Despite her consistently high ratings, her genuine homegirl street cred, her A-List Old School celebrity contacts like Will Smith, Chuck D, LL Cool J, Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, and many others, Radio One’s WRNB100.3FM disrespectfully, summarily, and abruptly fired the widely popular Lady B (aka Bahiyyah Clark) on Dec. 12, 2017.
To this day, the station has never publicly explained the reason for this unwarranted termination. Was it the result of sexism, or racism, or politics, or just plain hatin’ by the management and/or some of her co-workers? No one knows because the station never explained itself.
In fact, on Jan. 8 of last year, I — as the “Angriest Black Man in America” (and an attorney) along with Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammad and a coalition of vociferous Lady B supporters known as the “B Army,” which is the warrior wing of the “B Nation” — wrote a strongly worded letter to Radio One’s top brass in Bala Cynwyd and Silver Spring, Maryland.
In that letter, we demanded an explanation and her return. We reminded them of who she is, how successful she’s been during her astounding four decades in radio, and what she’s personally done “out here in these streets” to culturally and socially empower the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley community, especially the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley African-American community.
We pointed out that shortly after her indefensible dismissal, social media erupted. In just three days on Dec. 12, Dec. 16, and Dec. 22 of 2017, there were approximately 13,000 reactions on just one Facebook page along with thousands of Twitter and Instagram reactions. And there were tens of thousands more during that week by thousands of people who shared these social media posts.
We also held a press conference at the NAACP office on Dec. 19, 2017 that included several elected officials and we held a rally outside the station’s office two days later with dozens of outraged B Nation and B Army members.
But we were ignored by Radio One, meaning Philadelphia/Delaware Valley was ignored. Accordingly, we initiated an informal boycott and began strategizing about a formal and sustained one.
And then something interesting happened. We reached out to Lady B and she surprised us with her response. She preferred to take the high road. She didn’t want to attack or condemn or even blame anyone. She simply said she “would leave it in God’s hands.” And I must admit that was the only reason the B Army calmed down. We figured we’d wait to see what happened.
And then we saw. What we saw was a shocking development: Out of the clear blue, Radio One recently announced that it would have Lady B back on the airwaves beginning Feb. 12 as a host on the revamped Classix 107.9FM playing her primarily Old School Hip Hop/90s R&B.
She’ll be on Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m — 3 p.m. and Fridays from 6 p.m. — 10 p.m. She’ll also do her thing there on Saturdays from 6 p.m. — 10 p.m. hosting the return of the “won’t stop, can’t stop” world famous “Basement Party!”
That is great news! But I really wish Radio One would’ve changed the time slot on Mondays through Thursdays to sometime later in the evening because Patty Jackson hosts her longtime top-rated amazing show on WDAS 105.3 FM weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (as well as Sundays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.) playing classic R&B. However, it’s cool though. After all, B and Patty are close friends — and very good friends of mine — with literally tens of thousands of listeners, so there’s enough music and enough fans to go around. In other words, listen to both shows by alternating back and forth, dammit.
During an interview with Lady B on Jan. 31, I asked her to comment on her comeback (although, like LL, “she’s been here for years!”) and she said, “I’m stunned. I was not expecting them to call me. God is so amazing. My people are so wonderful. They stayed with me despite my absence from radio and continued to attend all my concerts by selling out the venues. They made it clear to me that our relationship was and is bigger than the airwaves.”
And when I asked what her listeners should expect regarding her new show, she profoundly responded, “The same but in a different way. In other words, it’ll be bangin’ nonstop music but presented in a fresh and updated format. And it’ll also include cultural and political issues every now and then because our people need to be able to party and to improve.”
By the way, she’s also hosting her own self-produced podcast beginning this month that will feature celebrities, politicians, activists, and others. She promises it’ll be like nothing you’ve ever seen or heard before, touching on exciting topics that everyone will be interested in and clamoring for.
For more information and all the juicy details about Lady B’s radio show as well as her podcast, attend the press conference on Monday, Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. in City Hall, Mayor’s Reception Chamber, Room 200. It’s open to the public.