SONY Fined for Payola, Funk Flex Next?

SONY/BMG Music has agreed to pay a $10 million fine for bribing radio stations to play their music. The bribing is called "payola", and it's illegal, and probably widespread in the music industry.

Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general who brought the fine on SONY, promises to persue other payola offenders. I wonder how long before we see a money trail lead up to the door of Funkmaster Flex?

Flex's scam to accept money for airplay is an open secret in hip-hop. He owns Franchise Marketing, which artists pay money to get their records promoted to powerful DJ's such as the ones in the Big Dawg Record Pool, which Flex also owns.

Slick, right? Well, not anymore. Those kind of backdoor payola set-ups is exactly what Spitzer is targeting. And as Wall Street can confirm, Spitzer is the real big dog pitbull.

Posted by SOHH Hashim at July 26, 2005 9:55 AM

Comments

Eliot Spitzer, I knew the DOG was coming to growl and tear SONY's ass apart. Next is Universal. Payola needs to really stop, espically with wack artists getting played millions of times a day.

Posted by: Devil Son at July 26, 2005 12:48 PM

Finally real artist will have a chance to get air play.

Posted by: D at July 26, 2005 3:07 PM

Payola Has been happening for years since the beginning of the radio industry. Whats the big deal its just marketing. A company pays to get an advertisement(the song) in a place where people are hearing it(the radio). Its just commercials for music artist. Radio sucks any way Sirius is the way to go.

Posted by: Sil C at July 26, 2005 3:42 PM

isn't it funny that a few years ago Nas had said that this was going on in the music industry and everyone dismissed his comments as him just being a hater.

Posted by: jay at July 26, 2005 3:43 PM

I was doing the same kinda shit for my group's airplay on hot 97. But instead of having to pay for airplay, I just had to serve up Ms. Angie Martinez a couple times a week and she played our shit at least twice a day. She'd call me up in the studio and during the interviews she'd ask me a question, then while I was replying, she'd go down on me...then when she was asking another question I'd go down on her. She keeps that shit nice and trim for a latina. I'm not even gonna tell you what she did with the mic one time--then she made me smell it afterwards. Weird bitch she was, but I got some airplay and some play at the same time. We called it LAYola. G'z up!

Posted by: Layola at July 26, 2005 4:02 PM

THIS Explains All the Horrible Reggaeton !

. . . . now explain Paul Wall ! (joke)

Funk Flex is doing it the legal way.

Posted by: Diggiti at July 26, 2005 10:20 PM

nas said it and that's why they all hate him cuz he aint affraid to say the truth. I can tell hot97 is on jay's dick big time cuz his new single and singles of artists from his record label such as tiya marie and kanye are on heavy rotation. And this bitch flex riding jay_z dick like a babe sucking on his mother chest.

Posted by: D mike at July 26, 2005 11:23 PM

Finally, someone apart from me who thinks reggaetton sucks!

Posted by: dreel at July 27, 2005 6:47 AM

Finally What's done in the dark is coming to light. Krs-One said this years ago along with Nas and Dmx. Maybe we can hear some hot underground artist on hot 97 now.

Posted by: kuruptdeathrow at July 27, 2005 8:24 AM

Payola has been going on for many years (remember Master P's 1996-1999 run)I think all Radio stations do this to some degree, just look at your summer jam line-up wherever you live, every radio station that has one has to pay the artist in some way, what a better way to pay a artist than to play their song 3 times every hour in exchange they (the artist)give you (ie. DJ's, listeners, Radio Staff) clothes, shoes, CD's, money and in some instances cars. That's why when they call in or visit it's free because they did you a favor in the past and expect the same in return. We all know this has been true, but we still fall for it, that's why certain songs (ie. Tipsy or Reggeton)that we hate grow on us because if you listen to the Radio long enough you'll like it. Let me know what ya'll think.

Posted by: JB at July 27, 2005 9:31 AM

elliot spitzer needs to stop going after record lables and start investigating 9-11.

Posted by: illwill at July 27, 2005 10:22 AM

i went through the same shit with wbls, i sent my joints in for the unsigned hype segment, and i was sent a email saying how hot my shit was and that i should set up a meeting with the program director, and when i finally called him and sopoke with him, he starts talking about what kind of money was i willing to put up! Ranging from 7500.00 to 10,000.00 for some airplay, so i spazzed on him, like i thought this was for unsigned artist's and he calmly said to me "this is a business", i could have choked that dude! So my records will never see the light of day , over some bullshit!

Posted by: FU at July 27, 2005 11:03 AM

payola won't stop, just because thats what runs the music industry. so a couple people will fall from their seats but they will be replaced quickly. there's too much money behind artists these days to just not try and kickback dj's that consistently play their tracks.

and please tell me why no one has mentioned that gwen stefani track is not payola to the maximum.

Posted by: jaws at July 27, 2005 11:25 AM

REGGAETON SUCKS!!!! I am soooo glad that someone other than me thinks it is a gimmick to blow up all these Latin acts now because they are on these major labels and of course these major labels want to make their dollars so "a few palms at the radio stations are getting greased" to play that sh@%!! I agree, it is not just Funkmaster Flex getting paid, it's all DJ's because money talks!!!

Posted by: Carita at July 27, 2005 1:08 PM

REGGAETON is REGGAE ish...
It's something sort of like, and we all know what something sort of like the original is...

SH&T!

P.S. check out kolorbrown.com for some soul

Posted by: Cee_wy at July 27, 2005 3:50 PM

YES! Get Funk Flex! Not to sound like a hater or wish negative things for another man, but he is the devil! He sucks! He's responsible for I'd estimate 15-20% of why hip hop has been going downhill. The list of hot-for-a-minute artists he dick rode over the years would be a who's who of one-hit wonder garbage.

Posted by: flexxxo at July 27, 2005 9:50 PM

Everyone is harping on reggaeton, but focus your anger @ something else, instead of blaming it's popularity on payola. I doubt there's major money in the reggaeton industry to be talking about it in that light. You have to remember that we've come through an age where the latino voice has sort of had an identity crisis. Yes, they have made significant contributions over the years, but the art form still couldn't be called theirs. The latino voice is a loud one, and has consistenly been stifled. So for reggaeton to come along, gain popularity, get the chance to bring their message mainstream where salsa could never take it, why wouldn't they stand behind it? when you have an artist like daddy yankee selling 700k+, that's saying something. I'm not particularly a fan of it, but I'm happy to see cats eating from it. It's not going anywhere, get used to it. This is a real movement here.

Posted by: The Kid at July 27, 2005 10:09 PM

g unit

Posted by: 64 at July 28, 2005 1:31 AM

WELL I DONT KNOW IF ITS PAYOLA OR WHAT..BUT EVERY RADIO STAION IN NY PLAY THE SAME SHYT.SAMETHING IN DALLAS...SAME THING ALL OVER THE WORLD.IF SOMEONE MADE A RADIO STATION STRICTLY OF UNDERGROUND ARTIST... NOONE WOULD SUPPORT IT. YAL WOULD TURN RIGHT BACK TO HOT 97 TO LISTEN TO DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER ALL DAY LONG.

Posted by: J FRESH 2 DEF at July 28, 2005 7:57 AM

Wrong J.B., Master P had talented artists, and people were paying a lot of attention because they came from Louisiana. It was the talent that made the reign, not payola, P self-promoted his stuff, he did not pay or beg a radio station to play his music during them years. Payola has been around, but it has gotten out of control, because the prices got so high that the FEDS can smell the money from a mile, the problem was with payola was it had gotten too big, The Source covered this 3 years ago, it was only a matter of time that the FEDS were going to crack it down. It's bad enough they have a hip-hop task force because there are so many igronant "NIGGERS" running all over the place acting a damn fool with their money and their stupid actions.

Posted by: Devil Son at July 28, 2005 8:54 AM

Like the reality of payola is that really it's another promotional and marketing tool of the industry. You can't say Hot 97 is doing anything illegal because really payola is suppose to be a legal exchange, gifts for boosting up airplay for a track. Like your concert tickets, free cd's, clothing, basically your giveaways are what the radio stations push to get from artists. When money comes into the fold payola reaches a higher level that can become dangerous, I mean look at 50 Cent or anyone from the Shady/Aftermath camp...some of their shit is straight up garbage, a perfect example is Olivia and they get constant air play. It's even worse when you got a damn station on Sirius Satellite Radio devoted to Shady/Aftermath artists, Shade 45. I will say to Shade 45 that someone is a damn marketing genius, where else can you have your artists plug their own shit to tha masses uncensored. The truth is that to keep the labels and artists happy you're going to hear "Just A Lil Bit" 5 times in an hour span on regular FM radio. Remember radio stations are in the business to make money and the legal way they do that is by selling those damn 30 sec spots for advertisers. Some cats out there are too damn ignorant and will actually listen to 50's tracks 5 times during an hour and those cats are what advertisers are trying to target. The only real solution to that is to follow Satellite Radio's example and play whatever tha hell they want. They play straight up anything from East, West, Dirty, Crunk, Screw, Memphis....basically they are unbiased.

Posted by: VA Smoove at July 28, 2005 12:57 PM

Let's face it, payola is never going to stop. All of this went down because somebody didn't follow through on what they promised someone else. A call was made and that was that. Do you really think that the genreal public gives two shits about payola. The only people who care are people that are trying to get in and who are already in the industry. Sony will pay this "little" fine and then make sure that they and the stations that they service cover their tracks next time. All the general public wants to hear on the radio is music and not so many damn "real" commercials. But now what makes them think that when they hear the same fucking song on 4 different stations within 30 minutes...that it isn't a commercial also.

Posted by: c b w at July 28, 2005 1:46 PM

fuck elliot cracker.he's mad because he not getting a peice of the action.he really dont give a fuck what goes on in the rap/hip hop world. MAKE THAT MONEY D.J.'S

Posted by: jigga at July 28, 2005 1:58 PM

and one more thing.....SHUT THE FUCK-UP layola u probably never got head in your life.your a fuking lameola. one.

Posted by: jigga at July 28, 2005 2:06 PM

Naw Devil Son, I was up on P back then I know he HAD a talented roster of artist most of them got my money (Fiend, Mac, and C were my favorites)I was just using him as an example. Radio stations are nuthin' but groupies they sweat all the known or mainstream artist (whether they from NY, Down South or anywhere else) but they barely show love to the local artist were they are broadcasting from. The only time they change format is Friday - Sunday usually after 10:00pm or they'll give local artist one hour like every Wednesday for example. WTF is that! I don't listen to radio for the same 12 songs, I listen because I like the Personalities (ie. Donnie Simpson, Russ Parr, Tom etc.)

Posted by: jb at July 29, 2005 8:50 AM

How much you think jay-z paid the radio companies to promote him as the best ever alive?

hey it works, a lot of people think he is the greatest even though his lyrics come from BIG, Snoop, Slick Rick, Big L, etc.

Posted by: angie martinez at July 29, 2005 11:45 AM

How much you think jay-z paid the radio companies to promote him as the best ever alive?

hey it works, a lot of people think he is the greatest even though his lyrics come from BIG, Snoop, Slick Rick, Big L, etc.

Posted by: Snoop at July 29, 2005 11:47 AM

My opinion, Mr Spitzer is wasting his time. Its too late, he's trying to solve a problem that can't be solved. Waging war on the music industry is just like the war on drugs the government has been waging for decades. You might fill up jails or in the case of white execs, give them fines but it'll never cease. Wait a bit to long to try to make a difference.

Posted by: John Gutta at July 29, 2005 12:35 PM

Yet, these record companies claim their not making money because of the internet downloads.

Stop paying the radio stations then you can buy that 10th car you always wanted.

Posted by: russell simmons at July 29, 2005 1:29 PM

VA Smoove, you're right, accepting gifts is not illegal, but when DJ's and Program Dircetors demand large quanties of cash and gifts, that's when it becomes illegal. When the DJ's and the PD's set producer prices to get your music played, then it becomes a problem.

Posted by: Devil Son at July 30, 2005 12:00 PM

reggaeton is the worst fuc#@$g music ever made, it SUCKS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: eddy at July 31, 2005 7:13 PM

As everyone else said, payola has been around forever--- I even read about it in an old history of Communications (within radio) textbook. It seems to be something we really won't be able to fight just cuz money, as sad as it is, makes the world go round. I'm a struggling artist as well & but I AIN'T desperate. As corny as it sounds, I'd rather stay true to myself AND my art/music than have to pay someone top dollar for my sh*t to get played on radio among other untalented, half-assed artists... They're not even artists to me, they're str8t up CLOWNS. I would just be disgracing myself and everything I stand for if I bribed a DJ to play wut I worked so hard to create. Believe u me, I'm all about the paper but the line has to be drawn somewhere. For the few of y'all that stated so nonchalantly that this is just wut the business is with the blase' "Oh well" attitude, Have y'all ever heard of the word QUALITY? Maybe not, cuz evidently it doesn't exist in music these days anymore

Posted by: CreamyCazz at July 31, 2005 9:20 PM

wow!!!!!!!! payola has been a prty of the isness since day 1 wow!! stevie wonder can see thar program directors/djs everyone reeps the benefits..radio station personnels are living lavish lifestyle in exchange for favors from labels/artist..this is just the beginnig of a new music era where honesty is the best policy not payola

Posted by: spitt at August 1, 2005 12:31 AM

John Gutta, war on drugs and the war on payola in the music business are two different varations. Drugs is always going to be a market, there is not stoping that, the government gets paid by allowing drugs to come to the U.S., music industry has it's ups and downs, the music stockmarket is not doing so well for the last three years, but you will never hear drugs stockmarket ever saying that now will you? Drugs have to be good in order to sell, and it always is, Music now is trash because of novice artists they invest their hard earned money in, instead of investing into good talented artists with great management teams. Instead of investing into anti-piracy technology and cooperating with the hip-hop task force, this would be a great industry of music we can all listen to.

Posted by: Devil Son at August 1, 2005 9:03 AM

REGAETON SHOULD BE CALLED ONEBEATON
I CAN MAKE A REGAETON BEAT WITH A BIC PEN!

Posted by: SHA-ELEMENTAL at August 1, 2005 5:54 PM

K FOLKS THE TRUTH IS PAYOLA IS HERE THERE ARE NO REAL EMINEMS JAY Z'S OR 50'S ITS ALL FAKE AND GUESS WHAT ....WE ALL PAID FOR IT. THE SYSTEM HAS GONE SOUTH! YUP LAFACE KNOWS THE PLAN AND ITS WITH VIDEOS TOO
VIACOM CLEAR CHANNEL ALL THE BIG CORPORATIONS ARE HIDING IT. UNTIL WE CAN COMETOGETHER AS CITIZENS AND JUDGE MUSIC AS IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE JUDGED IT WILL GET WORSE. WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN BUT BE AWARE OF THE MOB THEY ARE A BIG PART OF IT TOO. POWER IN THE PEOPLE NOT THE MONEY

Posted by: Money sells at August 10, 2005 10:43 PM

its about time freakin payola is over exposed! thanks E/S.
RO/TEXAS

Posted by: ro entertainment at August 16, 2005 4:02 AM

Three phrases should be among the most common in our daily usage. They are: Thank you, I am grateful and I appreciate.

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