David Pedersen loves hip hop. He also loves helping the community.
For Pedersen, those are not distinct loves. Rather, they work hand in hand. Pedersen started doing hip hop shows in his local community in 2008. After living in Eugene for 5 years, he realized there was no scene in the Roseburg area. So, he says,
“I started the scene on my own. I’ve been the only person for the last five years that’s been doing anything regarding hip hop.”
But not everyone appears to be as enthusiastic about Pedersen’s hip hop dreams as he is. He claims that the media station in Roseburg, KPIC, will not give him any attention. He claims,
“I’ve always had an issue with the local media. They’ve banned me from their Facebook page because I put a link on their wall. It’s kind of a weird thing.”
In Pedersen’s mind, this might be annoying, but the media’s lack of coverage on his endeavors goes further than just his music. He has recently undertaken a school supply drive for the underprivileged youth of Oakland and Sutherlin. His Sutherlin-based production company, Drama Causin Productions, is planning “Overlooked and Underrated,” a “school supply drive and free live hip hop show” for this Friday, August 24.
For Pedersen, this drive is personal:
“I have kids myself. As a parent the price of living is pretty crazy. So just going out and having to buy that extra bit — it adds up, since you already have clothes to buy to make the kids feel accepted. And you need to buy supplies on top of that. Supply drives are something we can do to ease the stress of the people that most need the help.”
But Pedersen says that while local businesses have been very supportive, KPIC has completely ignored his attempt to help schools. He claims,
“I spoke to the station manager and she won’t give us any coverage. They won’t do any coverage on this school supply drive. I went around to local businesses and put up barrels to collect supplies. Other local businesses are donating food and drinks. But the local station manager won’t do anything, I’ve been trying to contact her for 3 or 4 weeks.”
Pedersen believes that the station is blacklisting him because his show involves hip hop. He says that another business — unrelated to hip hop — is getting coverage on its drive.
“A local businesss in Roseburg saw I was doing a school supply drive. And they started one, and yesterday the news covered that. So to me that means it’s because I’m involved in hip hop music. She’s assuming I’m trying to make money from the situation but I’m buying supplies for the drive with my own money. I’ve worked with the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, I perform at my kids’ schools. I’m trying to help kids just like my own.”
KPIC in Roseburg is owned by Fisher Communications, part of a network that includes KVAL in Eugene. An executive at KVAL said that Pedersen was never “blacklisted.” Regarding the Facebook ban, the executive explained that he violated their spamming policies:
“[He] was thrown off our Facebook page because he was spamming it.”
The executive also said that neither KPIC nor KVAL would be opposed to a school supply drive because hip hop was involved. After the spamming, the station did not take him seriously. She said,
“I don’t know what’s going on with him because we clearly don’t care if hip hop is involved with a school drive; it makes it cooler for TV, in fact. He was just posting so much on our Facebook page. It was spam and it was annoying.”
Pedersen counters that he was not spamming; he was networking. But whether it is spam or networking, the drive will be taking place Friday in Sutherlin, and Pedersen has high hopes. He has already gathered lots of supplies and hopes even more are donated to help the community.
“I have enough already for 15 kids to go to school fully equipped with supplies. Really I’m just hoping people see that I’m in the community trying to help the kids and schools. I’ve taken shows all up to Eugene. I’m just taking music to the community and trying to help people out.”
For more information about the school drive, visit the event’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/events/135604126578065.