Funkmaster Flex Talks About Drama With The Source, Al Sharpton
Though busy promoting his forthcoming The Car Show CD/DVD, Funkmaster Flex addressed payola allegations, The Source Magazine's lawsuit and Al Sharpton in an exclusive interview with SOHH.com.
In its November issue, The Source Magazine accused Flex, the flagship DJ of New York's Hot 97, of accepting "payola," money and/or gifts, for playing records. However, Flex says the allegations are ridiculous.
"People always wanna accuse me of payola-taking money for records," Flex told SOHH.com. "What do people pay for records? People have thrown around the figure of $2,500... $5,000. I work for Ford, Turtle Wax, yahoo.com, Castro Oil. I do marketing, they sponsor my tours. I'm a face for Castro Oil, the first African American to do that. Ford, I customize vehicles for them, they sponsor my tours. I do marketing for them. They sponsor my tour shows, my racing dates. Yahoo.com plays my videos, my TV shows. I get $100,000 to customize cars for people like Castro. What am I doing with $2,500? I don't jeopardize what I do to do stuff like that."
Recently, reports surfaced that The Source planned on further investigating the radio station's alleged payola with new features in its upcoming December and January issues. The self-proclaimed "Hip-Hop bible" also took more shots at Flex, claiming that a witness saw the DJ accept large sums of money ranging from $500,000 to $1 million to play certain records.
None of these record companies or rappers even have half of $100,000, let alone to give it to me," said Flex. "Incredible! What I do isn't worth that. I'm on the radio in New York City at night time. I can't make other DJ's across the country play a record. I play a record and people hear it. It's up to the individual that hears the song to say whether he likes it or not.
"It's dumb," the DJ added before briefly jabbing The Source co-owner Raymond "Scott" Benzino. "So Benzino is the only one having this trouble, huh? He's the only one whose records don't get played. Why? Why is no one in any state playing this guy's records?"
Flex has been quite vocal towards Zino in recent weeks. Consequently, The Source said it's considering suing Hot 97 and Flex. The magazine has yet to go forward with the suit and its claims are still unknown.
"That's really stupid and I got a really good case because [The Source founder/co-owner] Dave Mays went on a competitive radio station [New York's Power 105] and said some things. And he definitely should have checked before he said them," Flex revealed to SOHH.com. "I don't think they're gonna wanna pursue this too far. I think [they're suing] cause I said Benzino's a wack rapper. He's a public figure. He makes wack records."
Aside from payola, Hot 97 has seen its share of drama this year. Several weeks after a Hot 97 shooting left one of The Game's associates wounded, Reverend Al Sharpton called on radio companies to ban violent artists for 90 days. While he neglected to state his position on the ban, Flex seems to think Sharpton isn't always knowledgeable.
"I think Al Sharpton... I don't know if he always has the information before he talks about something," Flex offered. "I know they had a little panel on something, I wasn't there. I think Al just has to have better people around him to give him the right information so that he knows what's going on. I don't always take him 100 percent serious."
Flex says he isn't sweating the numerous allegations. He's too busy promoting his forthcoming project, The Car Show CD/DVD. The project features 50 Cent, Paul Wall, Jim Jones, Cam'ron, Juelz Santana, Elephant Man, Nas, Mobb Deep and many others. Meanwhile, the DVD includes footage from Flex's car show tours with Young Buck, David Banner, Fat Joe and Master P all showcasing their whip appeal.
Funk Master Flex's The Car Show CD/DVD is scheduled to hit stores December 6th.