Tag Archives: Hot 97

On the radio

It is way, way too late for me to be writing this. I should be in bed; I have work in the morning (oh, I forgot to tell you? I got a job! I know! Thanks!); I complain every day that the city that never sleeps has turned me into the kristy that never sleeps (a full eight hours)—which is an abomination I’m steadfastly determined to correct—but guess what! Tomorrow is actually my last day (I know! I did just get the job, but short-term employment, you know how it goes. Mmhmmmmmmm). Plus, I like pretending that somewhere, someone is thinking, ‘Ugh, sensitivityandgrace hasn’t been updated in forever!’ Hypothetical reader, this one’s for you.

I’ve really been digging my local hip-hop radio station lately. And when I say ‘my local hip-hop radio station’, I really mean ‘Hot 97′, the United States’ premier hip-hop station. The home of hip-hop, if you will. (Sidenote: is ‘hip-hop’ hyphenated? I think it should be because it is a compound adjective, but with the hyphen, it kind of looks like a sound effect?)

I’ve been listening every day this week at 2 p.m. when they debut new tracks. They are so new that the DJ has to talk over each track periodically so that people don’t record them and post them on the internet. Woah. And while you, dear reader, probably hear things before Hot 97 plays them because you are that cool, I am not. Therefore, 2 p.m. is soooooo exciting! I get goosebumps. I also get goosebumps when the DJ talks about the parties goin’ down at different clubs every night. I think to myself, ‘I have an unlimited metro card. I could go to that club in Astoria, Queens, no problem.’ I proceed  have a little daydream about dancing in a New York night club and being invited to join the Young Money entourage (their gender balance is way off; naturally, they need me). This daydream is quickly overtaken by My Ultimate Daydream: sleeping in my bed. (Oh yeah, I also forgot to tell you that I got a bed! Well, technically, I just got a mattress, but like a wise man once said, ‘You need to crawl before you ball.’)

Since I’ve been working in an office, I stream Hot 97 and listen with my earbuds so as not to disturb my co-workers who much prefer Lite FM, a.k.a. the worst radio station ever. If you have never had the dis-pleasure of hearing Lite FM (they have stations all over the country, like NPR, except torture!), let me tell you about it. After three weeks of heavy listening, I am somewhat of a pro. Lite FM likes to portray itself as the ‘compromise pizza’ of the airwaves. It claims to play the songs you remember from the good ol’ days/TV commercials along with today’s hits. One would assume, ‘All right, that’s fair. No one’s gonna love everything, but there’s a little something for everyone. Cool.’ Except that claim is a bold-faced lie (ha). Never in my three weeks of listening have they played Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye West, or Jay-Z, even though these musicians are releasing practically all of ‘today’s hits.’ Instead, they play this horrible mish-mash of simultaneously irritating and dreadfully boring songs. Like Earth, Wind, & Fire’s ‘September (Do You Remember?)’ or Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes’ or The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Gotta Feeling,’ which is really just a contemporary version of ‘September (Do You Remember?).’ It hurts my soul. The worst part is, it has the shortest playlist of any radio station on Earth. That means it plays ‘Manic Monday’ Every Single Day. And, on the odd occasion when it does play something good, all it does is prompt me to question the quality of the song and the integrity of the artist. It’s like when you meet someone really cool, but her/his friends all suck and you find out s/he thinks Dane Cook is hilaaaaaarious. Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, and Rihanna will never be the same to me. I know I used to like Alanis Morrissette, but I don’t believe it. In conclusion, we should all write letters to the FCC to keep Lite FM from polluting our airwaves. Or something.

Okay okay, to be fair, I have to admit that Lite FM is okay for one month of the year: December. It plays Christmas carols non-stop! Not even that can make up for the suffering I’ve endured the past three weeks, though. In fact, it’s just made it worse because every time I hear the Lite FM jingle, I have this Pavlovian response of, ‘(Gasp) Christmas carols!’, when it’s actually just ‘With Arms Wiii-hiiiiiiiiiide Ope-yeeeeeeeeeeen’ by Creed. For the fifth time in one day.