Here’s a bit of history for you…Funkmaster Flex and Gary Bernstein both have done a lot to raise the profile of the DJ. A once ignored position in radio that now is its own industry. Flex did it by example. He took his night slot on HOT 97 New York which he had had since the mid 90′s to a record deal with Loud Records for a 60 Minutes of Funk mixtape. This was a first for a DJ being released on a major label. Some of the biggest names were part of it”¦. Dr.Dre, Nas, Jay-Z, DMX, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Method Man, and 50 Cent. He next expand ed his brand into TV with a show called the Ride with Funkmaster Flex and then many other programs from All Muscle with Funkmaster Flex ,Funkmaster Flex Car Wars on ESPN, Fast Machines with Funkmaster Flex, to the latest on MTV called Full Throttle. Most notable is that he is still on top of his game in the streets and expand ing the brand and the profile of the DJ.
You all know Gary Bernstein as the executive in charge of Syndication One. I have a lot of respect for Gary as he has launched more successful careers and syndicated brand s than can be mentioned from Rickey Smiley, Yoland a Adams, CoCo Brother, Donnie McClurkin, Walt “˜Baby” Love, Wendy Wiilliams, the list is endless. As you know, I have my issues with syndication but I have to give credit where it’s due.
Gary made his mark was the creation of the world’s largest mix show network while he was running Superadio Networks in the 90′s, coincidentally at the same time that Flex was making his mark. Gary B.helped launch the national mix show careers of the Baka Boyz, Clinton Sparks, Spinderella, Paul Oakenfold, Pharris Thomas, DJ Ran, Steve Maestro, DJ Jam, and again the list is a who’s who of the top cats in the mix show game. Gary B. became a proponent for the viability of mix shows as radio programming weapons. One wonders in today’s PPM world whether this is still possible. Fact not fiction. The Baka Boyz are aired on over 75 stations nationwide and they are number one 18-34 in at least half of the markets which includes Boston, Houston, Kansas City, Sacramento, Milwaukee, basically winning in every region. So it seems he has an active case for mix shows programmed right in today’s PPM world.
Now, as I find out, Flex and Bernstein were supposed to peg a syndication deal back in the mid 90′s, but it was a case of the lawyers getting in the way of what would have been a sure-fire hit. Perhaps they will come together again in the near future.