Time flies, doesn’t it?
I’m in a nostalgic mood this week. Between pushing the single and putting the finishing touches on the album, I’ve been thinking back to more humble beginnings. As exciting as the major airplay that’s coming my way now is, there was a time not long ago when a little college burn was a huge deal. The first time my music was played on the radio was in 2003. It was in Tallahassee, Florida at WFSU. The Underground Railroad. Florida State University. DJ Dirty Digits played the song “Hip Hop 2 Me” (which I produced as well as rapped on) while Timid was there as an in-studio guest. I was listening online from home in New York. At the time, it was the greatest moment of my life. I actually felt like I’d made it because my music was being played on an FM radio station. Nevermind the fact that it was college radio and probably didn’t have much of a listening audience. I really didn’t care. There was no feeling like it in the world.
In the years to come, I’d garner much more radio experience. My music started getting played on stations overseas, and I started appearing on various radio shows as a special guest myself. I even appeared on that very show in Tallahassee while I was down there for an event. One trip, I was a guest on both the underground and mainstream Hip Hop shows in the city, going from FSU to Clear Channel’s The Beat, on which host Thrill da Playa (of “Tootsie Roll” fame) introduced Timid and I as his “celebrity guests.” Whenever I’d go out of town for an event, I’d always try to get on the local radio show and was usually successful. Still, my own state of New York had eluded me.
It’s been said that to make it in New York, you have to make it everywhere else first. That New York will only get behind you once the rest of the country already has. To an extent, that theory is true because as recently as 2005, I was having trouble getting on New York radio. Once I knocked that door down, the flood gates opened and I started making regular appearances on every underground radio show in town. It got to the point where one of the NY DJs said, “I can’t go anywhere without hearing the name Pizon.” I became an integral part of the scene, but I didn’t get there until other states had showed love. (You’re seeing more of the same story now as I’m breaking further into the mainstream, with DC’s biggest station playing “Dreams Come True” before Hot 97.)
This was one of my first New York radio appearances. It took place in March 2005, on 88.1 FM WCWP’s Tha Lockdown show with DJ MJ, who has continued to support me since. I would later become a staple on her show, but I remember having butterflies in my stomach this night. Despite already hosting my own online radio show at this point, I was nervous to be interviewed on the radio in New York. Now, I almost look at commercial airtime as an entitlement, but I’ll never forget the time when some local shine was major.
FLASHBACK – Pizon on Tha Lockdown, March 26, 2005: