While Trae the Truth and the Relief Gang continues their efforts to aid Houston’s victims of Hurricane Harvey, the H-Town rap legend still has some unfinished business with some old “friends” to wipe his heavy hands of.
Last month, (Jan. 17) Trae filed his second lawsuit against Radio One of Texas II, LLC, Urban One, Inc. and Houston’s 97.9 The Box’s (KBXX) Program Director/Operations Manager Terri Thomas. The complaints as filed consist of “gross negligence, defamation, and tortuous interference with prospective relations by an on-going ban against Trae Tha Truth from all things Urban One/Radio One.”
The ban came because of a violent altercation that lead to a shooting at Trae Tha Truth’s annual Trae Day event during the fall of 2009. By his own account, the incident occurred when Trae Day concluded despite it being a successful event. From there, KBXX lead the charge the “Swang” rapper by holding responsible for the incident without a balanced context.
In a 2015 interview with VIBE, Trae stated that because they did not want to claim responsibility as well, they began their assault on people of color, poor and working class residents, and more importantly, Trae himself.
The radio [station] needed somebody to blame,” Trae explained to VIBE. ”They actually was out there at the event, but they didn’t want to take that heat so they started to bash on the lower class people: “It’s always them people, your fans.” I got to a point where I was fed up. I stood up for the people because it was a perfect event—it wasn’t no fights, no nothing out there. Everybody was gone. I can’t control what people do when we’re long gone.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, according to Trae, would occur during one of the H-Town titan’s last appearances on KBXX when he stated in during the interview, “I had the world hating on me.” Afterward, it did not take long for Radio One to announce that Trae’s music would no longer be played not only KBXX (which was Houston’s only hip-hop station at the time), but across the United States under any station that was owned by Radio One.
“Everybody thought—they just shed light on Houston because that’s where it started,” he told VIBE in 2015. “If it’s one of their events, I’m not allowed there. It don’t matter who it is performing. You can’t advertise me in cities that do [their] concerts. [I’ve been banned everywhere] for the past five or six years. Even when I went on tour with T.I. and Lil Wayne. Whoever he would do functions and events with the company of that radio [station], it was like, “We got to keep Trae on the tour bus and keep him out of the arena until it’s time.”
This is his second time filing a lawsuit against Radio One, Thomas, and Urban One since 2010 where he sued these entities in a civil case for “business disparagement, conspiracy and tortuous interference” which lead to Trae’s famous “Can’t Ban The Truth” movement. After Radio One filed for a counter-suit the two eventually dropped their respective lawsuits in 2010 and have moved on. Years later, a second hip-hop station was founded under iHeartRadio, but the ban is still in effect under all Radio One and Urban One properties.
VIBE has reached out to Trae Tha Truth for comment and the story will be updated at a later date.