.
“I’m used to getting calls because we’re in the hood everyday, but it wasn’t [routine],” said Trae. “It was ‘Ya’ll on every news station.’ I go on the radio and they catch me off guard because they totally switch it, like they ain’t had no positives. Just like why you have it in this neighborhood”
“My mixtape is called The Incredible Truth, so if I am the voice of the streets and the one speaking up for the city, I got to stand up,” recalled Trae, describing a radio interview with a DJ at Houston’s KBXX radio station. “This is all I know, so the actual line that I had referring to [the DJ], was ‘I had the world hating on me like Nnete’s fat ass.’ When I said that, that was the breaking point. Somebody shot me an email like ‘Do not air Trae as of today. No song, rotation, mixshow, remixes, interviews, Twitter, Facebook, no mention.”
Radio One’s lawyer Victor Vital responded in a statement by saying “Radio One has decided that [Trae's] music won’t be played and advertisements concerning him won’t be aired.”
Feeling that he was unjustly banned, Trae filed a lawsuit against KBXX’s parent company Radio One, KBXX’s general manager Doug Abernathy, program manager Terri Thomas and personality Nnete Inyangumia. In July, the lawsuit was resolved out of court in, according to Houston’s Fox 26 news station, with no settlement between the opposing parties. Ultimately, Trae feels his fans will hear his music on the radio once again.
“I feel like in due time, when you stand up for what’s right, nothing that nobody form against is gonna work,” says Trae. “I feel like in the near future, I’m going to be so over saturated with the support of the streets with the music that I do, they really ain’t gonna have no choice.”