Checks and Balances: Local Phoenix Radio Station Power 98.3 and Radio Julezz

Checks and Balances: Local Phoenix Radio Station Power 98.3 and Radio Julezz

Who still listens to the radio? Anybody who owns an aux cord, a CD player even, most likely does not. Unless you enjoy listening to the same tasteless songs over and over again, maybe mainstream radio is for you. Recently a radio personality, “Radio Julezz” who represents Power 98.3 made a bold remark regarding local artists:IMG_1725-1.jpeg

I would have never even known who this woman was if it was not for this. She plays music on the radio, in the place I reside, and I was entirely unaware of her. The artists are the ones that brought this to my attention. Which is something to begin with, without artists the radio would have nothing to play. Local or not, they are the basis of the success of that business. When they do bring a local artist up, people are tuning in because that artist promoted they would be there. The artist brings in the audience.

Being on the radio has no correlation with the amount of success an artist has. This is not 1994. The internet exists. Artists are better off marketing themselves through social media and creating a solid foundation to stand on their own. If anything get on a radio station that reaches further than your city, Shade45 or even a Dash Radio station. Even then it will not have a significant impact for the simple reason that major radio does not validate artists.

Which leads into the fact that this woman said “Stay local my G”. Potentially one of the most meaningless comments within her statement. A local radio station hostess, who clearly was not known locally herself until this incident, had the nerve to downplay local artists. As if playing them on Power, A LOCAL RADIO STATION, that doesn’t reach much further than The Valley, would lead them to nationwide success. Any serious local artist has already tapped into their community on their own. A station in their city bringing them on has practically no benefits, other than being able to say they went on the radio.

Continuing to take the situation lightly, she has not taken any responsibility. Artists and people within the scene have dragged her on social media for days. Yet no further repercussions have been dealt. It is amazing that she still has a position at the station. Truly shows how Power 98.3 as a whole feels about local Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop in general, they have no dignity. To stand behind her and not check her while working in the same building is downright disgraceful. 

Not to mention that she knowingly stole from a local brand. Nineteen Avenue is a clothing brand that has advocated for local artistry in the past. Taking advantage of the situation by printing shirts with “Stay Local, My G”. After putting out the shirt, Julezz decided she should make her own. Which I surely hope nobody will purchase. The proof she knew is seen below.

The arrogance she has portrayed far exceeds what the role calls for, especially in her case. NOBODY KNEW WHO SHE WAS. Just because well known rappers have spoken with a radio personality, that does not give them any validation. Radio personalities did not set that up, there are PR people setting these ordeals up. It is press, the radio is a form of press. These celebrity rappers did not come up to Power to sit back and kick it. They did their press then went about their day and forgot they even spoke with them. Apparently Power allows people to do this job who clearly do not respect Hip-Hop or the responsibility they have in their position. 

Power 98.3 needs to do some serious housekeeping. This is the so-called “Number One for Hip-Hop and R&B”, straight blasphemy. As of right now they have no say in anything. None of them, they all equally hold responsibility for gassing this woman up. This behavior does not deserve to claim Hip-Hop, they don’t even deserve to claim Arizona. It is blatantly obvious they do not care about music or the people in their city’s streets. The ones creating the culture that they profit and thrive off of.

The artists have been vocal about this and shown unity. I reached out to a few people who have a strong stance on the topic within the local scene. These include statements from Jalopy Bungus, Emmitt Dupree, YKM Yosh, KT The Intellect, and Joey Freco. Many others also hold viable words of importance. Read their words below: 

Jalopy Bungus, a reputable artist from the westside of Phoenix:

“Why are we okay with people who know nothing about our culture speaking on it? Why are we so comfortable with the DJ Akademiks of the world? RadioJulezz blatantly disrespected us, and stole content from a local artist ! If there was a time to stand up it’s now! This is much deeper than someone saying ‘stay local’. This is about the people against the establishment. Flexing the people’s power against the establishment. This is what happens when people stand up for something. It starts here. I will continue to use my influence to advocate for independence. Artists keep eating independently. If you’re on the fence, stay on the fence!”

KT The Intellect, an artist and activist who leads the GetFree movement:

“My name is ktTHEINTELLECT and as an artist and activist I find the recent comment by representatives at Power 98.3 to be indicative of how the music industry treats the creators of culture. The personality Oh Julezz has sparked an outrage in the local music scene with her comments to a great artist in Jalopy Bungus. She said to a man that CREATES culture ‘you need us we don’t need you’. I think this type of statement comes from a culture in corporations where black people are to be exploited and profited off of and if you have a problem with that as a black artist then you have a problem with your own success as we shall put gatekeepers in position to filter the “too radical” negroes who have the courage to speak up. The power of the gatekeepers is losing its potency as streaming services have blown up and independent artist no longer need a major radio or music label to break them as the internet, used correctly will do that for them. Before her comments local artists were already getting together and meeting to see how we can exercise the new found power the internet has given us, not just musically but economically and politically as well.  GetFree came out of the brain trust that our ‘Meeting of the Minds’ produced and is an artistic and political movement for economic and environmental justice. We are just in the beginning stages of honing our ideology but this recent comments by Power 98.3 have lit a fire under us that has reenforced the need for an independent artist network. Saturday we will have another ‘Meeting of the Minds’ and all local artists are welcome. This is only the beginning.”

Emmitt Dupree, an artist who can rap and sing incredibly:

“My perspective generally on radio and the artist is that there should be mutual support and respect. In theory everything at that point should ‘work out’. However I don’t think that’s the case here and I don’t think we as independent artist ‘need’ radio. Now we are all aware that it can be an asset when utilized correctly but at this point I don’t think it’s the aim at all to break artists anymore. My personal experience with Power was actually a blessing because I had individuals there who support the hell out of me and have made some differences in my career. They know who they are, also shout out to DJ MADD Rich, I have much respect for him as well. Now when specifically speaking on the ‘Oh Julezz’ character, she clearly doesn’t respect the craft and she doesn’t understand at all that every artist is local at one point for the most part. She’s also a local, what makes her not a local? Because she talks to rappers? Local is a level not an insult like she’s attempting to use it as. What she is ultimately stating is that once you reach a certain status as an artist, THEN you’re deemed cool enough to be played and if that’s the case there is no way you are needed when you mostly play artists who have already made a name for themselves. At that point you’re only another MP3 that plays common music in your jurisdiction and where is the strength in that?”

YKM Yosh, an artist  associated with Corner-Stre:

“Nothing can stop a winner, look for answers OUTSIDE of social media. Knowledge is power, you gotta learn the game otherwise how do you ever expect to win? To 98.3 – the city is and has always been OURS act like you been to the show before. ‘It is not a shame to be deceived, but it is to stay in the deception’ – Unknown” 

Joey Freco, the founder of the brand Crnr-Stre, videographer, artist, community leader: 

“A station that aims to push the culture forward does not disregard the talent within its own city. By mocking those who grew up listening to the station you’re not only discouraging dreams but you’re also creating division. Artists have already found it difficult enough to be featured ON THE RADIO, but now they must question whether they can support those who are in charge of running it. If anything, I want to say thank you to 98.3 for igniting the next generation of artists. Hip Hop began local and has since developed into what we’ve grown to love. Now it’s time for Phoenix to jump through the ‘local’ phase and go global all on our own. Hip Hop LIVES but for now it wont do so on 98.3.”

Ultimately, get Radio Julezz and Power 98.3 off the airwaves. The seemingly useless services offered by the platform will not be missed. There are plenty of other stations out there that will gladly support and have esteemed personalities. One showing their true colors is microscopic in the grand scheme. That does not mean it should not be addressed and noted. Arizona artists will rise on their own, they already have proven that much. A radio station’s resentment towards what these artists have built up is stopping nothing.


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