You can't call Black Pegasus a wallflower.
Piss the man off, he's going to call you out. Just check out his latest album, Fuck Yo! Radio, which he'll drop in pre-release version at The Black Sheep on Friday.
Black P, aka Rob Houston, has been a part of the Colorado hip-hop scene for years, first as a member of FOS (Focus on Skillz), and eventually as a solo artist. He started his own record company, Brass Knuckle Entertainment, as a means for him to exercise control over his recordings. Placing high in national battles like Scribble Jam 7 and Jay-Z's 2003 "Rock the Mic" in Denver has earned Black P some attention. His music was featured on MTV's "Road Rules" and "The Real World," and even showed up on an NBA JAM video game.
With all of the high-profile exposure, where's the local love? That's just one of the topics covered in Fuck Yo! Radio, which showcases a few songs addressing Black P's lack of radio play. In an interview, he doesn't hesitate to name names, specifically addressing The Beat 96.1 FM. It's all political, Black P says, noting that both Denver's Westword and the Springs' Gazette have acknowledged him with "Best Local Rapper" awards.
"I've sold the most albums locally and nationally for a Colorado rapper, and I have music that is radio-friendly, but the program director at 96.1 decided he liked other local artists better than me," says Black P. He says he's contacted the station numerous times, but can't get his calls returned.
In response, Jared Goldberg, program and music director for The Beat, says the station isn't playing favorites.
"I know he's had a big, slanderous campaign against us, giving out my office line and the request line. But we're getting more responses from people not to play it than to play it," says Goldberg. "And he's never called me. I've been here for almost two years, and he's never sent a CD. It's about playing the best music we can get, not about playing favorites."
Either way, Fuck Yo! Radio isn't all dour finger-pointing. The album is catchy, with plenty of mainstream R&B hooks on tracks like "Feel Good." Aided by rapper (and brother) Trigg, and producers Base Jase and Max Mercy, the CD comes off as a more sample-heavy send-up of 2005's Knuckle Up, which sold over 10,000 copies, with or without radio support. In fact, at the time of the interview, Fuck Yo! Radio had just been picked up by LA Underground for worldwide distribution to chains like Tower Records on Sept. 19. Which begs the question: Does Black P even need radio support?
He says he puts down the radio industry because, well, he can. Radio doesn't have the stranglehold on the populace it once did.
"The album is about people standing up for themselves and being independent," he says. "Let people know how we feel, and at the same time, know that success is not determined by the radio. Independent artists don't need to be scared to speak up about it, because the Internet is changing the way people listen to music."
Black P's not so high-and-mighty that he denies wanting some platinum-selling bling. But he wants to maintain his integrity as well.
"Sure, I'd love to get that corporate exposure, but I'm not going to pay them all this cash to spin our record. I want them to play it because it's a great record."
Black Pegasus CD release party
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Friday, June 30. 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $5, all ages; visit ticketweb.com.