Hot 97 Goes Viral As Listeners Revolt
A feud between rappers Drake and Meek Mill was supposed to be escalated this evening on Emmis Rhythmic CHR “Hot 97” WQHT New York, but instead the station was left with listeners in revolt and petitions for Funkmaster Flex to quit the station.
The feud began when Mill accused Drake last week of using a ghostwriter on his songs. Drake released a diss-track on Saturday to go after Mill and Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex who released a reference track used by Drake during production. Flex began hyping that Meek Mill was to appear on his WQHT show at 7pm Monday to discuss the situation and teased the debut of a Mill track to “counter-diss” Drake.
As 7:00 came and went with no appearance from Mill, WQHT listeners began to vent their frustrations and point out the limited playlist they were hearing.
Hot 97 is getting all the ratings tonight pump faking this diss track, just to get donkey of the day from @cthagod tomorrow morning.
— Sassy Mill (@smills011) July 27, 2015
The last time anyone listened to Hot 97 for 2 hours straight was when Biggie was still alive.
— MENA (@jonathanmena) July 28, 2015
i like how on hot 97 sometimes they play trap queen & then transition into trap queen
— roshan celebrity ghost story abraham (@roshantone) July 28, 2015
Screenshot from Hot 97's control room: pic.twitter.com/M00IP72OqD
— TrivWorks (@TrivWorks) July 28, 2015
As the evening went on and no word from Meek Mill or Funkmaster Flex the tweets from listeners had “Hot 97” among Twitter’s worldwide trends. One WQHT personality did chime-in as morning co-host Peter Rosenberg made light of the situation and also on the multiple spins of Fetty Wap.
Lol RT @VernonTherapgod: I tuned to hot 97 to hear a diss from meek not a fetty wap greatest hits collection
— RosenbergTelevision (@Rosenbergradio) July 28, 2015
So what was the big deal? If you lose the trust of your audience why should they keep listening? Funkmaster Flex hyped something and didn’t deliver. Nor did he at any point follow up and explain what happened to the audience. If you promote something and don’t deliver, why should the audience care next time you hype something? While they may have gotten an audience boost last night thanks to the intrigue and social media backlash, many of those listeners will not be back.
With WQHT trailing iHeartMedia’s “Power 105.1” WWPR and being attacked by CBS’ “92.3 Amp Radio” WBMP for the Hispanic crossover audience, the one-time powerhouse is being attacked like never before. There’s been much turnover in the past year, yet Funkmaster Flex was the one station veteran who stuck around as a bridge from the station’s glory days. Is his brand and legacy now something that could hold the station back as it attempts to move forward with Angie Martinez and others no longer there and younger names in their place.