Daily Hip-Hop News:
Little Brother's "Too Intelligent" Says BET, Network Responds To Allegation
Thursday - September 8, 2005
by Carl Chery
With Little Brother's The Minstrel Show hitting stores next week, SOHH.com has heard BET is refusing to air the album's first video, "Lovin' It" because it is "too intelligent for the BET audience."
The video begins with a delivery truck dropping boxes labeled "gangsta," "backpackers," "earthy" and "icy" onto a street. The rest of the clip mostly sees LB and Joe Scudda, who is also featured on the song, performing in front of a capacity crowd. The clip also pokes fun at the Hip-Hop subgenres by depicting overly exaggerated backpacker and gangsta characters in the audience. "Lovin' It" also jokingly features typical scenes with Big Pooh sitting next to champagne-sipping models in the venue's VIP section while LB's entourage pop bottles. The video concludes with a car running through the boxes dropped on the street earlier.
The statement of the video being "too intelligent for the BET audiece" was discussed recently on Columbia University's college radio station, 89.9, on the "Squeeze Radio" show. On the show they said the statement was made verbatim by the program director from BET to one of the Atlantic records label reps. This information was obtainmed directly from LB's 9th Wonder.
SOHH.com contacted several officials at BET, including their vice president Stephen Hill, their program director, and publicist, Michael Llewellen who offered this response.
"It's not true, not in that context. BET reserves the right to show or not to show music videos of any type based on the network's own standards and decision-making processes," Llewellyn told SOHH.com.
When questioned further as to whether the words "too intelligent for the BET audience" was used, Llewellen did not respond. Atlantic Records has refused to comment.
The LB incident doesn't mark the first time BET has allegedly banned underground artists from its video rotation. In December 2004, SOHH.com reported that BET snubbed De La Soul's "Shopping Bags" video and The Beatnuts' "Find Us (In the Back of the Club)" clip featuring Akon.
In a meeting with BET heads, De La reportedly said BET told them they "weren't relevant to the BET audience" while The Beatnuts were told that "BET doesn't break new artists." The Beatnuts had previously garnered heavy rotation for videos like "Off The Books" from 1997's Stone Crazy, "Watch Out Now" from 1999's A Musical Massacre and "No Escapin This" off 2001's Take It or Squeeze It.
The network has also been under fire from the black community for cutting its news coverage to make room for more videos in the past few years. Recently, the community has been frustrated with BET for its failure to cover the Hurricane Katrina's crisis.
Little Brother's The Minstrel Show featuring "Lovin' It" hits stores September 13th.