Despite the Houston-native’s decorated career, it appears that Trae Tha Truth is still banned from all Radio One platforms. Earlier this year, he filed his second lawsuit against the company citing “gross negligence, defamation, and torturous interference with prospective relations by an on-going ban against Trae Tha Truth from all things Urban One/Radio One.”
The issue dates back to the late 2000s, when the Houston rapper was bestowed an official city holiday, Trae Day, by then mayor of Houston, Bill White, and Council Member Peter Brown in 2008. The next year, things got out of control when an altercation led to a shootout which injured eight people between the ages of 14 and 21 at Texas Southern University. Following the shooting, Radio One’s KBXX 97.9 The Box invited Trae to the station to explain his perspective, which unfolded to a blame game when an on-air personality accused the rapper of provoking the incident.
“I don’t know if it was getting done more to clear their name out the way, because they were part of the event,” Trae Tha Truth explained in a 2010 interview with Angela Yee. “They just said some stuff that kind of got under my skin and one thing led to another and you know we kind of exchanged words over the air.”
After the interview, Trae went on to share his thoughts about the radio host on his The Incredible Truth mixtape, where he lambasted the host through his lyrics on “Uptown.”
"Look at you with your bad built ass, you're trash, so far gone you ain't even in the past. It's understood when I'm rolling on glass and the world hating on me like Nnete's fat ass."
The Box was swift in pulling the plug on his presence on their airwaves. An excerpt from the email at the time read, “URGENT: - Effective Immediately: DO NOT AIR: "Trae tha Truth" on our station. No interviews, no calls, no comments, no posts on our website, no station twitter, no station facebook, no songs in mix show no verses on remixes, or songs in regular rotation. No exceptions. The current online postings will be removed shortly. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Thank u. Have a great weekend!"
“They banned my music,” Trae said during his interview with Yee. “They shooting out texts and emails [saying] not to play my music. Don’t play no remixes of me. Don’t say my name.”
The ban result in the firing of multiple popular DJs for playing songs featuring Trae, some of which working for the station for more than a decade prior to termination. Trae filed a lawsuit against KBXX early in 2010, citing damages to his career, but the suit was dismissed later that year.
Fast forward to 2017, when Trae, like many others, found himself in the midst of Hurricane Harvey and was forced to evacuate. The Houstonian took the opportunity to team up with Dj Mr. Rogers to create RELIEFGANG, an organization dedicated to distributing water, aid and much needed supplies to those who need it in the Houston area. Despite his humanitarian efforts over the years, The Box has not let up on the ban, going so far as to keep him out of relief effort coverage and leaving him off their list of celebrities helping Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey.
Since then, Trae has filed his second suit against Urban One, Inc., Radio One of Texas II, LLC and Terri Thomas, who is the current Program Director/Operations Manager for Urban Hip-Hop and R&B Station 97.9 The Box, citing “gross negligence, defamation, and torturous interference with prospective relations by an on-going ban against Trae Tha Truth from all things Urban One/Radio One.” Time will tell how this suit plays out, and we’ll be there to keep you in the know.
Victoria Randle is a detailed, fact-checking journalist that loves nothing more than to research and write. She prides herself on being a social media guru and staying up with current events pertaining to the culture and music. She has been a huge fan of hip hop since a young age. Victoria is a native Houstonian with a degree in broadcast journalism from Texas Southern University. She currently resides in Houston with her daughter Riley.