The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

12 May 2006

Hip-Hop, Troi Torain, DJ Star, New York City, Power 105 FM


Hip Hop Host Threatens Rival's Young Daughter

After a recent spate of horrible publicity for the radio industry, a New York City hip-hop DJ has topped it all by threatening a rival's young daughter on the air.

While verbal battles between Clear Channel's Power 105 FM and the violence-prone Emmis Communications outlet Hot 97 FM have recently been escalating, Power 105 DJ Troi Torain has ignited a firestorm by insisting he would molest rival DJ Envy's child.

To ensure that he could quickly victimize the girl, Torain (also known as DJ Star) offered listeners $500 for any information on how to locate her at school.

In my latest Inside Radio column, published this morning, we examine a disturbing pattern of incidents (click here after Friday, May 12) that points to an industry in a severe state of crisis.

What keeps these sewer-dwelling jocks on the air? Before situations escalate to violent levels, why aren't station owners cleaning house?

With some taking me to task for leaving out other recent outrages, reader reaction to the column has already begun:


And what about the Spanish language station DJs fanning the flames
of pro-illegal immigrants in big cities like LA and Chicago? Are you going to
call them to task? Don't they have a responsibility?

Just wondering.

Ray Peacock

Ray, I only had space for this week's controversies. To go back much further would require writing a book, rather than a column.

So what exactly did DJ Star say? From the New York Daily News:

Torain offered listeners $500 to tell him where the daughter of nemesis DJ Envy, of Hot 97, went to school.

"Yes, I disrespect your seed," Torain ranted. "If you didn't hear me, I said I would like to do an R. Kelly on your seed. On your little baby girl."

Torain, 42, described in graphic detail what he meant by the reference to the R&B singer Kelly, who allegedly committed an unnatural act on an underage girl, a stunt captured on a widely circulated video.

Torain, who warned in his diatribe that he carries a gun, also called the wife of DJ Envy, whose real name is Rashawn Casey, a "whore," a "lo mein eater" and far worse anti-Asian slurs.

Following up on the story today is the New York Times:

The Manhattan district attorney's office has opened an investigation into an on-air tirade by a disc jockey for one of the city's leading hip-hop radio stations in which he threatened the family of a rival host at another station.

At a news conference earlier that day, City Council members, who said they had been contacted by the wife of the rival, D.J. Envy, played an excerpt from a May 3 broadcast in which Mr. Torain mentioned D.J. Envy's wife and two children and threatened to track down and sexually abuse his daughter, who is 4. D.J. Envy works for WQHT-FM, known as Hot 97.

"I will come for your kids," Mr. Torain, 42, said in the excerpt, adding that he would pay $500 to anyone who told him where the girl attended school.

Yesterday, council members held a second news conference and insisted that they would not be satisfied unless Mr. Torain was prosecuted. The lawmakers have also called for a Federal Communications Commission investigation.

Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, said last night, "We are going to get hold of tapes, comments, transcripts and whatever else will help us conduct a thorough investigation."

Will criminal investigations and legal action be enough to finally put a lid on out-of-control hip-hop DJs? Given radio's track record, it seems doubtful.

UPDATE: DJ Star was arrested late Friday afternoon.

From the AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — A syndicated hip-hop disc jockey was arrested Friday on charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child in a case stemming from on-air racial and sexual remarks about a rival's wife and 4-year-old daughter.

Police officials had launched a hate crime investigation of DJ Star on Thursday after reviewing a transcript of his recent rants about DJ Envy and his family.

DJ Star, whose real name is Troi Torain, was contacted by police on Friday and ordered to surrender a 9mm handgun and target practice permit at Police Headquarters. When he arrived, he was arrested and taken to the 1st Precinct in lower Manhattan, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

"I will come for your kids," Torain said, according to transcribed excerpts provided by Liu's office. "I finally got the information on his slant-eyed, whore wife."

UPDATE: David Hinckley of the New York Daily News examines why hip-hop stations refuse to take out the trash.

Meanwhile, a new report has several St. Louis FM stations now caught up in a payola investigation.

Saturday: DJ Scum released on bail. And the Texas hip-hop DJs caught up in a violent street fighting DVD scandal are blaming everyone but themselves.

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DJ Scum (top right), DJ Envy (middle right) photos: New York Daily News


  • Shows you the subculture that is hip-hop. When a song about pimps wins best song at the Oscars, you know our culture is headed WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY downhill!

    I do not listen to either of these trash bins of radio Hot 97 or Power 105. Word to "Star"--KEEP YOUR PERSONAL TRASH AT HOME! Y'AIN'T GOING ON THE MAURY SHOW YOU KNOW!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 12 May, 2006 19:15  

  • You should have seen "Star" when he got perp-walked... smirking to the cameras, and invoked the ghost of Lenny Bruce.

    if there is a God, he throws this bastard into the Tombs and, like, loses him for enough time.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 13 May, 2006 05:37  

  • When I was a jock at a college station in the SF Bay Area, our PD was very direct about it - "They're tuning in for the music, not to hear you bumping your gums. When you go live, get in, get out, get back to the music."

    This has been slowly building since the 1981 deregulation. When you tune into a hip-hop station in a "contested" market these days (LAX, DFW, NYC, CHI, etc.) it is entirely possible you will hear less than 30 minutes in the hour of music, with the remainder being station drop-ins proclaiming how wonderful the station is, commercials, and of course, DJ spew. The corporate consolidation of radio has only exacerbated the problem, as now when anyone on the air goes over the line, the company can just shuttle that individual off to another market; in mom-and-pop radio, that individual got tossed out on his ass before the end of the shift - as DJ Star should have been.

    Right now, radio sucks. S-U-C-K-S, sucks. It's tedious to listen to, rarely provides current information, and is sandwiched between so many ads and promos that you can't here the content for the pulse pounding in your head due to elevated blood pressure. But because it makes so damn much money, and because there are so many people willing to put up with the crapola (and the payola and plugola it seems), I do not see any kind of change in the near future.

    All hail the 10-disc CD changer and the MP3 player!

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 14 May, 2006 20:50  

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