CEO of the Award-winning national hip-hop show Urban Grind TV, Wally Lockard III sat down with me to discuss the politics that surrounds Chicago entertainment. Urban Grind TV is a platform that has been around for many years in the city of Chicago, its cable broadcasted show can be seen on Comcast channel 25 and now nationally through FUBU TV. Wally is an individual who has dedicated his life to providing a positive platform for Chicago urban culture.
The ability to offer Chicago entertainers with a cable and nationally syndicated platform to display their talents is extremely dope. Oh, let's not fail to mention Urban Grind Radio was just recently picked up by Maybach Radio curated by MMG. So as you can see Urban Grind is going crazy with the content distribution.
The conversations I had with Wally reinsured why Chicago needs media outlets that cater to uplifting local talent because the mainstream doesn't give Chicago a fair shot. He called Chicago a "Consumer market," a place where people come to get checks and leave. That has always been a theory that plagued the city, but I can see a changing of the guards coming real soon. When doing media runs main stream entertainers only show respect to radio stations such as 107.5 WGCI fm & Power 92.3 fm.
Outside of looking to the mainstream artists, we have a lot talent brewing in the city. As of late Chicago entertainers have been taking off; Lil Rel starred in "Get Out", Valee just signed to Good Music and had his "GOOD job, you found me EP," executive produced by Kanye West. Artists like these have sat down with local media outlets.
The biggest challenge is to have local and mainstream talent to buy into local media outlets. I think the lost connection between Chicago media and talent is key. Wally stated that we have to cater to the 99% because its hard to reach that top 1%. The top tier is looking to sit with bigger outlets, that mindset trickles down to the other 99%.
Being real top outlets are not going to come cover your event, post you on Instagram, while you're on the come up. Its outlets like Urban Grind that finds those who needs the exposure, build relationships and uses its national platform to help talent succeed; free of charge.
This new wave of Chicago is more than just artists, its time for media outlets to get that respect that is much deserved. If we want to stop being viewed as a consumer market, we must bridge that gap first, illustrate to the rest of the world that when you're doing a media run it's more than just radio stations in Chicago. We got to let them know who controls our culture.
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