“You can’t say crap on the radio,” sang Stiff Little Fingers’ Jake Burns, who probably never dreamed that at some point in the future, you couldn’t say “LeBron”, either. Scott from Waiting For Next Year reports Cleveland’s WAKS has edited the Jay Z/Alicia Keys single, “New York State Of Mind”, to obscure a prominent reference to a former Akron, OH native.
What was once œ[If] Jeezy™s paying LeBron, I™m paying Dwyane Wade “ a reference towards the purchase price of an illegal drug “ is now relatively indecipherable as the two-time NBA MVP™s name is edited “ or as female hip-hop star Missy Elliot calls, œflipped and reversed.
WFNY caught up with the man behind the decision, night time disc jockey (œJava) Joel Murphy, to discuss the move. Murphy tells us that the decision was more of an epiphany, but its one that the station feels resonates well with Clevelanders given their well-documented feelings towards the departed James.
œI was playing the song and realized that the word œLeBron is as offensive to some people as the ˜Seven Words You Can™t Say On The Radio,™ said Murphy. œAnytime one of those words shows up in a song, we either bleep it, cut it out completely or obscure it by flipping it backwards. So, I suggested to our programming dept that we should treat the name œLeBron similarly.
œThe reaction has been immediate, Murphy continued. œListeners thought it was a brilliant idea. It™s subtle, just enough to get the point across. Obviously, it™s totally tongue-in-cheek. I mean, we still say the name on the air. But, in the context of a hip-hop song, it sounds kinda cool hearing it flipped backwards.